Business, Finance & Economics

People in China are lining up for bags of fresh mountain air

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The air was reportedly brought in from 190 kilometers away by a Henan-based travel company as part of a promotional event.

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Why fight smog when you can bring in bags of fresh mountain air?

In proof that China's fight against pollution has moved into the ridiculous, residents of the smog-riddled city of Zhengzhou lined up for a chance to take a few puffs of fresh air as part of a promotional gimmick.

A Henan-based travel company sponsored the weekend promotion.

Company officials imported 20 bright-blue bags of air from Laojun Mountain, about 125 miles away, to show residents of one of China's most-polluted cities what they're missing.

Residents were limited to a few minutes of inhaling.

"I felt my baby move right when I breathed in," a pregnant woman named Sun told the state-run China News Service. "I would love to walk in the mountain's forests after my child is born.”

Behold the craziness:

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    Residents breathe "mountain air" from blue bags in a square in Zhengzhou in central China's Henan province on March 29, 2014.

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    STR

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    The air was reportedly brought in from 190 kilometers away by a Henan-based travel company as part of a promotional event.

    Credit:

    STR

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    In its account of the event, the state-run China News Service said some residents who lined up for the chance to inhale the mountain air tried to wring the bags in order to extract every bit of fresh air possible.

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    STR

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    “I felt my baby move right when I breathed in,” one pregnant woman who participated in the event told China News Service.

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    STR

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    Premature deaths and health problems from air pollution cost China as much as $300 billion a year, an official joint report by the World Bank and the Development Research Center of the State Council said.

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    STR

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    The council has called for a new urbanization model for the world's second-largest economy.

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    China’s environmental ministry announced last week that Zhengzhou was among the country’s top 10 most-polluted cities.

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    STR

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    The city's AQI was an unhealthy 158 as of March 31, 2014. By comparison, the March 31 AQI forecast for Bakersfield, Calif., America's most polluted city, was 45.

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    STR