Residents of Zhengzhou, China, lined up this week to breathe fresh bags of mountain air. The event was a publicity stunt for a nearby nature preserve, but the citizens of one of the most polluted cities on Earth were eager participants.
Forty bags and 2,000 cans of air were vacuum packed in the Laojun Mountains and brought to the urban center of Zhengzhou.
"We collected 2,000 cans of air from She Shen Ya (a cliff on Laojun Mountain) early last month, and we gave them out in multiple locations as a marketing campaign. It was gone in 20 minutes," said Khurram Zhang, sales and marketing officer for Laojun Mountain Natural Reserve Development Co.
Last year, Zhengzhou ranked tenth on Greenpeace's list of the most polluted cities in China. The city's air quality index (AQI) this morning ranged from 117 to 158 in some regions. For comparison, New York City's AQI is projected to be 52 today. Any value above 150 is deemed unhealthy and can begin to cause adverse effects.