Small children and pollution in Chengdu

Nutella
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:30 pm

Small children and pollution in Chengdu

Post by Nutella »

I'm trying to get a sense for whether it would be a bad idea to take my kids (age 5 and under) to Chengdu, because of the pollution. I don't see having them wear masks, which, from what Google tells me, seems to be a fairly common aspect of living there. Is Google exaggerating? Am I going to doom my kids to developing respiratory problems if I take them there?

From what I've read Chengdu's pollution is consistently bad (vs. Beijing where there are good days and bad days) though rarely "hazardous." I don't really understand what that means, particularly with regards to small kids. My kids' health is one of my top priorities and I can't see taking a position in a location that's going to compromise that.

Any advice is appreciated.
senator
Posts: 384
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:53 am

Re: Small children and pollution in Chengdu

Post by senator »

You answered your own question.

(I left China after 8 years just when the pollution was getting bad. )
PsyGuy
Posts: 10053
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Response

Post by PsyGuy »

Google isnt exaggerating It would be a bad idea, its this type of long term (2+ year) exposure that can readily cause allergen sensitivity and respiratory problem in young children if you dont take proper precautions such as wearing masks on a regular basis.

Beijing has good days, but its bad days can be and often are worse than the consistent environmental quality in Chengdu. Its an order of magnitude worse in Beijing.

Understand that Beijings determination of a good, bad hazardous air quality system is different from those in the west and what would be internationally acceptable. Follow the embassy determinations in Beijing and you will find that air quality is worse than what China reports. For adults its less an issue especially if you arent sensitive, but even adults develop respiratory problems.
Nutella
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:30 pm

Re: Small children and pollution in Chengdu

Post by Nutella »

Thanks for the replies. I guess I was hoping to hear that it's not so very bad in Chengdu, but I have to face reality! I wish it wasn't so.
reisgio
Posts: 207
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:17 am

Re: Small children and pollution in Chengdu

Post by reisgio »

It's pretty horrible in China, but honestly, I would not take children to many cities in Asia or Europe too because of air pollution. Also a no go - Santiago, Chile.
PsyGuy
Posts: 10053
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Reply

Post by PsyGuy »

@Nutella

If air quality is going to be a primary importance to you than your going to have to exclude many urbanized parts of China. Many of the livable parts of China for westerners have air quality issues, though not nearly as bad as Beijing.
Nutella
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:30 pm

Re: Small children and pollution in Chengdu

Post by Nutella »

reisgio wrote:
> It's pretty horrible in China, but honestly, I would not take children to
> many cities in Asia or Europe too because of air pollution. Also a no go -
> Santiago, Chile.

Thanks for the tip. I had heard good things about Chile and was looking at schools there, so that really is helpful to know.
Nutella
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:30 pm

Re: Reply

Post by Nutella »

PsyGuy wrote:
> @Nutella
>
> If air quality is going to be a primary importance to you than your going
> to have to exclude many urbanized parts of China. Many of the livable parts
> of China for westerners have air quality issues, though not nearly as bad
> as Beijing.

Yeah, that's what I'm realizing, which is disappointing because I've dreamt of seeing China for years. Maybe when the kids are older.
PsyGuy
Posts: 10053
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Reply

Post by PsyGuy »

@Nutella

You could always direct your energy towards HK and visit the tourist destinations on the holiday.
elizamina
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:49 pm

Re: Small children and pollution in Chengdu

Post by elizamina »

Chengdu is awful. No exaggeration. We were at a nice school in Chengdu, our daughter was born in Chengdu, and we still had to leave after two years because of how bad the pollution is.

The bushes are constantly covered in brown dust. You can't sit down on public benches because the filth in the air settles onto the benches, and your clothes will come away dirty. If you drop something on the ground, it's instantly covered in filth. The air was so bad some days, you could TASTE it. We constantly had to keep students inside, the air was so polluted.

Also, because Chengdu is in a basin, surrounded by mountains, you have very few blue sky days. So the pollution becomes trapped in the basin. Planes would be grounded for hours because it was too hazy to take off safely.

I say all of this with no exaggeration. We liked our little school and we would have been happy to send our daughter there. But the pollution was so bad, the city was so filthy, that we couldn't justify raising a small child there. For her own health, we had to leave.
speedracer
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 9:31 am

Re: Small children and pollution in Chengdu

Post by speedracer »

[quote=elizamina post_id=45247 time=1482077026 user_id=99025]
Chengdu is awful. No exaggeration. We were at a nice school in Chengdu, our daughter was born in Chengdu, and we still had to leave after two years because of how bad the pollution is.

The bushes are constantly covered in brown dust. You can't sit down on public benches because the filth in the air settles onto the benches, and your clothes will come away dirty. If you drop something on the ground, it's instantly covered in filth. The air was so bad some days, you could TASTE it. We constantly had to keep students inside, the air was so polluted.

Also, because Chengdu is in a basin, surrounded by mountains, you have very few blue sky days. So the pollution becomes trapped in the basin. Planes would be grounded for hours because it was too hazy to take off safely.

I say all of this with no exaggeration. We liked our little school and we would have been happy to send our daughter there. But the pollution was so bad, the city was so filthy, that we couldn't justify raising a small child there. For her own health, we had to leave.
[/quote]

This post is 4 years old. Any update on pollution in Chengdu in 2021?
Piggledish
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:26 pm

Re: Small children and pollution in Chengdu

Post by Piggledish »

Chengdu is a wonderful place, full of interesting things to do and a nice pace of life. A bit polluted, yes. Kids are fine most places though.
Not all of China is like that, and I've worked in many cities here. Have a look at the greater bay area, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan and Zhuhai. Not completely pollution free but nowhere near the scale of Chengdu or (an improving) Beijing.
Heliotrope
Posts: 962
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Small children and pollution in Chengdu

Post by Heliotrope »

Piggledish wrote:
> Chengdu is a wonderful place, full of interesting things to do and a nice
> pace of life. A bit polluted, yes. Kids are fine most places though.
> Not all of China is like that, and I've worked in many cities here. Have a
> look at the greater bay area, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan and Zhuhai. Not
> completely pollution free but nowhere near the scale of Chengdu or (an
> improving) Beijing.

Sorry, but a BIT polluted?
I agree it's a nice city, but if you have small kids (or even when just for adults) the pollution is a major problem there, not a minor issue.

I agree the greater bay area would be a lot better.
PsyGuy
Posts: 10053
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Comment

Post by PsyGuy »

Pollution and air quality is a major issue in Chengdu even for adults. Spend 4 years there and you may very well have a health problem by then.
Post Reply