Was This Plastic Helmet the 1940s' Solution to Smog?

When smog first descended on Los Angeles as a thick, grey mist in the 1940s, it caught the city unprepared. What were Angelenos—their eyes watery, their breathing labored—to do? Don plastic helmets and walk around in their own private atmospheres, like astronauts on a alien planet? » 5/30/14 5:58pm 5/30/14 5:58pm

What Will Happen When All Paris Traffic Slows To 19 Miles Per Hour?

Sixty percent vehicles in Paris run on diesel, and the city is struggling to curb emissions—banning half its cars for a day, making public transport and bike shares free for a weekend, and pedestrianizing large swathes of the urban grid. Now, a new proposal by Mayor Anne Hidalgo will cap the speed limit at 30… » 5/27/14 5:20pm 5/27/14 5:20pm

China Offers Smog Insurance for Sight-Seeing Tourists Who Can't See

China's debilitating smog problem isn't anything new at this point—at least for its residents. Tourists to Beijing, however, are still struggling with the fact that the sights they came for can often be virtually unseeable. To appease this growing group of angry travelers, China's biggest online travel agency now… » 3/21/14 12:20pm 3/21/14 12:20pm

Smog is Forcing France to Rethink its Love of Diesel

Last week, the smog in Paris got so bad, city officials made public transit free and banned half the city's cars from the road. The vehicle ban only lasted a day, with the reduced traffic and changing weather patterns alleviating the smog situation. But why did the smog get so bad in the first place? Blame France's… » 3/20/14 6:40pm 3/20/14 6:40pm

Paris's Smog Has Gotten So Bad, It's Making Public Transportation Free

Ah Paris—city of light, city of love, city of smog? Unusually warm spring weather has trapped diesel car emissions, blanketing much of France in noxious and dangerous air pollution. It's gotten so bad that officials in Paris are taking the radical next step of making public transportation, bike shares, and electric… » 3/14/14 3:00pm 3/14/14 3:00pm

The Worst Air Pollution in the World Is NOT in Beijing

Man, do we love talking at how much China's air quality sucks—so much that we've even been suckered into fake viral memes about it. But, as the New York Times reports, Beijing's air pollution isn't even that bad... relatively speaking. "Lately, a very bad air day in Beijing is about an average one in New Delhi," says… » 1/27/14 2:20pm 1/27/14 2:20pm

China Could Wash Away Smog With Artificial Rain Storms From Skyscrapers

Airborne pollution is a major issue in China, with local hospitals opening up "smog clinics" and waves of city-dwellers migrating to more rural areas to escape. While Chinese officials are pursuing "cloud seeding" as a way to control pollution, a Zhejiang University professor thinks he has a better idea: Sprinklers.… » 1/20/14 12:00pm 1/20/14 12:00pm

Chinese Hospital Opens "Smog Clinic" to Help Citizens Survive the City

As Chinese cities grapple with explosive industrial growth, they also grapple with the side effects, like millions of citizens with pollution-related ills. At Chengdu No. 7 People's Hospital, those patients are a common sight—and now, the hospital has opened a dedicated "smog clinic" to treat them. » 12/18/13 1:00pm 12/18/13 1:00pm