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Beijing's Smog Is Off The Charts... Literally

Smog in Beijing has reached a level never before seen.. For the past few days, it’s been going well over 700 on the Air Quality Index, which the EPA uses to measure air pollution. The problem is, the top of the AQI is 500. These kites that detect air pollution must be going crazy (and just imagine what the smog baked goods taste like).

Kottke shows us the full scale:

Good: 0-50
Moderate: 51-100
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups: 101-150
Unhealthy: 151-200
Very Unhealthy: 201-300
Hazardous: 301-500

What is above "hazardous," you might ask? He also has this picture, illustrating just what 700 AQI-level smog means.

Air pollution from cars is now the fastest growing cause of death. We’re going to need more of these skyscrapers that scrub pollution out of the air. And in the meantime, Beijing residents could probably avail themselves of any number of helpful personal pollution sensors.