Have you considered the affects of air polution in the winter in Tokyo?

Tokyo Most likely when you are living or visiting Tokyo the issue of air quality does not come up in daily conversations, nor is it much a concern for anyone in Japan. With the colder season having started, I believe we will see again a rise of pm 2.5 particles in the air. Last year showed that the quality of the air from time to time became a concern in Tokyo and in other parts of Japan. Some of the Japanese media even had picked up on this topic. What I am talking about are the very small particles that are called pm 2.5, which from time to time color the sky slightly orange or then cut our view into the distance short. Based on the information from the United States Environmental Protection Agency pm 2.5 particles are described as:

“Particulate matter, or PM, is the term for particles found in the air, including dust, dirt, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets.”

Why are this particles a big deal? Again based on the same source:

“Particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter (PM10) pose a health concern because they can be inhaled into and accumulate in the respiratory system. Particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5) are referred to as “fine” particles and are believed to pose the greatest health risks. Because of their small size (approximately 1/30th the average width of a human hair), fine particles can lodge deeply into the lungs.”

Personally as I tend to cough easily in not so clean air, these particles became a concern of mine. On one side the discussion goes on in the Japanese media about the origin of this particles, but personally I believe for the moment, it is more important to know about the potential risk, plus having access to continuous measurement data. Only by having information at hand, it is possible to make an informed decision on whether to wear a mask or not to bother about something so small. For me a reliable source is the governmental overview of the results of the measuring spots in Tokyo. Although it is in Japanese, I believe this site is still very helpful, because all what needs to be known is the number (μg/m3). In case you cannot click-through, let me give you the actual URL:


For those concerned about the environmental regulations, let me add the link to the Environmental Quality Standards in Japan in regard to air quality. For me I am focusing on the global standards from WHO, who recommends:

10 μg/m3 annual mean
25 μg/m3 24-hour mean

Personally I do not like to wear masks, because I think I look like someone who prefers hiding their face or even worse like a burglar. On the other hand, I prefer to look strange or stupid and keep this stuff out of my lungs. Let’s hope there will not be many days this winter with a slight orange overcast like today.

Wishing everyone a good breath of air,

Sibylle Ito (伊藤シビル)

2 thoughts on “Have you considered the affects of air polution in the winter in Tokyo?

  1. Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO?

    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some
    targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good success. If you know of any please share.
    Many thanks!

    • Dear Ronnie,

      Sorry, I really cannot help you with any good recommendations on SEO or how to get up to high rankings. I believe most important is content, so the only recommendation I have is to write truly useful content for others.
      Good luck!

      Sibylle Ito

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