Shanghai air pollution gets cutesy AQI Girls, but missing one

Shanghai air quality mascotsI’m sure we’ll all breath a deep sigh of relief that Shanghai’s Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB) is sparing no expense to improve communication with the city’s public on the quality of air in China’s largest city.

According to blogger Angel Hsu, the EPB has recently updated their Web site to feature a more (user) friendly interface with the addition of “AQI girl” that expresses in cartoon form what our lungs are feeling.

Hsu said on her blog:

“… by far my favorite innovation Shanghai’s EPB has made so far is in the use of this little air quality mascot to communicate what the various levels of pollution on the normalized AQI index mean.  For the most part, things take a sour turn for AQI girl (let’s just call her that, I’m not sure if she has an official name) after the Good (51-100) part of the range. I like how they coordinated her hair color with the official color codes of different pollutant thresholds – it’s a great way for people to automatically remember and understand what the different colors mean. AQI girl also provides a much more people and user-friendly means to calculate air quality, as opposed to other cartoon characters or anime figures that they could gone with.”

Only one problem — with the recent “air-pocalypse” in Beijing, clearly the scale needs to extend beyond 500. And thus, I’m happy to unveil the 7th member of the AQI Girl Squad — Beijing AQI Girl:

Beijing AQI Girl

(h/t Shanghaiist)