The yellow sand is all over the sky again! Dust is coming, here are 5 practical tips

The dust is here again!!

When I got up in the morning, the window was covered with miserable white and earthy yellow, the colleague who forgot to close the window last night wailed in the group, the colleague who rode the shared bicycle to work wiped the car for three minutes before departure, and the colleague with rhinitis had already blown a basket of snot paper...

This morning, the Central Meteorological Observatory continued to issue a yellow warning for sandstorms. This sand and dust weather process is the most extensive impact this year, basically covering most of the north.

National Sand and Dust Weather Forecast Map|Central Meteorological Observatory

As early as yesterday, a wide range of sand and dust weather has covered the northwest of the mainland, north China and other places, and today it will continue to push south to the southern part of Huanghuai, and it is expected that it will gradually weaken and end tomorrow during the day.

Current National Air Pollution Index|Central Meteorological Observatory

Sandstorm and smog, what is the difference between the two types of pollution?

In recent years, the "smog" familiar to northern people refers more to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution. At present, the main sources of air pollutants are fossil energy combustion and automobile exhaust emissions, and the fine particulate matter produced by emissions will adsorb other substances and generate secondary pollutants through different physical and chemical reactions.

Sandstorms are simple and brutal: the wind rises and the clouds fly, and everything that can be blown goes in all directions. I have it from PM2.5 to PM10, and flying sand and rocks are not impossible.

PM2.5 and PM10 refer to particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than or equal to 2.5 microns or less than or equal to 10 microns. The picture shows carbonate rocks in the dust weather in Beijing under scanning electron microscopy References[2]

How to deal with sandstorms? Husk has prepared some suggestions for you

1. Do a good job of personal protection

The best protection, of course, is not to go out.

Sandstorms contain a large amount of fine particulate matter PM2.5 and ultrafine particulate matter UFP, which can lead to the occurrence and exacerbation of cardiovascular disease, especially the impact on ischemic heart disease. Therefore, people with cardiovascular disease should try not to go out, stay indoors, close doors and windows, and turn on air purifiers or fresh air systems in sandstorm weather.

If you go out for a short time, you need to wear a KN95 or N95 mask. If you feel breathless, you can use a KN95 or N95 mask with a breathing valve. KN90 or N90 masks also have a good protective effect on PM2.5. According to the air quality rating, these masks can improve air quality by two levels.

Medical masks or ordinary masks are not effective for particle protection less than PM10, and only when the first two masks cannot be tolerated, they are used as alternatives.

Patients with allergic rhinitis are also more likely to have attacks in sandstorm weather, in addition to regular protection, you can also prepare anti-allergic drugs and take them according to the situation.

2. Today, don't wipe your glasses

The raised dust particles are actually angular and hard. But our spectacle lenses are made of resin and have very low hardness. If you wipe your glasses covered with dirt directly, the edges of the sand and dust may scratch the lenses. After the lens coating or itself is scratched, the clarity and protection will decrease, which is also not good for eye health.

So stop rubbing your glasses today, whether you're used to using facial tissue or soft glasses cloth.

Sand and dust particles under scanning electron microscopy (a) sand slope head; (b) Jingbian; (c) Lanzhou; (d) Beijing; (e) Shijiazhuang (f) Jinan|References[1]

The right thing to do is to wash your spectacle lenses with a neutral detergent, such as special detergent, diluted dish soap (don't use a scrub!). )

3. Wash your face and hair immediately after returning home

Sandstorms indiscriminately blow up a variety of pollutants, including fine particulate pollutants PM2.5 and PM10. They are not alone, or they may carry a lot of accomplices, such as pollen and harmful pollutants. Therefore, you should wash your face and skin care as soon as possible after returning home. No need for makeup remover, regular facial cleanser can cleanse.

Adsorbent on Asian dust particles. From left to right: sulfide crystals produced by human activities, pollen, unknown organic matter, unknown organic matter.

We all know that the number of hairs is very large and the diameter is very small, which results in a very large total surface area of hair (especially long hair). This large area is best for adsorbing sand and dust, especially when there is greasy grease on it. So it's best to go home and wash your hair and blow dry.

If you have to wash your hair before going out today, remember to blow your hair until it is completely dry and hold it firmly so that you don't go out loose.

4. Consider washing your nose

If you feel uncomfortable in your nose, or inevitably after outdoor activities, you can wash your nasal passages in the right way. Here's how:

  • 1Wash your hands.
  • 2Heat the normal saline sold in pharmacies to 30°C-38°C as water for nasal irrigation. You can also use commercially available nasal salt, add water according to the instructions; If not, you can configure 4.5g of non-iodized salt plus 500mL of distilled water. Be sure not to mix or rinse directly with tap water, and do not use household salt (additives such as iodide can irritate the nasal cavity).
  • 3. Inject normal saline into the neti washer or tip squeeze bottle.
  • 4Bend over and stand in front of the sink and breathe through your mouth.
  • 5. Block one side of the nostril with a neti wash, gently press the bottle body and let the water slowly rinse the nasal cavity. When rinsing smoothly, water flows out of the other nostril. After washing, gently blow your nose to drain the remaining water.
  • 6. Wash the other nostril in the same way.

5. Do not wash and dry clothes

There is no need to say more about this...

You can also have fun in the bitter light: take a look at the blue sun

If you look at the sun in today's dust, you might see what you see on Mars: the sun appears blue. This is because sunlight scatters as it passes through dust particles in the air, and longer wavelengths of red light are scattered away, leaving only a bluish light penetrating the atmosphere for us to see.

Fruit shell editor Just shot Blue Sun | Photography: Black Sister

There are also more dust particles and other substances in the Martian atmosphere, so the sun on Mars is also blue. Pictured below is a sunset taken by the Curiosity rover on Mars.

Blue sun photographed by Curiosity

Tips, do not look directly at the sun for a long time, it may cause irreversible damage to the eyes.


[1] Lyu Y, Qu Z, Liu L, et al. Characterization of dustfall in rural and urban sites during three dust storms in northern China, 2010[J]. Aeolian Research, 2017, 28: 29-37.

[2] Wang, Li, et al. "Luminescence characteristics of individual Beijing haze aerosol particles." Atmospheric Environment 190 (2018): 249-255.

Authors: Luna, Liu Ke, Owl, You Zhiyou, Black Sister, July

Editor: Luna

Cover image source: Figureworm Creative

Read on