BreatheChina is a collaborative effort between students at Tsinghua University and Stanford working to develop a pollution monitoring app for the WeChat platform. While many air quality apps already exist, our app aims to go further by providing users with more information about the health effects and sources of different pollutants. Users will also be able to supplement official pollution data with their own opinions and photos of their local environment.
Pollution in china's cities
Air quality concerns are growing among citizens all across the globe, and people everywhere are demanding to know what pollutants are being dumped into the air they breathe every day. This is becoming an increasing concern particularly in China, where levels of air pollution in cities have sometimes exceeded 50 times the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended levels.
Air pollution in China's northern cities has cut life expectancy by an average of 5.5 years. This shorter life expectancy is equivalent to reducing the workforce by one-eighth. The Chinese government has recently admitted pollution is hurting the country’s economy (5.6% of GDP) and has declared a “War on Pollution.”
While there is growing recognition of the environmental issues, many Chinese are still largely unaware of the health risks and causes of pollution.
“Most people don’t, as a general rule, understand where pollution comes from, why is it bad, and why is it worse sometimes.
Most people think that pollution comes from big industries and that their personal habits and activities are not at all affecting, or impact very very little, what’s
going on in the outdoor air.”
 China: record smog levels shut down city of Harbin | euronews, world news". Euronews.com. (21 October 2014)
 Hook, Leslie. “China smog cuts 5.5 year from average life expectancy”. The Financial Times. July 8th, 2013. Available at: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/eed7c0be-e7ca-11e2-9aad-00144feabdc0.html#axzz33ALfoPVK.
 “Costs of Pollution in China: Economic Estimates of Physical Damages”. The World Bank. February 2007. Available at http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTEAPREGTOPENVIRONMENT/Resources/China_Cost_of_Pollution.pdf.