Air pollution and travel

A traveler's guide to dealing with air pollution

Wearing a mask to ward off air pollution
Some travelers even wear masks to ward off the worst air pollution. (Photo by Diego Cupolo)
Some cities’ high pollution levels can leave your throat a little raw and chest wheezy after a day or two. (At some of the 12-lane intersections of Bangkok's Silom and Sukhumvit districts, you can feel it burning your nostril hairs when you breathe.)

This wheezing feeling usually goes away in a few days—but contact-wearers beware; the grit of the pollution can get between the lenses and your eyeball and irritate you no end. I bet you look dashing in those glasses anyway, so bring ‘em just in case.

In the developed world, only Athens is still smoggy enough to really notice. Most cities in the developing world, however, are pretty terrible when it comes to air pollution, including several popular tourist destinations such as Bangkok and Cairo.

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in August 2011.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.