"Treat" for Poor in Smoggy Chinese City: Breaths of Fresh Air

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-04_f1a4f3f19d.jpg(Hung_Chung_Chih/Thinkstock) (NEW YORK) -- Authorities in smog-choked Zhengzhou, China, had the city's poor residents lining up, all for a chance to huff a bag of fresh air. The notoriously polluted air in the country's cities already have entrepreneurs selling air in a can, but according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, 20 blue bags of air were recently shipped to the capital of central China’s Henan province, "as a special treat for residents."

The air, reportedly from the unspoiled skies around the Laojun Mountain -- 120 miles away from Zhengzhou -- had a "lucky" group of residents strapping on face masks to huff from the bags as part of a tourism stunt.

Some of the residents were seen wringing their bags to make sure they got all they could from it.

That's perhaps no surprise considering Zhengzhou was listed among the top 10 most-polluted of China's smog-smothered cities. Zhengzhou's Air Quality Index on Monday was 158 -- by contrast, the paper reports, the AQI forecast for the most polluted city in the U.S., Bakersfield, Calif., was 45.

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