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What Could Your Nose Hairs Say About…Pollution?

"don't adapt to air pollution."

The purpose of nose hairs is to help filter out harmful particles before you inhale them, not just to be an annoying (and painful) personal grooming task as you might think. In in a new initiative, Clean Air Asia has visualized just how long your nose hairs would be in different areas of the world relative to pollution.

"The more dirty air you breath, the more nose hairs you need," CAA's website states. "Today, 70 percent of developing Asian cities have harmful levels of fine particulate pollution. These are impurities that enter your nose and penetrate your lungs."

To illustrate just how much nose hair one might need to battle pollution effectively in various Asian countries, the initiative put together an interactive map with a nose hair length index. We've pulled out a few choice examples:

Nose hair length in Hiroshima. (Image: Clean Air Asia)

Nose hair length in Seoul, South Korea. (Image: Clean Air Asia)

Nose hair length in Bejing. (Image: Clean Air Asia)

Nose hair length in Lanzhou, China. (Image: Clean Air Asia)

The further west you go on the map, the more "critical" it seems air quality conditions become. The map also features a function that allows you see what you might look like with fancy nose hair either through uploaded photo or its Facebook app.

Yes, those are stylized nose hairs. (Image: Clean Air Asia)

There's also a somewhat disturbing video, called Crazy Asian Nose Hair Trend, to go along with the awareness initiative:

"If we can't have clean air, at least we can find ways to look good," the woman in the satirical video said.

The "Hairy Nose Campaign" was launched earlier this month at the Better Air Quality 2012 conference. CCA states that pollution is the cause of more than 800,000 premature deaths in Asia per year.

“People look at air pollution like the weather. You complain about it but you can not solve it," Sophie Punte, executive director of Clean Air Asia, said in a statement earlier this month. “We see that people start wearing masks or buy air filters for their houses and cars, and move away from heavily polluted areas if they can afford it, in short they are adapting to air pollution rather than doing something about it. We see that there is increasing political will in Asia to address air pollution but without broad based popular support such political will can not succeed”.

Although just an illustration meant to make a point about harmful pollution, as Smithsonian puts it, there could come a time when humans "will evolve more nose hair" to protect against particles. The whole slogan of the campaign though is "don't adapt to air pollution."

Point taken.

(H/T: Popular Science)

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