A microblog alleging that "smog will make people look uglier year by year" has been circulated online recently, voc.com.cn reported on Tuesday.
Such microblog posts originated from a proposal by a well-known Chinese otolaryngological expert and professor Zhang Quan'an on protecting children from the harm caused by smog, at the local Two Sessions of Shaanxi province.
Zhang said in his proposal that children can develop a "smog face" and coryza, caused by harmful particles in the air, which can also result in a shortage of oxygen supply to the brain.
He told voc.com.cn the claim that smog can make children look uglier sounds exaggerated but has theoretical support.
When children get coryza due to an irritation of the nose caused by harmful particles in smog, their nose gets blocked and they have to use their mouths to breathe, and this could adversely affect facial development over time and develop a short thick upturned upperlip and an irregular row of teeth, Zhang explained.
Children whose brains are still developing may experience retarded development as a result of breathing disorders at night.
Zhang said he was researching the safest way for children to wear masks, as these are so far the most effective means to protect wearers from the potential harm caused by smog.