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By Catherine Clifford

In July 2013, Shara Ticku traveled to Singapore on a work trip for Goldman Sachs. The investment bank made her bring N95 masks to protect her from the terrible air quality at the time.

“I land in Singapore, and the air quality index is over 400. Air quality index: anything over 300 is considered super toxic. In New York right now, it’s probably in the 20s, and that’s for a big city,” Ticku told CNBC in a video interview on Tuesday. “They closed schools, they told pregnant women they can’t walk outside. It was crazy. And I had no clue what was going on.”

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