Lori Zimmer

China's Pollution is Crossing the Pacific Ocean to Cover the Western US

by , 01/21/14

green design, eco design, sustainable design, China pollution, Smog, Los angeles smog, black carbon, trans-boundary pollutionSmog photo from Shutterstock

The massive pollution that covers China has been making its way to the western United States. A new study has shown that pollution from China’s burning of fossil fuels can account for a whopping 25 percent of sulfate pollution along the west coast of the U.S. The clouds of pollution travel across the Pacific Ocean, before settling over cities like Los Angeles.



green design, eco design, sustainable design, China pollution, Smog, Los angeles smog, black carbon, trans-boundary pollution

China is already known for its thick smog in cities like Beijing, but new studies have found that the country can also be blamed for extra smog days in far away Los Angeles. The acid rain-inducing sulfate that is a byproduct of burning fossil fuels in China is now being attributed as a contributor to the nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide smog that hovers over Los Angeles, in addition to pollutants such as black carbon. Both pollutants, which are linked to cancer, emphysema and heart disease, catch a ride to the United States on westerlies, strong global winds that can carry the chemicals across the vast Pacific Ocean.

Some experts say that China is not entirely to blame, but instead the global thirst for cheaply made products, which are exported from China. Scientists have estimated that one-third of these pollutants come from products made for export, with one-fifth of those headed for the United States.

Neighboring countries like Japan and South Korea have already experienced effects from China’s pollution. Experts say that trans-boundary pollution can only be solved by adjusted trade regulations and demands.

Via The Guardian

Images © maxful

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