An Overhead View of China’s Pollution (photo)
Posted by Author on September 27, 2010
Alex Frangos, via http://blogs.wsj.com/, Sep. 27, 2010 –
To get a sense of how China’s air quality compares with the rest of the world, there’s a new map of global air-particulate pollution from Canadian scientists using National Aeronautics and Space Administration satellite data. The verdict: It doesn’t look good.
Eastern China’s industrial area is just about the reddest part of the map, meaning it has the highest concentration of particulates. That doesn’t bode well for the hundreds of millions of people there. And if you’re in the middle of that red zone, you’d have to travel far afield for fresh air.
The researchers, Aaron van Donkelaar and Randall Martin at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, used U.S. space-agency satellite data to measure particulate matter across the globe, figuring ground-based detection is nonexistent or spotty in many areas. The map was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
It’s important to note that the data used for this map are derived from 2001 to 2006. But as The Wall Street Journal noted in July, authorities affirmed that China’s air quality continues to get worse, not better.
According to the NASA post, health officials say fine particulates can get past the body’s hair-like cilia defenses, penetrate the lungs and blood, and lead to chronic diseases, such as asthma, cardiovascular disease and bronchitis.
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