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Air Pollution Travels

Air Pollution



When it comes to air pollution, every little particulate has a green card. It can just board the next wind current and take a ride to greener pastures.

As countries like China and India beef up manufacturing, some of that pollution is going to contribute to rising smog levels in cities thousands of miles away.

In fact, it's already happening. Los Angeles is usually the smoggiest city in the U.S. According to the EPA, on some days, up to 25 percent of the particulate pollution found in skies above Los Angeles actually comes from China!

Stephen Cliff, a researcher at the University of California, Davis, monitors air pollution in California. He says that two-thirds of the pollution from Asia is made of soot, sulfur, and trace metals from the burning of fossil fuels, especially coal. On average, China builds a new coal-fired power plant every week.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is working with Chinese officials to boost the country's energy efficiency. And, once alternative energy development is accepted as an urgent global priority, perhaps we'll all breathe easier.

Script by Andrew Porterfield