A New East Asian Import: Ozone Pollution

China has long been known for its exports as Chinese goods and labor are spread throughout the world. Now, another Chinese export is making headlines, as air pollutants from East Asia are found at the ground-level in the Western U.S. From the New York Times’ Green Blog:

Blown by strong springtime winds across the Pacific Ocean, this pollution can contribute as much as 20 percent of the ozone measured in California and throughout the region, said Meiyun Lin, the study’s lead author and an atmospheric chemist at Princeton.

These emissions contribute an additional 8 to 15 parts per billion of ozone in the springtime, often nudging concentrations of the pollutant above the federally accepted maximum of 75 parts per billion measured as an average concentration over eight hours, Dr. Lin said in an interview by phone. About half of the incidents in which this health-based standard was exceeded in the Southwest in the study period, May and June 2010, would not have occurred without the Asian pollution, she said.

A previous article in the New York Times pointed out that Chinese air pollution may be responsible for snowfall in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Read more about the exporting of pollution from China, via CDT.

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