air quality

17 Stories

UK Unveils Big Move in Quest for Cleaner Air

It plans to ban new gas, diesel cars by 2040

(Newser) - Just weeks after France unveiled a plan to ban sales of gas and diesel cars by 2040, its neighbor to the north is following suit. Britain's government on Wednesday unveiled a nearly $4 billion plan to improve air quality that would see sales of new gas and diesel cars... More »

How Office Air Makes You Dumber

Poor ventilation is among the problems, study says

(Newser) - Yeah, that air you're breathing at the office? It's likely diminishing your brain power by more than half unless it's kept environmentally clean, according to a new study . Researchers came to this conclusion by placing 24 professionals—including engineers, designers, and architects—in a specialized office for... More »

Air Quality in Your Gym Might Spoil Workout

Study finds generally high levels of pollutants

(Newser) - You might want to start your next workout at the gym with a sniff test. A new study suggests that gyms have high levels of air pollutants such as formaldehyde, airborne dust, and carbon dioxide, reports the New York Times . In fact, levels for those three substances generally exceeded accepted... More »

Beijing's Air Quality: On Scale of 500, It's 755

Pollution index sails way past 'hazardous'

(Newser) - If experiencing Tehran's dismal air pollution is "suicidal," Beijing residents might want to dig a bunker and stay there. The Chinese capital, which wrinkled noses a couple of years ago when it managed to break the very index meant to measure its air quality, yesterday blew right... More »

Jerry Brown Swoops In to Cut California Gas Prices

Looks to increase supply with emergency move

(Newser) - With gas prices soaring in California—at an average of $4.655 yesterday compared to $3.814 nationally—Gov. Jerry Brown is entering the fray, aiming to bring cheaper winter-blend gasoline to the state early. He has ordered the California Air Resources Board to allow the sale and import of... More »

China's Air Quality Data Suspiciously Sunny

Expert calls new data 'surprising'

(Newser) - The Chinese government, under fire from its citizens about its unbelievably upbeat pollution reports , has started to release more detailed data about smog in Beijing, reports the AP . For the first time, Beijing's official weather website yesterday included readings about PM2.5, or particulate matter less than 2.5... More »

Cynical Chinese Taking Own Smog Readings

Rail against government's 'fog' label

(Newser) - The Chinese know smog when they see it—even when the government calls it "fog." So Beijing citizens are taking their own pollution readings. "If people know what their air is like, they are more likely to take action," said a researcher at an environmental group... More »

Obama Dumps New Smog Rules

He says standard will change anyway in 2013

(Newser) - Barack Obama handed the business community a surprise win today by asking the Environmental Protection Agency to scrap new smog standards that would force state and local government to improve air quality or risk losing federal funds, the Washington Post reports. "Work is already underway to update … the... More »

Red Dust Blankets Sydney

Air quality 'dangerous' as limited visibility forces incoming flights to be diverted

(Newser) - Red dust blowing in from the Australian Outback covered Sydney today, snarling air travel and forcing locals to don masks to venture outdoors. “It’s like a nuclear winter morning,” one visitor told Bloomberg; the state government called air quality “hazardous.” Visibility was under 50 feet... More »

IOC, BBC Spar Over Beijing Air

But pollution readings by BBC tell a different story

(Newser) - The International Olympic Committee says there is nothing wrong with the air in Beijing and praised China's "extraordinary" efforts to clean up pollution ahead of the Games' kick-off tomorrow. But the BBC disagrees, reporting its own analysis that shows Beijing's air pollution at nearly four times World Health Organization... More »

Bejing's Clean-Air Blitz Falls Short

Independent readings, photos show smog persists despite pre-Olympic crackdown

(Newser) - The Chinese government’s goal of dispersing the thick smog around Beijing is not working, Wired reports after analyzing independent data. Efforts including factory shutdowns, car bans, and cloud seeding have not improved air quality, with pollution levels still far above the World Health Organization’s standards on most days.... More »

Beijing Becomes Obsessed With Rain

Chinese people want some, but not too much, for Olympics

(Newser) - Talking about the weather isn’t just idle conversation in Beijing these days—it’s a national obsession, the Washington Post reports. The country is so anxious for a sunny Olympics—with just enough rain to clear the smog, of course—that changes in the forecast have become front-page news.... More »

Beijing Amps Up Anti-Pollution Measures

New cuts on factories, cars as air flunks tests ahead of Olympics

(Newser) - Beijing today rolled out new emergency measures to ease pollution, with the Olympics just more than a week away. The new rules will close more factories and take more vehicles off the road, in a wider radius around the capital, in the event of “extremely unfavorable weather conditions"—... More »

Clean-Air Changes 'Imperil Parks'

Rules make allow power plants nearby

(Newser) - Clean air rules likely to be changed this summer are causing serious concerns about future pollution at some of America's most spectacular national parks, reports the Washington Post. The changes will pave the way for 28 new coal-fired power plants near ten parks, according to a report supported by some... More »

SF Bay Area Businesses Face Penalties for Pollution

Fines would range from $1 to $195K per year

(Newser) - San Francisco Bay Area businesses could face major fines—the first ever imposed by a local government—based on the amount of climate-changing emissions they produce annually, the New York Times reports. The move, which the Bay Area Air Quality Management District could make official May 21, would skirt plodding... More »

EPA Ignores Advisers on Pollution Cap

Sets higher limit than own experts' recommendations

(Newser) - Ignoring the recommendations of its own scientists, the Environmental Protection Agency yesterday reset standards for pollution-forming ozone from cars and factories at a level critics say may cost thousands of lives. The new cap is lower than the old level but still far above the limit urged by EPA experts,... More »

SoCal Bans Wood Burning on Bad Air Days

But fireplace lovers need not fret: only 24 days per year

(Newser) - Officials in charge of air quality in Los Angeles and surrounding counties have banned the use of wood-burning fireplaces during certain high-pollution days. The fines would only be levied on about two dozen winter days, and wouldn't affect gas fireplaces, wood-burning ovens in restaurants, or homes above 3,000 feet,... More »

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