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A Tower That Fights Smog Is Waging a Battle in China

Smog Free Tower cleans up air within 65 feet of it

(Newser) - With pollution levels in pockets of India and China reaching deadly levels , innovators around the world are designing and engineering ways to fight the war on smog. One device, a 23-foot-tall wind-powered air purifier called the Smog Free Tower, sucks in air from its surroundings and filters out tiny pollution... More »

China Has Deadliest Air Pollution? Maybe Not

India's air pollution is just as bad: study

(Newser) - China has long been the world's worst when it comes to air pollution, but a new study suggests that India's trouble is now on par with China's and poised to exceed it. The study from the Health Effects Institute and Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation finds... More »

These New Delhi Selfies Are Raising Eyebrows

Residents are documenting intense smog

(Newser) - It is tough to breathe in New Delhi these days, and people are protesting the dangerous air with what Mashable calls "smog selfies." Residents are posing with landmarks behind them—except that the landmarks are obscured by smog. Another dig: Members of a visiting cricket team whose game... More »

Smog Is Bad for Your Blood Pressure, Too

Stay inside on smoggy days, scientist suggests

(Newser) - You probably don't need another reason to dislike smog, but here goes anyway: It can raise your blood pressure. "We discovered a significant risk of developing high blood pressure due to exposure to air pollution," such as coal burning, vehicle exhaust, and dirt and dust in the... More »

Italian Town Fights Smog With ... Pizza Ban?

San Vitaliano bans most wood-burning pizzerias

(Newser) - Few things are more Italian than baking pizza in a perfectly smoldering wood-fired stove, so San Vitaliano's move to ban the beloved practice comes as a surprise. The town of 6,000 north of Naples has some of the worst air pollution in Italy— Il Mattino says its air... More »

Volkswagen Is Cheating on Smog Tests: EPA

482K cars ordered recalled

(Newser) - If you drive a Volkswagen diesel model, your car might be getting recalled—though not for safety reasons. The Obama administration has ordered the carmaker to recall about 482,000 cars because, it claims, Volkswagen put illegal software in those cars designed to get around environmental standards, the New York ... More »

Paris Bans Half of All Vehicles

Air pollution so bad, it nearly obscured the Eiffel Tower

(Newser) - Think LA smog is bad? Air pollution got so nasty in Paris that authorities are cutting the city's traffic by half and reducing speed limits to roughly 12 miles per hour, Mashable reports. Starting tomorrow, personal vehicles with odd-number and even-number license plates will be banned on alternating days.... More »

To Search for Aliens, Look for ... Air Pollution?

Air pollution could signal intelligent life on other planets: researchers

(Newser) - Astrobiologists look for extraterrestrial life by searching for gases (i.e. methane and oxygen) that suggest the possibility of life, or for radio or laser signals in the hopes of communicating with distant alien life forms. But now a team of astronomers at Harvard is suggesting we also look for... More »

Saharan Dust Chokes London

Of course, industrial pollution is also to blame

(Newser) - London is exceptionally smoggy right now, and at least some of the air pollution can be blamed on dust that traveled all the way from the Sahara. "We usually see this happen several times a year when big dust storms in the Sahara coincide with southerly winds to bring... More »

Pollution Killed 7M People in 2012

Air pollution now top environmental health risk

(Newser) - Almost an eighth of all deaths worldwide last year were caused by air pollution, which is now the world's biggest environmental health risk, the World Health Organization warns. A new study released by the agency finds that around 3.7 million deaths in 2012 were caused by outdoor air... More »

China's Smog Is 'Nuclear Winter' Bad

Crop scientist says the nation's food supply is at risk

(Newser) - Just how lousy is Beijing's air these days? Chinese President Xi Jinping found it necessary to demonstrate his support for the people by ... walking around and breathing yesterday. That's it. "Breathing the same air, sharing the same fate," read the headline on the state's official... More »

China Paper: Smog Good for National Security

Bad air can be bonus on battlefield, paper claims

(Newser) - As Shanghai and other Chinese cities choke on one of the worst bouts of air pollution ever recorded, a nationalist newspaper has tried to put a positive spin on the problem. The Communist Party-linked Global Times argues that while smog can affect people's health, "on the battlefield, it... More »

'Choking Smog' Shuts Down Huge Chinese City

Pollution reading way beyond dangerous level

(Newser) - The northeastern Chinese city of Harbin, population 11 million, has virtually shut down today thanks to air pollution; the smog is so heavy in places that you can't see beyond about 30 feet. It's this bad: "We were all late for class today because we couldn't... More »

Singapore: Indonesia Is Ruining Our Air

Hazardous haze now in Malaysia, too

(Newser) - The hazardous smog that choked Singapore late last week won't dissipate any time soon, says the nation's PM, and it has officials pointing a finger at Indonesia. The pollution, which could last for weeks, has apparently been brought on by illegal forest fires on Indonesia's Sumatra island,... More »

EPA to Require Cleaner Gas Despite Big Oil's Objections

New rules will call for less sulfur in gasoline

(Newser) - Big oil's lobbyists have lost a fight over cleaner gasoline: The EPA will require refiners to reduce the amount of sulfur to cut down on smog, reports the Washington Post . The cut is a sizable one, dropping the allowable limit by two-thirds from 30 parts per million to 10.... 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 »

Obama Delays New Environmental Regulations

Activists furious over economic move

(Newser) - The Obama administration is delaying the implementation of new regulations on smog and toxic industrial boiler emissions, leaving in place policies enacted by George W. Bush. The EPA says it will now need until July 2011 to consider the smog rules, so that it can analyze further scientific and health... More »

Iran Forced to Declare Pollution Holiday

Smog forces Tehran to shut down for 2 days

(Newser) - Workers in Tehran and other Iranian cities have been given an extra 2-day vacation to enjoy—as long as they can enjoy themselves without breathing too much. Iranian authorities were forced to declare today and tomorrow public holidays as air pollution reached dangerous levels, AP reports. The capital was also... More »

EPA to Toughen Smog Rules

Measure would be costly but yield huge health savings

(Newser) - The EPA wants to ramp up smog standards in a significant way from the Bush administration. Assuming today's proposal goes through after a 60-day period for public comment, the agency projects the new standards would prevent 12,000 premature deaths and yield huge savings in health costs. The rules limit... More »

Electric Bikes Take Off in China

(Newser) - Chinese drivers are seeing a new vehicle zip by on the nation's congested, smog-choked freeways: electric bicycles, Austin Ramzy writes in Time. Promoted by the government as affordable solutions to cars, so-called e-bikes are growing in popularity, offering a green solution to the country's automobile boom. About 21 million e-bikes... More »

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