air pollution

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Amid Lockdown, Residents Gasp at Unexpected Sight

People in India say they can see Himalayas for first time in decades

(Newser) - On a clear day you can see forever—or, suddenly, the Himalayas, if you're a resident of northern India. The world's biggest lockdown due to the coronavirus started in India at the end of March, and everyone staying home in the nation of 1.3 billion people seems... More »

An Aussie Open Cloaked in Smoke: 'I Couldn't Walk Anymore'

One player quit her match, 2 called medical timeouts, Sharapova's match called off amid fires

(Newser) - The Victorian government's advice as Australia's bushfires rage on is to "minimize the time spent in smoky conditions" and "avoid exercise"—both tough to do if you're competing outdoors in the Australian Open. But that's what players were forced to contend with Monday... More »

Mountain Lions May Have Unusual Enemy—Fog

Scientists say mercury-laden fog results in dangerously high levels in California pumas

(Newser) - It's not the type of predator that turns up in nature shows. But researchers in California say fog—yes, fog—poses a threat to mountain lions, reports Smithsonian . The reason? The marine fog in the Santa Cruz Mountains carries mercury, and that neurotoxin settles on the ground and works... More »

5M Masks Handed Out in India—and Not for Halloween

Public health emergency declared over Delhi smog

(Newser) - "Delhi has turned into a gas chamber." So said the Indian capital's chief minister Friday as air pollution reached severe levels. Officials declared a public health emergency and distributed 5 million masks to students and parents at schools across the city in the midst of a public... More »

Fired EPA Scientists to Issue Air Quality Findings Anyway

Group says remaining government panel isn't qualified

(Newser) - Scientific experts who were kicked off an EPA panel last year assessing air quality standards are going to issue their report on pollution anyway. The EPA plans to issue its findings reached without these experts later this month, NBC reports. The 20 scientists and researchers now working independently said the... More »

A Funny Thing Happened When LA Reduced Smog

Children's asthma rates declined by 'substantial' amounts, say researchers

(Newser) - Clean up the smog, reduce kids' asthma cases. It might seem like a logical one-two, but now researchers at USC have put some hard data behind it, reports NPR . In the study published in JAMA , the scientists looked at how asthma rates have changed as air quality has improved in... More »

9-Year-Old's Cause of Death: Air Pollution?

A new inquest will make the determination in 9-year-old's death

(Newser) - Air pollution is believed to cause or contribute to around 40,000 deaths in Britain every year—but it has never been listed as a cause of death. That could change in the case of Ella Kissi-Debrah, a 9-year-old who lived just 25 yards from one of the busiest roads... More »

This Is a Photo of the Pyrenees. And, Apparently, Microplastic

Researchers find it in the air there, 4K feet up

(Newser) - It's a memorable scene in American Beauty: film of a plastic bag floating in the wind. A researcher with Scotland's University of Strathclyde started wondering about bags like that, and where they go when they leave our sight. "We thought that maybe it just doesn't disappear,... More »

UN Environment Report Names Our 2 Most Pressing Problems

Report uses word 'risk' 561 times in 740 pages

(Newser) - Earth is sick with multiple and worsening environmental ills killing millions of people yearly, a new UN report says. Climate change, a global major extinction of animals and plants, a human population soaring toward 10 billion, degraded land, polluted air, and plastics, pesticides, and hormone-changing chemicals in the water are... More »

Breathing San Fran Air Like Smoking 11 Cigarettes: Researchers

Smog from wildfires has given San Francisco, Stockton, Sacramento worst pollution in the world

(Newser) - The smoke in some parts of California from the wildfires has been "overwhelming," and now the air in some cities there has earned a new descriptor: the world's worst. CNN reports on a sobering chart from the Berkeley Earth nonprofit , which pulls together stats from sites that... More »

Polluted Air, the 'New Tobacco,' Kills 600K Kids a Year

WHO estimates that 93% of children worldwide breathe dangerous air

(Newser) - The World Health Organization is out with some new numbers on air pollution, and the numbers are hard to fathom:
  • In 2016, 600,000 children were estimated to have died from acute lower respiratory infections caused by polluted air, reports CNN .
  • About 1.8 billion children worldwide—that would be
... More »

Air Pollution Risk Found in Pregnant Women

Researchers say pollutants make their way from lungs into the placenta

(Newser) - The womb protects a developing fetus, but it might not be able to fend off air pollution. Researchers have presented a small study suggesting for the first time that air pollutants can make their way from a pregnant woman's lungs to her placenta, reports the Guardian . Because the placenta... More »

This Kills More People Than War, AIDS, or Smoking

Pollution, responsible for 9M premature deaths in 2015: study

(Newser) - Environmental pollution—from filthy air to contaminated water—is killing more people every year than all war and violence in the world. More than smoking, hunger, or natural disasters. More than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined, reports the AP . One out of every six premature deaths in the world in... More »

A Lovely Day at the Beach, Until the Gas Cloud Came

British hospital treats about 130 people; source of 'chemical haze' still unclear

(Newser) - A mysterious chemical haze that left scores of people on the English coast with streaming eyes, sore throats, and breathing problems has dissipated, but its cause remains a mystery. The gas cloud appeared Sunday, sending people fleeing from the beach and cliffs at Birling Gap, a coastal beauty spot about... More »

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 »

Study's Message to Americans: 'Our Air Is Contaminated'

Relaxing standards will 'kill a lot of people,' experts warn

(Newser) - Just because air pollution falls below legal limits does not mean you're safe. Indeed, there is no "safe" level of air pollution as pollutants cause an increased risk of premature death even when detected at a fraction of the legal limit set by the EPA, a new study... More »

Is It a Forest or a City? Actually, It's Both

Experimental 'Forest City' to be complete in China in 2020

(Newser) - A new city being built along the Liujiang River in China's Guangxi Province will include houses, recreational spaces, offices, hotels, schools, and a hospital—and yet it's "unlike any before," per Inhabitat . The Liuzhou Forest City, to be connected to the much larger city of Liuzhou... More »

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 »

10 US Cities With the Worst Air Pollution

Six are in California

(Newser) - Despite California’s imposing environmental laws, the state has some of the worst air pollution in the country, reports USA Today via the American Lung Association's annual State of the Air report , out Wednesday. While the report names Visala/Hanford, Calif., as having the worst overall year-round pollution, it also... More »

One in 4 Deaths of Kids Blamed on Pollution

WHO report highlights risks to young children

(Newser) - Environmental pollution is responsible for the deaths of 1.7 million children under age 5 each year—or one-quarter of all deaths in that age group around the world, Reuters reports. The danger begins in the womb and continues as children are exposed to such factors as dirty air and... More »

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