Global air pollution maps
September 23, 2010 4:22 PM Subscribe
NASA has some new maps
showing air pollution around the world. It shows PM2.5
, that is, Particulate Matter less than 2.5 micrometers in size, small enough to get past normal bodily defenses and cause health problems.
* "Wind lifts large amounts of mineral dust aloft in the Arabian and Saharan deserts."
* "In many heavily urbanized areas, such as eastern China and northern India, power plants and factories that burn coal lack filters and produce a steady stream of sulfate and soot particles."
* "Small particles can make their way deep into human lungs and some ultrafine particles can even enter the bloodstream. Once there, they can spark a whole range of diseases including asthma, cardiovascular disease, and bronchitis. The American Heart Association estimates that in the United States alone, PM2.5 air pollution spark some 60,000 deaths a year."