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Air Pollution

February 20, 2013 | By Bettina Boxall
When UC Davis scientists collected air pollution particles in Fresno and then exposed laboratory mice to them, they found that one of the most toxic sources was the backyard grill. Along with particles from vehicle and wood-burning emissions, particulates from residential cooking had the greatest measurable impacts on mice lung function.   “That was like, wow!,” said Anthony Wexler, the study's coauthor and director of the Air Quality Research Center at UC Davis. “It's not that you're cooking; it's how you're cooking.
February 16, 2013 | By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
NORTH POLE, Alaska - In Krystal Francesco's neighborhood, known here as the "rectangle of death," the air pollution recently was so thick she could hardly see across the street. Wood stoves were cranking all over town - it was 40 below zero - and she had to take her daughter to the emergency room. "She's crying because she can't breathe, and I can just see her stomach rapidly going in and out. Sometimes, she's coughing to the point of throwing up," Francesco said of her 2½-year-old daughter, Kalli, who uses two different inhalers.
February 2, 2013 | By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times
BEIJING - Bad air is good news for many Chinese entrepreneurs. From gigantic domes that keep out pollution to face masks with fancy fiber filters, purifiers and even canned air, Chinese businesses are trying to find a way to market that most elusive commodity: clean air. An unprecedented wave of pollution throughout China (dubbed the "airpocalypse" or "airmageddon" by headline writers) has spawned an almost entirely new industry. The biggest ticket item is a huge dome that looks like a cross between the Biosphere and an overgrown wedding tent.
January 31, 2013 | By Shan Li
If there's a need, a Chinese entrepreneur will find a way. The foul smog swallowing much of China has inspired one such man to launch a humorous campaign to focus on environmental issues -- by selling canned fresh air. Known for his showman flair, millionaire Chen Guangbiao stood on a Beijing sidewalk on Wednesday handing out cans filled with what he said was air procured from remote areas of the country untainted by air pollution, according to...
January 30, 2013 | By David Pierson
BEIJING -- Those searching for answers to China's chronic smog should consider this: Coal consumption in the world's second-largest economy is nearly on par with the rest of the world combined. That's according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which released data Tuesday showing Chinese coal usage growing 9% in 2011 to 325 million tons. That means Chinese coal demand accounts for 47% of global consumption. The world's fastest-growing major economy relies on the cheap fossil fuel to supply 70% of its energy generation.
January 26, 2013 | By David Pierson, Los Angeles Times
BEIJING - When a thick quilt of smog enveloped swaths of China earlier this month, it set in motion a costly chain reaction for the world's No. 2 economy. Authorities canceled flights across northern China and ordered some factories shut. Hospitals were flooded with hacking patients. A fire in an empty furniture factory in eastern Zhejiang province went undetected for hours because the smoke was indistinguishable from the haze. In coastal Shandong province, most highways were closed for fear that low visibility would cause motorists to crash.
January 25, 2013
Re "On 2 wheels, it's open road," Column, Jan. 19 In his justification for motorcycle "lane splitting," Doug Smith writes as if all motorcyclists are supremely careful drivers. He ignores the numerous hazards this practice poses to automobile drivers. If Smith wants to take his chances of becoming road kill, he might want to consider the consequences to drivers who are unable to see motorcycles in their blind spots. Motorists who end up harming lane splitters have to live the rest of their lives knowing they changed or even ended a precious life through little fault of their own. Lawmakers must take a serious look at the number of accidents and fatalities resulting from this practice of beating traffic.
January 15, 2013 | By David Pierson
BEIJING -- Few have experienced more rapid success in China than the auto industry, which has doubled its volume sales in just the last four years. But as anger simmers over the country's air pollution, fingers are increasingly pointing at the millions of new cars clogging Chinese roads. Following a weekend in which the country experienced some of its worst smog on record , the Ministry of Environmental Protection pledged Monday to reduce vehicle emissions, the source of about a quarter of China's air pollution.
January 13, 2013 | By Barbara Demick
BEIJING -- A prolonged spell of air pollution across a large area of China has led to the cancellation of flights and sporting activities and the closure of highways, factories and construction sites. From Beijing to Guiyang, 1,400 miles to the southwest, the thick soup of pollution led the Chinese government to urge people to "avoid outdoor activities," and Beijing education authorities to cancel school gym classes. As an emergency measure, the Beijing Environmental Protection Ministry announced Sunday that factories and construction sites had agreed to reduce or stop work entirely until the air cleared up. The U.S. embassy in Beijing on Saturday night recorded fine particulate matter at 886 micrograms per cubic meter, the highest since monitoring began in 2007.
January 13, 2013 | By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times
BEIJING - A large swath of China has been gripped for days by what is being called an "airpocalyse," a prolonged spell of the worst air pollution on record in Beijing. From Beijing to Guiyang, 1,100 miles to the southwest, a thick soup of pollution closed highways, forced the cancellations of flights and sporting activities, and sent countless people to hospitals complaining of respiratory ailments. The government has repeatedly issued an alert urging people in the affected areas to "avoid outdoor activities and, if they do have to go out, to wear a protective mask.
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