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China pollution wafting across Pacific to blanket US

Published on Jan 21, 2014 6:52 PM
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Pedestrians cross the road near the Beijing West Railway Station (background) on a hazy day in Beijing, Jan 17, 2014. Pollution from China travels in large quantities across the Pacific Ocean to the United States, a new study has found, making environmental and health problems unexpected side effects of US demand for cheap China-manufactured goods. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Pollution from China travels in large quantities across the Pacific Ocean to the United States, a new study has found, making environmental and health problems unexpected side effects of US demand for cheap China-manufactured goods.

On some days, acid rain-inducing sulphate from burning of fossil fuels in China can account for as much as a quarter of sulphate pollution in the western United States, a team of Chinese and American researchers said in the report published by the US National Academy of Sciences, a non-profit society of scholars.

Cities like Los Angeles received at least an extra day of smog a year from nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide from China's export-dependent factories, it said.

"We've outsourced our manufacturing and much of our pollution, but some of it is blowing back across the Pacific to haunt us," co-author Steve Davis, a scientist at University of California Irvine, said.

 
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