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US consumers to blame for some air pollution from China

Published on Jan 21, 2014 6:19 AM
 
A man wears a mask while walking on a bridge during a hazy day in Shanghai's financial district of Pudong on Dec 5, 2013. Air pollution from China blows across the Pacific Ocean and ends up over the United States west coast - and American consumerism is to blame for a portion of it, study says. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Air pollution from China blows across the Pacific Ocean and ends up over the United States (US) west coast - and American consumerism is to blame for a portion of it, said a study on Monday.

On some days, nearly a quarter of the pollutants in the air over California, Oregon, Washington and Portland were initially spewed into the air in China, during the making of televisions, toys, cellphones and other products for export.

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

"Given the complaints about how Chinese pollution is corrupting other countries' air, this paper shows that there may be plenty of blame to go around," he added.

 
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