AirTalk for January 21, 2014

How buying 'Made in China' products leads to 'Made in China' pollution

Heavy Smog Hits Beijing

ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images

A Chinese policeman stands guard on the Tiananmen Square which is shrouded with heavy smog on January 16, 2014 in Beijing, China. Beijing Municipal Government issued a yellow smog alert this morning.

A new study out of UC Irvine measuring the movement of pollution from China to the United States has found that Chinese emissions are more heavily affecting domestic air. The study tracked toxins carried on a major wind path from China around the Northern Hemisphere.

While it is not out of the ordinary for any pollution to travel by wind from one country to another, Chinese emissions, which are not as regulated as those in the U.S. have a larger impact, partly because of the more lax restrictions and partly because of the wind paths that bring Chinese pollution to U.S. air.

What are the social and ethical implications of traveling pollution? What are the best ways to keep air clean and regulate emissions, both foreign and domestic?

Guest: 

Steve Davis, assistant professor of Earth System Science at UC Irvine


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