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Sunday, April 26

This could explain much about Beijing's more curious policies

A new study carried out at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine reveals that the polluted air we inhale can affect our brain and lead to cognitive loss. Experts say that our brain could decrease in size and people who are most exposed are more likely to suffer from strokes or dementia. [...]
Yellow dust storm carries Chinese pollutants to Korea; 2/24; Blouin News:
On Sunday, South Korea’s meteorological service issued the year’s first yellow dust warnings for several of its major cities, calling for people to remain indoors and use masks and goggles when outside. The yellow dust comes from deserts in western China and southern Mongolia, and then becomes toxic as it passes through China’s heavily-polluting industrial areas to the east before drifting over Korea and Japan.
Exposure to high levels of “PM-10” pollutants (particles that are 10 micrometers or less in diameter) increases the likelihood of developing cardiac and respiratory problems.According to the Korea Times, “a yellow dust advisory is issued when an hourly average dust concentration of more than 400 micrograms per cubic meter is expected to last for more than two hours. More than 800 micrograms leads to a yellow dust warning.” As of 4 a.m. local time on Monday, Seoul had 1,044 micrograms per cubic meter of PM-10, making it the worst ...
China faces huge environmental and air-cleanup challenges and costs, which it is undertaking on its own. The country estimates that pollution cost it roughly 3.5% of GDP in 2010, according to a study by the Council on Foreign Relations, and life expectancy in the north has decreased about 5.5 years due to air pollution. Meanwhile, China’s investment in renewable energy has risen from $55 billion in 2004 to $310 billion in 2014.
Environment ministers from China, South Korea, and Japan meet at least once per year and have established working groups devoted to air pollution, but these don’t result in much beyond expanding tree-planting projects in inner desert regions. China’s neighbors complain about toxic yellow dust but ultimately they must make do with Beijing’s decisions, which place Chinese economic growth above all else.

That said, there are business opportunities throughout the region for air purifiers, filters, renewable energy, and vacation travel to escape cities.[...]
All right, Pundita, that's enough; there's nothing funny about this. But the other day I watched video footage featuring a BBC correspondent get through an entire explanation about China's toxic yellow dust storms without once mentioning pollutants and that the dust is toxic. Sand, he explained.  Sand from the Gobi.

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