Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘particulate matter’

Name One Other Species …

Posted by feww on April 3, 2014


No other species makes their habitat unlivable!

Extremely high levels of air pollution are spreading across parts of England.

The pollution is a cocktail of emissions from the UK and Europe, rich in toxic pollutants, including high concentration of the atmospheric particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and ozone, mixed with dust from the Sahara—the proverbial icing.

The elderly, those with respiratory problems, asthma, lung or heart disease, have been warned against venturing outside, said a report.

The latest episode follows the legal proceedings launched against the UK by the European Commission in February for failing to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air after 15 consecutive years of warning, said the report.

The head of Asthma UK organization has warned that about 70 percent of asthma sufferers who find air pollution makes their condition worse “will be at an increased risk of an attack.” Even healthy people could experience symptoms including sore throat, eye irritation, nasal discomfort, burning lungs and dry cough.

smog 150312_barbican-to-parliament-- clean air london
UK capital London cloaked in smog. Image source:
Clean Air in London.

Air pollution the world’s worst environmental hazard: WHO

“[About] 1 in 8 of total global deaths [occurs] as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Based on its environmental models, FIRE-EARTH science team believes the figure released by WHO is grossly underestimated.

Outdoor air pollution-caused deaths – breakdown by disease:

  • 40% – ischaemic heart disease;
  • 40% – stroke;
  • 11% – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
  • 6% – lung cancer; and
  • 3% – acute lower respiratory infections in children.

Indoor air pollution-caused deaths – breakdown by disease:

  • 34% – stroke;
  • 26% – ischaemic heart disease;
  • 22% – COPD;
  • 12% – acute lower respiratory infections in children; and
  • 6% – lung cancer.

Related Links

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global health catastrophe, health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

EU Capitals Rivaling Beijing Air Pollution

Posted by feww on March 16, 2014


In case the toxic air pollution didn’t kill you…

You don’t have to be a Martian to realize not only homo erectus remain non-extinct, they go around masquerading as intelligent species…

Take the toxic air pollution, for example, which is plaguing all major cities in the world.

France restricts driving in Paris to reduce hazardous smog

The French are introducing alternative driving days in the City of Lights in an attempt to reduce hazardous levels of air pollution.

Starting Monday, drivers can only use their vehicles in Paris and surrounding areas every other day.

The government decided to curb driving after air pollution remained at hazardous levels for five consecutive days in the metropolitan Paris [population: ~ 13 million.]

The PM pollution was so severe on Friday, the authorities waved public transport fees for three days to encourage people to leave their cars at home.

The PM10 figures for Paris topped 180 micro-grams per cubic meter (μgm–³), while Brussels recorded 160, Amsterdam 110, Berlin 85 and London exceeded 80.

Smog is expected to worsen on Monday, reports said.

Beijing AQI

The Beijing AQI on Sunday was between 200 and 255, or “unhealthy” to “very unhealthy.”

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, health | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

“Breathtaken” Beijing Brown

Posted by feww on January 16, 2014


Beijing air pollution zooms off the chart AGAIN!

Do NOT Adjust Your Sets! This time there’s no glitch or system error; it’s pure, unadulterated smog!

beijing AQI chart
Beijing Air Pollution Chart: Near Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI). Source:

The PM2.5 pollution in Beijing rocketed off the chart again earlier today, hitting the 614 mark, as dense smog enveloped the entire city.

A health alert is issued at a level above 300 because the pollution becomes hazardous to health, and everyone may experience serious health effects.

Last year Beijing reported 58 days of mega pollution, an average of more than one day each week, according to an official, Xinhua reported.

This year, sky is no limit!

airpollution levels
Air Pollution Chart based on EPA recommendations.

The twilight zone is the line between the day side and night side of a planetary body, also referred to as the terminator.

beijing smog jan2014
Original caption: Buildings are blanketed in heavy smog in Beijing, capital of China, 16, 2014. The municipal government issued a yellow smog alert Thursday morning, as smog blanketed the city with air quality readings reaching the most polluted level. (Xinhua/Li Xin). More images…

Related Links

For earlier posts, search blog content.

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, health, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

State of Emergency Declared in Canadian County due to Toxic Fumes

Posted by feww on November 22, 2013


Toxic fumes from landfill fire force evacuations in Canada

The landfill caught fire late Monday, and by Wednesday deteriorating conditions forced emergency officials to issue a mandatory evacuation order for nearby homes, said a report.

Emergency crews have so far been unable to control the fire at Westar Landfill, east of Medicine Hat.

“The county says there is still no viable way to extinguish it and the cause of the fire is still unknown,” said the report.

cypress county landfill fire
Tuxic fumes spewing from an uncontained fire at Westar Landfill, east of Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. Screenshot from Global News video report.

The site is reportedly used for “old construction materials like asphalt shingles, plastic insulation and siding.”

Meantime, Alberta Health Services have issues an air quality warning, as the smoke is toxic and poses a serious life safety hazard.

“Biggest thing is there’s a plume of smoke coming from the fire with very particulate matter which can get into your lungs,” said Cypress County Assistant Manager. “If you breathe enough of it, it could cause long term health impacts.”

“We were actually put on alert two days ago, and were called to respond last night to some of the people who were evacuated from the smoke,” said the Disaster Management Coordinator for the Red Cross.

The authorities anticipate the state of emergency to continue for a long time.

Read full report HERE.

Posted in environment, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

It won’t get any better, before it gets a lot worse!

Posted by feww on October 22, 2013

The Elusive and the Surreal in China

Heavy smog continued to choke northeast China, forcing the closure of schools, highways, rail and bus services, airports…

harbin 8am 22oct2013
Harbin city bus terminal 8:00am Tuesday, October 22, 2013. [Original Title: “Heavy smog envelops NE China’s cities for 4th day”] Photo credit: via Xinhua. More images…

Related Links

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, health, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Major City Shuts Down in China Smog Emergency

Posted by feww on October 21, 2013

Hazardous smog brings Harbin to a halt

Harbin city, the capital of northeastern Heilongjiang province, and one of northeastern China’s largest cities with a population of more than 11 million, came to a standing still amid choking smog for a 2nd consecutive day.

Schools were forced to suspended classes, many bus routes were cancelled, traffic came to a standstill, all highways in Heilongjiang were shut down and and Taiping International Airport was closed due to poor visibility, as the air pollution level zoomed off the chart, topping the 1,000 mark in parts of the city.

A level above 300 for PM2.5 particulate matter is considered hazardous, everyone may experience more serious health effects, and authorities are required to issue a “health alert.” The World Health Organization recommends a daily level of less than 20.

harbin smog october 2013
Hazardous smog chokes Harbin city, the capital of northeastern China’s Heilongjiang province for a 2nd consecutive day on Monday, October 21, 2013. Photo credit: Xinhua

Meteorological authorities in Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces issued a “red alert” due to dense smog, warning that the smog will worsen in Harbin, Yichun, Daqing, Suihua, Jiamusi and Qitaihe cities in Heilongjiang with visibility forecast at less than 100 meters over the next 24 hours, Xinhua reported.

Severe smog was also reported in Tangshan, east of Beijing, and Changchun, the capital of Jilin province.

  • Highways were closed and flights disrupted in Jilin and Liaoning provinces.
  • Train services were delayed and most of the highways in Jilin were forced to close.

“The building 50 meters away cannot be seen clearly. I smelt [Nauseous ] coal smoke when I opened the window of my house,” said a resident in Changchun, provincial capital of Jilin.

“With visibility of less than 100 meters, all 22 flights in Changchun Longjia Airport were delayed due to the foggy weather. Visibility was less than 500 meters in most of Jilin.”

The massive temperature difference between day and night was responsible for the fog, and the start of the winter heating season reportedly created the massive smog in NE China, meteorologists said.

Heavy smog plagued most parts of north China on October 7, 2013

BEIJING, Oct. 7 (Xinhuanet) — The coming typhoon isn’t the only weather trouble in China. It’s also not a good day to be out in the country’s north.

Air pollution is through the roof, reaching level five – the most severe in the tiered-system – in central and southern Hebei province. While in neighbouring Shanxi Province, pollutant levels are just one notch down. Weather authorities have issued a yellow warning for the heavy smog, as it also plagues other parts like Beijing, Tianjin and Henan.

This year, the thick and hazardous smog has affected 17 provinces and municipalities. Facing this lingering crisis, China plans to build a nation-wide network within three to five years to monitor the impact of air pollution on health.

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, health, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

China Shrouded in Sand, Dust and PM

Posted by feww on March 10, 2013

It’ll get a lot worse, before it’s all over!

Another major sandstorm hit large portions of northern and central China including the capital Beijing .

china sand dust pm
Original caption: Citizens are seen amid dust and sand in Zhengzhou, capital of central China’s Henan Province, March 9, 2013. A sandstorm swept through Henan on Saturday, causing temperature drop and low visibility. (Xinhua/Zhao Peng). Image may be subject to copyright. More images…

  •  It was the second sandstorm to hit China this year, following the February 28 massive sandstorm that originated in Gobi Desert, Mongolia.
  • The sand and dust which buffeted Beijing, forced the temperatures to drop by up to 9 degree Celsius, said a report.
  • “The wind and dusty weather changed the capital’s major air pollutant component from PM2.5, airborne particles measuring less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, to PM10.”
  • The average density of PM10 rose sharply starting μ Saturday, with the peak density reaching 1,000 mg per square meter around noon in western parts of downtown Beijing.
  • The wort affected areas included Liaoning, Shandong and Hebei provinces, and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region as well as Tianjin Municipality in northern China, Henan province in central China, Sichuan province in SW  China, and Guangdong province on the South China Sea coast of the country.

Beijing Air Quality “Worse than SARS”

The poor air quality, according to a leading Chinese public health expert, is worse than SARS because nobody can escape it. Research suggests that air pollution can “raise the risk of cardio-respiratory death by 2 to 3 percent for every increase of 10 micrograms per cubic meter of pollutants.” Only 1 percent of China’s 560 million urban residents breathe air considered safe by the European Union, according to a 2007 World Bank study. A report released by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection in November 2010 showed that “about a third of 113 cities failed to meet national air standards.” (

China’s Soil Pollution: The “Silent Killer”

“About 40 percent of China’s agricultural land is irrigated with underground water, of which 90 percent is polluted, according to Liu Xin, a food and health expert and a member of an advisory body to parliament, who was quoted in the Southern Metropolitan Daily,” said a report.

Related Links



Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,098 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …


Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in air poisoning, air quality, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Beijing Buried in Smog – Again!

Posted by feww on February 17, 2013

Beijing and other Chinese provinces entombed in dense smog: Round 6

Chinese capital Beijing and many other large cities across the country were enveloped in dense smog Sunday for the 6th time in as many weeks.

China smog 17feb2013
Where are you going today? Dense smog chokes Neihuang County of Anyang City in central China’s Henan Province, Feb. 17, 2013. (Xinhua/Liu Xiaokun). Image may be subject to copyright. More images…

Hazardous smog again shrouded Beijing and neighboring provinces today, disrupting flights and halting highway traffic, officials said.

The visibility at Beijing Capital International Airport fell to 5 – 10 meters earlier today,  said a report.

The Beijing municipal traffic authorities were forced to shut down large sections of expressways linking to Kaifeng, Harbin, Shanghai and Tianjin.

Dense smog also enveloped the  provinces of Hebei, Henan, Shandong and Tianjin as well as NW China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in the south today.

“The air quality index reached 500, or extreme pollution, in five monitoring sites at 8 a.m. in Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital of Hebei,” said the report.

Recent Smog Links


February 17, 2013 – DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,119 Days Left 

Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,119 Days Left to ‘Worst Day’ in the brief Human  History
  • The countdown began on May 15, 2011 …


Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Dense Smog Continues Choking Much of China

Posted by feww on February 1, 2013


[February 1, 2013] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,135 Days Left to the most Fateful Day in Human History
  • Symbolic countdown to the ‘worst day’ in human history began on May 15, 2011 …


Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Entombed in smog:  Capital Beijing, 7 major cities and at least 6 populous provinces

Large parts of China major cities and populous provinces continued choking in hazardous smog, as air pollution warnings remained in effect on Thursday, said a report.

The worst affects areas are the capital Beijing, Tianjin municipality, Shijiazhuang, Jinan, Shanghai, Shenyang and Harbin cities, with heavy smog also reported in Hebei, Henan, Shandong, Liaoning and Jiangsu provinces.

  • The visibility has dropped significantly, forcing the authorities to cancel flights and shut down expressways.
  • “[China] is experiencing for the first time smog of such magnitude, spanning from the north all the way to the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta,” said vice president for Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences.

China Smog Links

United States

Deadly storms move to U.S. Northeast

High wind generated by the 1,000-mile long storm system, stretching from New Orleans to Buffalo, cut power to hundreds of thousands of customers  in the northeast.

  • Torrential rains have triggered flash floods in several areas throughout the northeast.
  • Georgia declared a state of emergency in Bartow and Gordon counties, after an EF-3 tornado destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes, killing at least 1 person and injuring 17 others, some of them critically.
    • The worst affected town was southwestern Georgia town of Adairsville.



RATING:                 HIGH END EF-3 (136 TO 165 MPH)
FATALITIES:             1
INJURIES:               17 /9 IN BARTOW…8 IN GORDON/ (NWS)

NWS has confirmed the following tornadoes and straight-line winds in Kentucky:

  • EF-1 tornado in Orange County at 1:47am
  • EF-0 tornado in Meade County at 4:05am
  • EF-0 tornado in Harrison County, IN and Jefferson County, KY at  4:17am
  • EF-2 tornado in Warren County
  • Tornado in Barren County
  • EF-0 tornado in Marion County at 5:42am


Disaster declared in NSW

The Premier of NSW and the Prime Minister of Australia have jointly declared the council areas of Ballina, Bellingen, Byron, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Kyogle, Lismore, Nambucca, Richmond Valley, and Tweed as natural disaster areas.declare the council areas of Ballina, Bellingen, Byron, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Kyogle, Lismore, Nambucca, Richmond Valley, and Tweed as natural disaster areas due to losses and damage caused by flooding.


Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters 2012, global disasters 2013, global health catastrophe | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Beijing Buried in Heavy Smog – Take 4

Posted by feww on January 29, 2013


[January 29, 2013] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,138 Days Left to the most Fateful Day in Human History
  • Symbolic countdown to the ‘worst day’ in human history began on May 15, 2011 …


Global Disasters/ Significant Events

Beijingers choking by ‘worst fog ever’

Round 4 of heavy smog in less than 4 weeks, described by Beijingers as the ‘worst fog ever,’ enveloped the Chinese capital on Monday, worsening on Tuesday, and severely affecting visibility in large portions of the city, Xinhua reported.

The pea soup fog reduced visibility in downtown Beijing to such extent that office workers could no longer see the building tops.

Putrid air has caused a surge in respiratory illnesses, especially among children and the elderly, the report said.

A pediatric hospital in downtown Beijing has treated a record 9,000 children this month, mostly flu, pneumonia, tracheitis, bronchitis and asthma patients.

Air quality in Beijing on Tuesday hit 517 on an index maintained by the U.S. Embassy in the Chinese capital, which described the pollution as “Beyond Index,” said Reuters.

  • The choking smog enveloped several cities, covering a total area of 1.3 million square kilometers Tuesday, said the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP).



Related Links

Egypt could collapse if political crisis continues

Egypt’s army chief warned today that the state could collapse should the current political turmoils continue.

  • At least 60 people have been killed in the past 4 days as protesters across much of Egypt battle the police.
  • “The continuation of the conflict between the different political forces and their differences over how the country should be run could lead to the collapse of the state and threaten future generations,” said the army chief, who is also the country’s defense minister.
  • “The military is Egypt’s most powerful institution and was the de facto ruler since a 1952 coup by army officers seized power and later toppled the monarchy,” said a report.

Australian floods force evacuation of thousands in 2 states

  • Burnett River burst its banks, flooding at least 2,000 homes in Bundaberg, Queensland.
    • The river was expected to peak above 9.6m, some 1.5m above the 2010 flood level.
    • “Those flood levels will be one of the highest levels recorded for the whole of the Bundaberg and Burnett region,” said Queensland Police Minister.
    • About 8,000 people have been displaced across the flooded city.
  • The storm cell moved south triggering extreme rain in parts of New South Wales, prompting the forced evacuation of at least 2,500 residents in the city of Grafton, as rising water threatened the levees.

Related Links

Posted in environment, global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Heavy Smog Entombs Beijing Again

Posted by feww on January 23, 2013


[January 23, 2013] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,144 Days Left to the most Fateful Day in Human History
  • Symbolic countdown to the ‘worst day’ in human history began on May 15, 2011 …


Global Disasters/ Significant Events

 ‘Progress’ to absurdity: From the Great Wall to heavy smog

The air pollution in Beijing Municipality rose to hazardous levels again on Wednesday, as heavy smog blanketed the city.

  • “At 3 p.m., air quality indices at most monitoring stations in the city proper ranged from 311 to 400, a serious level, according to statistics from the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center.” said a report.

beijing smog 22jan13
Smog envelopes Beijing, the Chinese capital, January 22, 2013.  (Xinhua/Wang Shen). More images…

Beijing meteorological observatory issued a yellow alert for heavy fog on Tuesday.

beijing smog 23jan13
Beijing: The Forbidden City was  shrouded on Jan. 23, 2013. “The air quality hit the level of serious pollution in Beijing on Wednesday, as smog blanketed the city. (Xinhua/Wang Shen)”.

Related Links


Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Breathtaking Beijing

Posted by feww on January 14, 2013

Earth dwellers fast running out of excuses!

Beijing’s PM2.5 particulate density exceed 900 micrograms per cubic meter over the weekend, nearly 40 times the World Health Organization’s “safe” daily limit, prompting the municipal government to issue a warning for air pollution.

  • “Real-time monitoring data shows the air quality index was as high as 500 in most parts of the city, with some above 900. The smog is expected to last another three days, as weather conditions are preventing the pollutants from dispersing. The public are advised to stay indoors and to avoid strenuous exercise.” CNTV said.
  • Beijing hospitals have reported increases of about 30% in the number of patients with respiratory problems in the past few days.
  • Beijing has a minimum population of more than 20 million and at least 5.2 million vehicles.

breathtaking beijing-132099628_61n
Heavy smog shrouds Beijing for a 3rd day. Photo shows Central Business District in Beijing on January 13 as dense fog in  China’s east and central regions caused serious air pollution. The smog is expected to last until at least Wednesday. (Xinhua/Liu Changlong)

At least half of 74 Chinese cities monitored for air quality showed severe pollution over the weekend.

Related Links

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Who’s Afraid of Wildfires

Posted by feww on June 9, 2011

Smoke from wildfires burning in the US can severely impact human health and ecosystems

Wildfire smoke consists of a nasty mixture of air pollutants including  carbon monoxide (CO),  nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), heavy metals, and particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10). 

Smoke composition depends on the fuel type and moisture content, the fire temperature, wind conditions and other factors. Different types of wood and vegetation produce different compounds when burned because they have varying amounts cellulose, lignin, tannins and other polyphenols, fats, resins, waxes, oils, starches and to a lesser extent the carcinogen benzene.

Particulate matter is the major pollutant of concern because they can affect the lungs and heart. Particle pollution includes PM10 (diameters of 2.5 to 10 µm, or micrometers)  and PM2.5 (diameters of 2.5 µm or smaller).
NOTE:  The diameter of human hair varies from 20 to 180 µm.

About 40 million people in the US suffer from chronic lung diseases including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These patients can easily be affected by lower levels of pollutants that normally do not harm healthier people.

Wildfires: Future Trend

FIRE-EARTH would only assign a certain probability to a catastrophic volcanic explosion at, say, Yellowstone during the next 5 years (subject of a future discussion), but can forecast with near certainty large increases in the size and intensity of wildfires throughout the Americas, while the ailing forests last.

Air Quality Index (Combine Ozone and PM2.5) – AirNow

Historically, the AQI value of 100 is set at the level of the short-term standard for a pollutant and the AQI value of 50 at the level of the annual standard, if there is one, or at one-half the level of the short-term standard if there is not. The upper bound index value of 500 corresponds to the Significant Harm Level (SHL), established in section 51.16 of the CFR under the Prevention of Air Pollution Emergency Episodes program. The SHL is set at a level that represents imminent and substantial endangerment to public health. Source: EPA- Revising the Air Quality Index and Setting a Significant Harm Level for PM2.5 – February 12, 2007; URL Click to enlarge

Air Quality Index Hourly Ozone 

Smoke Detection/Forecasts

More information about wildfires and smoke hazards available at

National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter Final Rule (October 17, 2006):
Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter: OAQPS Staff Paper (Dec 05):
Particle Pollution and Your Health:
Air Quality Index Reporting Proposed Rule (December 9, 1998):
Air Quality Index Reporting Final Rule (August 4, 1999):

Environmental Protection Agency

Related Links

Posted in air quality | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

UK Smog Triggers Air Quality Warnings

Posted by feww on April 23, 2011

The United Kingdom Cloaked in Toxic Haze

Satellite images showing the UK suffocating in a lethal cocktail of chemicals, particulate matter, dust and dirt particles trapped by a high-pressure system.

The United Kingdom was draped by a pall of smog on April 22, 2011, when  MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite took this photo-like image. The toxic haze,  foretasted to persist through at least Sunday, April 24, has reportedly triggered air quality warnings in England and Wales, NASA-EO reported. Click image to enlarge.

The smog over United Kingdom and Ireland was even more visible a day earlier.  United Kingdom and Ireland Subset – Image by MODIS on Aqua satellite 1km res photo-like  image for April 21, 2011. Click image to enlarge.  Click HERE for largest image.

A view of central London from Parliament Hill (Hampstead Heath, north London, UK)  on April 22, 2011. Photo: AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

Pollution Kills, OK?

Motor vehicles are a major source of ground level ozone and smog. Ozone can inflame the lung’s lining, and repeated episodes of inflammation may cause permanent changes in the lung. (Left) A healthy lung airway and,  (right) an inflamed lung airway. Source EPA.

Related Links

Posted in environment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

HK Air Pollution = Lower Visibility + Higher Mortality

Posted by feww on January 19, 2011

Poor Air Lowers Visibility in Hong Kong, Raises Death Rates : Report

Visibility in Hong Kong continues to deteriorate due to air pollution

“Visibility in Hong Kong has deteriorated so sharply over the last 50 years because of air pollution that variations in levels can even be used to predict mortality rates, health experts warned Wednesday.” Source

Report Highlights:

  • Current Average Visibility in Hong Kong: 12.6km (7.8 miles)
  • Visibility in other polluted population centers (Paris, Berlin, Auckland and Vancouver) : 20 to 25km
  • Number of smoggy days when visibility falls below 8 km: 54 days in 2007 (up from 6.6 days in 1968)
  • HK air has 7 times more particulate than even the polluted Auckland and Vancouver (80 µgm³ —micrograms per cubic meter of  air—in HK compared to 24 in Auckland and 20 in Vancouver)
  • Each 6.5km reduction in visibility corresponds to 1.13% rise in the number of non-accidental deaths
  • An additional 1,200 deaths per year have occurred between 2007 and 2010

“Loss of visibility is a direct measure of serious harm to health. Loss of visibility kills people,” said Anthony Hedley, Honorary Professor at the School of Public Health. Source

“Air pollutants increase the stickiness of elements in the blood … With increased stickiness, blood cells stick together, they form a clot. If you form a clot, you may obstruct a vessel and if the vessel is in the heart or the head, you get a heart attack or a stroke,” Hedley said.

The true non-accidental death rates for Hong Kong may be even higher than those stated in the report, FIRE-Earth contends. According to one report:

  • Studies in Greater Vancouver have found that more than 2700 deaths and 33,000 emergency room visits could be avoided with a 25% reduction in particulate matter
  • Air pollution with particulate matter (PM) claims an average of 8.6 months from the life of every person in the European Union (EU)
  • Exposure to ground-level ozone for even short periods at relatively low concentrations has been found to significantly reduce lung function in healthy people during periods of exercise.  Source
  • Particulate air pollution causes 455,000 premature deaths in the EU each year, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) says. Source

Related Links:

Other Related Links:

Posted in air quality, Hong Kong visibility, nitrogen dioxide, particulates | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Canada Makes Pollution Progress

Posted by feww on August 13, 2008

There must be something wrong with human ‘progress’ if progress is killing humans!

Haze and smog obscure the Toronto skyline and waterfront in this file photo from May 10, 2007. REUTERS/J.P. Moczulski. Image may be subject to copyright. See Fair Use Notice.

Air pollution will kill more than 21,000 Canadians this year, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA )said on Wednesday, raising the Canadian government’s estimate of 5,900 premature deaths linked to pollution by about 4 folds.

Pollution-related illnesses such as asthma and cardiovascular disease will lead to about 30,000 emergency-room visits and 620,000 doctor’s visits this year and cost about $8 billion in medical bills and lost productivity

In the United States, an estimated 64,000 people die from causes attributed to particle air pollution each year, according to a U.S. environmental group.

About half of Europe’s population have been exposed to concentrations particulate matter (PM) above the European Union limit, the European Environment Agency reports. (Source)

Related Links:

Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »