Current Air Pollution News and Events

Current Air Pollution News and Events, Air Pollution News Articles.
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Dramatic increase in microplastics in seagrass soil since the 1970s
Large-scale production of vegetables and fruit in Spain with intensive plastic consumption in its greenhouse industry is believed to have leaked microplastic contaminants since the 1970s into the surrounding Mediterranean seagrass beds. This is shown in a new study where researchers have succeeded in tracing plastic pollution since the 1930s and 1940s by analyzing seagrass sediments. (2021-01-25)

Reactive halogen from domestic coal burning aggravates winter air pollution
During the winter in the North China Plain, scientists found high concentrations of reactive halogen gases (BrCl, HOBr, Cl2) in the atmosphere which was associated with widespread coal burning in rural areas. Halogen atoms released from BrCl and Cl2 under sunlight significantly increased the oxidative capacity, and has the potential to boost the productions of secondary aerosols - the major components of winter haze in northern China - and the toxic form of mercury. (2021-01-25)

Light pollution linked to preterm birth increase
Scientists conducted the first study to examine the fetal health impact of light pollution based on a direct measure of skyglow, an important aspect of light pollution. Using an empirical regularity discovered in physics, called Walker's Law, a team from Lehigh University, Lafayette College and the University of Colorado Denver in the U.S., found evidence of reduced birth weight, shortened gestational length and preterm births. (2021-01-25)

Air pollution linked to higher risk of sight loss from AMD
Air pollution is linked to a heightened risk of progressive and irreversible sight loss, known as age related macular degeneration (AMD), reveals a large long term study led by UCL researchers, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology. (2021-01-25)

Combined river flows could send up to 3 billion microplastics a day into the Bay of Bengal
New research shows the Ganges River - with the combined flows of the Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers - could be responsible for up to 3 billion microplastic particles entering the Bay of Bengal every day. (2021-01-22)

Butterfly wing clap explains mystery of flight
The fluttery flight of butterflies has so far been somewhat of a mystery to researchers, given their unusually large and broad wings relative to their body size. Now researchers at Lund University in Sweden have studied the aerodynamics of butterflies in a wind tunnel. The results suggest that butterflies use a highly effective clap technique, therefore making use of their unique wings. This helps them rapidly take off when escaping predators. (2021-01-20)

Purely organic hole transporter
Durable, high-performing perovskite solar cells also require durable, high-performing charge-transporting layers. Scientists have developed the first organic hole transporter that does not need a dopant to attain high charge mobility and stability. According to the study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie, this novel hole-transporting layer outperforms reference materials and protects the perovskite organic cell from air humidity. (2021-01-18)

NUS engineers create 'smart' aerogel that turns air into drinking water
Researchers from NUS Engineering have developed a new aerogel that autonomously absorbs water from the atmosphere and then releases it effortlessly without any external power source. This invention is a promising solution for sustainable, freshwater production. (2021-01-18)

Changing resilience of oceans to climate change
Oxygen levels in the ancient oceans were surprisingly resilient to climate change, new research suggests. (2021-01-15)

Concept for a hybrid-electric plane may reduce aviation's air pollution problem
A proposed hybrid-electric plane could ''eliminate aviation's air pollution problem,'' say MIT engineers. Their design could reduce global nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 95 percent, they report in a study. (2021-01-14)

A climate in crisis calls for investment in direct air capture, news research finds
There is a growing consensus among scientists as well as national and local governments representing hundreds of millions of people, that humanity faces a climate crisis that demands a crisis response. New research from the University of California San Diego explores one possible mode of response: a massively funded program to deploy direct air capture (DAC) systems that remove CO2 directly from the ambient air and sequester it safely underground. (2021-01-14)

Extreme fire weather
When the Thomas Fire raged through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in December 2017, Danielle Touma, at the time an earth science researcher at Stanford, was stunned by its severity. Burning for more than a month and scorching 440 square miles, the fire was then considered the worst in California's history. (2021-01-14)

Framework sheds light on nitrogen loss of producing common food items
Differences in nitrogen loss intensity between livestock and crops confirm the need for change. (2021-01-13)

How will we achieve carbon-neutral flight in future?
Carbon-neutral aviation is possible, but in future, aircraft are likely to continue to be powered by fossil fuels. The CO2 they emit must be systematically stored underground. This is the most economical of various approaches that ETH researchers have compared in detail. (2021-01-13)

Early COVID-19 lockdowns had less impact on urban air quality than first believed
The first COVID-19 lockdowns led to significant changes in urban air pollution levels around the world, but the changes were smaller than expected - a new study reveals. (2021-01-13)

Illinois residents value strategies to improve water quality
Illinois residents value efforts to reduce watershed pollution, and they are willing to pay for environmental improvements, according to a new study from agricultural economists at the University of Illinois. (2021-01-13)

Eastern and central China become brighter due to clean air action
A new study finds that the air pollution control actions can lead to not only considerable environmental and health improvements, but also increases in solar photovoltaic energy production. (2021-01-13)

600-year-old marine sponge holds centuries-old climate records
Scientists used a 600-year-old marine sponge to reconstruct a record of ocean temperature in the North Atlantic revealing past volcanic activity as well as the current global warming trend from the release of carbon dioxide and other heat trapping gasses into Earth's atmosphere and absorbed by the oceans. (2021-01-13)

Disposable helmet retains cough droplets, minimizes transmission to dentists
Dentists and otolaryngologists are at particular risk of infection of COVID-19, since they need direct access to the mouth, nose, and throat of patients. The current solutions are expensive, not highly effective, and not very accessible. In Physics of Fluids, researchers discuss their design of an open-faced helmet that is connected to a medical-grade air filtration pump from the top that creates a reverse flow of air to prevent cough droplets from exiting the helmet. (2021-01-12)

Can a mother's stress impact children's disease development?
A University of Cincinnati researcher finds that stress on an expectant mother could affect her baby's chance of developing disease -- perhaps even over the course of the child's life. (2021-01-11)

University at Buffalo researchers report quantum-limit-approaching chemical sensing chip
University at Buffalo researchers are reporting an advancement of a chemical sensing chip that could lead to handheld devices that detect trace chemicals -- everything from illicit drugs to pollution -- as quickly as a breathalyzer identifies alcohol. (2021-01-11)

Three-site study highlight effectiveness of FEND nasal calcium rich salts
In a paper published in Molecular Frontiers Journal, researchers from Cambridge, Massachusetts and Bangalore, India study the effectiveness of FEND product to significantly improve airway hygiene by reducing and suppressing respiratory droplets potentially containing airborne pathogens and other contaminants. (2021-01-11)

Significant number of patients with sudden loss of consciousness need pre-hospital critical care
Research from life-saving charity Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) in partnership with the University of Surrey has shown the benefits of dispatching HEMS to patients with a sudden, unexplained LOC of medical origin and a high prevalence of acute neurological pathology. (2021-01-07)

It's getting hot in here: Warming world will fry power plant production in coming years
During the year's hottest months, many people rely on electricity-generated cooling systems to remain comfortable. But the power plants that keep air conditioners pushing out cold air could soon be in a vicious cycle in a warming world-not able to keep up with growing demands on hotter days and driving up greenhouse gas emissions to dangerous levels. (2021-01-06)

The Lancet Planetary Health: Meeting India's air quality targets across south Asia may prevent 7% of pregnancy losses, modelling study estimates
Poor air quality is associated with a considerable proportion of pregnancy loss in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, according to a modelling study published in The Lancet Planetary Health journal. (2021-01-06)

Sweat, bleach and gym air quality
One sweaty, huffing, exercising person emits as many chemicals from their body as up to five sedentary people, according to a new University of Colorado Boulder study. And notably, those human emissions, including amino acids from sweat or acetone from breath, chemically combine with bleach cleaners to form new airborne chemicals with unknown impacts to indoor air quality. (2021-01-05)

Innovative battery chemistry revolutionizes zinc-air battery
The zinc-air battery is an attractive energy storage technology of the future. Based on an innovative, non-alkaline, aqueous electrolyte, an international research team led by scientist Dr. Wei Sun of MEET Battery Research Center at the University of Muenster has developed a new battery chemistry for the zinc-air battery which overcomes the previous technical obstacles. (2021-01-04)

New proposal for how aerosols drive increased atmospheric convection in thunderstorm clouds
High in the clouds, atmospheric aerosols, including anthropogenic air pollutants, increase updraft speeds in storm clouds by making the surrounding air more humid, a new study finds. (2020-12-31)

New report reveals human, economic toll of air pollution in India
Air pollution has devastating consequences for India, accounting for 1.67 million deaths in 2019 and economic losses of $36.8 billion (US), according to a new report by an international group of scientists led by researchers from Boston College's Global Observatory on Pollution and Health, the Indian Council of Medical Research, and the Public Health Foundation of India. (2020-12-22)

Nanoplastics alter intestinal microbiome and threaten human health
A review study led by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), the CREAF and the University of Aveiro concludes that nanoplastics change the composition and diversity of gut microbiome in vertebrates and invertebrates. The effects of a widespread and prolonged exposure to nanoplastics observed in animal models could be applied to humans. (2020-12-21)

What if clean air benefits during COVID-19 shutdown continued post-pandemic?
A new study poses a hypothetical question: What if air quality improvements in New York City during the spring COVID-19 shutdown were sustained for five years without the economic and health costs of the pandemic? Cumulative benefits during this period would amount to thousands of avoided cases of illness and death in children and adults, as well as associated economic benefits between $32 to $77 billion. (2020-12-21)

New method for imaging exhaled breath could provide insights into COVID-19 transmission
A new method for visualizing breath that is exhaled while someone is speaking or singing could provide important new insights into how diseases such as COVID-19 spread and the effectiveness of face masks. (2020-12-21)

Potentially damaging surface ozone levels rose in lockdown
Less traffic on the roads during the first lockdown led to a reduction in air pollution but may have caused potentially damaging surface ozone levels to rise, a new study has revealed. (2020-12-18)

The most consumed species of mussels contain microplastics all around the world
''If you eat mussels, you eat microplastics.'' This was already known to a limited extent about mussels from individual ocean regions. A new study by the University of Bayreuth reveals that this claim holds true globally. (2020-12-17)

Fertilizer runoff in streams and rivers can have cascading effects, analysis shows
Fertilizer pollution can have significant ripple effects in the food webs of streams and rivers, according to a new analysis of global data. (2020-12-17)

Improving multi-sectoral ocean management to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
Researchers from IRD, the CNRS and Memorial University of Newfoundland (Canada) have assessed the capacity of the principal ocean management tools to achieve the ''Conserve and sustainably use the oceans'' sustainable development goal (SDG). (2020-12-17)

Taking greenhouse gas analysis on the road, er, rails
Since 2014, the University of Utah has maintained research-grade suites of air quality instruments installed on light rail trains that move throughout the Salt Lake Valley every day. These mobile sensors, researchers estimate in a new study, cover the same area as 30 stationary sensors, providing the Salt Lake Valley with a highly cost-effective way to monitor its greenhouse emissions and fill in gaps in emissions estimates. (2020-12-17)

Fibrous protein finding may lead to improved bioprinting, tissue engineering
Fibrous proteins such as collagen and fibrinogen form a thin solid layer on the surface of an aqueous solution similar to the 'skin' that forms on warm milk, according to a team of Penn State Researchers, who believe this finding could lead to more efficient bioprinting and tissue engineering. (2020-12-17)

New study links cadmium to more severe flu, pneumonia infections
High levels of cadmium, a chemical found in cigarettes and in contaminated vegetables, are associated with higher death rates in patients with influenza or pneumonia--and may increase the severity of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses, according to a new study. (2020-12-16)

Atmospheric pollution and COVID-19 spread in Italy
A careful analysis focused on the possible connection between a low air quality index and COVID-19 spread in Italy in the first quarter of 2020. A study led by the CMCC Foundation highlights the potential short-term correlation between exposure to three well-known atmospheric pollutants (PM2.5, PM10 and NO2) and COVID-19 incidence, mortality and lethality rates. (2020-12-16)

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