Smog Over China
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Smog Over China

September 28, 2005
A thick plume of smog hung over the region of Beijing on September 1, 2005. Clouds cover the region in the north, but in the south, smog appears as a heavy band of gray. According to The Seattle Times, China builds a new power plant every week. This building boom has led to a market for equipment that scrubs sulfur from power plant emissions. Unfortunately, not every pollutant has been reduced. An article in Nature, one of the scientific community's leading journals, records that nitrogen dioxide in China's atmosphere has risen by 50 percent in the last decade, and the pollutant continues to accumulate at an increasing rate. Added to the country's appetite for electricity (second in world consumption after the United States) is its appetite for cars; the number of cars in China doubled between 1995 and 2002. Smog is a major health concern; according to the American Heart Association, smog has been linked to heart disease and stroke. It may also be associated with reduced immune systems response and cause damage to the lining of the lungs.

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