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Smog from Asia Affects California, Study


San Joaquin Valley smogThe Researchers of University of California, concluded that 10 percent of the Ozone pollution of San Joaquin Valley is due to the second-hand smog from Asia. The preliminary research was presented to the scientists and air quality regulators.

According to the recent sensational online documentary ‘Under the dome’, 1/5th of the Beijing’s pollution comes from outside the city. It says that if wind blows from south, the polluted air from Hebei blows towards Beijing in its north.  In a similar manner, the cold winds are playing a major role in drifting the smog all the way to California from Asia silently.

California is a state which is polluted at notorious levels. The state contains approximately 25 million cars and most of them are subjective to the California smog check program. To control the carcinogenic particulate matter emissions, which cause the health problems like premature deaths, respiratory illness, asthma, various types of cancer and cardiovascular ailments, the state takes various measures. According to a report by American Lung Association, some areas in California are the most polluted ones in the Unites States. The report also finds that three of the five US’s most polluted cities are located in California.

The quality of air in California is already worsening due to the prolonged draught. The San Joaquin Valley, which alone contains two million vehicles, falls short of the air-quality standards repeatedly. Compared to the people in other parts of the state, the people of San Joaquin Valley suffer asthma at a double rate.

The preliminary conclusions of a three-year research, funded by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District were presented at a Transboundary ozone pollution conference which was held from March 31 to April 2, 2015 outside Yosemite National Park. The University of California, Davis researchers have done this research from a mountain top air quality monitoring station near California’s Point Sur with the aid of a plane equipped with scientific instruments to measure air pollution levels.

Reuters quotes as Ian Faloona, an atmospheric scientist from the research team said “What’s happening upwind strongly affects what’s happening downwind, If California were a human body, the area around the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco would be the mouth, breathing in air from across the Pacific Ocean.” 

The researchers revealed that it is China and its coal factories that are the major cause of this smog which is drifting towards the Central Valley travelling all the way across the Pacific.

In this juncture, the one thing that can make the people of California Happy about pollution is the recent closure of four major coal-fired power plants in Beijing which otherwise contribute to a large fraction of China’s smog.

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