World Map of Pollution

Wired has just published a world map of pollution, provided by NASA. Yikes!

Oh, and if your wondering why Africa and the Middle East has so much pollution… that would thanks to the Western World and China. We comprise the biggest consumers of oil, gold, diamonds and chocolate… all of which are largely mined/harvested from the region.

The map, as you can see above, shows a wide band of very high concentrations of particulate matter across the Sahara, Middle East, Central Asia and China, only interrupted by the Himalayas. Central Europe also shows a spike, including the south-east corner of England, and urban areas in North and South America stand out too.

The World Health Organisation’s recommended level is 10 micrograms per cubic metre, so anything on the map that’s green or above is cause for concern. Once in the lungs, the particles can cause asthma, cardiovascular diseases and bronchitis. Some very fine particles can even get into the bloodstream.

Read the entire blog entry by clicking here.

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