Well, okay, technically it is still air, but it’s also a helluva lot of particulate matter. Canadian researchers Aaron van Donkelaar and Randall Martin at Dalhousie University compiled the first long-term map of PM2.5, fine particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter. And China, unfortunately, has some of the most of it in the world.
PM2.5 is especially bad for us since it’s small enough to bypass our body’s natural defenses. Increased levels of fine particles in the air are linked to health hazards such as heart disease, altered lung function and lung cancer.
A more detailed picture of China (with a little green arrow pointing out Shanghai) after the jump.
Says the Wall Street Journal: “It’s important to note that the data used for this map are derived from 2001 to 2006. But as The Wall Street Journal noted in July, authorities affirmed that China’s air quality continues to get worse, not better.”