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Ship Pollution Fouling San Diego Air

UC-San Diego researchers say dirty smoke from ships is polluting the air in coastal cities including San Diego.  KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce has the story.




UCSD researchers have determined just how much ship exhaust harms San Diego's air quality.


UCSD Chemistry Professor Mark Thiemens led the research which used a chemical fingerprinting technique to track dirty smoke from ships at sea.


Thiemens: We found that we were able to use this chemical to recognize ships and the potential impact that they have in San Diego. Where do things come from and how much is it.


He says on some days the ship pollution makes up nearly one-half of the fine, sulfur-rich particulate matter in the air. 


Thiemens says that air is especially harmful to humans because the fine microscopic particles can travel extremely long distances.


Air samples taken from the Scripps Pier at UCSD shows that dirty air from ships in the Port of Los Angeles shows up in San Diego.


Some researchers say the dirty ship smoke may cause 60,000 deaths worldwide each year.


Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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