SEP 05, 2017 03:32 PM PDT

The Science of Smog

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Last year, Beijing issued several red pollution alerts, warning its residents of dangerously high levels of smog in the atmosphere. The red alert is the highest of a four-level alert system that warns residents of dangerous levels of smog blanketing the city.

The smog that hit Beijing in December of 2017 was estimated at just shy of 300 micrograms per cubic meter of particulate matter. This is about 12 times above what the World Health Organization considers as maximum safe level.

The health effects of the Beijing smog is undeniable. Residents have a name for it - the "Beijing cough," which describes a dry hacking cough and a constant itchy throat. The smog can also trigger other respiratory-related illnesses, such as asthma attacks and bronchitis. Long-term, breathing in polluted air has cost more than a million Chinese lives - the highest toll of any country.

Watch the video and learn how pollution affects your your health.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
OCT 31, 2018
Videos
OCT 31, 2018
Why Venus Could Doom 'Habitable' Exoplanets
Venus’s fate may have come down from its distance from the sun. The exact distances of the Venus zone are based on how much radiation is being emitte...
NOV 07, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 07, 2018
Why Are Fruit Flies Attracted to Rotting Fruit Smell?
Fruit flies are the staple pests in the kitchen during summer. As much as these unwelcomed guests enjoy sucking up sugary juice, they are actually more att...
NOV 19, 2018
Space & Astronomy
NOV 19, 2018
Kepler Scientists Reflect on the Now Retired Mission
NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope recently ran out of fuel, preventing it from aligning its antenna toward Earth and maintaining communication. NASA knew...
DEC 05, 2018
Cancer
DEC 05, 2018
Zika virus as a weapon against brain cancer
Glioblastoma is the most aggressive type of Brain Cancer with an average survival rate of less than two years with treatment. So what if there could be a cure for this type of cancer....
DEC 05, 2018
Videos
DEC 05, 2018
Male Contraceptive Gel is in Clinical Trials
Researchers have started a clinical trial involving 420 participants to test the efficacy of a male contraceptive gel....
DEC 07, 2018
Videos
DEC 07, 2018
The Influence of Genetics on our Future
In recent decades, advances in genetic technologies have changed our world in many different ways....
Loading Comments...