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Cheap Chinese Goods May Mean More Smog in the United States
American consumers must shoulder some of the blame, researchers say

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The words "Made in China" are synonymous with inexpensive electronics and housewares purchased in the United States. But a consequence of Americans' buying habits is air pollution that's also made in China, researchers say.

Much of the air pollution traveling across the Pacific Ocean to the West Coast of the United States is caused by China's manufacturing of such goods for export to the United States and Europe, a new study asserts.

For Los Angeles, this air pollution from the production of consumer items (such as cellphones and televisions) causes at least one extra day a year of smog that exceeds federal ozone limits, according to the researchers. On some days, as much as one-quarter of the sulfate pollution on the U.S. West Coast is linked to Chinese manufacturing of export products, the investigators said.

"We've outsourced our manufacturing and much of our pollution, but some of it is blowing back across the Pacific to haunt us," study co-author Steve Davis, an Earth system scientist at the University of California, Irvine, said in a university news release. "Given the complaints about how Chinese pollution is corrupting other countries' air, this paper shows that there may be plenty of blame to go around," he noted.

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