China's export industry is responsible for the dirty emissions traveling across the Pacific Ocean, adding to air pollution in the Western United States, according to a new scientific study.
The New York Times reports that a study published on Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is the first to quantify how air pollution in the U.S. is being exacerbated by China's production of goods.
Pollutants from Chinese power plants and factories — which produce cellphones, TVs, and other goods — are carried by winds across the Pacific in roughly six days, according to the study.
“We’ve outsourced our manufacturing and much of our pollution, but some of it is blowing back across the Pacific to haunt us,” said Steve Davis, of the University of California Irvine and a co-author of the study.
“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.”
“When you buy a product at Wal-Mart,” Davis said in a statement released by UC Irvine. "It has to be manufactured somewhere. The product doesn’t contain the pollution, but creating it caused the pollution."