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Study: Environmental policies matter for growing megacities
Date:4/3/2013

vil engineering postdoctoral researchers Jeryang Park and Heather Gall and by Rao and Dev Niyogi, Indiana state climatologist and an associate professor in the Purdue Department of Agronomy and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.

Severe problems with air pollution also are evident in particulate matter (PM) concentrations contributing to smog. In a recent study published in the Lancet journal, PM pollution was the fourth-leading risk factor for death in China and may be linked to 1.2 million premature deaths in 2010. Similar problems exist in cities in India, where air pollution is estimated to contribute to about 600,000 premature deaths, according to the Lancet study.

"We are in an urban era with more people staying in cities than ever before in the history of mankind," Niyogi said. "The impact cities can have on the environment we find is a function of growing population and affluence, and more importantly how regulations are shaped and implemented. As a result of regulations and enforcement, what goes up as emissions is now much smaller, and that means what comes down as acid rain also is much smaller. Every car now has a catalytic converter that reduces tailpipe emissions. So, adoption of highly efficient control technologies, as uniformly as we do across the United States, has resulted in lower emissions. In essence, we've solved the acid rain problem through good environmental regulations and wide adoption of mitigation technologies."

The Purdue study findings show that even though rainfall patterns vary widely from one city to another, the annual average rate of nitrate and sulfate found in wet deposition is essentially the same across the United States.

"That was a surprise," Rao said. "Because rainfall patterns vary so much from one location to another, you would think wet deposition also would vary. Yet, it's the same across the United States, and that's because we have regulations and enforcement and engineering
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Contact: Emil Venere
venere@purdue.edu
765-494-4709
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert

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