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Dust From Sahara Desert Making Our Pollution Worse

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Dust from the Saharan Desert is aggravating pollution problems in the Houston area.Getty_070113_AtacamaDesert

University of Houston Environmental Engineer Dr. Shankar Chellam says the Saharan dust usually comes our way during the summer and early fall and there is little we can do about it.  They are studying the matter to determine how harmful the dust might be to people’s health.

 Dr. Chellam says they want to know “whether these dusts are more unhealthy than the ordinary dusts that we breathe everyday from our industrial operations.”  But he says there is no question that the desert dust is adding to our pollution problems.

 He says during one sampling in the Houston Ship Channel area, they found that  “more than one half of the aerosols or the dust, in say the Clinton drive area could be attributed to Saharan dust.”

 Dr. Chellam says that could pose major problems for people already suffering from respiratory illnesses.

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