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News

The latest news on this change — carefully culled from the world wide web by our change agents. They do the surfing, so you don't have to!

Don't Inhale that Ocean Air!

Don't Inhale that Ocean Air!

You're sitting on a pristine beach, staring out at the blue water that matches the blue sky, while you hold a margarita and walk barefoot on the warm sand. You think, "This is paradise" and you take in a deep breath of that healthy sea breeze…only to cough back up the pollutants you just breathed in.

Sorry to burst your little daydream there—it wasn't us, it was the scientists. A research team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, CO, found that the combination of sea salt, ship fumes and city smoke can create nitryl chloride, a chemical that helps create ozone, which is a major ingredient in smog. Researchers found particularly high levels of this chemical around Miami and Houston. What's so bad if you breathe in some of this nitryl chloride on vacation, you ask? Well, it will not only cause breathing problems but it could kill you.

We're sorry if we killed your vacation buzz...and your concept of healthier living. This research did point out that the sun is pretty good at burning off this chemical in the daytime, so you might want to stay indoors at night in these beach cities. [New Scientist]

Posted: 4/7/08