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Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (and Lungs Too!)

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Brett Ciccotelli
/
Flickr

They are invisible to the naked eye, but atmospheric particles are a critical factor in the climate equation and are responsible for many of the leading causes of death. We’ll talk about the dangers surrounding particulate pollution with Dr. Neil Donahue, professor of Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, and Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.

Donahue emphasizes that the concern about smoke focuses on small particles, which commonly come from things like wood smoke, car exhaust, and gasoline fumes. While these particles are too small to see on an individual level, they add up to a considerable problem for the Pittsburgh region. In fact, according to Donahue, some 50,000 people die in the United States due to particulate matter -- largely due to heart attacks. Cutting pollution, Donahue explains, will help mitigate the danger, but it’s just part of the possible solution package.

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