Particulate Matter

California in grip of 'worst drought in 500 years'

generic drought

The punishing drought that has swept California is now threatening the state's drinking water supply.

Shanghai residents warned for seventh day about heavy pollution

Smog in China

Shanghai warned children and the elderly to stay indoors for at least a seventh day this month, intensifying pressure on local authorities to control the worst smog since government monitoring began...

Dust-up looms over amended coal report

Coal trains heading to PWCS Carrington next to homes at Ferndale St, Tighes Hill. Picture: Matthew Kelly

Peter Hannam An environment study into the effects of dust from coal trains has apparently been doctored, with the federal and NSW government misled - perhaps willingly, according to a local activist group and...

No safe level of air pollution, says study

Beijing air pollution.

Long-term exposure to particulate air pollution boosts the risk of lung cancer, even at concentrations below the legal maximum, says a European study published on Wednesday.

Pollution findings prompt calls to cover coal wagons

coal train

Peter Hannam Findings that coal trains are leading to significant increases in particulate air pollution in the Newcastle region have prompted renewed calls for rail wagons to be covered.

Clouds' role in warming more certain, report shows

Peter Hannam When it comes to global warming, do clouds have a silver lining?

Super smog hits north China city of Harbin; flights cancelled

A woman walks along a road as heavy smog engulfs the city of Harbin, in northeast China.

Visibility shrank to less than half a football field and small-particle pollution soared to a record 40 times higher than an international safety standard in one northern Chinese city as the region...

Global warming slowed by aerosols

Nicky Phillips Science For many years, people have thought of aerosol cans as being bad for the environment but it seems aerosols - tiny, airborne particles - have slowed the rise in global temperatures over the past...

Wood heaters could go on back burner

Health hazard ... a wood-burning heater releases more pollution than a car.

Ben Cubby The humble wood-burning heater releases more hazardous pollution than a car and the average heater in Sydney leads to an estimated $3172 in health costs a year, new research claims.

Beijing sees light, through the haze

Pedestrians walk along a square as a security guard stands nearby on a hazy day in Beijing January 18, 2012. The Beijing city government will soon release the results of stricter air pollution standards, Chinese media reported last week, following a public outcry that authorities are understating the extent of smog that often shrouds the capital.    REUTERS/David Gray     (CHINA - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY)

Chinese authorities have set tougher rules to combat air pollution by ordering all big cities to monitor tiny particles that do serious damage to health.

Toyota's heroic hybrid proves surprisingly thirsty in road test

Richard Blackburn INDEPENDENT tests have called into question the fuel efficiency claims of Toyota's environmental hero car, the Prius.

Power plant will put lives at risk, experts warn


Kate Benson Medical Reporter THE State Government has ignored a report by its own staff that warns against building large projects near asthma hot spots and approved a 360 megawatt power plant that will put thousands of lives in...

Coalmine dangerous to public, says health boss

Ben Cubby A proposed coalmine on the central coast would cause air pollution leading to respiratory problems and an increasing death rate, the area director of public health has warned the NSW Planning...