NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Dust, Climate, and Human HealthAir pollution from both natural and anthropogenic causes is considered to be one of the most serious world-wide environment-related health problems, and is expected to become worse with changes in the global climate. Dust storms from the atmospheric transport of desert soil dust that has been lifted and carried by the winds - often over significant distances - have become an increasingly important emerging air quality issue for many populations. Recent studies have shown that the dust storms can cause significant health impacts from the dust itself as well as the accompanying pollutants, pesticides, metals, salt, plant debris, and other inorganic and organic materials, including viable microorganisms (bacteria, viruses and fungi). For example, thousands of tons of Asian desert sediments, some containing pesticides and herbicides from farming regions, are commonly transported into the Arctic during dust storm events. These chemicals have been identified in animal and human tissues among Arctic indigenous populations. Millions of tons of airborne desert dust are being tracked by satellite imagery, which clearly shows the magnitude as well as the temporal and spatial variability of dust storms across the "dust belt" regions of North Africa, the Middle East, and China. This paper summarizes the most recent findings on the effects of airborne desert dust on human health as well as potential climate influences on dust and health.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Maynard, Nancy G.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Subject Category
Environment Pollution
Meeting Information
Meeting: AGU Fall Meeting
Location: San Francisco, CA
Country: United States
Start Date: December 8, 2003
End Date: December 12, 2003
Sponsors: American Geophysical Union
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

Available Downloads

There are no available downloads for this record.
No Preview Available