August 5, 2009

High levels of zinc found in Fairbanks air

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The air in Fairbanks contains an unusually high amount of zinc, comparable to levels in a city next to a smelting plant, reports Christopher Eshleman of the Daily News-Miner. Since Fairbanks does not have any smelting plants and research indicates the microscopic particles of metal are not floating in from other places, officials suggest they may be the result of auto shops and dealerships that burn used engine oil for heat in the winter rather than shipping it out. Researchers plan to conduct studies this winter to try to figure out the causes of the pollution, which aggravates asthma and produces complications for people with other health conditions.

– Emily Linroth

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