Global Sources of Local Pollution

The National Research Council's Committee on the Significance of International Transport of Air Pollutants chaired by Dr. Charles Kolb has published the report: Global Sources of Local Pollution: An Assessment of Long-Range Transport of Key Air Pollutants to and from the United States (2009), National Academies Press. The report examines four types of air pollutants: ozone; particulate matter such as dust, sulfates, or soot; mercury; and persistent organic pollutants such as DDT. The committee found evidence, including satellite observations, that these four types of pollutants can be transported aloft across the Northern Hemisphere, delivering significant concentrations to downwind continents.

The report was sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, and National Science Foundation. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies. They are independent, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under an 1863 congressional charter. Committee members, who serve pro bono as volunteers, are chosen by the Academies for each study based on their expertise and experience and must satisfy the Academies' conflict-of-interest standards. At the Committee's EPA sponsor's request Dr. Kolb wiil present the report's Findings and Recommendations at the workshop of the UN's Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution in Toronto, 11-13 November. 2009.