Anthropogenic air pollution more significant than desert dust

At the beginning of the year, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the Middle East ranks among the regions with the worst air quality. There is a common misconception that desert dust is the most significant cause of air pollution from particulate matter in this region, but a new study has shown that more than 90 percent of the particulate matter that is detrimental to health originates from anthropogenic sources. This human-made fine particulate matter differs from the less harmful desert dust particles. Scientists determined this through ship borne measurements and verified it in elaborate modeling calculations. The anthropogenic particles are primarily caused by the production and use of fossil fuels such as oil and gas. They are generally smaller than desert dust and can penetrate deep into the lungs.