are made up of a mix of tiny solid and liquid particles in the air.
Such pollution can contribute to heart disease, lung cancer and asthma attacks, the association said. Those especially vulnerable to polluted air are children, senior citizens, people who work or exercise outdoors and people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Nearly half of the U.S. population lives in counties that still have unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution, even though there appeared to be less ozone in many counties than previous years, the study found.
Meanwhile comes the news of disease outbreaks on the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef system, located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in northeast Australia, Scientists tracked an infection called white syndrome on the Great Barrier Reef.
Coral colonies live atop limestone scaffolding, which is built from the secretions of the coral creatures called polyps. The vivid colors of the coral come from the symbiotic algae that live in the polyps and supply them with much of their nutrients.
When disease or stressful environmental conditions, such as changes in ocean temperature, strike the reef, the polyps expel their algae, making them appear pale.
Corals are critical to the survival of some commercial marine species and help buffer low-lying coastal areas.
"More diseases are infecting more coral species every year, leading to the global loss of reef-building corals and the decline of other important species dependent on the reefs," said study lead author John Bruno of the University of North Carolina.
"With this study, speculation about the impacts of global warming on the spread of infectious disease among susceptible marine species has been brought to an end," said Don Rice, director of the National Science Foundation's Chemical Oceanography Program, which helped fund the research.
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