Most dust comes from natural sources such as volcano ash, salty ocean aerosols, and desert sand. Dust is also produced by eroded roads, construction sites, volcanoes, and wildfires, and it contains pollutants from factory and auto emissions and oil, gas, and mineral mining. These man-made particulates mix with natural-source dust, creating a potent cocktail that has the ability to impact human health and fragile ecosystems. Dust is most prevalent in regions with features such as arid deserts, desiccated farmland, and barren river and sea basins, though the regional dust these terrains produce does not remain static; regional dust travels from one area to another, across continents and oceans—sometimes, you can even see unfathomably huge dust clouds from space. Scientists have been studying dust for more ...

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