Kudzu, an invasive vine that is spreading across the southeastern United States and northward, is a major contributor to large-scale increases of the pollutant surface ozone, according to a study published…in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Kudzu, a leafy vine native to Japan and southeastern China, produces the chemicals isoprene and nitric oxide, which, when combined with nitrogen in the air, form ozone, an air pollutant that causes significant health problems for humans. Ozone also hinders the growth of many kinds of plants, including crop vegetation.
“We found that this chemical reaction caused by kudzu leads to about a 50 percent increase in the number of days each year in which ozone levels exceed what the Environmental Protection Agency deems as unhealthy,” said study co-author Manuel Lerdau, a University of Virginia professor of environmental sciences and biology. “This increase in ozone completely overcomes the reductions in ozone realized from automobile pollution control legislation…”
“Essentially what we found is that this biological invasion has the capacity to degrade air quality, and in all likelihood over time lead to increases in air pollution, increases in health problems caused by that air pollution, and decreases in agricultural productivity,” Lerdau said.
“This is yet another compelling reason to begin seriously combating this biological invasion. What was once considered a nuisance, and primarily of concern to ecologists and farmers, is now proving to be a potentially serious health threat.”
Maybe this is affecting the brains of people in the KUDZU ZONE?
2 thoughts on “Kudzu is adding to ozone pollution”
Kudzu is inherently evil.
Not if you’ve got a few cars to hide from code enforcement.