CHINA IS SHROUDED by toxic pollution, making its cities appear almost apocalyptic. Benedikt Partenheimer turns his lens on the unsettling veil of smog in his series Particulate Matter. The title is another name for particle pollution, a dangerous mixture of acids, metals, and other toxins that can infiltrate the lungs and even the bloodstream. Seven million people died from air pollution worldwide in 2012, and the World Health Organization calls it the world’s single biggest environmental health threat. Many of those at risk live in Asia, and the Chinese government publishes live updates on current air pollution across the country. Partenheimer spent five months visiting cities with some of the country’s worst air quality. He shot with a film camera, working mainly from the roofs of tall buildings, where low visibility emphasized the contamination. In his photos, the smog is almost impenetrable, offering eerie glimpses of the city beyond. More photos via WIRED.
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