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A yellow sand that blows into Japan from deserts in China and Mongolia each spring is carrying massive volumes of acid gases that may cause long-term soil depletion, researchers at the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, said Sunday.

The sand is said to absorb acid gases and carry them far distances to foreign lands. The annual volume of sand-borne acid gas hitting Japan is equivalent to the nitrogen oxide emitted from 700,000 passenger cars, the team said.

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