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Each year, most of Japan’s prefectures are affected by what is known as yellow dust, which appears as a yellow fog in the atmosphere for a few days, often in late winter and early spring. A mixture of des ert sand, arid topsoil and man-made pollutants from Central Asia, China and Mongolia, the annual yellow dust storms are a growing health hazard that have canceled or delayed flights in Japan and South Korea and, when mixed with rain, muddy the streets, creating an environmental headache for governments and individuals.

Q: What, exactly, are yellow dust storms and where do they come from?

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