Santiago, the capital of Chile, is again losing ground in its battle against pollution, after hard-won gains in the 1990s. According to the country's pollution department, the level of fine particles in the air in several districts of Santiago has seen a drastic rise in the last two years and are now well above the international safe limits. Experts blame the rise on the recent surge of the city's exports of copper, salmon, forestry products as well as the soaring sales of cars -- the prime source of pollution in the capital. A recent international audit has strongly criticised Chile's government for cuts in financing Santiago's clean-air programme.
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