Global Health Ideas

Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology

China is Choking

Great article in the NY Times about China’s pollution, a country where cancer is now the leading cause of death. As the article mentions, China unlike any of the industrialized nations will be forced to deal with this extremely serious problem while they are still a poor country. The catch 22 is that this may curb China’s development and hence also its future. This NY Times feature article includes additional audio and visual material. Below are some highlights from the article:

As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes, NY Times
No country in history has emerged as a major industrial power without creating a legacy of environmental damage that can take decades and big dollops of public wealth to undo…its pollution problem has shattered all precedents. Environmental degradation is now so severe, with such stark domestic and international repercussions,

Public health is reeling. Pollution has made cancer China’s leading cause of death, the Ministry of Health says. Ambient air pollution alone is blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Nearly 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water…

Chinese cities often seem wrapped in a toxic gray shroud. Only 1 percent of the country’s 560 million city dwellers breathe air considered safe by the European Union…China is choking on its own success.

China’s problem has become the world’s problem. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides spewed by China’s coal-fired power plants fall as acid rain on Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo. Much of the particulate pollution over Los Angeles originates in China, according to the Journal of Geophysical Research…


Other sources and perspectives:
In China, Global Environmental Injustice Kills Millions, It’s Getting Hot in Here

China is choking on growth, China Law Blog

As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes, 8Asians

China’s Pollution Problem – Our Pollution Problem? Working Life (Labor Research Association)


Written by Aman

August 27, 2007 at 1:13 am

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