China Tops the World for Air Pollution

China is recently battling worst pollution of the year. The poor air quality led the government to order factories, power plants, and schools to close. But some factories failed to respond and continued to produce; according to State-run agency Xinhua reported that an official in Henan province said “factory production was continuing and that up to 4,000 factories had not stopped production as ordered by the government.” In one city in northern Hebei province, people wrote on social media that schools were kept open although the area had the highest pollution threat. Media reports in the central province of Henan also showed pictures of students completing school activities in the dirty open air. The Ministry of Environmental Protection said that only “a small number of businesses” had not taken the bans seriously and continued operations. Driving restrictions were also put in effect and hundreds of flights were cancelled because of poor visibility.  The ministry said that more than 100,000 drivers had been fined for violating the traffic bans.

Air pollution linked to 1.2 million premature deaths in China. The effects of environmental pollution on humans are mainly physical, but can also turn into neuro-affections in the long term. The best-known troubles to us are respiratory, in the form of allergies, asthma, irritation of the eyes and nasal passages, or other forms of respiratory infections. Notably, these well spread affections can be observed when air pollution is high in cities, when the weather gets hot, for instance. On top of that, environmental pollution has been proven to be a major factor in the development of cancer.

Edward Wong wrote in the New York Times, “Outdoor air pollution contributed to 1.2 million premature deaths in China in 2010, nearly 40 percent of the global total, according to a new summary of data from a scientific study on leading causes of death worldwide. Figured another way, the researchers said, China’s toll from pollution was the loss of 25 million healthy years of life from the population. The data on which the analysis is based was first presented in the ambitious 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study, which was published in December in The Lancet, a British medical journal.”

The World Health Organization said last year that 7 million people die annually because of exposure to polluted air. China has struggled for years to control its air pollution problems, which are caused by the burning of coal in factories and power plants, as well as vehicle use.

China is the base of forming materials, raw metals, and so on. Most of the world’s countries depend on China for providing them with these materials. That is why China is high in pollution, it contains copious factories and power plants. China is well known for burning large amounts of coals in factories and power plants, which is a major effect in increasing the pollution. Air pollution is killing about 4,400 people every single day, according to a new study.

Researchers from Berkeley Earth, calculated that about 1.6 million people in China die every year from health issues caused by the country’s notoriously polluted air. According to the study, more than one-third of the Chinese population regularly breathe air that would be considered “unhealthy” by U.S. standards. “It’s a very big number,” the study’s lead author, Robert Rohde, told The Associated Press. “It’s a little hard to wrap your mind around the numbers.” The study looked at four months of data from 1,500 ground stations across China, Taiwan and South Korea. Previous studies have estimated that between 1.2 and 2 million people die due to air pollution in China every year.

Adding to what has been said, will China put strict regulations to ensure that factories and all polluting industries are moved out from the city? Or will it remain the same and increase over the years?

Hamzah Zuhrah


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