The Pros Outweigh the Cons
When one thinks of a major Chinese city such as Shanghai or Beijing, images of sidewalks overcrowded with pedestrians, thousands of bicycles lined on the streets and litter spotted throughout public areas may come to mind. However, with the modernization and industrialization China has gone through, urban citizens are now more frequently using public transport, automobiles are increasingly being used more and people are hired to keep streets as clean as possible. With a little over three decades having past since the major industrial development, China has industrialized at an astonishing rate. This is especially apparent when comparing its much higher industrializing rates to Japan, the UK and the US. With such high rates of growth, there are both negative and positive aspects that come out of such development. Although general health in China is not at its best, post 1980 industrial development has improved the average Chinese citizen’s life tremendously both personally and publically.
Through the rush of industrialization, Chinese industry and production has had a negative effect on the health of citizens because of the air pollution from coal, water pollution from factory emissions and the inhumane working conditions for some people. The production of coal, a major industry in China, emits sulfur compounds, carbon and other byproducts into the air, which increases the risks of cancer, lung and heart issues. “Sulfur dioxide produced in coal combustion poses an immediate threat to the health of China’s citizens, contribution to about 40,000 premature deaths a year” (Bradsher and Barboza). This not only affects the physical welfare of workers but anyone who is exposed to this tainted air. Sulfur dioxide emitted from coal combustion also contributes to acid rain, poisoning bodies of water and vegetation. “Nearly 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water” (Khan and Yardley). With people...
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