Effects of Pollution in China

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In the last two decades, the air pollution in China has increased substantially. The lack of good air quality is especially prominent in the more urban, industrialized areas of China. Environment Minister Zhou Shengxian warned, “If China meant to quadruple the size of its economy over 20 years without more damage, it would have to become more efficient in resource use. Otherwise, there would be a painful price to pay” (BBC News). The topic of air pollution is not a new concern to the world; however, the effects of air pollution, especially to the hundred of thousands of people directly or indirectly harmed by the side effects of “bad air,” should be of grave concern. According to the Ministry of Health, air pollution has made cancer the leading cost of death in China. Air pollution not only affects the people, but also the quality of fresh water, produce, and other natural resources. These kinds of environmental outcomes may seem erratic in other countries but unfortunately, it has become the norm in China. In fact, air pollution in China since the 1980’s has gotten so bad that many of the industrialized areas in Beijing and Shanghai rarely see the sun but rather clouds of smoke and fog. China, with its infamous reputation of becoming a global economic powerhouse, is ironically becoming its own downfall. In the midst of their tremendous economic and industrial growth, the energy outputs to support this growth are reaching an all-time high which means there is more residue of coal and fuel burning released in the atmosphere. In order to understand the extent of pollution in China, one must understand the environmental, social, and political aspects of it.

Currently, China is the leading nation in terms of population. Even though China has approximately 1.3 billion people living in its territory, the dangerous effects that pollution has taken upon the population is still of high concern although many people and government officials choose to not talk about it in



Cited: BBC News. China Pollution ‘threatens growth.’ BBC World News International. 28 Feb. 2011 7 Apr. 2007. Web. 29 Apr. 2011. Press, 2004. Print. Web. 29 Apr. 2011

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