In China, an increasing population and rapid economic growth as well as lax environmental oversight have increased water pollution. Therefore, deterioration of drinking water quality continues to be a major problem. Continuous emissions from manufacturing are the largest contributor to lowered drinking quality across the country. China’s major river systems exhibit the scope of the problem. Perhaps 70 percent of their water is so polluted that it has been deemed unsafe for human contact. In addition to untreated sewage released into these waterways, high-growth industries such as textiles, paper manufacturing, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals account for a large share of this pollution. In February 2013, the government study has reaffirmed the existence of “cancer villages” after years of public speculation about the impact of pollution in certain areas. “Poisonous and harmful chemical materials have brought about many water and atmosphere emergencies; . . . certain places are even seeing ‘cancer villages,’” according to a 5-year plan from the ministry that was released in the earlier of this year. It was the first time that a Chinese government agency has admitted to the presence of “cancer villages”. Body
Officially and unofficially, the Chinese media have reported 459 “cancer villages”throughout China. They have been reported in every province and autonomous region, with the exception of Qinghai and Tibet. Once a rare disease, cancer is now the biggest killer in both urban and rural China; mortality rates have grown 80 percent in the last 30 years. Actually, Phoenix Weekly, a Hong Kong weekly journal, has already carried a cover story on cancer villages since its April 2009 issue. That report caused strong reactions in China after the reporter posted the article that listed out 71 cancer villages from 32 detailed studies. Some reports showed that cancer rates were between 1.3 to 2.1 percent in cancer villages, significantly higher than the...
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