Effects of Pollution in China

2709 Words May 17th, 2012 11 Pages
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 …show more content…
As a result, it is estimated that three-quarters of the rivers running through Chinese cities are so polluted that they cannot be used for drinking or fishing. Even the infamous Yellow River is suffering from man-made environmental problems. Once the country's second biggest source of fresh water, the river is now so polluted that almost 70% is hazardous to drink; moreover, because the river has been the target for over-exploitation for many years, the water tends to dry up before it reaches the sea for almost a third of the year.

According to the World Health Organization, reports estimate that diseases triggered by indoor and outdoor air pollution kill 656,000 Chinese citizens each year and polluted drinking water kills another 95,600 (Platt). The majority of the air pollution in China is generated by the burning of coal and fuel oil in order to generate electric power. They do not have that much hydropower, power that comes from the energy of massive moving water, to help with demand and supply and, therefore, rely on the burning of coal. Coal is a natural resource that is abundant in amount but requires a lot of manpower and miners to obtain it every year. Because of its population and carrying capacity, China burns more coal to produce
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