The Pros And Cons Of PX Plant Controversy

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PX Plants Controversy: The Door to a Bright Future, or the Key of Pandora’s Box? If a petrochemical expert asks ordinary Chinese people what paraxylene is, they may fail to answer, but if he asks what PX is, he will be amazed by how much people know. Indeed, throughout the last decade, paraxylene, often abbreviated as PX in China, has come to be known by the vast majority of Chinese people. PX, a co-product of petrol, is “a chemical essential to the process of manufacturing plastic bottles and polyester clothing which is dangerous if inhaled or if absorbed through skin”, and China is currently “its largest manufacturer and consumer” (South China Morning Post). Numerous public debates and reports cannot eliminate safety concerns over it, which has prompted environmental demonstrations. On April 6, 2015, the PX plant located in Fujian blasted, with 15 injured. A set of photos shows the dark sky lit up by great flames, and the black smoke forming a mushroom cloud, reawakening the public’s panic. While PX advocates claim its significance to the economy and safety, the…show more content…
Though a small amount of absorption of PX causes no obvious health effects, an intense exposure to it in a short period can harm respiratory systems and organs, bringing lethal damage (5). Moreover, the production of PX co-produces benzene (ICIS Par. 3), which is carcinogenic to humans, leading to leukemia after long-term exposure (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry 26). After the Fujian blast, reportedly, an intense odor remained in that area, and later thick black clouds emitted from the plant brought black rain, undoubtedly containing detrimental substances. Apparently, local residents around PX factories directly suffer from these effects, so their health is at

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