Air pollution in China is worse than a decade ago. And the air quality degrades daily. It’s going to be some time before clean air and direct sunshine are common across China. The Chinese government is working towards various solutions, but until then citizens and tourists alike won’t breathe fresh air.
Air pollution is a problem all over the world, but China has a worse problem than most. Air pollution in China has continued to increase over the last decade, most predominantly due to both their dependence upon coal-burning plants and factories, and their increased number of vehicles. Air quality in China is abysmal.
This pollution is not just affecting China, however. It is also affecting countries as far away as the United States, which is why attention needs to be given to this issue, not just for the Chinese people, but also for people around the world. What are some affects of the air pollution in China?
For the Chinese people, and for others who are exposed to the air pollution, there are some severe health affects. These include lung problems, including cancer of the lungs, emphysema, and bronchitis, as well as other illnesses. These illnesses strike every age of person in China, from the very young to the very old. Cancer has become to leading cause of death in China and this fact is largely due to the air pollution problem that they are having due to their industrial revolution.
The drinking water in China is also being affected by the air pollution. The air pollution causes acid rain, which travels into water sources all over the country, leaving them unfit for human consumption. This has caused almost 500 million people to be without access to clean drinking water, which is a health concern.
The European Union estimates that only one percent of the people that live in the cities in China breathe clean and healthy air. This means that almost 560 million people live and breathe polluted air each and every day; that causes health problems. The increase in health problems causes increased health costs and undue pressure upon the health system of the country.
The Chinese have seen an increase in their standard of living due to the coal-burning plants and factories that are located all over the country. Unfortunately, this burning of coal comes with its own problems, including the release of nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide into the air. The release of these pollutants falls as acid rain on cities all over China and is thought to be a major contributor to the large level of particulate pollution in cities as far away as Los Angeles.
Local pollution is also a problem for China. The causes for this are numerous, but some of the most common pollutants that are found are lead, sulfur, ash, and mercury. Each of these pollutants can cause a plethora of different health problems for infants up to the elderly.
What is being done about the air pollution in China? While the Chinese government realizes that something needs to be done, they are unsure of exactly where to start. They have set regulations for new vehicles to help cut down on the car pollution that is released. Some cities have actually outlawed motorbikes because they are such polluters. But the Chinese dependence upon coal is still causing them significant issues. With the steady increase in population and the dependence upon the coal as an energy source, it is going to take some significant changes for a difference to be made. The Chinese are working towards that goal, but it may not happen quickly enough to make a difference and that is what strikes fear in most environmentalists.
Air pollution in China is a huge problem. And it will probably get worse before it gets better. Air quality is worse each year. Fresh air, even in the country, is a rare event. But the government is aware of the problem and is working towards a solution.