Let’s face it, air pollution stinks!
A Berkeley Earth scientific paper released this week, shows that China has a big air pollution problem, and it is more than just a bad smell.
According to the report, outdoor air pollution in China contributes to the deaths of around 2.2 million people each year.
The organization, based in Berkeley, California, analyzes environmental issues by crunching statistical data.
It is estimated that 17 percent of all deaths in China annually, have pollution as a contributing factor. That places the actual numbers somewhere between 700,000 and 2.2 million. China’s official estimate is somewhere in the middle of that range. If it was right in the middle, 1.6 million, there would be 4,400 deaths each day, with pollution as a contributing factor.
The consensus is that air pollution contributes to 17 percent of all deaths in China each year. That means that between 700,000 and 2.2 million deaths in China can be attributed to air pollution alone. State officials in China estimate the death toll is somewhere in the middle of the estimates. That would calculate to 1.6 million or 4,400 deaths each day, with pollution as a contributing factor.
That is a lot of people!
The authors of the scientific paper say most of Beijing’s air pollution arrives in the huge city from an industrial zone about 200 miles away.
No mention of how many people die in that city due to air pollution!
Chinese officials are worried about the deadly pollution, The New York Times says.
Not about the people dying, but how this problem might affect the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Some of the pollution is less than 2.5 microns in diameter. Its small size allows it to get past the airway, where it ends up deep inside the lungs, plus it is absorbed into the bloodstream, from where it can cause severe health problems including asthma, stroke, lung cancer and heart attacks.
Thia is the most destructive aspect of the airborne pollution.
According to the Berkeley paper, through the period covered by the research 38 percent of the entire Chinese population “experienced average concentrations of pollutants that were unhealthy.”
The study says much more data is now available. “China has recently made available hourly air pollution data from over 1,500 sites. Sources of pollution are widespread, but are particularly intense in a northeast corridor that extends from near Shanghai to north of Beijing.”
Is should come as no surprise, given the analysis in the Berkeley Earth paper, that Shijiazhuang, just 200 miles southwest of Beijing, is one of the 10 most-polluted cities in the world.
Shijiazhuang, in Hebei Province, is an industrial hub, with many coal-burning factories, according to research data provided by Tsinghua University and the Asian Development Bank in January 2013.
The story in The New York Times noted that China “is sensitive about public data showing that air pollution is killing its citizens, or even allusions to such a conclusion.”
That statement likely refers to, amongst other things, the fact that the Communist Party’s central propaganda department censored an online documentary about the pollution.