Report: Air Pollution Implicated In 1.2 Million Chinese Deaths In 2010

Air pollution sucks.

According to fresh analysis of the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study, which breaks out region-specific data for China, open-air pollution was involved in 1.2 million premature deaths in China in 2010.

That's about 40% of the number of similar deaths that year around the globe, which highlights China's problem with air pollution (as China doesn't have 40% of the world's people living there).

The research places "ambient particulate matter pollution" as the fourth death risk factor in China, with smoking leading the pack. Pollution like China's ranked seventh on the report's global death risk list.

Air pollution in China is a contentious issue that's also highly politicized inside the country because massive industrial growth is underpinning the rapidly growing Chinese economy. Dangerous smog is the result.

The issue is so bad that earlier this year an entrepreneur started selling cans of fresh air, and has inspired efforts like the Float Beijing pollution-sensing kite project.

[Image: Flickr user freddie boy]

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  • John Friedman

    Much as a magician distracts his audience from what they are doing with one hand by getting them to focus on the other, those who loudly and publicly remain skeptical about the impact of these pollutants on the environment at a macro-level cannot argue the well-established fact that, global warming aside, none of these are healthy things to breathe under any circumstances. And pumping them into our atmosphere is altering the chemical composition of the air we breathe (climate change) and what falls as rain (getting into and onto the food we eat and the water we drink).
    So let us not allow ourselves to fall for the misdirection by those who have a vested interest in dumping known poisons into our atmosphere at an ever increasing rate and instead focus on the fact that these emissions are a leading cause of death.
    Isn’t that enough of a reason to act?