Revisiting the Air Pollution Crisis in China – a lesson on toxicity, sociality and humanity

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  • 2018•02•05

    Fangfang Li

    Chinese’s masks

    Chinese's masks by Nicolò Lazzati (Flickr). Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0

    Fangfang Li, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Department of Anthropology, United Nations University, International Institute for Global Health

    A Toxic Smog Crisis

    In 2017, China faced a renewed smog crisis, even worse than similar situations in past years. Most of the country was affected, including southern regions previously considered ‘safe’ from air pollution (e.g., Guangzhou). Smog consists of a mixture of tiny but highly toxic particles, of which fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is the most hazardous to human health. While coal consumption can yield the energy and light that are important for everyday life, research has shown that coal is responsible for the majority of PM 2.5 emissions, which carry significant consequences for health. In China, more than one third of lives lost are attributable to PM 2.5 pollution. During days of heavy smog, hospital admissions due to respiratory emergencies, stroke, heart attack, cognitive impairment and some non-communicable diseases (NCDs) spike, affecting millions of people, particularly in densely populated urban areas.


    Read the full article which originally published at Toxic News.