Study: Air Pollution In China Kills 4000 People a Day

220px-Factory_in_ChinaWhile China is blocking documentaries on pollution and arresting environmentalists, thousands of Chinese are dying each day due to the suffocating pollution levels in the country. A new study has found that an average of 4,000 people a day in China from air pollution — largely due to coal-burning as a fuel.

Berkeley Earth has also found that tiny particles known as PM2.5 that can trigger heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and asthma, account for a total of 1.6 million deaths a year, or 17 per cent of China’s mortality level. That figure is staggering. Almost twenty percent of China’s mortality rate is due to air pollution.

We have previously discussed how deaths from air pollution are often treated as abstractions while a fraction of those deaths in some other form like accidents would be viewed as a national emergency. China’s figures however are truly frightening.

Scientific director of Berkeley Earth and a co-author of the paper Richard Muller noted that “[w]hen I was last in Beijing, pollution was at the hazardous level: Every hour of exposure reduced my life expectancy by 20 minutes . . . It’s as if every man, woman and child smoked 1.5 cigarettes each hour.”

Muller and co-author Robert Rohde found that 92 per cent of China’s population experienced at least 120 hours of unhealthy air during the April 5 to Aug 5 study period. For 38 per cent of the population, the average pollution level across the whole four-month period was deemed unhealthy.

38 thoughts on “Study: Air Pollution In China Kills 4000 People a Day”

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  2. 4k per day …. remember that next time you cruiz around in your nikes or michelens….and don’t smell glue. Maybe the chicoms know what happened to jack wheeler?

  3. According to World Resources Institute

    This list is measured from 1850, the start of the Industrial Revolution, to 2012, and it’s based on data synthesized by the World Resources Institute.

    1. United States
    2. China
    3. Russia
    4. Germany
    5. United Kingdom
    6. Japan
    7. India
    8. France
    9. Canada
    10. Ukraine

    For context, here’s a list of the top climate polluters today. They create about 70% of all current greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, according to the World Resources Institute.

    1. China
    2. United States
    3. European Union
    4. India
    5. Russia
    6. Indonesia
    7. Brazil
    8. Japan
    9. Canada
    10. Mexico

  4. China may be number one in the pollution game…
    … But when your Nation (America) is number two, laughing matters, not!

    It’s like being the second worse at something… like that’s a bragging point?

    1. “China may be number one in the pollution game…”

      I wonder how they rate per capita?

      Given enough population anyone could be number one. Pollution per capita is also an important guide to who is doing the most damage.

      An uncomfortable truth may be that the world cannot support 7 to 9 billion people at the level of US/Western European life style.

      Imagine the recycling problem when everyone in China and India lives in a suburban ranch miles from work and shopping and drives to buy their groceries in throw-away microwavable containers?

  5. China should be held to the same rules and regulations our manufacturing base has here. Pollution is a GLOBAL problem, with China being the #1 producer of pollution. They need to be reigned in. India is not far behind. The UN should adopt US manufacturing rules and regulations to combat global pollution. The UN should also adopt OSHA rules and regulations. This would also put the global economy on *more* equal footing, and we all know how much we value equality.

  6. PS the pollution studied is generated solely via internal combustion engine emissions and does not include the brake pad particulate emissions created by friction when drivers slow/stop their vehicles or the tire particulate emissions created again by friction between the road surface and tire tread. Both brake/tire particulate are highly carcinogenic and can be found along any road surface.

    Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2015; 22: 2491–2504.
    Published online 2014 Oct 17. doi: 10.1007/s11356-014-3696-8
    PMCID: PMC4315878

    Brake wear particle emissions: a review

    Theodoros Grigoratos corresponding author and Giorgio Martini

    Brake wear contains particles from all fractions involved in the respiratory function. Additionally, some constituents of airborne brake wear particles have been recognized as dangerous or potentially dangerous for the human health. However, there are no comprehensive studies linking brake wear particles with adverse effects on human health, while it is difficult to extrapolate animal and in vitro studies to humans.

  7. My goodness, you certainly like to beat up on our Asian cousins.

    Air pollution is responsible for roughly 200,000 premature deaths in the US and just under 7,000,000 premature deaths world wide each year.

    Study: Air pollution causes 200,000 early deaths each year in the U.S.

    New MIT study finds vehicle emissions are the biggest contributor to these premature deaths.

    Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office
    August 29, 2013

    The group tracked ground-level emissions from sources such as industrial smokestacks, vehicle tailpipes, marine and rail operations, and commercial and residential heating throughout the United States, and found that such air pollution causes about 200,000 early deaths each year. Emissions from road transportation are the most significant contributor, causing 53,000 premature deaths, followed closely by power generation, with 52,000.

    7 million premature deaths annually linked to air pollution

    25 March 2014 | Geneva – In new estimates released today, WHO reports that in 2012 around 7 million people died – one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. Reducing air pollution could save millions of lives.

    Air pollution is not just a Chinese phenomenon but rather a global phenomena that potentially affects all life on Earth.

  8. There is a very old book in the library entitled Three Spots On The Wall. It was written by a guy from Hong Kong named Hu Flung Fu. He predicted that the country would soar in industrial development and that communism would be pushed aside by capitalism. Fu was wrong in one respect. Capitalism has risen up but communists are in control of it. Trump would not like to do business there. The death rate from air pollution is perhaps a good thing. They have too many people. Too many cooks spoil the broth.

  9. Those who smoke tobacco are either: suicidal or in denial. Many who are suicidal are also in denial. They deny that want to kill themselves right up to the moment that they jump off the bridge or pull the trigger. Guns are quicker than tobacco and cost less in medical bills. Overall, the medical profession likes it that there are so many dumb smokers out there.
    China on the other hand is getting into the promotion of solar power and wind power. We need to go in that direction. Erect solar towers. Build a wall at the border and put solar panels on top. Elect those who ill erect. Trump says that erection is good. He said so to Megyn when off air. He was speaking about solar panels and she took it wrong. Gorbachov should never had taken down that wall in Berlin. It could be used to keep Muslims out. Or in. We need Trump.

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