Friday, January 17, 2014

257,000 Premature Deaths Annually due to the Air Pollution from the Coal-Fired Power Plants in China

Air pollution from coal power plants has gotten so bad in China that it often ranks as the #1 cause of social unrest.

Link to the article on Treehugger.

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that "life expectancy for those living in the north [of China] was about 5.5 years shorter — an effect due entirely to differences in cardio-respiratory problems, which is exactly what you’d expect if pollution was the cause." But that's just a relative measure; the life of those that aren't in the most polluted areas is also no doubt negatively affected...

Each bubble stands for a coal plant, of which China has more than 2,300 in operation.

The size of the bubble relates to the health impacts that - the analysis suggests - could be caused by illnesses brought on by the chemicals and particles emitted as a result of coal combustion in 2011.

Zoom in to see the locations of the individual plants and click on a bubble to get information on the tonnes per annum of SO2, NOx and PM2.5 emitted.

Each bubble is semi-transparent and the darker areas are where the bubbles have layered up because there is another plant – or several – nearby. The map shows the regional concentration of health impacts (indicated by premature deaths) from coal plant emissions.

Global Burden of Disease Assessments 2010

According to a breakdown of the figures, the most severe health risks caused by coal power plants are in: Henan province, with an estimated 31,400 premature deaths; Shandong province with 29,800 premature deaths; Inner Mongolia with 27,400 premature deaths; Shanxi province with 26,100 premature deaths; and Jiangsu province with 24,200 premature deaths. (source)

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