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Wed Jul 31, 2013, 01:15 PM

The dubious distinction of China’s newest cancer village: its residents were poisoned by soil

For decades, China’s economic development model emphasized cheap industrial growth at all costs. Those costs are now becoming apparent, at least in terms of the human toll from water and air pollution. But the consequences of soil pollution, which the government deems a “state secret,” have been less clear.

That’s finally starting to change. A news report out today signals just how lethal soil contamination is likely to turn out to be. In the last four years, at least 26 people in Shuangqiao, a village in Hunan province (link in Chinese), have been poisoned to death by cadmium run-off from a chemical plant. Of those, 20 died of cancer.

Soil samples from the village showed levels of cadmium, a heavy metal that has been shown to cause cancer in animals (pdf), at 300 times the legal standard. Health officials found that one-sixth of the 3,000 villagers tested positive for cadmium toxicity. The China Youth Daily account reported that, in addition to the high mortality rate, children were also born with deformities, as well as having irreversible effects of lead poisoning among five children, including nerve damage and mental retardation. Though the plant was shuttered in 2009, industrial waste was never cleaned up, and a toxic odor lingers still today, says the South China Morning Post (paywall).

This comes on the heels of Guangdong Province’s unexpected public announcement that 28% of the soil in southern China’s Pearl River Delta (link in Chinese) exceeded limits on heavy metal pollution. That report also revealed that 50% of Guangzhou’s and Foshan’s soil was excessively contaminated. Perhaps other provinces will be inspired by Guangdong’s lead.

more

http://qz.com/110264/the-dubious-distinction-of-chinas-newest-cancer-village-its-residents-were-poisoned-by-soil/

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Reply The dubious distinction of China’s newest cancer village: its residents were poisoned by soil (Original post)
n2doc Jul 2013 OP
think Jul 2013 #1
phantom power Jul 2013 #2
pscot Jul 2013 #3
stuntcat Jul 2013 #4

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Wed Jul 31, 2013, 01:19 PM

1. Govt state secrets.....

 

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Wed Jul 31, 2013, 01:31 PM

2. I can never shake the feeling that for every China pollution horror story we get wind of...

there's a hundred more that are untold. Or a thousand.

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Response to phantom power (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 31, 2013, 01:42 PM

3. Indeed

You have to wonder if they aren't headed toward a tipping point where toxicity simply overwhelms public health.

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Response to phantom power (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 31, 2013, 07:12 PM

4. I think your feeling is right

I'm afraid this applies to energy companies everywhere in the world.. "little" things going wrong every single day that aren't reported, especially if they're happening underground, or back in the mountains, or out past the lovely beaches and cruise ship lanes

But especially in China there is no question about it.
I was horrified by that other thread here today, about the dams they're building. I mean I know, dams are everywhere, have been for many years. But I wish we'd STOP making them, especially the super-big ones. They just wreck the whole ecosystem around them.
But I'm trying to learn not to bother myself with that kind of news anymore. This century sure would be very hard to live through if I wasted my mind caring for useless crap like bugs and fish and squiggly frogs! So SCREW them, who needs em!?

blah blah blah. sorry...

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