China’s air pollution kills 4,000 people per day

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According to a recent study by Berkeley Earth, 4,000 people die every day due to the air pollution in China.

The study states that “air pollution is a problem for much of the developing world and is believed to kill more people worldwide than AIDS, malaria, breast cancer, or tuberculosis.”

The World Health Organization recommends that air born pollution should remain under 25 micrograms per cubic meter; however, last weekend, levels reached 1,400 micrograms per cubic meter in Shenyang, a large city in Northeastern China. This measurement is the highest level documented after China started keeping records two years ago.

These high levels of pollution are mostly caused by vehicle exhaust, coal-fired power plants, and the burning of wood.

In Beijing, breathing in the polluted air is equivalent to smoking 40 cigarettes per day.

To cope, many Chinese citizens wear face masks; however, according to the American Lung Association, face masks do not fully protect people from the negative health impacts caused by particulate pollution, meaning that even healthy adults are at risk.

In March, the Chinese government promised to tackle the air pollution problem, but efforts have been slow. Scientists and activists are continuing to put pressure on the government to move quicker to clean up the air. 

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