China’s Toxic Air Pollution

25 Feb

China’s extreme air pollution is a popular topic under scrutiny, however a recent report by Kaiman (2014) highlights a number of sobering impacts the high levels of pollution are having upon affected the Chinese people, economy and food supply.

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Impacts on Food Supply

Research by Chinese scientists has posed the notion that the current toxic air pollution is comparable to a nuclear winter, in that it is seriously affecting plants and potentially jeopardising food supply. Professor H.Dongxian of China’s Agricultural University’s College of Water Resources and Civil Engineering has proposed that air pollutants cut the light that plants depend on for ‘life-sustaining’ photosynthesis. She offered further warning that if the conditions continue, agricultural production could be severely impacted.

Impacts on Personal Health

February 2014 saw the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences put forward a report claiming Beijing’s pollution rendered the city almost ‘uninhabitable for human beings’. This is supported by The World Health recommending a safe level of PM 2.5 particles (particles capable of entering the bloodstream) of 25 micrograms per cubic metre. Beijing’s current concentration is 505. Despite attempts to reduce risk with masks and air purifiers, many Chinese people are still at risk.

Impacts on the Chinese Economy

Air pollution is impacting flights, closing highways, and demoting tourism; of which all function as a component aggregate demand and therefore could have potential ramifications on the Chinese economy.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/25/china-toxic-air-pollution-nuclear-winter-scientists

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