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Chinese President Calls Pollution Beijing’s Biggest Challenge
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Various forms of pollution have increased as China has industrialized, which has caused widespread environmental and health problems. Chinese President Xi Jinping says preventing air pollution is the “most prominent” problem which Beijing faces, according to Bloomberg News.

According to the World Bank in 2007, 16 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are in China. In 2011, China produced 2.3 million tons of electronic waste, second largest in the world. According to the Chinese Ministry of Health, industrial pollution has made cancer China’s leading cause of death. The president of the China Medical Association, Zhong Nanshan, warned in 2012 that air pollution could become the biggest health threat. The smog has reached hazardous levels and slashed visibility. It can inflame breathing passages, decrease the lungs’ working capacity, and cause shortness of breath, pain when inhaling deeply, wheezing, and coughing.

  
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“Being in Shanghai, the best thing I can say is thank God I’m not in Beijing,” reported Shanghai-based vice president, J. Paul Beddie, at a management consulting firm. “Fifteen to twenty years from now you’ll probably see a spike in various diseases and health care issues you’ll tie back to this period in Chinese development. All great economies have gone through it.”

The state-run China National Radio reported that the smog has prompted a rush by consumers to buy face masks and air purifiers. Smog is a type of air pollution. The word “smog” was made in the early 20th century as a portmanteau of the words smoke and fog to refer to smoky fog.

Chinese environmental experts in 2005 issued another report, estimating that annual premature deaths attributable to outdoor air pollution were likely to reach 380,000 in 2010 and 550,000 by 2020. The atmospheric pollution levels of Los Angeles, Mexico City and other cities are increased by inversion that traps pollution close to the ground. It is usually highly toxic to humans and can cause severe sickness, shortened life or death.

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