China’s air pollution reaches dangerous levels as scientists discover a chemical reaction that turns these gases into a “toxic cocktail”

 | Tracey Watson  06/13/2018 8:57 AM MDT
Beijing
Credit: WIkipedia Commons
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(Natural News) With close to 1.4 billion inhabitants, China is the country with the single biggest population on the planet. It is also an incredibly industrialized and polluted country, and a recent study has found that the combination of pollutants being pumped into the air by factories, power plants, vehicles and apartment heating systems, is creating a “toxic cocktail” that is literally killing people.

It is not just the volume of pollutants but also their variety which is causing grave concern among experts. Chinese smog is like a toxic soup of both heavy particulates of the type that blanketed industrial cities in Europe and North America in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and the fine particulates emitted by vehicles in more recent decades.

Yale Environment 360 recently reported that this toxic cocktail is shortening the lifespans of half a billion people living in Northern China by at least five years. (Related: China’s cities filled with proverbial corpses of the rotting “bike share” industry.)

The problem with China

China’s air is known to be the most toxic in the world, as noted by Yale Environment 360:

The country emits about a third of all the human-made sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulates that are poured into the air around the world. The Global Burden of Disease Study, an international collaboration, estimates that 1.1 million Chinese die from the effects of this air pollution each year, roughly a third of the global death toll.

Northern China – which is defined as being north of the Huai river – is the area most affected by these high pollution levels, and smog is at its worst in winter when even more toxins are pumped into the air than usual through the burning of coal for heating purposes. (Related: Devastating water pollution now rampant across China.)