The first ever national survey of pollution in China shows a nation that has paid for its economic growth in environmental pollution.
Measuring nearly six million sources of pollution in China, experts say that in 2007 alone the nation dumped 30.3 million metric tons of pollutants into its water. Doubling official government figures, these measurements included for the first time chemical wastes from agricultural fertilizers and pesticides, which many environmentalists say farmers in China systematically overuse.
In fact, one of the surprises was the amount of pollution stemming from agriculture, including accounting for 243 million tons of livestock feces and 163 million tons of livestock urine. According to the report 43 percent of the nation’s chemical oxygen demand (COD)—a standard way to measure water pollution—comes from agricultural practices.
Before this, the Agriculture Ministry has successfully barred China from releasing figures on agricultural pollution.
The discharge of industrial solid waste was 49 million metric tons in 2007, over three times original government reports. In the same year 23.2 million tons of sulfur dioxide, nearly 18 million tons of nitrogen oxides, and 11 million tons of soot were emitted into the air.
China has estimated that its waterways have the natural capacity to safely absorb 7 million metric tons of pollutants every year.
China is currently the world’s top emitter in greenhouse gases, only recently supplanting the United States.
Iceland leads world on environmental issues, but China, US, and Canada plummet
(01/27/2010) Evaluating 163 nations on their environmental performance, the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) has named Iceland the most environmental nation. Released every two years, the EPI also found that the world’s two largest super-powers—China and the US—have both fallen behind on confronting environmental challenges.
Protest in China against sludge incinerator
(01/27/2010) Approximately 400 hundred citizens protested the proposal to build a sludge incinerator in Southern China in Foshan, according to the Guangzhou Daily and Reuters.
China’s Pearl River suffers from “almost impossible to remove” pollution
(10/29/2009) A new study by Greenpeace has found high volumes of heavy metals and organic chemicals in China’s Pearl River, which provides drinking water for 47 million people.