13 Mar 2014

Heavy Metal Pollution in China

NG writes:*

In recent decades, Chinese economy has kept a high growth rate of GDP. The manufacturing industry is rapidly developing and has provided a huge contribution to GDP. However, there are still some environmental problems with the high GDP growth rate. Many factories have a low awareness of environmental hazard and want to reduce the production costs. They just let exhaust into the atmosphere and let sewage water into the rivers or the lakes. All of emissions with heavy metal are without proper treatment.

In the end, this heavy metal will deposit into soil through water, such as rivers, lakes and rain. Because of the pollution, the water cannot be drunk and the land cannot be farmed after a long time. According to the China Economic Weekly, around 10% of Chinese rice contained excessive cadmium, a heavy metal known to cause cancer. Based on this, we can see that it has already affected people’s health. In addition, it affects the sustainable development of the local economy. The cost of renovation is very high. For example, biosorption is effective and low cost, but it needs to take several decades for it to be completely clean.

Bottom Line: The heavy metal pollution in China would affect the Chinese health and hinder the development of future Chinese economy.

* These guest posts are from students in my resource economics class at Simon Fraser University. Please leave feedback on their logic, ideas and style and suggestions of how to improve.