08/27/2007, 00.00
CHINA
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Polluted rivers, health risk for over a sixth of the population

The warning was carried by the China Daily, which reports “enormous volumes” of polluted material dumped on a daily basis into the country’s major waterway. The government’s appeals prove useless as the situation continues to deteriorate.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The pollution of the nation’s rivers is putting the health of over 216 million Chinese at risk, a sixth of the total population, forced to drink water polluted by the waste of the national industries.  The warning was carried by the government newspaper China Daily, which underlines how the central governments commitment to limiting the problem is on the increase.

 

According to a government inquiry, pollution is hitting the two major Chinese rivers (the Huai and the Yangtze) as well as all of their tributaries.  Control points stretched along the waterways reveal a level of pollution equal to 5 (on a scale of 7) or worse: in many cases, the liquid is so polluted that physical contact is advised against.

 

According to Mao Rubai, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) environment and resources protection committee, the volume of waste pumped into China’s rivers is “enormous”.  This “situation is directly related to the fact that water pollution standards for some of our country's industries are too low, the volume of toxins far exceeds the capacity of the river basin to replenish itself and will inevitably create pollution”.

 

Either way quite often, the controls and limits imposed by the government are totally ignored by the industries. The South China Morning Post, in Hong Kong, cites a san example Jinyuan chemical company, on the banks of the Han River. Operating since the ‘70’s it has collected numerous official complaints from local authorities, which has frequently ordered the cessation of all production and the application of government standards for waste treatment.  And yet, local residents denounce that the company has never stopped production, not even for one day.

 

 

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