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Air Pollution in China

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Air pollution refers to a position of the Earth’s atmosphere when harmful or excessive quantities of substances including biological molecules, particulates, and gases are released. As the Chinese economy gained pace, it had a parallel growth for energy consumption as well. This energy consumption was heavily relied upon coal; and as the population increased, the vehicle growth placed a heavy burden on urban atmosphere in China alarming for a major environmental issue (Kabin he, 2002).

Environmental and Socio-environmental ImpactAs coal remained the major source of energy, constituting 75% of the energy sources, China’s atmosphere dominantly contained coal smoke, with high ratios of suspended particulate matter (PM) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). This caused a major concern for outdoor public health. The World Bank estimated the total health cost tied up to this situation to be 520 billion Chinese yuan, accounting to 3. 3% of China’s total GDP. This condition worsened in the urban cities due to industrialization. In 2004, annual average concentration for PM10 in urban cities were 140 micrograms per cubic of air (compared to 70-75 being the average). This unfit air caused multiple health hazards such as- changes in respiratory, lung function, immune function, and other clinical symptoms (Haidong Kan, 2009).

According to a research by CUHK, air pollution caused 1. 1 million premature deaths in China along with destroying about 20 million tonnes of wheat, soybean, rice, and maize (Kao, 2018). SolutionCurrently, the above situation of China is improving and potential changes in technology in the future can bring significant improvements in the air quality, resulting in a better public health condition. These improvements will take place as the country is shifting from business-as-usual (BAU) to advance coal gasification technologies (ACGT). This will essentially reduce coal emissions in the air, resulting in a better air quality (Xiaoping Wang, 2006).

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