China's mainland home to 247 'cancer villages'

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, February 25, 2013
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China has more than 247 "cancer villages" throughout the mainland, according to a map that is being widely circulated on the Internet.

A map of "cancer village" in China's mainland. [File photo] 

The map caught the public's attention after the Ministry of Environmental Protection admitted earlier this month the existence of such villages and said pollution was to blame for high cancer rates among their residents.

The map was said to have been drawn up by a Chinese university student after research into data and media reports.

Although such villages are found in around 27 regions, many of them are located in central Henan and eastern Jiangsu provinces.

The number of such villages is a sharp increase compared to another widely circulated map published by social activist Deng Fei several years ago.

Deng identified just over 100 "cancer villages."

In Yangqiao Village of Yancheng City in Jiangsu, more than 20 villagers have been reported as dying of cancer, mainly from lung and esophageal cancers, from 2001 to 2004.

The pollution in the air was so bad, it was reported, that villagers had to cover their mouths and noses with wet towels when sleeping.

In Dongjin Village in the same city, nearly 100 villagers were said to have died of cancer from 2001 to 2006 as the result of pollution caused by a chemical company. The firm offered 70 yuan (US$11) to each villager as "subsidy" after it was sued by victims, China Business Journal reported.

In a village in Henan, a total of 79 villagers died of cancer in four years after a growing number of paper manufacturing factories discharged industrial waste into river, turning it as black as ink.

The environmental ministry has published a plan to prevent and control risks brought by chemicals to the environment.

The ministry said China was still producing and using toxic chemicals which were banned in some developed countries because of their threat to human health and the environment.


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