According to the April 2 edition of Chinese daily newspaper the 21st Century Business Herald, in the year 2010 an incredible 1.23 million people lost their lives across China due to air pollution-related illnesses. The number accounts for 15 percent of total deaths recorded in the country for 2010. The information was revealed by a study group at Tsinghua University on March 31.
Experts report pollutants such as those in the form of micro-particulate matter (particles smaller than 2.5 micro meters) enter the blood every time they are inhaled, causing damage to the respiratory system as well as cerebral and heart ailments.
Toward the end of last year through the beginning of this year, a dense haze containing toxic substances covered up to 25 percent of the Chinese mainland, affecting close to half the country’s population, or 600 million people. The number of people who developed air pollution-related diseases was 20-30 percent greater compared to previous years.
“In order to achieve sustainable development, it is necessary to firmly deal with air pollution and the health hazards posed,” stressed Guo Xinbiao, a professor of public health at the Peking University Health Science Center.