China pollution linked to deaths


Air pollution is killing an average of 4,000 people a day in China, according to researchers who cited coal-burning as the likely principal cause.

Deaths related to the main pollutant, tiny particles known as PM2.5s that can trigger heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and asthma, total 1.6 million a year, or 17 percent of China’s mortality level, according to the study by Berkeley Earth, an independent research group.

Richard Muller, scientific director of Berkeley Earth, said: “When I was last in Beijing, pollution was at the hazardous level: Every hour of exposure reduced my life expectancy by 20 minutes. It’s as if every man, woman and child smoked 1.5 cigarettes each hour.”

Chinese authorities have acknowledged the air pollution situation and have adopted air quality standards, introduced monitoring stations and cleaner standards for transportation fuel while shutting coal plants and moving factories out of cities