Pollutionin the Chinese megacities: Beijing City
Pollutionis so rampant in China to an extent that over 80 % of the cities failto meet the national standards in terms of the quality of air, water,and other measures (Neill 1). Out of these cities, Beijing is amongthe most polluted megacities in Asia, which can be attributed to theestablishment of heavy industries within the city. For example, airpollution concentration in Beijing is estimated to be PM 2.5 comparedto the national standard of 35 micrograms (Tan 2). The high rate ofair pollution has been caused by over-concentrations of carbon oxidesand nitrogen oxides that are emitted by different factories.
Apartfrom air pollution, which is the most troubling type of pollution inthe city of Beijing, there are other types of pollution that hascontinued to endanger the lives of more than 21 million residents.For example, over 60 % of the group water in the city is currentlyunsuitable for human use or even getting into contact with sincefactories operating in the city have been discharging harmful wasteproducts (such as lead and mercury) into the nearby water bodies(Hong 1). Acid rain is also a common phenomenon in Beijing, whichharms plants and human skin. In addition, more than 19 % of thearable soil has been polluted whereby close to 80 % of the soil hasbeen polluted by inorganic toxins (such as arsenic, cadmium, andarsenic) that have been released by local industries (Song 2). Thesewaste products have not only destroyed the farmlands, but alsoincreased a health risk since even getting into contact with the soilcan cause diseases, such as the skin cancer.
Noisepollution is also a major challenge that affects people living inBeijing city. Noise is currently ranked the second largest source ofcomplaints from residents of Beijing after air pollution (Hairong 1).The Environmental Protection Bureau of Beijing found out that noisepollution has reached 76.1 decibels during the night and about 75.3decibels in daytime (Hairong 1). The major sources of noise includethe motor vehicles, factories, and people, especially in overcrowdedstreets. All these types of pollution have negative impacts on humanlife, which include negative health effects (such as low birthweight, cancers, and respiratory diseases), an increase in the costof living, and an overall reduction in the quality of life.
Rapidpollution in Beijing can be attributed to four factors. First, arapid rate of industrialization was a shock to the city that had notadopted adequate measures to handle bulks of waste products.Secondly, the city lacks effective environmental protection policiesand enforcement mechanisms, which results in the irresponsibledisposal of waste products (Parsons 1). Third, Beijing investor hasbeen using fuel inefficient technologies that produce a lot of waste.Lastly, an increase in the population coupled with a change inlifestyle whereby many Chinese now wish to live in cities and lead aluxurious life (such as owning a car) have contributed towards thecity’s pollution.
Chinahas been copying and competing with the western countries in terms ofeconomic development, especially industrialization. However, theprocess of industrializing Chinese cities (such as Beijing) hascaused serious negative effects, including pollution. The high rateof Beijing’s pollutions has endangered human health, plants, andother living things found in the city. Although the use of Westernmodels to expand Beijing’s economy has increased employment andenhanced the city’s economic growth, it has come with an equalshare of problems, such as pollution.
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Tan,M. bad to worse: Ranking 74 Chinese cities by air pollution.Greenpeace.19 December. 2014. Web. 24 October 2015.