China Pollution Problem

By: Haley Forret

Driving Question

How can China curb its pollution & environmental issues without limiting economic growth?

Main Issue/Problem

Pollution is the most talked about environmental issue in China without a doubt. Millions of people are breathing in hazardous chemicals everyday. All types of pollution have caused the widespread environmental health problems. An ordinary day in Beijing, China is stepping outside and making your way through sticky smog in the air. Many people have to wear masks to prevent themselves from breathing in the toxins in the air, which cause all types of health diseases and awful sicknesses such as heart disease, stroke, respiratory illnesses, birth defects, and cancer.



The pollution is so bad in some areas that it has actually lowered the life expectancy by five years. The air quality doesn't even meet the health standards, and this is really destroying their environment. Since China is the world's largest source of carbon emissions, this is where all this pollution comes from, such as factories, coal-fired power plants, many cars. The problem is that we still have to continue to manufacture all the goods we need, but we also need to stop this pollution. We need to come up with a solution to make China healthier.

Types of Pollution

There are many types of pollution in China that are greatly impacting their environment in a negative way. Air pollution isn't the only problem, but there are many other types that are affecting they way people live their lives and how they work.


Soil Contamination

This type of pollution isn't as big of a problem in China, but it still has an impact on the environment. Since China is such a fast growing society, all the building and soil movement has caused soil pollution. This pollution in the soil is believed to be a threat to the environment, food safety, and agricultural. If our soil is becoming polluted, it cause the food that grows in it to be hazardous to the people who eat it. Also China has been using polluted water to irrigate the land. It has been recorded that 19 million tons of grain are contaminated by heavy metals in the soil. Soil pollution is a pretty big problem.


Water Pollution

Water in China seems to be a big struggle as well. Not only does this country have a shortage in water, but also all their water is polluted. Because of the rapid increase in their population density and economic growth, is what really led to the shortage in water. Water pollution comes from the toxins in the air from all the factories. These toxins get into the water and pollute the small amount of water that they have. Then when people go to drink it, they also get sick as well. This water pollution has left 500 million people without safe, and clean drinking water.


Industrial Pollution

This type of pollution is the worst type out there for China, especially in Beijing. Exposure to industrial pollution is what causes so many sickness and deaths, and also premature deaths in babies. It is also what causes all the sticky smog floating in the air, and when people breath this in, it makes them very sick. It has actually be determined that industrial pollution has made cancer China's leading cause of death, and has killed thousands of citizens from air pollution alone. It also leaves many people growing up with bad asthma and respiratory problems. China is known for all the manufacturing and factories for making goods and needs, and all of the excess smoke from these factories is left in the air. A lot of industrial plants leave so much pollution in the air. The extent to this pollution is so bad that it is taking the lives of many people.

What we Need to Change

We need to come up with a way to stop all this pollution in China, while still providing the goods and needs that are being made, but that is also causing this pollution. The struggle is that we can't just stop making the things that are causing this problem, but we also need to stop this because it is taking the lives of many people. We need solutions that will help both sides, but most importantly cutting off the pollution.

Solutions/Actions Taking Place

The huge pollution problem in China isn't something that can be fixed overnight; it is going to take a long to get under control, which is why we need to start doing something now. There are many solutions that can take action in cleaning up China's air.


The main problem needs to stopped now, which is why we should stop all coal burning factories and the usage of fossil fuels. Replace these things with something that won't cause as much pollution and will keep out air cleaner, like renewable energy. Using renewable energy would be a such better benefit because we would be able to reuse this energy instead of using coal that leaves toxic chemicals in the air. Another thing that we need to do is tighten the control on what we are burning and putting into our environment, like the power plant emissions. China's government needs to be much stricter than they already are. We are killing our environment with what we are putting into it. We need to make sure that are air quality is meeting the safety and health standards.


Greenpeace, which is an environmental organization that helps keep our planet clean and green, has been taking action on this problem. They continue going into deep investigations on how to stop this pollution problem. They campaign against the main reason of this problem, which is coal and is trying to reduce the amount used and even get rid of it completely. If we can stop all coal usage, that would help China so much.


Overall the main issue to this problem is the burning of coal, industrial power plants, and factories. We can't cut out all of these things completely because we wouldn't be able to live without them. There are so many ways to continue making our goods and needs without doing it in such an unhealthy way. We can't limit our economic growth because we need these things, but we just need to alter the ways things are running now in China.