Monday, January 27, 2014

Greenpeace Releases Map Showing Impact of Coal on Health in China

Greenpeace recently released an interactive map demonstrating the impact of coal plant emissions in China. Harmful coal emissions may have contributed to about 257,000 premature deaths according to the analysis. Air pollution levels were so high that school children were required to stay indoors and miss school in late 2013. Research by organizations such as the World Health Organization suggest air pollution can have detrimental effects on citizens, leading to diseases such as lung cancer and aggravating those with asthma. These toxic emissions can even severely impact one's cardiovascular health and lead to premature death.

Greenpeace mapped estimated coal emissions in China below. Users can zoom in and out and observe the massive impact of these coal plants on China. Each red bubble is a coal plant, and the size of the bubble corresponds to the severity of the health impact it poses.

This interactive map allows users to zoom in on particular regions and cities and even click on individual bubbles to obtain more information on the gases emitted from the plants. Darker bubbles indicate multiple coal plants.

Greenpeace reports: "According to a breakdown of the figures, the most severe health risks caused by coal power plants are in: Henan province, with an estimated 31,400 premature deaths; Shandong province with 29,800 premature deaths; Inner Mongolia with 27,400 premature deaths; Shanxi province with 26,100 premature deaths; and Jiangsu province with 24,200 premature deaths."

According to Treehugger, China is predicted to become a world leader in solar energy and decrease its oil and coal consumption throughout the next decade. Last September, China released its Airborne Pollution Action Plan, planning to decrease air pollution nationwide.

For more information, check out Greenpeace's article here.