Friday, February 3, 2012

Cadmium causing huge pollution in Chinese river

Over the last couple of decades China has become one of the symbols for excessive pollution and Chinese are certainly doing their part in prolonging their notoriously poor environmental record with the latest proof coming in form of 20 tons of discharged cadmium poisoning China's Longjiang River.

The authorities still do not know the exact source and the time of the discharge that could poison close to 4 million people that live in the city of Liuzhou.

One of the main downstreams of Longjiang River is Liujiang River that provides drinking water for the 3.7 million residents of the city of Liuzhou.

The city authorities still say that drinking water in Liuzhou is safe for drinking despite having cadmium levels 80 times higher than what is described as the safe limit.

The authorities are trying to tackle cadmium pollution by dumping hundreds of tons of aluminum chloride into the Longjiang River in an effort to dissolve the cadmium but so far less than half of discharged cadmium has been dissolved and neutralized.

Cadmium is a toxic metal heavily used in batteries. Exposure to cadmium can cause adverse health effects by damaging kidneys, and can also cause diarrhea, stomach pains and severe vomiting, reproduction issues and even cancer.

This is just another example of how difficult is for Beijing to improve environmental condition throughout the country with many local authorities choosing to sacrifice environment by giving pollution industries a helping hand in order to boost its economic development.

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