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China birth defects rise steeply

Posted by feww on February 2, 2009

China’s rapid development comes at an unaffordable cost

The number of birth defects in China rose by at least 40 % since 2001

Chinese media quoting a senior family planning official report that the number of birth defects in China is increasing rapidly.

China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission official, Jiang Fan, stated that environmental pollution was a cause of the increase.

“The number of newborns with birth defects is constantly increasing in both urban and rural areas,” Mr Jiang said to China Daily newspaper.


Benxi: Pollution from steel mills blows over residential buildings [July, 2007.] Photo:
Gilles Sabrie/Corbis. Image may be subject to copyright.

According to the report:

  • The coal-mining Shanxi province recorded the largest number of birth defects.
  • A 2007 commission report covering the five-year period from 2001 to 2006 recorded a 40% rise in the rate of defects from about 105 per 10,000 births to 146.
  • A child is born with physical defects every 30 seconds because of the environmental pollution. [See NOTE below.]

Researchers believe emissions from Shanxi’s massive coal and chemical industry, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulates, is responsible for the problems. Mr Jiang said a child was born with physical defects every 30 seconds because of the degrading environment.

“The problem of birth defects is related to environmental pollution, especially in eight main coal zones,” said An Huanxiao, the director of Shanxi family planning office.

[NOTE: Estimated Population of China in 2008 was 1,330,044,544; birthrate 13.71 per 1,000 population, according to CIA World Factbook. If the true defect rate for China is about 146 per 10,000 births, then a child is born with physical defects every two minutes not every 30 seconds, though that’s hardly any relief.]

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2 Responses to “China birth defects rise steeply”

  1. […] The number of birth defects in China rose by at least 40 % since 2001 […]

  2. feww said

    See UPDATES:

    https://feww.wordpress.com/2009/06/20/china-crumbles/
    and
    https://feww.wordpress.com/2009/06/20/china-crumbles/#comments

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