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The 10 most polluted cities in China

Last Updated on 2022/04/22

The most polluted cities in China

Various forms of pollution have increased as China has industrialized, which has caused widespread environmental and health problems.

Nearly 90 percent of Chinese big cities failed to meet minimum air quality standards in 2014. The government said that only 8 of the 74 cities monitored managed to meet national standards in the same year, measuring particles found in the air, carbon monoxide, and ozone. Until recently the governmental air quality index did not include ozone and PM2.5, despite these being the most dangerous to human health. The numbers are still an improvement on 2013 when China’s “war on pollution” began to take effect. In 2013, only Haikou, Lhasa, and Zhoushan met the standards. In 2014 Shenzhen, Huizhou, Fuzhou, Kunming, and Zhuhai joined this exclusive club. The government said the average PM2.5 reading in the Beijing-Hebei-Tianjin region stood at 93 micrograms per cubic meter last year. Hebei is the top priority when it comes to cutting smog, the province has 7 of the 10 most polluted Chinese cities. Why Hebei is the most polluted province in China? Because the presence of coal in the region encouraged the most polluting industries to settle there from the early years of the People’s Republic of China. China has made some improvements in environmental protection in recent years.

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Soil contamination

Soil contamination is a threat to the environment, food safety, and sustainable agriculture. At least 38,610 square miles of cultivated land have been widely polluted. Contaminated water is used to irrigate further 31.5 million miles. 2 million miles have been destroyed or covered by solid waste. In total, the area accounts for an o1/10 of Chinese cultivatable land. Almost 20 million tonnes of grain are contaminated by heavy metals every year.

Waste and Electronic waste

In 2012 the waste generation in China was 300 million tons. Electronic waste in China is a serious environmental issue. In 2013, China itself produced 2.3 million tonnes of electronic waste. 70% of global e-waste ends up in China. For this reason, the country has to deal with the environmental damage and health problems. And the amount is expected to increase as the Chinese economy grows. Guiyu in Guangdong Province is the location of the largest electronic waste site on earth.

Lead poisoning or other types of local pollution continue to kill many Chinese children

Industrial pollution

According to the Chinese Ministry of Health, industrial pollution has made cancer China’s leading cause of death, killing every year hundreds of thousands of citizens. 500 million people are without clean drinking water.

Air pollution

Particulate matter (PM) generated by coal combustion poses a threat to Chinese public health. Currently, Beijing is suffering from PM2.5, which is a particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers. Those fine particles can cause severe diseases, such as lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma, bronchitis, and acute chronic respiratory symptoms. Coal is the main source of air pollution in China. More than 6 million tons of coal are burned every day.

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10 Tianjin

Tianjin is the fourth largest city in China. Air pollution levels in Tianjin can be a serious public health concern, both in the short and long term. In 2015, alarming levels of sodium cyanide have been found at Tianjin wastewater monitoring stations after the deadly huge explosions that killed over 170 people. At least 700 tons of highly toxic sodium cyanide were stored at the site – 70 times the legal limit.


9 Zhengzhou, Henan

Air pollution in Zhengzhou is considered very high. Drinking water pollution is also a serious problem. In 2014, a travel agency of Laojun Mountain Natural Reserve revealed a series of pictures featuring Chinese citizens inhaling fresh mountain air from sealed bags.


8 Langfang, Hebei

Langfang is located approximately midway between Beijing and Tianjin. Langfang’s economy is based on technology and manufacturing and is one of the dirtiest cities among 74 mainland municipalities monitored by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection.


7 Jinan, Shandong

Jinan is the first non-Hebei city in the list and suffers from chronic air pollution.


6 Hengshui, Hebei

Hengshui, located in southern Hebei, is a developed industrial city with more than 4 million inhabitants. Besides air pollution, the city has been suffering from serious water pollution and water shortages.


5 Handan, Hebei

Handan, the birthplace of Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of China, is one of China’s 10 most polluted and now is turning into a ghost town. Since steel mills are one of the causes of pollution in the country, provincial authorities promised to cut capacity in steelmaking and cement manufacturing by 60 million metric tons each by the end of 2017, while reducing coal consumption by 40 million tons.


4 Tangshan, Hebei

Tangshan, an important heavy industrial city with 7 million inhabitants, has some of the worst air quality in China. It’s easy to understand why: the city is a major production center for machinery, steel, motor vehicles, chemicals, textiles, glass, petroleum products, and cement.


3 Shijiazhuang, Hebei

Shijiazhuang is the provincial capital of the most polluted province in China: Hebei. Shijiazhuang is at the center of the province and it’s a busy industrial and transportation hub, a center for steel and chemical production. Smog levels regularly top levels considered hazardous by the World Health Organization (WHO).


2 Xingtai, Hebei

In 2013, in Xingtai, the average level was 155 micrograms of fine pollutants per cubic meter, with a one-day peak at 688. The reading is very often above 300 micrograms of fine pollutants per cubic meter of air. On such days, outside activities in school are banned.


1 Baoding, Hebei

In February 2015, Baoding, a city of 10 million people, was given the unwanted title of having the worst air quality in the country. In 2010, Baoding was named as a pilot of China’s new project to introduce low-carbon zones, becoming a hub for renewable energy companies. Baoding’s pollution comes from coal-fired steam boiler systems used in the provincial villages close to the city.


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Topic: polluted cities in china,polluted cities in the world,soil contamination China,air pollution China,polluted air cities,china pollution facts,china pollution statistics,china pollution problems,china pollution and health,china pollution and economic growth,chinese pollution images

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1 thought on “The 10 most polluted cities in China”

  1. In the 1990″s I was in the city of Shenyang north of Beijing. As we landed at the airport there was a pall of smog over the entire city – it was so thick that it was impossible to see the city (of several millions) . It was winter, the temperature was well below the freezing point. As I was being driven from my hotel to the plant I was visiting for business we passed through the city. People were walking around wearing masks over their mouths. As we drove through the streets I noticed piles of coal outside every house – I was told this was for cooking and for heating – there is no natural gas, no electricity beyond what can be used for lighting. Shenyang is not an isolated case – hundreds of other Chinese cities are the same. These people have no other options. The world doesn’t have a climate change problem – we have a population problem!


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