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Water and Air Pollution in Shanghai China - Article Example

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Water and air pollution are very common and have raised a lot of issues in many places and jurisdictions. They have the potential to cause irreversible damage to the environment and to human beings as well. …
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Water and Air Pollution in Shanghai China
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Download file to see previous pages Air and water pollution in Shanghai is caused mainly by industrialization and the rapid increase in population. Air pollution levels are through the roof and the water in most parts is not safe for drinking. Water and air pollution in Shanghai, China, has been of great concern to the government, environmentalists and the general public, as the effects continue to affect the environment while many people have gotten incurable diseases and some have died as a result of the two and addressing the issue can be of great importance to the environment, the population and the country.
Causes of Air and Water Pollution in Shanghai
Coal has been used in China for many centuries. Historians believe that coal in China was used as early as 1000 B.C. since then, it has been a major source of energy in China. Currently, China is the largest producer of coal producing an approximately three billion tons. China consumes more than one billion tons of coal for production of energy. In fact, about 70% of Chinese energy is from coal. Energy is produced by burning the coal. This process leads to a number of by products including smog, soot, carbonaceous gases, methane, sulfur dioxides and nitrogen oxides. These gases are the major causes of air pollution in Shanghai and around China. Coal mining and combustion around Shanghai produces about 37% of air pollution (United Nations Technical Cooperation, 12).
Coal use has also been associated with water pollution through several ways. Coal plants use large amounts of water for cooling the plant. Water is also used in these plants to remove impurities that may affect the combustion of coal. The water used has to be released at some point. The water may come into contact with the products and byproducts of coal for example methane, arsenic and particulates. At the same time, the rains may wash out some heavy metal compounds from coal. Coal is usually stored just outside the coal mines and is not covered in most cases (U.S Environmental Protection Agency 5). Whether water is released to a safe disposal place or not it has to find its way to the main water bodies in some way. It can be through run off after rains or through seepage through the rocks in the adjacent areas. Also, sulfur dioxides produced during the production of energy from coal forms a layer of cloud above the earth and leads to acid rain after precipitation landing on vegetation and water bodies. Environmentalists also believe that the particulates formed and aerosols are dispersed by wind and end up in the water bodies contaminating the water (Smil 233). Industrialization Shanghai is one of the largest industrial cities and ports in the world. There are more than 10,000 large industries in the city of varying products and services. All these industries have waste which has to be dumped off at some point. As of 1999, industrial waste in Shanghai was estimated to be at 999 million tones per year. 93% of the waste were treated by the rest remained untreated posing a possible pollutant to the environment. Domestic waste on the other hand was estimated to be 380,550 tones within the same period. The monitoring institution stated that most of the waste contained oils and dangerous chemicals which found their way into the water sources (Huizhen 3). Industrial waste and domestic waste in Shanghai has been on the increase since 1997. Many industries have been established and the existing ones have to cope with the increased demand for the various products. The industrial sector has been growing at an average of 11% per year from 1978 to 2008 in China. With Shanghai being one of the major industrial cities, the growth is expected to be around the same rate if not better. The rapid growth in the sector was attributed to by the cheap ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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