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  • Living in a haze: China's pollution woes


The coal power stations of China's central Shanxi province provide energy for much of the rest of the country. Yet this comes at a significant cost to the region's people.

The inhabitants of the village of Gezhuotou are surrounded by power stations, coal mines and factories. The pollution and its accompanying health risks are a fact of life for these people, reports James Reynolds for the BBC.

With little wind, the pollution sits in the air — by afternoon, a haze reduces visibility to the extent that cars turn on their headlights.

More people are developing respiratory diseases; some suffer paralysing lung disease and many have swollen faces and red eyes.

The region's problems illustrate the impact of China's escalating energy needs. Across the country, pollution-related illnesses claim around 400,000 lives a year.

And while the government is trying to promote alternative energy sources, the coal burning must continue to fuel China's breakneck development.

Link to the full article on BBC Online

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