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China Stories & Pictures

[HugChina] Cancer hangs over villages along Huai River

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Posted on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 08:45 AM 243918

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Cancer rates have surged in mainland China since the 1990s to become the nation's biggest killer. Environmental activists estimate that there are at least 100 cancer villages in China in which cancer rate is considerably higher than average level due to heavy pollution.

Nationwide, cancer rates have surged in mainland China since the 1990s to become the nation's biggest killer. In 2007, the disease was responsible for one in five deaths, up 80% since the start of economic reforms 30 years earlier.

The Communist Party of China that embarked three decades ago on a modernization program says its policies have lifted hundreds of millions of Chinese out of poverty. It points out that its environmental laws are among the toughest in the world. But environmental activists say the laws are only good on paper. And this is the cause that China's rivers, coastal waters and countryside are increasingly fouled by industrial pollution and that the levels of pollution in China are far outpace the West.

In 2010, investigative journalist Deng Fei, posted a widely circulated Google map showing more than 100 "cancer villages" in which cancer rate of the villagers is significant higher than average level. More recent reports suggest the number could be over 400.

 

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Posted on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 09:00 AM

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Mr. Wang Shijun is suffering from spondylitis and is paralyzed. When he was young he was the pioneer that got rich. He has paid more than 30,000 yuan for treating his disease. "Money supports when you are rich, life supports when you have no money", the villagers have got accustomed to the deteriorated environment, to cancer, and to death.

 

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Posted on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 09:00 AM

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In Mengzhai village, all four member of Mr. Wang Zicai's family died. He was once the first in this village to build a brick-tile house. Now only the empty house is left.

 

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Posted on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 09:00 AM

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43 years old Mr. Liu Wenjun suffers from throat cancer and it cost him 15,000 yuan to have sugerical treatment. His life is saved while losing speaking capability. Bad news piles up on one another: his mother was recently diagnosed to suffer from stomach cancer. Without money to send her for an operation, Liu desperately looks on the condition of his mother deteriorate rapidly.

 

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Posted on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 09:00 AM

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All the misery is caused by the polluted river, which still flows, erodes and encroaches those living along the banks.

 

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