Cancer village inhabitant

In 2010 Chinese journalist Deng Fei published a Google Map that highlighted some of the country's many 'cancer villages' - a name bestowed to hot-spots of unusually high numbers of cancer victims. Such villages are often blighted with pollution, which has had significant impacts on the farming and fishing livelihoods of the inhabitants. These cancer victims are not only battling life-threatening illnesses, they're often doing so in impoverished conditions.

Last month the Chinese government acknowledged for the first time the existence of these 'cancer villages' and will blacklist 58 chemicals and have an elimination chemical list by 2015.  

Over the years Greenpeace campaigners have travelled across the country with some of China's top photographers and documented these tragic stories from the country's 'cancer villages':

1. A tragic Henan love story

2. Pollution, sickness and death in a village of Henan

3. The floating cancer village: Jiangsu

4. The dying victims of China's industrial water pollution


Image: Impoverished Gao Wanshun, whose wife died of cancer, is a villager of Zhangyuzhuang along the polluted Hong River in Xiping County. © Greenpeace / Lu Guang