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Friday round-up highlighting the news and environmental commentary of the week 

Shock and Outrage at Changzhou ‘toxic school’ [Guardian]

China's shockingly lax hazardous chemicals industry was thrown into the spotlight this week after 500 middle school students fell sick some of which with leukemia, following their school's move to a toxic site. Concrete proof that the contamination led to the bout of illnesses hasn't yet emerged, but there's no doubt that the high levels of toxins found in the school's soil and groundwater meant it was unsafe for human habitation.

Friday sees another ‘toxic school’ case [Guardian]

Proving that Changzhou wasn't an anomaly but rather a symptom of China's appalling lack of hazardous chemicals regulation, a chemical industrial complex was ordered to shut down this week after over 20 students of a nearby primary school suddenly began to develop skin complaints and inexplicable nosebleeds.

China’s Smog Makes Journey to the West [Wall Street Journal]

China's air pollution problem is improving overall, thanks to concerted efforts to clean up its notoriously smoggy eastern coastal regions, but air quality in the central and western regions of the country is deterioating as polluting industries head west. Read more about it here.

20% of wind power generated in 2015 wasted [Reuters]

This is a major problem for China. Massive, historic amounts of clean wind power capacity have been installed. Now the challenge is to fully utilise them to shift away from coal, clean up the air and reduce carbon emissions. A big but vitally important challenge.

Pollution Turns River Red [IB Times]

Last week we heard that more than 80% of China’s shallow groundwater is polluted to the point of being ‘unfit for human use’. Last weekend’s ‘red river’ seemed to be visual proof of the appalling state of the country’s water quality, equally as bad a problem as its notorious air pollution.