The health impacts of coal power plants located in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei

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Publication - 2013-07-16
Beijing and the Jingjinji region have a major air pollution problem that reached emergency proportions in winter 2012-2013. One of the key contributors to the problem is the very large amount of coal burning in the region, and power generation is the region’s biggest coal-burning sector. Greenpeace commissioned U.S. air pollution modeling expert Dr. H. Andrew Gray to assess the contribution for coal-fired power plants to the PM2.5 pollution in China.

Beijing and the Jingjinji region have a major air pollution problem that reached emergency proportions in winter 2012-2013. One of the key contributors to the problem is the very large amount of coal burning in the region, and power generation is the region’s biggest coal-burning sector.

Greenpeace commissioned U.S. air pollution modeling expert Dr. H. Andrew Gray to assess the contribution for coal-fired power plants to the PM2.5 pollution in China. The modeling covers over 2,000 power plants, of which 200 are located in Jingjinji. Due to the ongoing debate about regional air pollution control, the results for the Jingjinji region are being released in advance of the final report.

The concerns about PM2.5 contributing to China’s high lung cancer rates were highlighted by Greenpeace sampling and laboratory work over last winter, finding that the PM2.5 pollution contained harmful amounts of cancer-causing arsenic, lead, cadmium, nickel and other toxic heavy metals. Arsenic levels exceeded national standards. WHO estimates that 20% of lung cancer in China is linked to PM2.5 pollution.

The power sector consumes over one third of all coal in the Jingjinji region, and is responsible for over one third of industrial SO2 and NOx emissions. However, if all coal-burning sectors were included in the impact estimates, the results would be even larger: about 32% of coal consumption in Hebei is for power generation. This further emphasizes the need for regional level action.

Download more information about the report's background and methodology, then the full report below:

The Research:The health impact from coal power plants in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei

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(Unregistered) Dougly says:

So now that the Gov't has put "controls" in place to lower coal use in Beijing who is going to monitor this and what are the penalties for breaking the law? A fine? The only thing that will work is a complete shutdown of the business that breaks the rule. Don't they understand this is slow and willing "murder"of their citizens and their own families? I guess not...

Posted 2013-10-20 at 12:24 Flag abuse Reply

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