February 1, 2023

The cost of Industrialization in China: Cancer Rivers

When people think about pollution they think of two places: Los Angeles & China. China manufactures everything on the cheap and dirty and now it is affecting their population. Death rates from cancer rose 19% in cities and 23% in rural areas in 2006, compared to 2005, according to official Chinese media, although they did not give exact figures. The health burden has a huge economic price as well. The cost of cancer treatment has reached almost 100 billion yuan a year ($14.6 billion), accounting for 20 percent of China’s medical expenditure, according to Chinese media. The lack of a national health system means that most of the victims must pay their medical bills themselves and these bills took up 50% of household income in China in 2006 due to inadequate health insurance, according to a paper published in the Lancet in October 2008.

Humanity is paying the price for all of our low prices and we should take this into consideration with everything we purchase. It isn’t the people of China’s fault that they are exposed to cancer rivers-it’s the fact that they have no power or representation in their government. It is also our fault, because it is our greed and desires that fuel China’s manufacturing industry. I know I am preaching to the choir with this one, but even if you don’t care about other human beings-think about yourself. Do you actually believe anything you injest from China isn’t going to have pollutants in it?


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