Investigation Related to Urbanization, Industrialization, Pollution in China

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History reveals that all humans, under any circumstance always find a way to progress. Urbanization, industrialization, pollution: all three of these concepts intertwined with one another. The first two causations of one another, the other a consequence of these concepts about the advancing world. The stereotype is that while the modern world is advancing and adapting, pollution only exists in urban areas. While pollution is most of the time linked to being especially harmful in industrialized and populated areas, it is not always the case in developing countries. This idea is particularly highlighted in the case of a small rural village in China versus air pollution caused by traffic in the Netherlands. This paper will explore this case. And It is about the different relationships between the air pollutants and how it affects respiratory health.

While China is known for its urban cities and towering skyscrapers, the majority of China is still rural with people living in small villages. Sixty percent of China live in these rural areas and due to lack of electrical power, many depend on simple stoves to heat their homes and cook their meals. Urban residents use solid fuels like biomass (usually wood and crop residue) and coal in their simple stoves, which in result leads to the respiratory problems linked to high pollution levels in contained spaces. According to Environmental Health Perspectives, about 10% of energy consumed by rural households was in the form of coal (Zhang & Smith, 2012).

Unlike biomass fuel, coal contains contaminants like arsenic, silica, fluorine, sulfur, lead, and mercury, which are released in the air during combustion. In 2001, a group of researchers tested the indoor air quality of 3500 households during summer and winter. The amount of carbon monoxide found in these homes doubled the national standard for indoor air quality (Edwards et al., 2007). While China has plans to cut the use of coal in households, the majority of the rural population still relies on coal. And they can still emit large pollutants in the surrounding air of the household environment even with the use of chimneys, coal. The consequence of using solid fuels such as coal is that it has become the leading source of indoor air pollution in the country which leads to health risks as well. Described as a “Coal Kingdom,” China’s reliance on this solid fuel has led to the nation’s health problem about increased risks of lung cancer among older non-smoking woman.

Due to the large percentage of time spent indoors, women have the most exposure to the harmful effects of coal due to spending the most time in the kitchen. These risks are only increased during wintertime when peak pollution occurs in households that use biomass fuels and coal (Fischer & Koshland, 2007). Another study from Environmental Health Perspectives that took place in the Anhui Provinces reveal the lesser, but still detrimental health concerns including the prevalence of chest illness, shortness of breath, phlegm, and coughing among older women living in rural villages of China. As a result of these symptoms, many people develop chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and causes 1.3 million deaths . COPD is especially relevant for residents of Anhui who use coal for heating and is more common in those residents than the ones who do not use coal. Even though the stereotype persists that cities suffer the most from pollution, the use of using biomass fuels and coal in the homes of rural areas remains one of the factors that contribute to the ill health of China.

Traffic is a common problem in most major cities, even though there are different ways of getting around like public transportation many still rely on their cars to travel from place to place. It is common knowledge that heavy traffic in major cities contributes to air pollution in that area. In a study done in the Netherlands, researches link air pollution from traffic to respiratory infections, asthmatic symptoms, and allergic symptoms in children.

While urban cities and rural villages both have pollution, it is not determined which is better or worse. There are similar consequences to respiratory health in both environment, but, the groups affected differ from one another.

Due to situational circumstances, the cause and effects of pollution in China and the Netherlands are large. The severity of indoor smoke from solid fuels versus air pollutants caused by traffic in the Netherlands can be seen in the respiratory issues of both populations.

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Investigation Related To Urbanization, Industrialization, Pollution In China. (2022, Apr 12). Retrieved June 21, 2024 , from

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