In a recent interview with the medical research and news website The Lancet, Chen Zhu, who retired from his post as Minister of Health last year, estimated that between 250,000 and 500,000 people die each year from the air pollution in China.
Chen, who is also a professor of medicine and renowned molecular biologist, noted that China, “now produces the largest number of major pollutants in the world”.
In the last 30 years, the rate of lung cancer has increased by 465%, almost doubling between 2002 and 2011.
Until very recently, China kept strict censors on its health information, notably removing a joint report from the World Health Organization and China’s own government that claimed that air pollution caused 350,000-400,000 premature deaths in 2007.
Check out these two satellite photos from NASA.
Read the full story here.