Chinese children suffering more birth defects

30th October 2007
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Nearly 40 per cent more Chinese children are being born with birth defects than in 2001, a new report by the World Health Organisation has shown.

The rise, which is attributed to growing environmental pollution, has seen birth defects increase from 104.9 per 10,000 births to 145.5 per 10,000 in 2006.

Shanxi province - home to some of China's heaviest industries and a centre for coal production - recorded the highest level of defects, further indicating that coal-fired power plants are leading to a dramatic decline in the population's health.

The World Bank estimates that some 460,000 Chinese die every year from air and water pollution.

This article first appeared in the Ecologist October 2007