The Chinese Environment Ministry has admitted the existence of people in China with a high incidence of cancer due to contamination. "Poisonous and harmful chemical materials have been many water-related emergencies and air (...). In some places, some people are even known as' cancer villages, "the 2011-2015 five-year plan to combat chemical pollution released this week, reports France Presse.
Recognition of the problem in an official document comes amid growing public protests by environmental problems, whether due to air pollution, as in Beijing, or toxic waste and industrial waste.
The report does not give details about the causes or the prevalence of cancer, but some studies of foreign experts, there are hundreds of locations with this disease levels above normal. The affected villages are usually located near rivers.
The Ministry noted in the document that China is facing a serious situation with regard to the control of pollution from chemicals, and cites as causes inadequate risk controls by polluting companies, the lack of systematic policies to restrict the production and use of highly toxic and hazardous chemicals, and the insufficient capacity of the authorities to monitor and supervise pollution.
The report acknowledges that China uses "poisonous and harmful chemicals" that are banned in most developed countries and "pose a long-term harm or potential for human health and ecology."
Among the measures taken by the Ministry to combat environmental degradation, is developing a list of industries and chemicals that should be given priority in preventing and controlling pollution impact. The list includes the processing of petroleum and nuclear fuel, manufacture of chemicals, drugs and chemical fibers, and smelting and processing of nonferrous metals. The textile and mining will also receive special attention.
The authorities must also at high risk polluting companies to subscribe environmental liability insurance so that they can deal with any damage or spillage that can cause and compensate victims. This directive, issued on Thursday, forcing the designated industries, such as petrochemicals or heavy metal, to join the insurance system. This was introduced in 2007, but was voluntary until now.
The rapid development that China has experienced in the last three decades has had a major environmental impact. Hu Siyi, vice minister of water resources, said last year that 40% of China's rivers are seriously polluted and 20% contains much pollution that its water is considered too toxic even for human contact.
Serious industrial accidents along major rivers have been forced to stop water supply to large cities on several occasions in recent years. Last month, leaked into a river in northeastern China about nine tons of aniline, a chemical used in the manufacture of polyurethane. The existence of the leak did not extend for five days. By the time they learned of its existence, and had contaminated the water supply of a city in a neighboring province.