An interactive map, based on reports released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and created by Greenpeace, lays out the impact of coal plant emissions on estimated premature deaths in China. The results are shocking.
Greenpeace’s analysis suggests that the level of emissions coming from coal plants contributed to a total of 257,000 premature deaths in 2011.
According to the map, Shanghai’s 22 coal plants cause more than 4,370 premature deaths a year while Beijing’s 10 plants contribute to 1,004 deaths a year.
The some 257,000 premature deaths – which theoretically could have been avoided if there was no air pollution – were calculated using modeling techniques based on the links between air pollution and risk of illness or death.
An analysis by the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests air pollution can affect respiratory and cardiovascular health, contribute to lung cancer, and increase mortality rates.
The models created a picture of pollutant concentrations – using coal plant emissions estimates (taken from the plants’ capacity, efficiency and operating hours) and meteorological data – which were then used to assess their effects on health.
According to Greenpeace, the provinces with the highest number of premature deaths (Shandong, Shanxi, Henan, Jiangsu and Inner Mongolia) , consumed 32.7% more coal in 2011 than in 2006. Shandong, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia alone burn nearly one-third of the China’s total coal production–around the same amount that the US consumes.
According to Quartz:
Burning coal gives off sulphate and nitrate, which make up 80% of the particles in Shanghai’s PM2.5, the common measure of fine particles in the air that, when breathed, lodge far enough into the lungs to enter the bloodstream.”
The most lethal plant that causes around 2380 premature deaths is in Zhejiang Province
[Images via: Greenpeace]