More lung infections expected, but smog woes could decline in a decade

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06.03.2013  Global Times / Peking

Zhong Nanshan, a deputy to the National People’s Congress, said on Monday that heavy smog will increase the number of lung cancer cases in China, but predicted that air pollution problems could be mitigated in 10 years.
Zhong, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, also said the smog might lead to a small-scale outbreak of infectious diseases in the future.
Heavy smog threatens respiratory and cranial nerve systems, and leads to lung cancer, said Zhong, who is also an expert on respiratory diseases, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
„More tumor patients will appear if the heavy smog continues,“ he said in an interview with reporters Monday.
It may take China 10 years to reduce smog, a shorter time than the 30 years it took Britain, Zhong was quoted as saying by Chinese Business View.
Zhong suggested the results of controlling smog in big cities should be included in the official evaluation system.
Other experts confirmed that smog is dangerous. Lung cancer is closely related to polluted air, so it could be triggered by smog, Han Fang, an expert in the respiratory department with Peking University People’s Hospital, told the Global Times.
„Government should not stress the growth of GDP while ignoring the importance of people’s health,“ Han said.
It is necessary for China to learn how to control smog from developed countries such as Britain, said Wang Shan, the president of the hospital.
Curbing pollution always involves balancing the interests of different groups, Han said, noting that the whole society should realize the seriousness of the consequences caused by the pollution.
Yu Rucong, a deputy president of China Meteorological Administration, told the Nandu Daily that curbing smog in China is more difficult than in Europe or the US because China’s natural conditions trap pollutants and inhibit them from dispersing, and China’s large population still need to focus on issues of basic well being.

By Wen Ya

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