The following was reported in one of China’s largest English-language newspapers. Many of these children end up in institutions, and sometimes, in our foster home.
Birth defects soar due to pollution
January 31, 2009, China Daily
Every 30 seconds, a baby is born with physical defects in China, all thanks to the country’s degrading environment, an official of the National Population and Family Planning Commission (NPFPC) has said.
“The number of newborns with birth defects is constantly increasing in both urban and rural areas,” Jiang Fan, vice-minister of the NPFPC said at a conference in Beijing recently. “And the rather alarming increase has forced us to kick off a high-level prevention plan.”
According to Hu Yali, a professor at the Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University, environmental pollution accounts for “10 percent of the causes” of physical defects in Chinese infants. China’s coal-rich Shanxi province, a center of noxious emissions from large-scale chemical industries, has recorded the highest rate of birth defects, NPFPC said.
I’m glad they are acknowleding it, but saddened that most likely the “prevention plans” won’t involve agressive environmental reforms. Instead, they will probably involve sonograms.
Due to the sensitive nature of this issue, I’ve temporarily turned on commenting moderation.