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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 402; doi:10.3390/ijerph13040402

The Haze Nightmare Following the Economic Boom in China: Dilemma and Tradeoffs

1,†
,
2,3,4,5,†
,
6,* , 1
and
7
1
Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2
Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
3
Key Laboratory of Mountain Ecological Restoration and Bioresource Utilization, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
4
Ecological Restoration Biodiversity Conservation Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu 610041, China
5
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), G.P.O. Box 3226, Kathmandu, Nepal
6
Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
7
State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
The author contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yu-Pin Lin
Received: 11 November 2015 / Revised: 22 March 2016 / Accepted: 24 March 2016 / Published: 2 April 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5254 KB, uploaded 2 April 2016]   |  

Abstract

This study aims to expand on a deeper understanding of the relationship between rapid economic development and ensuing air pollution in China. The database includes the gross domestic product (GDP), the value added of a secondary industry, the per capita GDP (PGDP), greenhouse gases emissions, and PM2.5 concentrations. The results indicate that China’s PGDP has continued to rise over the past decade, and the rate of PGDP slowed down from 1980 to 2004 (slope = 5672.81, R2 = 0.99, p < 0.001) but was significantly lower than that from the year 2004 to 2013 (slope = 46,911.08, R2 > 0.99, p < 0.001). Unfortunately, we found that total coal consumption, annual steel production, and SO2 emission had been continually growing as the overall economy expands at temporal scale, with the coefficient of determinations greater than 0.98 (p < 0.001). Considering the spatial pattern aspect, we also found a significant relationship between GDP and greenhouse gases. Meanwhile, severe air pollution has negatively impacted the environment and human health, particularly in some highlighted regions. The variation explained by both total SO2 emission and total smoke and dust emission were 33% (p < 0.001) and 24% (p < 0.01) for the rate of total pertussis at temporal scale, respectively. Furthermore, at the spatial scale, pulmonary tuberculosis rates and pertussis mainly occurred in area with serious air pollution (economically developed region). It can be summarized that the extensive mode of economic growth has brought a number of serious environment and human health problems. Thus, a new policy framework has been proposed to meet the goals of maintaining a healthy economy without harming natural environment, which may prove integral, especially when coupled with long-term national strategic development plans. View Full-Text
Keywords: haze; industrial soot emissions; SO2 emissions; PM2.5; pertussis and pulmonary tuberculosis; policy framework haze; industrial soot emissions; SO2 emissions; PM2.5; pertussis and pulmonary tuberculosis; policy framework
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sun, J.; Wang, J.; Wei, Y.; Li, Y.; Liu, M. The Haze Nightmare Following the Economic Boom in China: Dilemma and Tradeoffs. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 402.

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