Pollution in China kills between 350 and 500 thousand people each year. This was revealed by an article in the British scientific journal The Lancet co- authored by Chen Zhu, president of the Medical Association of China, formerly the Minister for Health under President Hu Jintao. In the text, the authors admit that "despite best efforts , it will be difficult to control the phenomenon, since there are huge sources of pollution and of very different kinds ."
The main cause of the blanket of smog is PM 2.5 (particulate matter - - Airborne dust 2.5 micrometers per cubic meter) caused by industrial production and intensified by the arrival of winter. The cold causes the ignition of millions of radiators, which in turn increase the consumption of the coal burned in power plants. In Shanghai last month the levels of PM2.5 exceeded 600 micrometers per cubic meter, while in Beijing they have touched 473 : the World Health Organization limit for healthy air is 25 micrometers per meter cubed.
China's food safety problems have no better symbol than the illegal and utterly disgusting problem of gutter oil. Cooking oil is used heavily in Chinese food, so some street vendors and hole-in-the-wall restaurants buy cheap, black market oil that's been recycled from garbage. You read that correctly. Enterprising men and women will go through dumpsters, trash bins, gutters and even sewers, scooping out liquid or solid refuse that contains used oil or animal parts. Then they process that into cooking oil, which they sell at below-market rates to food vendors who use it to cook food that can make you extremely sick.