China has acknowledged the existence of so-called “cancer villages” as Chinese people have been concerned about the impact of pollution on their health for years.
The environment ministry released its latest report on Friday entitled “Guard against and control risks presented by chemicals to the environment during the 12th Five-Year period (2011-2015)”.
“The toxic chemicals have caused many environmental emergencies linked to water and air pollution,” the report said.
According to the report, such chemicals could pose a long-term risk to human health, making a direct link to the so-called “cancer villages”.
“There are even some serious cases of health and social problems like the emergence of cancer villages in individual regions,” it said.
Cancer rates have increased in some villages near factories and polluted waterways, according to campaigners.
Public anger has been growing in the country over air pollution and industrial waste and media coverage of conditions in these so-called “cancer villages” has been widespread.
Last month – Beijing – and several other cities – were blanketed in smog that soared past levels considered hazardous by the World Health Organization.
In February last year, state media announced plans to reduce pollution levels in the capital Beijing by 30 percent by 2020 through phasing out old cars, relocating factories and planting new forests.