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For World Water Day, Photos of China s Industrial Water Pollution


In case you missed it, The Atlantic’s In Focus photo blog has a stunning collection of photos that document industrial water pollution in southern China’s “cancer villages”. The photoset comes via Greenpeace in an effort to raise awareness of Chinese activists fighting industrial pollution in their villages for World Water Day, which was March 22, 2013.

A man documents pollution levels in a wastewater ditch adjacent to a chemical plant. Photo credit: Lu Guang/Greenpeace.

Fair warning, some of the photos are graphic and intense in their depiction of cancer sufferers in villages with industrial water pollution.

Looking at these photos and reading stories about air pollution, I wonder what will be China’s “Silent Spring” or Cuyahoga River fires; the images or text that shake people into saying, “OK, enough.” Not that we have everything figured out in the United States, but we know from our own experiences that unfettered industrialization at the expense of the natural world has its limits.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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