- Shen Yun
In China, an increasing number of children are born with birth defects—defects like cleft palates, deformed fingers and toes, and brain problems.
The Beijing Municipal Health Bureau reports that in 1997, there were 90 children per 10,000 born with some sort of birth defect in Beijing. By 2008, that number had grown to 170 per 10,000. That’s nearly double.
So what’s to blame?
There could be several factors. But many experts blame pollution—caused by China’s increasing industrial output and poor enforcement of environmental standards.
State-run China Daily quoted Peking University health professor Ren Aiguo as saying: “Chemical and toxic emissions impact the health of the parents, so it is likely they also impact the health of an unborn baby.”
Other parts of China have been affected even more severely. China Daily reports that in Guangdong province, the birth defect rate has now reached 249 for every 10,000 children. It’s among the highest in the world.