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Olympians could die from China's air pollution

A bold, but not so far fetched prediction has been made. China is so toxic, that Olympicans could die.

From the Santa Fe Sun article:

Runners gagged as they limbered up and smog engulfed Hong Kong's Tsing Ma Bridge. Pollution index readings in February 2006 were at 149, and any over 100 is unhealthy, yet 40,000 runners in China's Hong Kong Standard Chartered Marathon, were unaware of the coming tragedy. Tsang Kam-yin, 53, 3-time marathoner, collapsed and died; 20 runners would be hospitalized, many for respiratory ailments and asthma attacks.

Also excepted;

Factories spew toxins and particulates into the air; rivers are choked with sewage. Acidification has spread to 30% of China's cropland; the Georgia Institute of Technology reports that the range of ozone exposure in agricultural regions in the Yangtze River Delta is enough to reduce yields by 10%. 16 cities with the world's worst air pollution are located in China (World Bank). The Ministry of Science and Technology estimates 50,000 babies a year die from the effects of air pollution! Thousands of factories in the Pearl River Delta (like WalMart's) pollute Hong Kong. Chemical spills have flowed into eastern Russia, contaminating Russian drinking water.

Colby Pearce, Colorado track cyclist, saw smog floating inside Beijing's velodrome. "When you cough up black mucus, you say: 'O.K., I get it. This is a really bad problem we're looking at.' "

To see the full article about China's pollution crisis, and how the athletes themselves are at risk,click here.

Copyright 2008

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