Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Infant health improves after coal power station shuts down

The closure of a polluting coal-fired power plant in Tongliang, Sichuan, resulted in a marked improvement in the health of local babies, researchers have reported.  
The power station was the major pollution source until its shutdown in 2004. Researchers from Chongqing Medical University measured prenatal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other pollutants before and after the closure and found that reduced levels were associated with improvements in birth outcomes, neurodevelopment and early childhood growth rates.
“The findings of this study are encouraging in that direct governmental interventions to remove a polluting coal-burning source can have rapid and direct benefits to children's health. This in turn is a strong motivation for China to further invest in renewable and energy- efficient fuels, a necessity for its future.
Full study: Environmental Pollution

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