In China, every 30 seconds a baby is born with physical birth defects and now, officials are claiming 10% of those deformities are due to environmental pollution.
According to the state-run media, that adds up to nearly 1.1 million births a year.
The northern province of Shanxi, a coal-rich region with large-scale chemical industry, is a major source of pollution and reports the nation’s highest rate of birth defects.
Researchers blame China’s 8 main coal zones, saying if the rate of birth defects continues to increase it will soon become a social problem, disrupting economic development and quality of life.
Pollution from coal, specifically mercury emissions, has been linked neurological disorders in humans and animals.