In a recent paper, the CAS Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology have analyzed China’s water pollution situation. Based on more than 200 published studies, it was found that organo-chlorine pesticides (OCPs) occur in China’s waterways at similar levels to other countries in Asia and around the world. However, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Poly-chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) occur at elevated levels relative to other regions of the world for which data are available (e.g. PAH levels were between 15.1 and 72400 ng/L; PCBs between 0.2 to 985.2 ng/L). Serious PCB pollution in China’s waterways appears to be due to emissions and waste from China’s intensive manufacturing sector, as well as global trade in e-waste, which results in hazardous materials being shipped to China. Areas of China with particularly serious pollution include the Yangtze River basin, Pearl River Delta and Zhejiang province. These are all areas of intensive industry, including manufacturing and chemical industries, in China’s southeast. The study is in relation to China’s recent ‘Ten point plan’ for water pollution control and prevention, in an effort to curb water pollution and improve water quality throughout China.

CAS news release, February 9, 2017