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Jun. 25 – China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, National Development and Reform Commission, and other five ministries and commissions jointly released “The 12th Five-Year Plan for Waste Recycling Technology (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Plan’).” The Plan identifies the major areas of waste recycling technology as well as discusses the current situation and future plans for development in these areas. Moreover, the Plan specifies the development goals and tasks in the identified major areas, and provides measures to achieve these goals.
Key information and details taken from the Plan can be found in the summary below.
Major areas and tasks
Utilization of recycling resources
The Plan calls on the development of technologies in comprehensive utilization, reproduction and recycling of scrap metal, waste electronic products, used electro-mechanical products, and recycled polymer.
Recycling of industrial solid waste
The Plan highlights the development of technologies in the comprehensive utilization of fly ash, coal gangue and industrial by-product gypsum, scale dissolution of smelting waste residue, and conversion and gasification of industry-produced waste.
Energy regeneralization of waste and sludge
Disposal and regeneralization of domestic waste in urban areas, construction waste, as well as industrial sludge and sewage sludge are heightened tasks in the Plan.
The Plan also emphasizes the development of technologies to control the whole process of waste recycling, theoretical research of waste cleaning and utilization, as well as innovation in these areas and cultivation of professionals.
Strengthening leadership and coordination
The Plan advises the establishment of a coordination team by the national technology ministries. The Plan also encourages all governments at the provincial level to include study of waste recycling into its plan for technology development.
Supporting development and innovation
The government should take advantage of existing channels to support key areas of technological innovation relating to waste recycling. The combination of technology and financing should be enhanced to support high-tech enterprises specialized in waste recycling and to encourage these enterprises to enter into multi-level capital market financing. The certification system of innovated products using waste recycling technology should be improved. Relevant preferential policies should cover these products.
Role of enterprises in innovation
A new market-oriented technology innovation system should be established where enterprises will play a key role and production, study and research will be combined. More policies should be made to encourage innovation, and to support innovation development of specialized enterprises in waste recycling.
Enhancing management and improving efficiency
Third-party supervision mechanisms should be established for technology projects and spending to enhance management efficiency. Performance review mechanisms should be established to review the effectiveness of these projects, and to manage the projects, professionals and construction of premises.
Strengthening technological innovation
The government should play a leading role in the establishment of technological innovation strategic alliances and service platforms in major areas of waste recycling. An advanced waste recycling technology index and technological standards index should be compiled for the promotion and industrial application of advanced technologies.
Boosting international cooperation and exchange
It is necessary to include exchange of waste recycling technologies into bilateral and multilateral international cooperation to obtain more support from international technology cooperation plans.
Promoting popularization of waste recycling technology
The Plan provides that waste recycling technology should be popularized to encourage every citizen to actively participate in waste recycling activities to achieve sustainable development.
China Releases Blueprint to Promote Seven Emerging Industries
By Xiaolei Gu
Directions and tasks for seven emerging industries of strategic importance
China’s energy-saving and environmental protection industry need breakthroughs in major core technologies, including energy efficiency and progression utilization, pollution prevention and secure settlement, as well as recycling and reuse of resources. Industry professionals should also research and develop more high-tech equipment and products for energy conservation, advanced environmental protection, and resource recycling and reuse. These professionals should also strive to promote green production and low carbon technology, and accelerate the formation of environmental protection as one of the country’s pillar industries.
The new energy sector should develop more mature technology in nuclear power, wind power, solar photo-voltaics, thermal utilization, biomass electricity generation and methane gas so as to actively advance the industrialization of renewable resource technology. –
China Releases 12th Five-Year Plan for National Strategic Emerging Industries
By Yao Lu
Jul. 25 – To accelerate the incubation and development of the country’s strategic emerging industries, China’s State Council issued the “12th Five-Year Development Plan for National Strategic Emerging Industries (guofa  No.28, hereinafter referred to as the ‘Plan’)” on July 9. The plan lays out 7 strategic emerging industries and 20 key projects; moreover, it sets up development goals for the 12th Five-Year Plan period and offers policy measures to facilitate the development of the relevant industries.
According to the Plan, the share of value-added from the strategic emerging industries against the country’s overall gross domestic product is targeted to reach roughly 8 percent by 2015 and 15 percent by 2020, while the average annual growth of the industrial scale is expected to be above 20 percent.
Key development orientation and main tasks 2011-2015
As provided by the Plan, the key development direction and main tasks for the 12th Five-Year Plan period involve 7 strategic emerging industries, namely:
1. New energy auto industry
2. Energy-saving and environmental protection industry
Advanced environmental protection industry
Resource recycling industry
3. New generation information technology industry
Next generation information network industry
Fundamental industry of core electronics
High-end software and new information service industry
4. Biology industry
Bio-medical engineering industry
5. High-end equipment manufacturing industry
Aviation equipment industry
Satellite and its application industry
Rail transportation equipment industry
Marine engineering equipment industry
Intelligent equipment-manufacturing industry
6. New energy industry
Nuclear energy technology industry
Wind energy industry
Solar energy industry
7. New material industry
New functional material industry
Advanced structural material industry
High-performance composite material industry
As provided by the Plan, the key development direction and main tasks for the 12th Five-Year Plan period also involve 20 key projects, including the following:
Key energy-saving technology and equipment industrialization project
Pilot project for equipment relating to key environmental protection technology and product industrialization
Important resource recycling project
Broadband China project
High-performance integrated circuits project
New-type flat panel display project
Internet of things (IOT) and cloud computing technology project
“Beneficial Information for the People” project
Protein-based biomedical products and vaccine project
High-performance medical treatment equipment project
Bio-based material project
Aviation equipment project
Spatial infrastructure construction project
Advanced rail transport equipment and its key assemblies project
Marine engineering equipment project
Intelligent equipment-manufacturing project
New energy integrated application project
Key material upgradation project
New energy auto project
The plan offers three measures to better facilitate the development of the relevant industries, they are:
Intensifying fiscal and financial policy support
Perfecting technical innovation and talent policies
Creating a desirable market environment
Dezan Shira & Associates is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in emerging Asia. Since its establishment in 1992, the firm has grown into one of Asia’s most versatile full-service consultancies with operational offices across China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Vietnam as well as liaison offices in Italy and the United States.
Submitted by admin on Feb 28th 2013, 12:00am
Agence France-Presse in Tokyo
Top floor of tower functions as ‘lid’ to contain dust and noise as it is gradually lowered
Passers-by in Tokyo’s busy Akasaka district have started to notice something odd about a 40-floor hotel – it has shrunk to about half its original height.
Slowly but surely, and with none of the explosions or dust normally associated with the demolition of skyscrapers, the hotel is being torn down.
“In this demolition scheme, the building shrinks and disappears without you noticing,” said Hideki Ichihara, manager of Taisei, the construction firm running the project.
In this demolition scheme, the building shrinks and disappears without you noticing
The Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka was built in the 1980s, a gleaming, 140-metre symbol of a decade of extravagance when people almost had money to burn and Japan’s red-hot economy powered the world.
Now it is shrinking: losing two floors, or 6.4 metres, every 10 days, said Ichihara.
The Japanese-developed Taisei Ecological Reproduction System (TECOREP) is a new process designed to contain the noise and dirt of a demolition, and recycle the energy pent up in a tall building.
Engineers reinforced the top floor with steel beams and then effectively lopped it off, keeping it in place to be used as an adjustable lid that can be lowered down the building on an external support frame.
Workers at the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka have brought in 15 hydraulic jacks on which this “lid” now sits as they remove one floor at a time, carefully breaking apart the once-luxurious guest rooms. The materials are separated and, where possible, recycled.
“By keeping this cap on top of the building, we can contain the noise and the dust significantly,” Ichihara said. “Dust pollution is cut by more than 90 per cent, keeping the environmental impact very small.”
The waste is lowered through a central well on a pulley system that generates the electricity used to power lighting and ventilation systems, said Ichihara, further reducing the environmental impact of the demolition.
The 30-year-old hotel was once a symbol of Tokyo’s glitzy lifestyle. Well-heeled guests paid hundreds of dollars for a night in one of its suites, or for its special Christmas Eve lovers’ packages.
However, the glitter rubbed off Japan’s economy with the bursting of the stock and real estate bubbles at the start of the 1990s. Luxury hotels gradually fell out of favour and some struggled to keep their guest books full.
Source URL (retrieved on Feb 28th 2013, 6:27am): http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/article/1160452/eco-friendly-japanese-demolition-scheme-slashes-dust-and-noise
Submitted by admin on Feb 28th 2013, 12:00am
Air pollution in delta region not worse
We would like to point out that the article “Smog in Pearl Delta ‘worse than Beijing'” (February 21) misrepresented how air pollution in the Pearl River Delta should be understood.
For those of us who study air quality in the delta, the air pollution there is not worse than that in Beijing.
The article misquoted one of the undersigned, who had merely explained the different causes of PM2.5 in the two places. Coal burning and photochemical smog are the main causes of air pollution in the northern part of the mainland, while photochemical smog is the main cause in the Pearl River Delta.
As a result of joint efforts of the Guangdong and Hong Kong governments to reduce the emissions in the delta, with the support of scientific research institutes in Hong Kong, the Pearl River Delta and Beijing, the particulate level in the delta was reduced by 14 per cent between 2006 and 2011, as registered by the Pearl River Delta’s regional air quality monitoring network.
Last November, the Hong Kong and Guangdong governments agreed to set emission reduction targets for 2015 and 2020, in respect of four major air pollutants, including respirable suspended particles.
Both governments will continue to work in partnership to improve the air quality of the Pearl River Delta region.
Professor Wu Dui, Institute of Tropical and Marine Meteorology, China Meteorological Agency, Guangzhou; Professor Zhong Liuju, Guangdong Provincial Environmental Monitoring Centre, Guangdong; Dave Ho, principal environmental protection officer, Environmental Protection Department, Hong Kong
Source URL (retrieved on Feb 28th 2013, 6:17am): http://www.scmp.com/comment/letters/article/1160560/letters-editor-february-28-2013
Submitted by admin on Feb 27th 2013, 12:00am
The airline industry may be slightly on the back foot with the flak it gets from environmentalists on account of its emissions. But Tony Tyler, the director general and chief executive of the International Air Transport Association and former chief executive of Cathay Pacific Airways, played firmly on the front foot at yesterday’s Greener Skies conference.
“Aviation impacts on every aspect of our lives, the food we eat, the medicines we rely on, the global exchange of ideas, the development of business opportunities, the ability to interact with colleagues, friends and family on a global basis. Aviation has enriched our world,” Tyler enthused.
Indeed, you almost expected him to go to the next level, like Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein, and announce: “We’re doing God’s work.”
Cathay Pacific’s current chief executive, John Slosar, caught the attention of his audience at the Greener Skies conference with a couple of questions. “So how many of you flew into Hong Kong for this conference?” A flurry of hands. “How many of you checked the internet this morning or had a look at your e-mails.” An even bigger show of hands. “Regardless if you went online or flew into Hong Kong – you have contributed to 2 per cent of man-made CO2 emissions. If you did both, that got you up to 4 per cent.” The Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications reckons the internet contributes the same amount of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere as the aviation industry.
At the same time, Slosar could not resist poking fun at Tyler, his former boss at Cathay. “I am sure Tony’s comments will prove enlightening as always – and trust me on this. I have heard a huge, huge volume of Tony’s comments.”
Government fear of flying
Is politics obstructing environmental progress in the aviation industry? Greener Skies conference panellists, who were all from the industry, seemed to think they had done their bit. Five years ago, many airlines had no idea what their emission levels or how to count them. Now just about every airline can show how it intends to become carbon-neutral. The efficiency of aero engines has been hugely improved, and the industry is financing experimentation with biofuels.
But governments have been slow to deal with the inefficiencies of air traffic management systems, which, by keeping aircraft in the air for longer than necessary, increase fuel costs and emissions while the development of biofuels receives nothing like the subsidies that governments have heaped on solar and wind energy development.
Missing: our protectors
One notable absentee from the Greener Skies conference yesterday was Hong Kong’ s Environmental Protection Department. This would have been a good occasion for them to hear what the industry was up to. Maybe the invitation didn’t get through the government’s red tape but these are useful occasions for government to get out of its boxes and hear different views and approaches to dealing with emissions.
This is a big topic for Hong Kong, particularly with the looming environmental threat of the airport’s proposed third runway. But you feel that some government people don’t like to get out of their comfort zone and expose themselves to different thinking. Hopefully, the new brooms at the Environment Bureau will change all that.
Pearl of the Orient
The Greener Skies conference yesterday is the fifth that has been staged in Hong Kong by the magazine Orient Aviation. The conference has grown over the years and now attracts a strong lineup of delegates and speakers from the likes of Iata, the EU and leading airlines and engine manufacturers.
John Slosar, whose Cathay Pacific was a sponsor of the event, paid it a big compliment, saying: “I continue to see Greener Skies as an important forum which helps to provide the leadership for what needs to happen next.”
Indeed, Orient Aviation , which was started in 1993, is “the leading commercial aviation magazine in the Asia-Pacific region”, according to the market research firm AC Nielsen. This is no small achievement for founders Christine McGee and Barry Grindrod, who, some years ago, used to work for our own august organ.
Cathay Pacific Airways
Association of Asia Pacific Airlines
Source URL (retrieved on Feb 27th 2013, 6:00am): http://www.scmp.com/business/article/1159320/tony-tyler-saying-aviation-industry-doing-gods-work
Junk Food Pollution …………………..
Report uncovers alarming statistics about our eating habits
The NSW Cancer Council’s Fast Food: Exposing the Truth report highlights the need for fast food chains to provide customers with food nutrition information. Image: fastfoodfact.net
A report released by the Cancer Council has found that Australians spend nearly one third of their weekly household food budget on fast food and eating out.
This figure highlights that Australian’s spend 50 percent more on fast food and eating than they did six years ago.
The report, entitled Fast Food: Exposing the Truth highlights the need for Australians to rethink their eating habits and food choices, and features a range of recommendations that the may adopt to do so.
It uncovered that the food nutrition information fast food chains display in store varies between states and some brands display such information while others do not.
The report also highlights just how important it is that fast food chains look at reducing the saturated fat, salt and sugar content of their menu items.
Clare Hughes, nutrition program manager at Cancer Council NSW said it is integral that the Federal Government and Australia’s fast food industry work together to improve the health of Australians. She said this can be achieved by introducing mandatory reformulation targets, making food nutrition information labelling consistent across all states and brands, and to tighten up already existing initiatives.
“Mandatory kilojoule labelling has already been introduced in NSW, and this is a step in the right direction. But it needs to be introduced across Australia, with more detailed information also available in store. “Our survey of fast food chains found that customers who wanted to make informed choices were getting different levels of nutrition information depending on where they dined,” she said. She said we are coming to rely on fast food more and more because many of us a time-poor and do not have time to prepare home cooked meals on a regular basis.
“New measures need to be introduced to make it easier to choose healthier foods when we are eating out, and to gradually reduce the levels of kilojoules, fats and salt in fast food.”
She advises that fast food chains display nutrition information just as supermarket products do.
“For years nutrition information panels on packaged foods have helped us to identify healthier choices in the supermarket. We should also have the right to be informed when we’re eating out, with easy access to information to assist consumers in choosing healthier meal options and snacks.”
Even though a number of fast food chains have introduced healthier meal options, the report found customers do not typically opt for these menu items.
Subsequently, she said “we’d like to see firm commitment from both industry and government to reduce the amount of kilojoules, fats, sugars and salt, to make standard menu items healthier.
“We know that obesity and the problems associated with it, such as certain cancers, diabetes and heart disease will continue to spiral out of control if the government doesn’t take action now,” said Hughes.
Cancer Council report slams fast food outlets
February 22, 2013, 8:57 amYahoo!7
Cancer Council NSW calls on the Federal Government and the fast food industry to step up and implement initiatives that make it easier for customers to make healthier fast food choices.
Cancer Council NSW calls for mandatory nutritional labelling at fast food outlets
Our nation’s Macca’s habit is growing, according to a new report. Australians are spending 50 per cent more on fast food and eating out than we were just six years ago – we’re now forking over about 28 percent of our household food budget on the stuff, according to the Cancer Council NSW’s new 25-page report “Fast Food: Exposing the Truth.”
Why does the Cancer Council care about fast food? The report comes at a time when more than half of Australian adults and nearly one in four children are overweight or obese.
And carrying extra weight ups your risk of cancers of the bowel, kidney, pancreas, oesophagus, endometrium and breast.
The report argues that nutrition labeling should be mandatory and consistent nationwide, and that menu items should be reformulated to be lower in salt, fat, sugar and kilojoules.
(Gross but true: The average fast food meal provides 47 percent of your daily kilojoule needs.)
The Cancer Council wants to see the Federal Government get involved to make sure these changes are implemented.
Here’s what else the report uncovered:
Looking for nutrition information? Good luck. A Cancer Council survey of 222 fast food stores (including McDonald’s, KFC, Hungry Jack’s, Red Rooster and Subway) found that 34 per cent had no nutrition information available to customers. And only one store had info for every item on the menu.
The highest energy children’s meal had nearly six times more energy than the lowest energy children’s meal.
When healthier options like salads are available, we’re not buying ‘em. The Cancer Council tracked fast food purchases at McDonald’s and found that only 1 per cent came from the healthy menu.
What’s more, research has shown that having healthier menu options can actually boost sales of unhealthy foods. (One explanation: We reward ourselves for eating the salad by ordering dessert.) This is why reformulating menu items so they’re lower in fat, sugar, salt and energy is so important, says the Cancer Council.
Recommendations from Cancer Council NSW
1. The Federal Government should introduce mandatory menu labelling in-store in fast food chains, nationwide.
2. In the absence of nationwide mandatory menu labelling, the fast food industry should ensure that complete nutrition information is always available in-store.
3. Fast food chains should ensure that staff receive training on the provision of nutrition information to customers.
4. The fast food industry should reformulate their menu items to reduce the amount of energy, saturated fat, sugar and sodium.
5. The QSRI Initiative’s nutrient criteria should be revised to ensure that children’s fast food meals do not exceed 30% of children’s daily needs.
6. The Food and Health Dialogue should set targets for voluntary reformulation of fast foods, and move towards mandatory reductions.
7. The fast food industry should promote their healthier menu items in preference to their unhealthy menu items.
Published on South China Morning Post (http://www.scmp.com)
Home > Study links fast food linked to childhood asthma
Study links fast food linked to childhood asthma
Submitted by virginia.addison on Jan 15th 2013, 5:04pm
Agence France-Presse in Paris
Children who frequently eat fast food are far likelier to have severe asthma compared to counterparts who tuck into fruit, a large international study published on Monday said.
Researchers asked nearly half a million teenagers aged 13 to 14 years old and children aged six and seven about their eating habits and whether in the previous year they had experienced wheezing, eczema or an itchy, blocked nose when they did not have a cold or flu. The questionnaires – completed by a parent or guardian for the younger children – were distributed in scores of countries. The study marks the latest phase in a long-running collaborative programme, the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), which was launched in 1991.
The investigators filtered out factors that could skew results, such as maternal smoking during pregnancy, sedentary lifestyle and body-mass index, in order to focus purely on diet. They found that fast food was the only food type that could be clearly linked to asthma severity. Three or more weekly servings of fast food were associated with a 39 per cent increase in the risk of severe asthma among teens and a 27 per cent increase among younger children. It also added to the risk of eczema and severe rhinitis.
In contrast, eating three or more weekly portions of fruit led to a reduction in symptom severity of between 11 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively. The study, which appears in the British Medical Association journal Thorax, notes that to prove an association is not to prove a cause – but argues that a further inquiry is clearly needed. “If the associations [are] causal, then the findings have major public health significance, owing to the rising consumption of fast foods globally,” the authors said. Previous research had found that the saturated and “trans” fatty acids trigger an inflammatory response from the immune system, the paper noted.
Topics: Fast Food
Source URL (retrieved on Feb 22nd 2013, 7:26am): http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/health/article/1128638/study-links-fast-food-linked-childhood-asthma
SCMP Sunday Morning Post
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Hong Kong’s Big Macs fattest in the world
McDonald’s burgers in ‘Asia’s world city’ are cholesterol-crammed, alarming nutritionists
Big Macs served in Hong Kong contain more fat and cholesterol than anywhere else in the world, the Sunday Morning Post can reveal.
The average burger can also lay claim to having the joint highest number of calories – along with those served in the United States,
according to comparisons based on nutritional information posted on McDonald’s website. McChicken burgers and Chicken McNuggets had
similarly high amounts of fat, cholesterol and calories. The findings have drawn concern from nutritionists who point to the close association between a diet high in fat and cholesterol, and heart disease. Some also point to the risk of high blood pressure, and kidney problems because of the high salt content in local Big Macs.
McDonald’s Hong Kong attributed the higher levels to the use of different ingredients suppliers in various parts of the world.
A spokeswoman for the company in Hong Kong said: “The ingredients of McDonald’s food items worldwide are basically the same. The nutritional
composition of items … may vary from country to country as the ingredients are provided from suppliers in different areas.”
According to information posted on McDonald’s website, Hong Kong Big Macs contain 560 calories each – 80 calories more than those eaten by
Australians and 50 calories more than those in the Middle East. They also have 85mg of cholesterol – the highest of any country for which
information is available.
Total fat content of 31 grams means that local burgers have 35 per cent more fat than Big Macs in Britain.
Mandy Sea Man-mei, manager of the Centre for Nutritional Studies at Chinese University’s school of public health, expressed concern over
the amount of salt.
There is 1.07 grams of sodium in each local burger. This is half the amount in burgers eaten by Swedes and the British, but still
constitutes nearly 45 per cent of the daily recommended intake (RDI).
Based on a sodium RDI of 2,400mg and a three-meal day, a person should aim to limit salt intake to 800mg per meal, she said.
“It’s more unhealthy than Big Macs overseas because of the higher fat and sodium levels,” Dr Sea said. She also cautioned that the degree to
which Big Macs in Hong Kong were less healthy than overseas burgers would depend on the amount of saturated fat present, since diets high
in the fats correlated with increased incidence of coronary heart disease and the blocking of arteries.
McDonald’s declined to disclose the amount of saturated fat in its foods in Hong Kong, or provide any other nutritional information on its
However, Georgia Guldan, a nutritionist and associate professor at Chinese University’s biochemistry department, said that an extra 50
calories per day could add 4kg to a person’s weight a year.
She added that the differences between local burgers and those served elsewhere were not large in terms of daily intakes.
Morgan Spurlock’s academy-award-winning documentary Super Size Me drew global attention to health issues associated with McDonald’s food,
particularly to a diet based solely on the outlet’s menu.
Download PDF : Fast-Food-Exposing-the-Truth-22-February-2013
Submitted by admin on Feb 22nd 2013, 12:00am
Li Jing firstname.lastname@example.org
For first time, policy blueprint links pollution to rising health threats in industrial areas
The central government has unveiled its first blueprint to control the environmental and health risks of toxic chemicals, and for the first time officially acknowledged the existence of “cancer clusters” due to such pollution.
The blueprint, covering the period from 2011 to 2015 and posted on the website of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, admits that excessive levels of chemical pollutants are already found in the country’s major rivers and lakes, and even in animal and human bodies.
“In recent years, toxic and hazardous chemical pollution has caused many environmental disasters, cutting off drinking water supplies, and even leading to severe health and social problems such as ‘cancer villages’,” the blueprint said.
In recent years, toxic and hazardous chemical pollution has caused many environmental disasters, cutting off drinking water supplies, and even leading to severe health and social problems such as ‘cancer villages
Between 2008 and 2011, more than a half of the 568 environmental emergencies dealt with by the ministry were related to chemicals, official statistics show.
Calling the blueprint “a significant first step”, Liu Jianguo , an associate professor at Peking University, said chemical pollution on the mainland had become “the most severe problem” and one that government could no longer ignore.
Mainland officials were previously reluctant to link pollution levels with rising cancer rates in industrial areas.
Some chemical pollutants can travel long distances and accumulate in the environment and human bodies, disturbing endocrine and immune systems and even causing cancer.
However, the production and use of such chemicals on the mainland has become so widespread due to rapid and chaotic industrial expansion over the past three decades that the government has yet to come to terms with the risks.
A 2010 survey of more than 40,000 plants in the petrochemical, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, conducted by the ministry, found 40 per cent posed a severe threat to public health, the blueprint said.
For instance, 23 per cent of the plants were located five kilometres or less upstream of drinking water sources or agricultural land. About 15,000 were near residential areas.
But such information is not yet available for other industrial sectors, with the blueprint admitting that no official statistics were available on the number and location of chemical emission sources, or their impact on human health.
The blueprint aims to establish a sound information system on chemical production and use by 2015 and start to register all enterprises involved in producing, using, transporting and discharging hazardous chemical pollutants, following international practice.
It also lists 58 types of chemicals that will be under specific control, including those that could damage human health or cause environmental accidents.
Wu Yixiu , a Beijing-based Greenpeace campaigner, said it was the first time the authorities had proposed monitoring the environmental impact of chemicals.
However, experts are not optimistic about the impact of the blueprint because the production of some chemicals that were banned or restricted in developed countries was still rising on the mainland, with manufacturing having moved to China. Wu said the blueprint still failed to set out a timetable to phase out some highly toxic chemicals, and that would send a stronger signal to producers and users than merely putting them on a watch list.
Source URL (retrieved on Feb 22nd 2013, 6:05am): http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1155782/beijing-unveils-blueprint-control-health-risks-toxic-chemicals
Atmospheric pollution problems and control proposals associated with solid waste management in China: A review Review Article
Journal of Hazardous Materials, Available online 18 February 2013, Pages
Hezhong Tian, Jiajia Gao, Jiming Hao, Long Lu, Chuanyong Zhu, Peipei Qiu
► Air pollution problems generated in MSW management processes in China are presented. ► both quantity and composition of MSW generation in China are identified. ► the status of different methods for MSW treatment and disposal are reviewed. ► some comprehensive control proposals for improving MSW management are proposed.
The European Commission ‘promises review of clean air standards’
Following reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) which claimed that air pollution could be linked to a variety of health problems including cardiovascular and respiratory deaths, the European Union (EU) has promised a review of its clean air standards later this year.
Indeed, EU commissioner Connie Hedegaard spoke in parliament on Thursday (January 31st 2013) to say that air pollution is a serious problem that needs strict and immediate attention.
“Air quality is a matter that should be a concern to all of us – as breathing human beings but also as citizens, colleagues and politicians,” she said.
The EU had decided to name 2013 the ‘Year of air’, to symbolise the dedication to cleaning up the air this year.
The announcement has come just days after the worst ever smog was witnessed in China’s capital Beijing.
Ms Hedegaard has been quick to reinforce that this is not just a problem overseas, instead she called it a mistake “to think that this is just a developing country problem”.
In fact, it is estimated that poor air quality was the cause of more than 420,000 premature deaths in the EU in 2010 alone.
“Air pollution is still deeply affecting European citizens and workers; not just as a cause of premature death, but also as a cause of diseases,” Ms Hedegaard claimed.
The EU is looking for public opinion on how to tackle the problem, and it will be asking for advice until March 4th 2013.
“Through this consultation, the European citizens have the chance to express their opinion about possible solutions for air pollutions.
“The feedback received will feed into the formulation of Europe’s new air quality policy in 2013,” she said.
One area that needs tackling, according to Ms Hedegaard is the pollution caused by airports.
Day’s worth of fat in child fast-food meal
February 22, 2013
- Read later
Health Editor, Sydney Morning Herald
Super-size … a report from the Cancer Council NSW found 90 per cent of children’s meals exceeded recommended limits of salt and sugar.
CHILDREN’S fast food meals vastly exceed the amount of energy, salt, sugar and saturated fat children should eat in one meal, according to a damning report from the Cancer Council NSW.
The Fast Food: Exposing the Truth report showed an urgent need to reduce the amount of energy and unhealthy ingredients in fast food meals, the council said.
Its nutrition and program manager, Clare Hughes, said Australians on average spend about a third of their food budget on fast and takeaway food.
“If we are serious about addressing the issue of overweight, obesity and chronic disease in Australia we have to be realistic and say people are eating out of home … so if we can make these unhealthy choices a bit healthier that might make a difference”.
But the Australian Food and Grocery Council has criticised the report, saying it relies on out-of-date information and selective benchmarks.
The report analysed 199 different children’s meal combinations from six major fast food outlets, finding at worst they contained more than an entire day’s salt and saturated fat in the one meal.
“If kids are having a fast food meal they are getting a fair whack of what they should be having in one day, in one meal,” Ms Hughes said.
It found 90 per cent of children’s meals exceeded the recommended salt levels for four- and eight-year-old children.
About 70 per cent exceeded energy and sugar requirements for four-year-olds, and about 50 per cent for eight-year-olds.
Ms Hughes said the researchers had also recorded more than 1400 meal purchases at 20 fast food outlets, finding that people chose the healthy options on menus less than 1 per cent of the time.
“What that tells us is it is not just about including healthy options,” she said. “One of our recommendations is that targets be set for reform of all fast food products.”
The report also found about a third of fast food outlets did not have nutritional information available for customers.
In NSW nutrition information is mandatory, but Ms Hughes said a national approach was needed to ensure everyone could access it.
A spokesman for the food and grocery council said the Cancer Council was basing its assessment on a British recommendation that a meal should contain 30 per cent of daily energy and unhealthy nutrients.
“[Our] nutrition criteria is established by accredited practicing dieticians utilising Australian nutrient reference values,” he said. “The 30 per cent number being used in this study … has no relevance to Australian dietary guidelines”.
He said the majority of the main fast food companies had already completed roll-outs of nutrient information on menu boards, and healthy choices were available