Tragedy in China: 80% of people in Dongming have thyroid tumors; 70% of rivers and lakes polluted



The BL

Cancer patients struggle to survive, a major health problem in China

TheBL Staff06/27/22

Across China, citizens have reported all kinds of hardships due to the Zero-Covid measures in recent months. Some of the reported consequences range from the impossibility of going to work or moving freely, to food and medicine shortages and lack of access to healthcare.

Today, we will learn more about what cancer patients are going through in lockdowns and discover facts about cancer villages.

Thyroid tumors in Shandong caused by environmental pollution

In 2021, NIH issued a detailed report about the findings on thyroid cancer in China. As mentioned in the report, the number of new thyroid cancer cases was around 39,000 in 2019 in China. The projection for 2039 is 47,820. The death toll is estimated to be around 4,000.

According to Chinese language media outlet Da Ji Yuan, 60%-80% of the people in Dongming County suffer from thyroid tumors. This place is also known as a “cancer village.”

The NIH report also mentions environmental pollutants as risk factors for thyroid cancer. The chemical industry caused severe pollution in the area. Chinese language media Da Ji Yuan reported water pollution as the leading cause of cancer in Dongming County. 

Four cyclohexanone factories were built in Dongming County in 2013, allegedly causing people to suffer from thyroid tumors. These factories pour water into underground waterways, farmland, and the Yellow River. People claim they get cancer after drinking the water.


The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China’s Future

By Elizabeth C. Economy

Cornell University Press


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