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Pollution in China(19 images)

A side effect of China's rapid industrial growth, pollution now hangs heavily in many Chinese cities, where cheap energy prices and minimal environmental regulations have only hastened the hazy smog and poisoned waterways of the country.

Tiananmen Square sits under a thick blanket of smog, which the U.S. Embassy's daily air index has rated as hazardous, darkening the afternoon sun in Beijing January 18, 2012. Air pollution in China's capital has been so bad that the air quality monitoring system used by the U.S. Embassy here has described the pollution as being off the scale. The World Bank reports that 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in China, with Beijing being the 10th most polluted capital. UPI/Stephen Shaver
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A young Chinese boy crosses a polluted canal in a village outside of Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, on September 17, 2009. UPI/Stephen Shaver
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River traffic makes its way along a muddy Yangtze River, Sichuan Province, August 30, 2010. The Yangtze River has become a major artery and engine for the growth of Central and Western China due to the Three Gorges Dam. UPI/Stephen Shaver
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Heavy pollution blankets a hill-top temple and Denfeng City, Henan Province November 14, 2011. According to the World Bank, China has 16 of the world's 20 most polluted cities, with Henan (China's second most populous province) being one of the country's most polluted. Estimates suggest that close to 300,000 people die prematurely from respiratory diseases. UPI/Stephen Shaver
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