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Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 1932–1946 | Cite as

A study of “cancer villages” in Jiangsu Province of China

  • Yuanyuan ChengEmail author
  • C. Paul Nathanail
Research Article
  • 65 Downloads

Abstract

China’s economic boom has created many environmental and health challenges, including so-called cancer villages. This study, the first to use the lens of “cancer villages” at provincial level, examines the correlation between changes in Jiangsu cancer villages and economic and environmental quality indicators identified as being relevant, and hence to highlight environmental issues that should be mitigated to protect public health. Since 2001, 25 cancer villages have been reported in Jiangsu. The distribution pattern of these villages is of a cluster whose mean centre had moved from Suzhou city in 2001 to Taizhou in 2006 and 2011. By applying the buffer analysis tool of ArcGIS10.2.2 using 3-km and 5-km radius buffer, to examine the relationship between these cancer villages and the surrounding rivers, it was revealed that 76% of the villages fall within the 3-km buffer zone, and 88% are within the 5-km buffer zone. A fairly strong correlation between the cancer villages and annual GDP, as well as pollutant discharge, was found, with correlation coefficients of 0.94 for Jiangsu, 0.89 for Northern Jiangsu, 0.93 for Central Jiangsu, 0.83 for Southern Jiangsu and 0.64 for city level. The change of newly added cancer villages is significantly influenced by the discharge of sewage water (raising COD) and SO2, and the peak of newly added cancer villages, as well as discharge of COD and SO2 all occurred in 2005. For four cities, the total sewage water discharge and SO2 emissions are consistent with the order of the distribution density of the villages. The phenomenon of cancer villages in China will gradually be resolved as the government takes effective measures to tackle environmental issues coupled with people’s increasing environmental and health awareness.

Keywords

“Cancer village” Jiangsu Province Environmental quality ArcGIS Annual GDP SO2 emissions 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to Mr. Jiayuan XU for his help with the figures.

Funding information

This study was sponsored by Suzhou University of Science and Technology, Jiangsu Province, China (Project code XKZ2017009). All authors declare that they have no actual or potential competing financial interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3758_MOESM1_ESM.docx (85 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 85 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental Science & EngineeringSuzhou University of Science & TechnologySuzhouChina
  2. 2.Land Quality Management LtdNottinghamUK

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