Toxic Pollutants and Birth DeficienciesOver the past decade the birth defect rate for hospital births in China has increased from just below 1 percent in 1996 to almost 1.3 percent in 2004 – a rate that was moreover higher in rural compared to urban areas.
If birth defects detected later are included the rates are as high as 4 to 6 percent. Such high rate of birth defects is of significant concern and possibly an indication of the seriousness of environmental problems in some specific geographic areas.
By focusing on the birth defect concern, this initiative is to put together an interdisciplinary project team to review the situation in China from a social, environmental chemistry, as well as human health perspective.
The initiative is a continued efforts in mapping the possible health effects and social consequences of increasing environmental pressures in China, and to provide policy recommendations.