Why are people all over Lanzhou stocking up on water like crazy? It’s because if they don’t there might not be much more drinkable water left, as their supply has been contaminated with benzene:
Preliminary inspection showed the benzene came from nearby chemical factories, the local government said on its website, although no culprit was named. The environmental bureau is carrying out further investigations.
This reminds me of the recent MaoMing protests against a PX plant. PX, or “para-Xylene”, is a chemical. I was bad at chemistry, so let me outsource the homework to wikipedia:
p-Xylene is an aromatic hydrocarbon based on benzene… p-Xylene is also called benzene, 1,4-dimethyl-; p-dimethylbenzene; p-xylol; 1,4-dimethylbenzene; 1,4-xylene; p-methyltoluene; para-sylene; chromar; scintillar; 4-methyltoluene; NSC 72419; 1,4-dimethyl-benzene.
p-Xylene is a colorless, flammable liquid that is insoluble in water…
Ingestion of p-Xylene can result in a burning sensation, abdominal pain, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, and nausea. If p-Xylene is ingested one’s mouth should be rinsed and vomiting should NOT be induced. Further medical attention should be sought. Ingestion can be prevented by not eating, drinking, or smoking when working with p-Xylene.
p-Xylene can cause issues with the central nervous system and if swallowed could cause chemical pneumonitis when breathed into the lungs.
Liquid p-Xylene exposure to the skin over long periods of time can remove the fat from the skin. The substance may also have effects on the Central Nervous System. Exposure can enhance hearing loss caused by noise exposure. Animal tests suggest that this substance could cause damage to human development and reproductive systems.
OK, we get that it causes health risks. Why would anyone not trust the government, when it says the risks from PX are actually very low. Especially when there’s a pretty face like Ai Yang to put us at ease about it. Wait, a pretty face isn’t authoritative enough? Well, then, let’s go with a white-face to make this report sound more authoritative:
Oh yeah, nevermind the fact that the reason a lot of foreign companies do business in China is because they can dramatically lower their margins thanks to China’s lax enforcement of environmental laws. This is why as China may try, it hasn’t really caught up to the US. So for all the anti-American rhetoric and nationalism, in the end, just for those dallah’ dallah’ billz, they’re letting foreign companies shit all over them like a scheiße porn.