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October 24, 2005

Air pollution taking a heavy toll in China, experts say

A toxic cloud of smog over Chinas cities caused by exhaust from millions of new cars and belching coal-fired power plants is exacting a major public health toll, experts said Monday. About one-fifth of urban Chinese now breathe heavily polluted air, said Zhang Lijun, vice minister of the State Environmental Protection Administration. Zhang said improving air quality in 210 medium and large cities across China from polluted to good levels could save 178,000 lives a year.

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