On the outskirts of one of China’s most polluted cities, an old farmer stares despairingly out across an immense lake of bubbling toxic waste covered in black dust. He remembers it as fields of wheat and corn. Hidden out of sight behind smoke-shrouded factory complexes in the city of Baotou, and patrolled by platoons of security guards, lies a five-mile-wide “tailing” lake. It has killed farmland for miles around, made thousands of people ill and put one of China’s key waterways in jeopardy. This vast, hissing cauldron of chemicals is the dumping ground for seven million tons a year of mined rare earth after it has been doused in acid and chemicals and processed through red-hot furnaces to extract its components. . . . When we finally break through the cordon and climb sand dunes to reach its brim, an apocalyptic sight greets us: a giant, secret toxic dump . . . The lake instantly assaults your senses. Stand on the black crust for just seconds and your eyes water and a powerful, acrid stench fills your lungs. For hours after our visit, my stomach lurched and my head throbbed. We were there for only one hour, but those who live in Mr. Yan’s village of Dalahai, and other villages around, breathe in the same poison every day. People too began to suffer. Dalahai villagers say their teeth began to fall out, their hair turned white at unusually young ages, and they suffered from severe skin and respiratory diseases. Children were born with soft bones and cancer rates rocketed.
Where Science, Reason and Christianity Meet. Your Christian Apologetics source.