25 Images of Pollution Out of Control in China

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A Reddit user posted these images to the news/social media site Reddit earlier this year. These images present a very sad but true picture of the pollution situation in China.

Though these pictures all come from China, they are a problem that billions of people are encountering all over the developing world: Lack of environmental regulations, limited access to clean water, polluted waterways and polluted air.  

Everyone Has Polluted At One Time Or Another

Most people may not be well aware that the US was once a major polluter as well. During the industrial revolution in the 1860s-1920s, pollution regulations were minimal.  

For many decades, waste was openly dumped into rivers and oceans as it is done in developing nations today.  Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes, was once so polluted that nothing could live in it.  Ultimately, the American people recognized the long term risks associated with these practices and called for change.

However, the US population at the time of the industrial revolution was roughly 50 million people.   China is undergoing its own industrial revolution, with just as much disregard for pollution and the environment that the US once had 125 years ago.  However, China's population is over 1.35 billion people!

Nearly 30 times that of the US's during this time.  India is also close to 1.3 billion people and is growing as fast as china.  Together, these countries are over 50 times bigger than the US was when it was heavily polluting the environment 125 years ago.  

But Can We Survive It?

Can the world survive the consequences of 20-30 more years of polluting on the scale that is currently occurring? Even if China and India produce regulations similar to the US in the next 10 years, which the damage done be reversible?   

Here are 25 pictures that reveal a sad situation that has become daily life for billions of people around the world:






Daily life in many Chinese cities consists of going to work in a heavy smog-pollution while wearing low efficiency dust mask.


Most small to medium sized cities do not have public trash bins on the streets.  Instead, citizens openly throw trash on the ground. Street sweepers are employed in busier areas to keep the ground from being covered in litter. However, much of this trash ends up in rivers or remains on the ground in less busy areas. 


Industrial waste is run directly into the river where it is easy and cheap for the factory to dispose of it without consequence.

A small scale mining operation does damage to the physical landscape as well as the air. 



A child clears the filth out of his way while swimming in the only place he can, a heavily polluted river. 

What looks like an overcast day does not have a cloud in sight.  The haze of pollution dims the sun most days of the year.

A child employed to sift through electrical wires which will be melted down for their contents.

 A girl fishes in a pond for food, even though eating anything caught here is a clear health risk.

A dust storm sweeps into a city in North Central China.  Much of the pollution in this cities is made worse by sand from the Gobi Desert.




These fish have recently died but many will still end up as food as little goes to waste in poor communities.





The smog can make it hard to see down the road.  



Image Source:  

These pictures were posted to imgur by a Reddit user on Jan 22, 2015

A source was not identified. Please Contact Air Purifiers America to request citation or removal of these images.

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