Monday, February 2, 2009

Rising rate of birth defects in China

China birth defects 'up sharply'.

That's not good news, although it's pretty predictable. The link between pollution and children's health issues is already well established.

The article singles out Shanxi province, which is not where we're adopting from. Xuan is most likely to come from either Wuxi or Changzhou. I wonder if there are coal mines there. I'm sure there's plenty of pollution.

Did you know, additionally, that supposedly 'recycled' computers and computer parts are often shipped to China, where whole families make a living extracting the precious metals in their homes? It happens in several nations in Africa, too. The methods they use are archaic, highly toxic, and dangerous. Do these kids (and the environment) a favor - before you bring your old computer to a recycling center, make sure 'recycling' doesn't mean 'ship it overseas'. There are one or two legitimate computer recycling plants here in the US. Make sure it goes to one of those instead.

Even better, don't replace your computer as often. If 40% of Americans had 10-year-old computers, maybe the hardware/software manufacturers would take a hint and keep compatible merchandise on the shelves for longer. Then we can stop struggling to keep up with the ridiculously fast technology rat race we're in now, AND we'd all save money, AND we'd be sending fewer toxins overseas for young children to poison themselves with in the family firepit.


I'm glad to hear, again, that the Chinese government is taking the birth defect problem seriously. How seriously? I don't know. How seriously are we taking it here in the US?

I know it's difficult to hear, "You can make a difference by sacrificing some of the things in your life." But that's the attitude everyone needs to take. The planet depends on it. Other people's children depend on it. My child depends on it.

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