Jinshan, Shanghai – Thousands marched on Jinshan District Government building Monday afternoon to protest the construction of another PX chemical plant. The march chanted “PX Get out of Jinshan”as people followed behind a large banner with the same slogan.
Police lines were used to block off the entrances to the District Government building. The march filled the area surrounding and the protest remained all day and grew in size as it went into the night.
At least 1 person was arrested during the day. Images and reports on social media show that at least 3 more people were arrested at night.
PX (paraxylene) is a flammable chemical used in polyester and plastics manufacturing is a major contributor to air pollution.
In April an explosion at a chemical factory producing (paraxylene) PX in Zhangzhou, Fujian province, required the attention of the Chinese army’s anti-chemical warfare unit and the evacuation of 30,000 people.
Construction of PX plants has sparked many protests, including violent demonstrations that lasted 3 days last year in Maoming, Guangdong province. Air pollution and especially the particulate PM2.5 are a major concern in the nation.
A recent study by Greenpeace and Peking University has found air pollution kills more people than smoking in many cities on the mainland.
Tiny smog-inducing pollutants, known as PM2.5, led to about 257,000 premature deaths across the mainland’s 31 municipalities and provincial capitals in 2013, according to the study – an average of about 90 in every 100,000 deaths.
In 12 of the 31 cities, including Shijiazhuang , Nanjing , Tianjin and Chongqing , the mortality rate due to pollution was even worse. In these cities, at least 100 out of every 100,000 deaths were blamed on PM2.5.
Both these figures were higher than the official mortality rate of smoking – recorded in 2012 as about 70 in every 100,000, according to Greenpeace.
And the true scale of the problem could be even worse, because several of China’s most polluted cities, including those in Hebei province, were not included in the survey. Watch the viral video Under the Dome: China Smog Documentary.
Video: People marching toward Jinshui, District government.
Images document the event
Video: Police lines are used to prevent people from reaching the building.
Images of the day time protest rally surrounding the Jinshan District Government building.
For more on protests in China visit our archive.