Clean Up Toxic Soil

China 2006: Day 7: Guilin: Farmers work on a farm in picturesque Guilin.

Target: President Xi Jinping

Goal: Implement heavy soil regulations to prevent further contamination of farm lands

A report released by the Chinese government that was once considered classified has been released about the conditions of Chinese soil, and this announcement has fueled outrage among the public and environmentalists. China deemed that one fifth of its farmland is polluted with heavy and carcinogenic metals. Before this problem can get any worse, the Chinese government must place heavy soil regulations to protect its people.

In May 2013, Chinese authorities launched an investigation into the rice of southern China and found that almost half of the rice supplies were contaminated with cadmium. Then in early 2013, a newspaper reported that tens of thousands of contaminated cadmium rice was sold to noodle makers since 2009. Despite government inspectors stating that the rice was good for non-food products, the trader sold it to the noodle makers anyway. Now China’s recent report stated that the most industrialized regions, the Yangtse and Pearl River deltas, are contaminated to five times over the safety levels. Unfortunately the report didn’t specify regions, but the presence of heavy and carcinogenic metals is cause for uproar.

Cadmium, nickel, and arsenic were found in Chinese farmland. The gradual accumulation of these metals can lead to kidney damage or cancer. However, such diseases and complications don’t surface until 10 to 30 years after contamination. But health advocates have already found “cancer villages” whose close location to factories have polluted their soil. The cancer rates in these villages are higher than the national averages. The soil survey began in 2005 until 2014, so symptoms of cancer and other related diseases could be turning up soon. It is likely that if soil samples were taken today, the results would be much worse.

China blames the use of polluted water, improper use of pesticides and fertilizer, and development of livestock breeding as the cause of this contamination.

The Chinese government promises to address the issue of pollution, but a lot of their focus has shifted to air pollution. Many of China’s environmental problems must be addressed immediately. Sign this petition and demand the government to place heavy restrictions on soil regulations to protect the Chinese people.


Dear Xi Jinping,

I am completely astounded that one fifth of your country’s farmland is deemed contaminated. I cannot believe that your government would allow this to happen. This problem affects your people and it’s likely that cancer and kidney problems will arise shortly from this pollution.

I am infuriated with your country’s lack of care towards the environment. If strict environmental measures are not implemented soon, the consequences will be dire. I am demanding your country to place heavy soil regulations immediately for the protection of your people.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Proggie via flickr

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