I realized that when talking about air pollution, many people will automatically equal it with CO2 pollution, global warming and the contamination brought by large chemical plants. However, most of us will ignore the huge damage brought by large-scale construction projects. The pollution did by large projects is actually much larger and common than what did by chemical plants domestically, especially in developing countries. True, one chemical plants makes more pollution than one large scale construction project and the pollution done by chemical plants usually more instinct and dangerous. However, just because it’s so obvious that chemical plants can pollute the air, the Chinese government has to “take care of it”, and they did. Until 2014, more than 1/3 chemical plants, including all the large chemical plants was closed or accepted Industrial Upgrading and Transformation. The total amount of chemical plants has massively reduced, so has the pollution they make. Right now, the fact is that the main pollution in China, especially east, south and north, is Particle Matter. (Particle matters (PM), smog-forming pollutants (like NOx,hydrocarbons ) and toxics are the air pollution that can make damage on our health in a very short time, not only the CO2. ) One large project can make a huge amount of these pollution by both its construction process and the construction equipments. Let’s talk about the equipments. there are about 19 types of construction equipments usually used in large projects and the five highest-polluting types are responsible for about 65 percent of PM and 60 percent of NOx in California in 2005. And that’s way better than the condition of air in China. The total number of the “top five” construction equipments in each large project is approximately about 24 ( way smaller than the number in reality), and for a secondary city like Linyi, there usually have at least 40 large-scale construction project working at a same time period and usually they will last for years.
24 × 40 × 365 = 350400，That’s the number of the “top five” working in a small secondary city of China in one day. If we pick up some large, strong secondary city’s data, it will be much more horrible. Take the example of Nanjing, until the last month of 2014, Nanjing has near 2000 c=large scale constructions projects. Assuming construction equipments in each large project is still approximately about 24.
We have 24 ×2000 × 365 = 1.752 × 10^7
I should mentioned there are total 19 types of construction equipments and we should know that the air pollution in China that made by secondary city is lighter than that made by big cities like Shanghai. My suggestions on dealing with this problem has been posted in the Part I ( my last post before this one).
I’ll leave this datas and resources here, you can read the forms, estimate and imagine the damage brought by large projects.
The Health Risks of Construction Pollution in California by Don Anair
CONSTRUCTION-GENERATED CRITERIA AIR POLLUTANT AND PRECURSOR EMISSIONS