China has had issues with air pollution for quite a while. While in the United States we do quite a bit to keep the air clean and then get attacked perceived air pollution, China definitely has the real deal. For instance, here is a picture taken in the Chinese capitol of Beijing:
Now the intrepid bureaucrats in China have discovered the cause for all of the pollution. Its not massive industrialization without any regard for the environment or the lives of others. Instead the evil culprit that causes most people to wear breathing masks when they go out is none other than bacon. Officials in Sichuan blame locals who smoke bacon at home for a recent spike in air pollution. A state-run China News Agency reports that while this is not the only cause of pollution, it is the main cause for said pollution in both Dazhou and Chongqing. Both are seeing a rise in fine particles (PM 2.5) which according to the New York Department of Health can cause the following:
Particles in the PM2.5 size range are able to travel deeply into the respiratory tract, reaching the lungs. Exposure to fine particles can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. Exposure to fine particles can also affect lung function and worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease. Scientific studies have linked increases in daily PM2.5 exposure with increased respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions, emergency department visits and deaths. Studies also suggest that long term exposure to fine particulate matter may be associated with increased rates of chronic bronchitis, reduced lung function and increased mortality from lung cancer and heart disease. People with breathing and heart problems, children and the elderly may be particularly sensitive to PM2.5.
To anyone who doubted that bacon was strong enough to do anything including destroying the earth, be ashamed at your lack of faith. At least the communist leaders of China can take solace in the fact that if Islamists in their western provinces do overthrow the government, one of the first things they will do is execute anyone that dares to cook or eat bacon, or smoke, or raise pigeons, etc.
Image by Mr. Usagi, Creative Commons 2.0.