Birth Defects Rise in China Coal Country

BEIJING (AP) -- China's state media are reporting that soaring levels of defects are being seen in newborns in the northern coal mining regions of the country.

Results from eight main coal mining areas in Shanxi province show levels far higher than the national average.

According to an official news agency, a provincial official says the higher level of birth defects is "related to environmental pollution."

Shanxi is one of China's most heavily polluted regions, mainly as a result of mining and the use of high-sulfur coal.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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