Linfen The most polluted place in the world

Linfen used to be known to be one of the most beautiful places in China for it’s spring water, greenery and it’s rich agriculture.

The city was so beautiful that it took the nickname “The Modern Fruit and Flower Town”.

This was in 1978.

How has the city progressed since 1987?


What you see are actual photos of Linfen in 2007. Linfen was then known for it’s toxic air, heavy industry and so much smoke that you can’t even see the sun. The city was so "apocalyptic" that it was given the name “The Most Polluted Place on Earth”!

How could such a beautiful city turn into such a polluted wasteland so quickly?

Ever since 1978, Linfen has been doing fine, good economy and environment. All the way until the 1990s. In such a short amount of time, China began to rapidly industrialize and urbanize. This sudden and rapid development meant a massive demand for energy and there for a massive increase in value for coal.

Fact: Coal was used to such an extent that in 2007, almost all of Linfen’s heating came from coal.

Massive amounts of pollution was caused by immense mining, smelting and refining. Some of which, weren’t even regulated by the government. All this caused the environment around the city to crumble. The mines and factories polluted all freshwater sources around Linfen to the point where it was undrinkable. The water was so bad that people wouldn’t drink it from fear of lead poisoning.

Fact: Clean water was so hard to get, the entire province around Linfen would only get a couple hours of water everyday.

Because of the un-measurable amount of pollutants in the air. Breathing for a day in the city is about as bad as smoking 3 packs of cigarettes. Diseases such as skin lesions, peripheral vascular disease, hypertension, blackfoot disease, and high cancer incidence rates have shy rocketed because of the pollution.

However, if you went to the city today, you wouldn't see the horrific wasteland I made it out to be. Today, Linfen isn't bad at all.

Since then, the province recognized its environmental problems and taken action to cut down the pollution. Linfen has shut down 160/196 of its iron foundries and 57/153 of its coal producing plants. Smaller and high polluting factories will be replaces with larger and cleaner facilities. Also, all remaining factories have to follow strict policies on their production and pollution.

Because of Linfen's efforts to restore the city, it's now "The Model City of Environmental Protection".

Linfen is already doing a good job in revitalizing the environment, but it can still do so much more.

Building water filtration plants could significantly help restoring the environment and provide the city clean drinking water.

Also, lowering emissions by possibly enforcing that only certain cars can drive on certain days. Like it could alternate from cars with odd license plates driving on one day while even license plates drive the next.

Or to educate the youth about this problem. If Linfen could educate kids about this problem, they can grow up to find new and better ways to create a greater city.

The city still has a long way to go before becoming the glorious city that it once was. But it’s good to know that Linfen has had enough of being known as the the dirtiest place place in the world and is really working on returning the city to being the “The Modern Fruit and Flower Town”.


Created By
Potatos Incorporated

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