Tuesday 9.30pm SBS ONE
Wednesday 2.00pm SBS ONE (repeat)

China's Cancer Villages

The Chinese government claims it’s making serious efforts to clean up pollution, and in the densely populated cities it appears to be having success.

But does it just mean the most toxic industries are being moved to sparsely populated rural areas?

Adrian Brown reports from two farming communities which have been labelled 'cancer villages'.

Untreated industrial waste poisoning the water supply is being blamed for an increase in cancer cases, which are up to four times the global average.

One couple tell Adrian that they've lost not only their 15-year-old son, but their entire livelihood, because their animals and land have been poisoned by a chromium dump.

With over 500 similar areas identified across the country by campaigners, what is being done to stop the growth of China’s pollution cancer?

WATCH - Click to see Adrian's report.

MAPPING THE CANCER VILLAGES - Find out more about the difficult task of mapping the cancer villages and tackling the pollution problem, including an interactive map of some of the affected areas.

HUMAN RIGHTS AWARDS - This story was subsequently one of the finalists in the English Language Television category of the 17th Annual Human Rights Press Awards, held in Hong Kong in April 2013. Follow the links to read more.

Photo: Greenpeace

On air: 15th May 2012