China Cancer Villages Caused by Same Heavy Metal Once Sprayed on US Crops

Ethan A. Huff
Staff Writer, Natural News


Reuters, a news agency in England, reported that most folks living in China’s “cancer villages” (places near local mines) are suffering from skin lesions and cancer. The cause, based on the report, is industrial pollution from years of chemical mining. Constant exposure to arsenic has harmed people.

Xiong Demin, an old man who lives in a “cancer village” with his wife, Wen Jin’e, shared his tragic story with Reuters. For over three decades of working in mines, they developed cancer due to arsenic pollution left by the mining and processing of realgar. In 2011, Wen underwent surgery for skin and cervical cancers while Xiong received treatment for skin cancer in 2012. The latter’s illness, though, has spread to his lungs.

A few industries use realgar (“ruby of arsenic” and “ruby sulfur”) as a pigment and for making fireworks. Though its reddish color is striking, realgar is poisonous to humans because it has arsenic sulfide, a mineral linked to many forms of cancer.

In 2011, Chinese officials stopped realgar mining operations because of the immense pollution they caused. Yet chronic toxicity remained a problem in many towns and villages. In Heshan, dust and runoff from holding tanks (where workers make realgar) still plague the locale, harming crops and folks nearby.

Little Boy Drinking
As stated by the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection, 20 percent of Chinese farmland is polluted as a result of farm chemicals, industrial policies, and lax environmental regulation. (Source:

Just like China, metal scums from earlier industrial operations created a toxic legacy across America. Its soil, groundwater, and private well water in several areas are positive for arsenic. Thus, food crops grown today, such as rice in the South, are pulling arsenic out of the ground and putting it into the food supply.

Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration analyzed the arsenic levels of domestic rice and found a shocking result. Among the 1,300+ samples of rice and rice-based products they tested, almost all have arsenic, with the highest levels identified in “healthy” brown rice.

Upon reading the first paragraph of this news article, I had a tough time understanding the relevance of arsenic to mining. Though I first learned it in school from the Periodic Table of Elements, I don’t know how it relates to mining. Good thing the author wrote the article with so much clarity, letting me grasp the point as early as the mid part. I find this article worth recommending to everyone because it discusses diet and food intake, more so health and wellness.

Vocabulary Words

  • Dire – very bad; causing great fear or worry
  • Teeming – to become filled to overflowing; to be present in large quantity


Huff, E. (2016, June 6). “China Cancer Villages Caused by Same Heavy Metal Once Sprayed on US Crops.” Natural News. Retrieved from


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s