Green Batteries’ #Graphite Adds to #China Pollution

MASHAN, CHINA - MAY 28 A graphite worker walks across the Jin Yang graphite factory in the town of Mashan, China on May 28, 2016. Workers have very little safety equipment at many of the graphite factories. The northeastern province of Heilongjiang is rich in graphite and there are numerous mines and factories in the region. Locals who live in proximity to the factories complain of contaminated air and water affecting their crops and health. The graphite, which is purchased by Samsung and LG Chem, is a key ingredient in lithium batteries for mobile phones and electric cars. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

As more environmentally conscious #Americans do their bit to help clear the air by paying up for an eco-friendly #Prius or a sporty #Tesla, a damaging form of polluted rain is falling in #China.

The link is #Graphite, a vital component in batteries used in Tesla’s Model S, #Toyota’s plug-in Prius and other electric cars, as well as in electronic gadgets including #iPhones. It’s mostly mined and processed in China where graphite pollution has fouled air and water, damaged crops and raised health concerns. Now, in response, #Chinese authorities are closing dozens of graphite mines and processors in a bid for cleaner air even as global demand for the commodity is surging.

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