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To the list of China’s environmental horrors, add one: an 8-year-old with lung cancer. Doctors at a hospital in coastal Jiangsu province blamed the girl’s condition on pollution, according to a state media. The child, who has not been identified, reportedly lived near a busy road and was exposed to harmful particles and dust. She is being called China’s youngest-ever lung-cancer patient.

The news comes amid growing concern about the health effects of air pollution. Last month the World Health Organization for the first time classified air pollution as a cause of cancer. The agency said air pollution caused 220,000 cancer deaths in 2010 and that more than half of lung-cancer deaths from particulate matter were in East Asia. Lung-cancer deaths in China have multiplied more than four times in the past three decades, according to government statistics.

The problem is particularly bad in northern China, where…

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