As Chinese cities grapple with explosive industrial growth, they also grapple with the side effects, like millions of citizens with pollution-related ills. At Chengdu No. 7 People's Hospital, those patients are a common sight—and now, the hospital has opened a dedicated "smog clinic" to treat them.
Despite the fact that the official party line on smog suggests that the country's less-than-ideal atmospheric conditions actually provide good cover for military operations, millions of regular people are shouldering the burden of pollution. The World Health Organization reports that pollution-triggered sickness kills 656,000 citizens each year. Those illnesses range from asthma, heart disease, and lung cancer to less critical problems like chronic coughs and burning skin—just the type of symptoms treated at the new smog clinic.