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China says pollution affects area of soil more than twice the size of Spain

Published on Apr 17, 2014 5:57 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said on Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

Of about 6.3 million square kilometres of soil surveyed - roughly two thirds of China's total area - 16.1 per cent is thought to be polluted, the environmental protection ministry said in a report.

The study, which appeared on its website, blamed mining and farming practices among other causes.

"The national soil pollution situation is not positive," the ministry said, adding that more than 19 per cent of the farmland which was surveyed is polluted.

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