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Chinese environmental protection chief refuses $30k to swim in polluted river

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Riu'an City environmental protection chief Bao Zhenming won't be collecting the $30,500 offered by local eyeglasses retailer executive Jin Zengmin anytime soon.

Jin offered Bao $30,500 to swim for twenty minutes in a heavily polluted river in Riu'an City. Bao refused the offer, claiming the polluted river was not his responsibility.

Pollution in China has become an international concern over the past few years. Air pollution from China has made it's way to Japan, Korea, Canada, and the United States. Thick clouds of smog have been linked to health risks in major Chinese cities.

The Chinese government believes 40 percent of waterways are severely polluted. A government study showed 90 percent of groundwater was contaminated, leaving at least 200 million Chinese citizens without clean drinking water.

Several rivers in China have turned red from pollutants being dumped illegally, including from mining and smelting plants. It is these same mining and smelting plants which have polluted the river running through Riu'an City.

Environmentalists in China hope moves like Jin's will raise awareness of the pollution problem. They believe increased awareness will prompt the government to enact and enforce environmental regulations.

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