"A trace of graphite is in consumer tech. In these Chinese villages, it’s everywhere."
"At night, the pollution around the village has an otherworldly, almost fairy-tale quality.
“The air sparkles,” said Zhang Tuling, a farmer in a village in far northeastern China. “When any bit of light hits the particles, they shine.”
By daylight, the particles are visible as a lustrous gray dust that settles on everything. It stunts the crops it blankets, begrimes laundry hung outside to dry and leaves grit on food. The village’s well water has become undrinkable, too."