Poison victims storm China smelter

Parents attack plant after hundreds of children test positive for lead poisoning.

    More than 600 local children were found with excessive lead levels in their bloodstream [AFP]

    It is not known if there were reports of injuries or arrests.

    Tests have shown that at least 615 children out of 731 living in two villages near the Dongling smelter had excessive lead levels in their blood, more than 10 times the level considered safe by Chinese authorities.

     Local officials say they are planning to relocate families living near the plant [AFP]

    A total of 166 children have been hospitalised while the rest are being treated at home.

    Lead poisoning can damage the nervous and reproductive systems and cause high blood pressure, anaemia and memory loss.

    Xinhua said air quality tests done near the smelter showed unusually high levels of lead, although officials say groundwater, surface water, soil and company waste discharge all meet national standards.

    The agency quoted a local environmental official as saying lead content in the air near the plant was 6.3 times above that measured at other sites in the region.

    Local officials plan to relocate all 581 households living within 500 metres of the factory in the next two years, according to Xinhua, but it was unclear whether the plant had been closed.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.