Children in SW China Found to Have Lead Poisoning
March 15, 2010
At least 94 people living near a lead factory, most of them children have tested positive for lead poisoning, state media said, prompting authorities to order the closure of the plant. Hundreds more people are still waiting for test results. Reports of lead poisoning have emerged around the country since last year, highlighting the heavy environmental cost of China''s rapid economic development. Authorities organized medical tests for some 1,600 residents in four villages within a 2,600-foot radius of the Zhongyi Alloy Co. in Longchang county of Sichuan province''s Neijiang city, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Ninety-four residents, including 88 children, were found to be suffering from lead poisoning, while 745 others were waiting for their test results. Zhongyi, which authorities suspected was to blame for the lead poisoning, was ordered closed, Xinhua said. The illnesses were discovered after a local resident was found in a health checkup to have excessive levels of lead and the matter was reported to the county environmental protection bureau.