Thursday, August 20, 2009

'HUNDREDS ILL' NEAR CHINA SMELTER !


Authorities in China have closed a second metal smelter after more than 1,300 children fell sick with lead poisoning, state media have reported.

The children were living near a manganese plant in Wenping, in Hunan province, Xinhua news agency said.

Two executives of the plant have been detained over the poisoning.

It follows the closure of another smelter in northern Shaanxi province, where more than 600 children were found to have lead poisoning.

In both cases, the smelters were closed after angry parents confronted authorities over their children's illnesses.

Lead poisoning can cause a range of health problems, from learning disabilities to seizures. Children under six are most at risk.

Air, soil and water pollution is common in China, which has seen rapid economic growth over the past few decades.

BBC NEWS REPORT.

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