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Probe underway after poisonous running track sickens kids in Beijing school

BEIJING'S education authority on Friday launched an investigation into a synthetic racetrack at an elementary school that was emitting excessive amounts of poisonous substances.

Dozens of students at the Baiyunlu campus of Beijing No.2 Experimental School in Xicheng District suffered from nosebleeds, dizzy spells and coughs, after running on the track last month.
Tests on the track this week, nine months after it was put into use, showed excessive amounts of benzene substances and formaldehyde.
The Xicheng education commission has ordered that the track be covered in a protective coating, and promised to track down those responsible.
There will be a thorough investigation of facilities in several other schools. 
Medical staff will be despatched to the school to provide treatment and support for students.
Similar cases have occurred in Jiangsu, Guangdong and other provinces. 
The Ministry of Education said it has clear requirements for installation of synthetic racetracks in schools. However, the requirements have not been fully implemented in some areas. 
Wang Dinghua, an official in charge of elementary education with the ministry, said lax supervision is the major reason for such incidents.


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