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December 4, 2009

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Home » Metro » Environment

Perfumery told to clean up act

THE Pudong New Area environmental authorities have ordered a perfumery to improve its sewage facilities after more than 80 residents reported skin rashes.

Meanwhile, environmental officers expanded the scope of their investigation to include several other factories near the neighborhood to ensure they are not releasing illegal waste.

A Pudong environmental official surnamed Zhang said investigators have not yet determined the cause of the rashes and whether the perfumery was responsible. Zhang added that the pollutant, if it's a gas, could be coming from farther away due to air flows.

More than 80 residents of Yihua Community in Pudong's Heqing Town had rashes on their legs, arms and backs.

Residents believe the rashes were caused by the perfumery, separated from the neighborhood by a river. Some residents raised banners calling for the factory to shut down last week.

However, the fragrance and flavor factory, a Shanghai branch of Geneva-based Givaudan, denied the accusation because its employees do not show any symptoms.

A primary environmental investigation found that the waste gas released from its vents met standards, but its sewage had an unpleasant order and failed to meet national criteria.

The factory has been ordered to improve sewage discharges so that they meet national standards.

Several other factories are near the community. Environmental authorities have launched checks at these plants to find out whether they have dumped toxic waste.

Rectification orders will be issued if illegal discharges are found, Zhang said.

Meanwhile, disease control officers are still investigating whether the rashes were caused by pollutants from the perfumery.


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