The story appears on

Page A2

February 26, 2012

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Health and Science

3 companies responsible for child lead poisoning case, report finds

THREE local companies have been held responsible for a lead poisoning incident involving 49 children in Shanghai, according to a report issued by the city government yesterday.

The report cited a battery manufacturer, an auto parts maker and a recycling company as being connected to the elevated lead levels.

Of the 1,306 children living in Kangqiao area of the Pudong New Area who had their blood tested in September in routine checks for kindergarten and primary school recruitment, 49 children, mainly between the ages of one and three, were found to have elevated blood lead levels.

All children received treatment soon afterwards. So far, three of the sickened children are still hospitalized, the report said, noting their condition has gradually improved.

Dr Yan Chonghuai from Xinhua Hospital said yesterday the three children are aged around three and in a stable condition.

"All children that were hospitalized suffered light to medium lead poisoning," he said. "In addition to lead exposure from the environment, I also found most of the children with excessive blood lead have used a prickly heat powder that contains lead chemicals. The prickly heat powder was made based on a folk prescription."

He added that treatment will be effective and "they won't be left with serious consequences."

The investigation conducted by environmental and health authorities showed the children became ill after being exposed to a high level of lead in the environment, the report said.

The dirt containing lead entered the children's bodies through the digestive system, experts found. They added that children often put their fingers in their mouths, thus soil contaminated with lead could easily lead to poisoning.

No permits

The report said Shanghai Johnson Controls International Battery Co Ltd is mainly responsible for lead discharges in Kangqiao. It discharged excess airborne lead as it expanded production without government permits.

Shanghai Johnson Controls is one of the biggest car battery makers in China and the only local company involved in lead acid storage battery production, assembly and recovery in Kangqiao. It was the major discharger of lead in Kangqiao, the report said.

Shanghai Xinmingyuan Automobile Parts Co Ltd was found to have used lead on its production lines without authorization.

The investigation also found excessive levels of lead and zinc in the soil inside the plant of Shanghai Kangshuo Waste Recycling Co, which recycles used goods and materials.

All three businesses have been shut down for the time being.

Since Kangshuo has moved from its original location, it was ordered to repair the polluted soil within a time limit.

The report said, without going into details, that government authorities will follow the case closely to ensure the three companies live up to their responsibilities.

The municipal government is working to formulate pollution emission standards for battery plants to prevent similar incidents from happening.

Kangqiao residents said they have been waiting for the government investigation report for a long time. A resident named Hanson Jun, who lives about 1 kilometer from the battery plant, told Shanghai Daily the children with excess lead levels are recovering slowly.

Most of the sick children have left hospital and are taking calcium tablets and other pills daily, he said.

Officials from the government and the plant are now negotiating with victims' parents over compensation, Hanson said.

Some residents living in the community said they are skeptical about whether the area where the plant was once located is suitable for redevelopment.

"It's horrible that we have been living in an area surrounded by these plants and factories, which heavily polluted the area for years," said a resident surnamed Zhao. "All I want to do now is move away from here."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend