The story appears on

Page A2

September 16, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Health and Science

Plant closed after high lead levels in 25 kids

Production at a battery manufacturing plant in Shanghai has been halted after dozens of children living nearby were found to have high levels of lead in their blood.

The Shanghai Johnson Controls International Battery Co was the major discharger of lead in Kangqiao in the Pudong New Area, the city government said yesterday.

The Shanghai Xinmingyuan Automobile Accessory Co in the same area was also ordered to cease lead-related production.

A staff member at the Johnson Controls plant, operated by Johnson Controls Inc in the United States, said the plant was shut on Wednesday.

The children's high lead levels were discovered during routine checkups for kindergarten recruitment, an official of Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau said.

The Pudong government launched an immediate investigation and arranged for health officials to conduct wider checks on children in Kangqiao.

So far, 25 children in Kangqiao have been detected with excess levels of lead in their blood.

Twelve children with light or medium-degree lead poisoning are being treated at Xinhua Hospital, while the others are attending Xinhua's outpatient clinic and the Shanghai Children's Medical Center.

"The treatment for children with light and medium lead poisoning should last several months," said Dr Yan Chonghuai at Xinhua Hospital. "All the hospitalized children are between three and six.

"They don't have significant syndromes of lead poisoning, while in-time and appropriate treatment should drop their lead level quickly without leaving serious consequences."

Shanghai Johnson Controls is one of the biggest automobile storage battery makers in China and the only local company involved in lead acid storage battery production, assembly and recovery in Kangqiao.

The Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau said the company produced 1,819 tons of hazardous waste last year but it was all dealt with properly and passed checks.

However, some insiders told a local television station that the company had opened more production lines than allowed and sometimes discharged lead-dust waste directly into the air without treatment.

"Kangqiao area is home to thousands of families, mainly young people who have just got married or had children," said a resident named Hanson. "Our residential community is only a kilometer away from the battery plant."

Hanson said the first case showing children with excess lead levels occurred in early July, when a four-year-old boy in a neighboring family suddenly couldn't walk.

"His parents just thought it may be some congenital disease. It was not until another child's family complained online about similar symptoms that the family took the boy to Xinhua Hospital, which found excess lead in his blood," he said.

"It's so horrible that it seemed like an invisible killer in the air," said Lily Huang, the mother of a one-year-old boy.

"The environment is worsening day by day not only because of the battery plant, but also a nearby paper-making factory sending off smelly gas into the air," she said.

Another resident surnamed Zhao, mother of a 17-month-old baby, called on the government to better manage the plants to ensure people's health.


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