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March 9, 2010

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

School cleans up after kids sickened

A PRIMARY school in the Pudong New Area has disinfected its temporary classrooms after some students felt sick with vomiting or dizziness from high formaldehyde content.

According to a letter to parents, school officials said they applied a disinfectant to the temporary classrooms on March 2 and the formaldehyde content has been lowered to a safe level.

The school, Guanlan Primary School, explained that students had been moved to classes at the temporary classrooms on February 22 because of reconstruction of school buildings. And it asked a quality-detection company to run a test after learning students were falling ill.

The results showed that excessive formaldehyde content in the classrooms had led to the students' suffering, read the letter.

The pupils, from 16 classes of Grade One and Two, have taken classes at the movable houses since the start of this semester.

Several dozen students complained of dizziness and other symptoms, with some asking to leave. Government officials declined to disclose the numbers of children and their symptoms.

"His lips are black, asleep and dried," said a parent surnamed Zhang whose son studies at the school. The boy had diarrhea and vomited when he came home after school on Friday, Xinmin Evening News reported at the weekend.

The father had no idea that his son's classroom had changed until then. The boy told him that the temporary classrooms had strong smells and he would feel dizzy after staying inside for some time.

A teacher from Grade Two said she would feel uncomfortable after entering the temporary classrooms, and more than 10 students in her class showed symptoms of vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea and painful eyes, the newspaper reported.

A phone call to the school seeking comment yesterday afternoon was not answered.

Tang Tao, an official with the Pudong New Area Education Bureau, acknowledged the problem.

"We have received the reports of the unusual smell in the school," Tang said. "A series of actions have been taken to purify the air."


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