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Authorities deny rumor of sick residents

AUTHORITIES in an eastern China county have denied a rumor that more than half of its local residents suffer thyropathy due to chemical spills.

The governments of Dongming County and Heze City in Shandong Province denied the accusation on Tuesday after an online post claimed that both ground water and the air were polluted by chemical plants in Dongming, Jinan-based Qilu Evening News reported on Wednesday.

However, a ground water sample test result published last Friday showed that most indexes for ground water in the county met national standards, though a higher than average level of fluoride was detected.

Yin Wenqing, director of the Dongming Center of Disease Control and Prevention, told the newspaper they checked residents in two townships in 2008 for a possible link between pollution and thyroid diseases.

A town with chemical plants nearby had no such patients while three people with thyroid tumors were found in the other town close to the Yellow River. There were no chemical plants in the vicinity, according to Yin.

An environmental inspection report issued on Tuesday said water in Dongming contained more fluoride because of the area's geological conditions.

A local environment watchdog carried out tests this month on waste drainage at local chemical plants and found all met provincial standards.


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