The story appears on

Page A2

November 27, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Nation

Families in toxic lead range to be shifted

AUTHORITIES in northwest China will relocate 1,396 families after waste discharge from a smelter caused lead poisoning in 851 children.

The families, who live within 1,000 meters of the Dongling Lead and Zinc Smelting Co in Fengxiang County, Shaanxi Province, would move into new homes at least 4 kilometers away from it before the end of next year, Deputy County Chief He Hongnian said yesterday.

He said construction of two new residential areas began in September.

The smelter, shut amid protests in August, agreed to share the estimated 300 million yuan (US$44 million) in relocation costs with the provincial, city and county governments, after a row over whether the smelter or the villagers should move.

Late August, the local government agreed to relocate the villagers and let the three-year-old smelter stay.

Despite an annual discharge of 1.11 tons of lead, the smelter, which produces 100,000 tons of lead and zinc and 700,000 tons of coke a year, contributed 17 percent of the county's GDP last year.

Most villagers expect the relocation would be an end to the issue, though some fear the compensation for giving up their old homes would not be enough to buy a new one.

"We still don't know how much compensation we'll get," said Sun Yagang, a villager in Sunjia Nantou. "We hope the government will publish the compensation standards soon."

The villagers are uncertain whether they will lose farmland after the relocation.

"We used to grow enough grain and vegetables to feed the entire family, and earn some cash by doing odd jobs in town," said villager Chao Mingrun whose family has a tenth of a hectare of farmland close to their home.

"We're not sure if we can still own the farmland. Even if we can, it'll be a problem if we have to travel 4 kilometers to do farm work."

"We'll see what we can do to help the villagers keep their farmland, or create other jobs for them," said He.

At least a third of the children who suffered lead poisoning in summer had recovered, doctors said after health checks in October.

Of the 96 children in Madaokou Village who were diagnosed as severe cases in August with more than 250 milligrams of lead per liter of blood, 49 showed a much lower levels in October, said village official Ma Jian.

While a few serious cases were hospitalized for medical intervention, most children received dietary treatment and were provided with free food such as milk and nuts to help expel lead, doctors said.


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