China Smelter Closed After 300 Kids are Lead Poisoned
A smelter in Northern China was shut down by authorities after the factory left more than 300 kids afflicted with lead poisoning. The Dongling Lead and Zinc Smelting Co., located in the Shaanxi province, has been blamed since July for the recent influx of sick children being brought into hospitals and families who lived nearby the factory.
The report said the smelter, producing lead, zinc and coke, opened in 2006 and accounted for 17 percent of the county's GDP.
The county government of the Changqing industrial park, where the majority of the sick children hail from, was supposed to relocate families living nearby in 2006 when the plant first opened.
An investigation found that lead from the factory had leaked into the soil, air and water source for 425 families residing near it in the town of Changqing, the report said.
Local officials plan to relocate all 581 households living within 500 metres of the factory over the next two years, the report said.
The government has now pledged to relocate all families within the next two years.