Construction starts on compound for lead-poisoned villagers

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, September 25, 2009
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Construction began Friday of a relocation compound for nearly 1,400 families living near a smelter whose discharges caused mass lead poisoning, in Fengxiang County, northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

County government officials said the compound would cover 10 hectares. It will have 1,425 suites in 40 six-story buildings and total investment will be 180 million yuan (26.4 million US dollars).

Villagers living within a kilometer of the Dongling Lead and Zinc Smelting Co. are to be moved. The smelter, which started production in 2006, produced 100,000 tonnes of lead and zinc and 700,000 tonnes of coke a year.

Last month, blood tests of 1,016 children aged 14 and under from three villages in Changqing Township showed 851 had excessive lead levels in their blood and 174 cases were considered serious enough to need hospital treatment.

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