The State Environmental Protection Administration is seeking better ways to curb environmental threats from large quantities of heavy metals, acid and alkali that have been leaking from discarded batteries.
A new research program currently run by the administration is focusing on measures to significantly reduce the environmental and health dangers by improving the collection, treatment and disposal of discarded batteries.
The program aims to generate standard techniques in the treatment of discarded batteries and regular reclamation of the batteries, said Yu Dehui, director of the technology department under the administration.
Batteries that are not properly disposed of will disintegrate and leak the dangerous substances in ground water, soil and air, eventually polluting the food people consume.
Currently China still lacks the techniques to effectively treat discarded batteries, according to the official.
Yu said batteries that contain mercury, which is very harmful to the environment and human health, will eventually be phased out of use.
Yu was speaking at the launching ceremony for the Desay Battery Environmental Protection Fund held in Beijing on Thursday.
During the ceremony, Desay Power Technology Co Ltd, based in Huizhou in south China's Guangdong Province, donated 1 million yuan (US$120,000) to the China Environmental Protection Foundation to set up the fund, which will be used to support research into battery disposal.
The administration's program will be the first to benefit from the fund.
According to statistics from the central government, the total output of batteries in China has exceeded 14 billion per year, accounting for one-third of the world's output.
(China Daily 06/12/2001)