Heavy metal pollution to be controlled

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The country's environmental watchdog will issue a plan to control heavy metal pollution by June this year, Zhou Shengxian, minister of environmental protection, said at the ministry's annual national conference on Monday.

"Last year, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) received 12 cases involving heavy metal pollution. " Zhou said.

He added:"As a result, 4,035 people were found with excessive blood lead levels and another 182 with excessive cadmium levels. These cases have also led to 35 mass incidents."

An overall plan for the prevention of heavy metal pollution is being revised by the State Council, and will be issued before June, Zhou said.

The ministry will gather a list of industries that involve heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium and arsenic, the major polluting enterprises and the areas where they are located.

The MEP also urged local monitoring stations to strengthen efforts to control heavy metal pollution, especially at environmentally sensitive areas, where polluting factories are located.

Pilot projects will also be carried out for the recovery of the soil that has been contaminated by heavy metals.

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