Many rural areas support smelters and foundries that spill pollution into soil and water supplies. [sina.com]
About 100,000 square kilometers of China's farmland, accounting for close to a tenth of all the fields in the country, is polluted by heavy metal, a government expert said in a conference Monday.
Wan Bentai, the chief engineer for China's Ministry of Environmental Protection, said heavy metal from smelter chimneys, water run-offs and tailings has polluted in total about 10 percent of the country’s farmland, and the pollution levels have exceeded government limits, according to Southern Metropolitan Daily.
"In recent years, there have constantly been outbreaks of heavy metal pollution, and from January to February alone there were 11 incidents, nine involving lead," Wan said in All-China environmental NGOs sustainable development meeting in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.
China has about 1.22 million square kilometers of farmland, and China's environment ministry has called for urgent measures to tackle heavy metal poisoning.