China shuts US plant in lead scare: report

An American-owned battery plant in China will remain shut until the end of the year over fears it has caused lead poisoning in local children, the Shanghai Daily reported on Friday.

The factory, run by US Fortune 500 company Johnson Controls, was one of two plants closed down temporarily last week by Shanghai authorities after tests on local children found some had excessive lead in their blood.

At the time, the government gave no time frame, but the Shanghai Daily said the plant would remain closed for three months.

The number of children living near the plants with excessive lead levels had risen to 32 from 25 last week, following the testing of more than 1,100 children, the paper quoted officials as saying.

Of the 32 children found to have high lead levels, 15 had been hospitalised, the report said.

The Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau said last week an initial investigation found that the factory had been emitting dust and smoke containing lead.

The second plant, called Xinmingyuan Auto Accessories Co., had been found using lead in production without proper approval, it added.

A Shanghai-based spokeswoman for the company could not be reached for comment Friday.

New York-listed Johnson Controls has previously said it does not believe its plant was the source of the problem.

Excessive levels of lead in the blood are considered hazardous, particularly to children, who can experience stunted growth and .

China's rapid industrialisation over the past 30 years has enabled it to become the world's number-two economy, but has also left it with widespread that has triggered numerous scares.

Earlier this year, authorities in the eastern province of Zhejiang detained 74 people and suspended work at hundreds of after 172 people -- including 53 children -- fell ill due to .

In 2009, local smelting plants were found responsible for nearly 1,000 children testing positive for lead poisoning in the central province of Henan.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Shanghai shuts 2 factories in lead poisoning probe

Sep 16, 2011

(AP) -- Shanghai's environmental watchdog ordered two factories in its suburbs to halt production pending an investigation into the source of lead poisoning among children in a nearby village.

Shanghai families say kids poisoned by lead

Sep 15, 2011

(AP) -- Families living in one of Shanghai's many industrial suburbs say their children are suffering from lead poisoning from nearby factories and recycling facilities.

Recommended for you

India to raise age for tobacco purchases, ban single sales

19 minutes ago

Health campaigners Wednesday welcomed India's plans to raise the age for tobacco purchases to 25 and ban unpackaged cigarettes, hailing them as a major step towards stopping nearly one million tobacco-related deaths a year.

Americans are smoking less than ever

23 minutes ago

The percentage of Americans who are smokers has fallen to an all-time low, now representing just 17.8 percent of the population, a study released Tuesday found.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.