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16 Jun 2014

Global Times [China]

Hunan chemical plant shut over high lead levels in children, official blames ‘pencils’ [China]

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A chemical plant suspected of causing lead poisoning in more than 300 children in...Hunan Province, was shut down…[B]lood tests …found… [t]he lead density in the children's blood all exceeded the national standard of 100 micrograms per liter for children, with some reaching as high as 501 micrograms per liter, which indicates severe poisoning...Local residents suspect that nearby chemical plant Meilun Chemical Materials Ltd, which discharged untreated particulates and waste water into the Xiangjiang River, is responsible for the pollution…Su Genlin, head of Dapu government, said that children could get excessive lead levels from "biting pencils." Excessive amounts of lead in the blood could harm the neural and reproductive systems and cause high blood pressure and anemia. In severe cases, it can lead to convulsion, coma and death...Some local children that showed excessive amounts of lead shared common symptoms of stomachache or growth retardation…