Battery factory poisons 24 children in China

Beijing, Jan.6 (ANI): Twenty-four children, aged between nine months and 16 years old, have been hospitalised for lead poisoning caused by battery factories in their east China village, state media said, marking the latest in a string of battery-related poisonings in recent years.

The official Xinhua News Agency said that local authorities had shut two battery factories in Anhui province's Huaining county after tests found that at least 200 local children had elevated lead levels, with 24 of them requiring hospitalisation.

Xinhua said the factories lie just across the street from homes despite regulations that say battery plants cannot be within a 1,600 foot radius of residential communities.

It did not say when the factories started operating, or what kind of batteries the factories produced.

The report did not pinpoint how the children were exposed, but battery factories can pollute the air and soil with their emissions.

China is the world's largest producer and consumer of lead, a key component in the lead-acid batteries needed for the growing number of cars and electric bikes in the country.

According to the Guardian, new cases of lead poisoning regularly pop up around the country, underscoring the toll pollution is taking on the health of rural Chinese. (ANI)

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