China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

China detains executives in latest pollution case

BEIJING, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Chinese authorities have detained senior managers at two factories in southern China which leaked the cancer-causing chemical arsenide into a river, the official Xinhua news agency said. The plants in Hunan province, which had no pollution treatment facilities, had been closed down, Xinhua said in an overnight report seen on Tuesday. The pollution caused no casualties and Dongting lake, one of China's largest and downstream from the accident, had avoided serious pollution, it added. The report gave no details on how many people had been detained. The leak poisoned drinking water supplies for nearly 100,000 people and fire engines were bought in to distribute fresh water. Arsenide can damage the liver, kidney and cause lung or skin cancer. Rapid expansion in hazardous industries like chemical manufacturing and smeltering has led to an increasing number of pollution cases in China. Earlier this month, a lead smelter in northwest Gansu province poisoned hundreds. Last October, a chemical plant explosion in northeast China lead to benzene being discharged into a local river, forcing supplies to be cut off for millions and reaching as far away as Russia.

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