Across China the major problems are pollution and lead poisoning. It is reported that approximately 10% of Chinese children have fallen sick from lead poisoning due to lead being found in water, paint, food and other sources.
There were three hundred Chinese children among the six hundred people poisoned in the latest mass lead poisoning incident.
In several provinces 1000s of children were affected by lead poisoning in 2009 and 2010, due to their homes being close to battery factories or metal smelters.
Workers are constantly exposed, due to lead materials being used in the processing of tinfoil. According to the official Xinhua News Agency report, the latest victims were employees, as well as their children, in 25 family-run tinfoil processing workshops in Yangxunqia, in Zhejiang province, eastern China.
It is reported that these workshops have now closed their operations.
In May 2010, the production at hundreds of battery factories were suspended and seventy four people arrested in the same province, following a report that dozens of people were suffering from lead and cadmium poisoning.
A report showed that more than one thousand three hundred children were poisoned by a year-old manganese factory in Wenping Township, Hunan province, central China in 2009. This was the second case in just two weeks, as a factory was closed down by the authorities and two executives held on suspicion of ‘causing severe environment pollution’.
Hunan is famous for its heavy metal industry. Around seven hundred villagers rioted, after the news broke concerning the lead poisoning. They destroyed a local government sign and upturned police cars.
The U. S. A.in 2007 recalled thousands of Chinese products for being toxic flawed, or dangerous, including tools, dog food, baby bibs, tires, computer batteries, toothpaste, children’s jewelry and toys.
More than 2,000 villagers in 2006, including more than 300 children, experienced lead poisoning from a smelting plant in Hui County, in Gansu province, north China. The factory was pumping out polluted waste water, as well as emitting thick clouds of dust and dark fumes. The government instructed the factory to shut down and move to a safer vicinity.
When Beijing announced plans for tighter control, in response to reports of widespread contamination from heavy metals, local authorities began belatedly moving to lower pollution. Local authorities are not made to carry out expensive tests for heavy metals, which accumulate over time.
China still uses lead because it produces vivid colours, is cheap, goes on easily and resists corrosion, despite the fact that the use of lead has been widely prohibited.
Lead poisoning can destroy brain damage, cause comas, destroy the nervous, muscular and reproductive systems and create kidney failure. Children are mostly at risk.