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    Chinese Parents Upset over Low Compensation for Lead Poison


    by NTDTelevision

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    More on that lead poisoning story we told you about last week in China. Parents are outraged at the meager compensation they have been given. They are demanding better assistance after 200 children were found to have been poisoned by lead.

    Since more than 200 children from a village in Anhui Province were found to be suffering from lead poisoning, parents are now demanding answers.

    According to environmental regulations, battery factories are supposed to be built no closer than 500 meters from residential communities, but the Borui Battery Company is just a few steps across the road from the densely-populated community of Xinshan.

    [Mr. Zhang, Resident, Gaohe Township]:
    "An industrial area should have industrial uses. In general, there should not be any residential areas inside here but the government put the residents here. This should not have been allowed."

    Huaining County authorities said the Borui Battery Co. Ltd had been closed for its lax safety standards after polluting the soil with lead.

    Residents said children who were found to have more than 250 micrograms of lead per liter of blood were sent to a provincial hospital for treatment. Families of children with serious but lower levels of lead had to fend for themselves. They were given 400 yuan, about $60 U.S. dollars, and a box of fruit.

    For Resident Madam Zhang, that kind of compensation is not enough.

    [Madam Zhang, Mother of 9-year-old Huang Zhendong]:
    "I just hope the government will give us some economic compensation so that we can buy some nutritious things to feed our children and that they can get well soon. Also, they have to deal with the source of this pollution. There is another battery plant that is still in production further up there."

    High levels of lead can be toxic to many organs in the body. It damages the development of the nervous system and is especially toxic to children as, causing learning and behavior disorders.
    Ben Yang