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The World in Medicine
October 21, 2009

Lead Poisoning in China

JAMA. 2009;302(15):1640. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1525

After a recent spate of lead poisoning cases in China, a senior environmental protection official said that those responsible for heavy metal pollution and local officials “who turn a blind eye” to heavy polluters will be punished, according to a report in Xinhua, the state news agency (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-09/28/content_12119278.htm).

According to Xinhua, in September, the government closed a battery plant after at least 121 children younger than 14 years living nearby—more than 40% of those tested—had excessive blood levels of lead. Local authorities said the government will cover the cost of treating the affected children and would test all children living within 600 m of the plant.