BEIJING - Lead emission from factories and the natural environment in China's manufacturing heart of Guangdong has poisoned 160 children, Xinhua said on Sunday in the country's latest case of unfettered industrial toxins.
Children from Dongtang town in Renhua country were found to have "elevated" levels of lead in their blood after inhaling lead-contaminated air and eating food tainted with lead, Xinhua said.
Th e natural level of lead in Dongtang is also higher than usual as the town sits on a lead-zinc ore belt which raises the lead content in the soil, Xinhua said.
The report did not name the factories responsible for the lead emissions and was based on preliminary investigations that tested the blood samples of 531 residents last month.
Lead poisoning is prevalent in China and has sparked protests in the past among angry parents of children hurt by heavy metal pollution. Lead is especially damaging to children as it can impede learning and affect behaviors.