Posted by: mulrickillion | December 9, 2011

Heavy metal pollution in China’s farmland

Joshua Eisenman, Editor: China Reform Monitor, No. 932, Dec 6, 2011 —

November 8:

About 10 percent of China’s farmland contains excessive levels of heavy metals due to contaminated water and poisonous waste seeping into the soil, the Southern Metropolis Daily and Hong Kong’s The Standard report, citing a survey by China’s environmental protection ministry. Pollution from lead, mercury and cadmium is blamed for poisoning entire villages and crop-growing land as factory bosses flout environmental laws and farmers use toxic fertilizers. “Heavy metal pollution incidents have occurred repeatedly in recent years,” Wan Bentai, chief engineer at the ministry said. “From January to August alone there were 11 incidents, nine involving lead.” Earlier this year, Environment Minister Zhou Shengxian warned that pollution threatens to choke China’s economic growth. Exposure to heavy metals can damage nerves, reproductive systems and kidneys, and cause other health complications, especially in children.

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