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90,000 Violent Incidents In China Last Year - 50,000 Due To Environment

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 12:19 PM
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90,000 Violent Incidents In China Last Year - 50,000 Due To Environment

Inside the house, where Zhang and his cousin live alone, the logo of the Jing Quan rice-wine factory down the road is printed on transparent tape that seals plastic on windows and covers the kang. That factory is where Zhang's mother worked for three months in 2002, etching bottles by dipping them into hydrofluoric acid with only rubber gloves for protection. The same factory dumped ton upon ton of used acid into an unlined pit, court and government documents reveal. The acid seeped into the village's groundwater, poisoning the wells of hundreds of families.

Subsequent tests showed fluoride levels in the water thousands of times higher than is considered safe. Neither the factory nor government has done cleanup; water tests done a year ago show pollution remains. Still, Zhang drinks the water, which develops an oily film just seconds after it's pumped from the ground. "We all drank the poisoned water. This situation is really bad," said Wang Julan, a 57-year-old grandmother, herself a victim.

The story of Leifeng and Puxing, some 100 miles west of Siberia, is a protracted saga of environmental abuse, family tragedy, official neglect - and a determination to fight within the system for change. The villagers' desperation for a resolution to their plight is not unique. Along with its overheated economic growth, China has developed vast environmental problems. Even as spoiled air, water, and soil have degraded the environment across the country, they have often caused illnesses. Serious protests have often followed: The countryside saw nearly 90,000 uprisings last year, the government says, and 50,000 were related to pollution.

China has promised stricter enforcement and monitoring, as well as tougher standards. Larger cities with high-profile environmental problems have drawn attention and action - in November, the international press and government aid poured into Harbin and Jilin after a chemical-plant explosion threatened the downriver drinking water of millions. But small towns like Leifeng and Puxing, which are just a few hundred miles away from those cities, have languished. Good intentions from the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) can't solve every problem, and local officials often have little incentive to do the right thing. The job of fighting for victims of environmental disasters is thus being taken up by growing ranks of activists and lawyers.

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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-23-06 01:09 PM
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1. welcome to wally world.
i wonder how many products we buy come from places like this? i wonder if the computer i am using now has parts made by people like these slaves. they drink poison so we can enjoy goods that were once made here
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