Children in China denied lead poisoning testing, treatment

Health officials downplay threats, human rights group says

Following China’s latest lead pollution outbreak, in which 103 children and many adults were poisoned by tinfoil-making workshops in the eastern Zhejiang province, a new report from Human Rights Watch says that Chinese children with lead poisoning have been denied testing, proper treatment, and even basic information. Beijing has promised to clean up chronic pollution, but the New York-based advocacy group says they need to do more as hundreds of thousands of children in China are suffering from lead poisoning. This can lead to learning difficulties and behavioural problems, as parents who work in these plants will bring home extra doses on clothes and skin. Those who complain about the problem—including parents, journalists and activists—face being detained, harrassed, and silenced, the group says. China is the world’s biggest consumer of refined lead.


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