China probes poisonings from lead battery plant

May 9, 2011 4:27:08 AM PDT
Authorities are investigating heavy metals poisoning in a village in eastern China after discovering that dozens of people living near a lead battery plant were sickened. Local authorities in Deqing, a village near the scenic city of Hangzhou, west of Shanghai, said Monday they ordered that nearly 2,000 people be given free blood tests. Initial results for 317 people found that 31, including 11 children, had lead levels exceeding safety standards.

Some of the children were sent to Shanghai for treatment.

Heavy metals poisoning is an urgent concern in China, where safety standards have often been disregarded by manufacturers and local officials.