China's lead-acid battery makers targeted in clean-up campaign

23:11, February 18, 2011      

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China's environment authorities will launch a campaign this year to clean up lead-acid battery manufacturing, which has been blamed for a spate of child lead poisoning cases.

Authorities across the country would carry out blanket inspections of all lead-acid battery manufacturers, and suspend operations of those failing to make environmental impact assessments or emitting excessive waste, Environmental Protection Minister Zhou Shengxian said Friday.

Manufacturers with failing pollution controls or those refusing inspections of facilities should be closed until they met standards, Zhou told environment protection officials at a meeting on the control of heavy metals pollution.

The campaign comes after a string of lead poisonings in the provinces of Anhui, Hunan and Shaanxi since 2009, which seriously endangered the health of local people, especially hundreds of children.

The government would focus on the control of heavy metals pollution in the next five years, Zhou said.

"Heavy metals pollution control will be the cardinal task in environmental protection," Zhou said.

He urged local authorities to step up supervision of firms that cause heavy metals pollution, especially lead-acid battery manufacturers and lead smelters with outdated equipment.

Enterprises would face harsh penalties for illegal heavy metals emissions in the next five years, he said.

Source: Xinhua
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