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Chemical company ordered to suspend production after dumping toxic waste (2)

(Xinhua)

13:26, August 18, 2011

The company is located in Luliang's Xiqiao Industrial Zone, which was established in the 1970s. The zone used to be located some distance from Luliang's urban areas.

However, the county has developed around the zone due to rapid development in recent years, according to Li Fuming, director of the Luliang Industry and Information Technology Bureau.

Luliang is home to 29 heavy industrial companies, 15 of which are headquartered in the industrial zone, Li said. These companies include paper mills, fertilizer plants and cement factories, he said.

While some of the zone's biggest polluters have already moved out, others have remained, Li said. He described the industrial zone as a "time bomb."

Luliang's village of Xinlong has acquired the unsavory nickname of "cancer village," as over a dozen of its residents have been diagnosed with the disease since 2002.

The village is relatively small for China, with a population of just 3,563 people. However, a disproportionately high number of its residents have gotten cancer in recent years. Local hospitals admitted 14 cancer patients between 2002 and 2010; 11 of them died during the same period of time. Their ages varied from 9 to 77 years old, said Qian Xin, deputy director of the center for disease control in Luliang County.

The county's tap water has been declared safe to drink after being examined four times by the disease control center since 2009, Qian said.

However, the village has more than one source of drinking water. More than half of the village's residents drink water that is sourced from the Chachong Reservoir, while a third of the villagers drink well water, which is not tested by the center, Qian said.


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