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Chemical plants in E. China accused of polluting, causing cancer deaths

(Xinhua)

15:54, November 16, 2011

JINAN, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Two chemical companies in east China's Shandong province have been accused of polluting and being responsible for the deaths of more than 30 nearby residents.

Shandong Keyuan Chemical Industry Co. Ltd. and Tengfei Chemical Industry Co. Ltd. were found to have dumped tonnes of sewage at several villages in the township of Tushan, once renowned for its ecological environment.

Residents in the villages have long complained about smelly air and water pollution. "The pungent smell is so strong that we are hardly able to fall asleep sometimes," said Jiao Qing'an from the village of Haicang.

Over the past three years, more than 30 villagers have died of cancer, said Jiao, who suspects that the illnesses were caused by air pollution from the two chemical plants.

"Cancer rates in these villages are several times higher than the national average, and our hospital has been receiving an increasing number of cancer patients from Tushan," said a doctor at Yantai People's Hospital, who declined to be named.

Keyuan Chemical is one of China's leading pesticide producers. While the company claims to have prioritized environmental protection, it is now the largest source of pollution for the sea area south of Laizhou Bay, together with Tengfei Chemical, according to the Yantai Fisheries Association.

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