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Cadmium pollution cleanup measures safe, effective: experts

(Global Times)

15:54, February 04, 2012

Numbers of environmental health professionals, drawn from the neighborhood regions, gathered at Nuomitan hydroelectric power plant, headquarter of the rescue operation of Liujiang cadmium spill. Photo: Chinanews.com

LIUZHOU, Guangxi, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- The measures adopted to bring down cadmium concentration levels following a toxic spill in a river of south China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region are safe and effective, experts have told Xinhua.

By 6 a.m. Saturday, the water quality of the Liujiang River, a source of drinking water for local residents, is up to national standard, according to data released by the emergency headquarters handling the incident.

Neutralizers designed to gather the matter and ease its removal have been placed in the waterway, and agents designed for dilution in water discharged from upriver dams, Xu Zhencheng, deputy chief of the South China Institute of Environmental Sciences (SCIES) under the Ministry of the Environmental Protection, said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

Xu said cleanup procedures organized by the team of more than 100 environmental and water experts that he heads had brought peak cadmium concentrations down from 80 times the official limit to less than 20 times the limit.

Cadmium pollution was first detected in the Longjiang River on Jan. 15 in the city of Hechi, and it later spread to the downstream Liujiang River, threatening water security in Liuzhou, a city with 1.5 million permanent residents.

Police officers have been mobilized to join in the cleanup work and the ongoing efforts are expected to run until the end of February.

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