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Chinese gov't prioritizes chemical pollution control


13:20, February 22, 2013

BEIJING - The government has issued a list of chemicals and industries where chemical pollution prevention and control efforts will be prioritized in the period up until 2015.

The list, issued on Thursday, is part of government efforts to control chemical environmental risks.

Issued by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the document lists 58 chemicals that will see prioritized exposure and emission control via upgraded registration, assessment and supervision efforts.

Petroleum, coking and nuclear fuel processing and the manufacturing of chemical ingredients and products, pharmaceuticals and chemical fibers, as well as the smelting and pressing of non-ferrous metal, are key areas to be targeted. The textile and coal chemical industries were also included on the list.

The document warns that China faces a grave situation in terms of chemical pollution control, citing inadequate pollution risk control by enterprises, a lack of systematic policies to restrain the making and use of highly toxic and dangerous chemicals and authorities' insufficient pollution monitoring and supervision capabilities.

China has seen a string of chemical pollution accidents, leading to polluted drinking water and higher rates of cancer in some areas, the document says.

It says some toxic and harmful chemicals that have already been banned or restrained in developed countries are still in mass production and use in China.

Chemicals with high environmental risks have seen production transfer from other countries to China, it says.

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