BEIJING, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- China's first case of a child killed by toxic fumes given off by indoor decoration materials has come before the courts, and compensation of 170,000 yuan (21,250 U.S. dollars) awarded to the plaintiff.
The four-year-old girl, daughter of plaintiff Mr. Lin, was diagnosed with acute leukemia and died in August 2005 after staying in the newly decorated apartment in Fuzhou, capital city of east China's Fujian Province, for about 10 months, according toa local court.
She had shown symptoms of high fever and coughing since June 2005, said the court.
Tests made by the local environmental watchdog showed that the amount of formaldehyde in Lin's home one year after the decoration was completed was still four times higher than the national safe level. Formaldehyde is a highly toxic component of decoration materials.
Pollutants in paint and other building materials can cause blood diseases, and formaldehyde has been identified as a major factor in leukemia and cancers.
Lin contracted with an indoor decoration company and a flooring company to refurbish his new apartment in May 2004 and moved to the new home in late August that year. The two companies were both sentenced to pay compensation.
Experts warn that children have a much lower immunity than adults and can be more easily affected by toxic fumes given off by indoor decoration materials.
Song Guangsheng, director of the China Indoor Environment Test Center, said the ruling was a significant benchmark for future cases. Enditem