Nearly 200 children in a small town in Guangdong Province were found to have excessive levels of lead in their blood as their homes are close to a coal-fired power plant.
The plant just one kilometer away from Xingzi Town and 2 kilometers away from the Xingzi River is a major polluter in the area, today's China Business News reported.
Blood tests of 196 children living in one community showed they are positive of lead poisoning and 95 children have blood lead 4.5 times above the safe level.
Since the town has 211 villages and communities, the actual number of lead-poisoned children must be very high, the paper said.
To sooth public anger, Guangdong Yuedian Group suspended the operation of its power plant in Xingzi Town in June and the local government offered medical subsidies from 250 yuan (US$39.35) to 1,050 yuan.
But the affected families said the sum could hardly cover their medical bills and the free milk they got from the government contained worms, the paper said.