Villagers in east China’s Zhejiang Province are demanding a nearby aluminum factory cease polluting the environment after they said 127 people had suffered fluoride poisoning and 84 had caught cancers over the past 27 years.
From 1985 to the end of last year, 23 villagers living near the factory in Zhejiang’s Lanxi City died of cancer. [Photo/Sina Weibo]
But while they claim the factory is threatening their lives and poisoning their crops, local environment authorities say waste discharges from the factory meet national environmental standards.
From 1985 to the end of last year, 23 villagers living near the factory in Zhejiang’s Lanxi City died of cancer. The youngest was 32 and oldest 84. Most had stomach and lung cancers, the National Business Daily reported yesterday.
A village committee report shows that 127 villagers have suffered skeletal fluorosis, a condition of fluoride poisoning, 84 caught cancer and another 54 had respiratory diseases over the past 27 years, the newspaper said.
The villagers told the newspaper they held the factory responsible. They said the skeletal fluorosis was evidence as workers in the factory had to use fluoride to produce aluminum ingots.
200 meters away
Haotangtou Village, with a population of 1,296, is located southwest of the Zhejiang Huadong Aluminum Co.
The closest distance between the village and the factory is less than 200 meters.
The newspaper’s reporter said smoke could be seen rising from the factory chimney while the air was filled with a strange smell. Staying in the village just several minutes, the reporter said he felt very thirsty and his throat was dry.
A villager said many people were suffering respiratory diseases.
Farmland in the village had no crops but was instead filled with weeds, the newspaper said.
Leaves on the trees were withered and turning yellow. Oily substances covered the surface of ponds.
Wu Guoying, director of the Lanxi Environment Protection Bureau, told the newspaper that the factory must have caused some pollution. But waste discharges from the factory met national environmental standards. Wu said the bureau could not determine whether the factory was the reason for the fluoride poisoning.
Zhejiang Huadong Aluminum Co was established in 1958 and has 1,800 employees.