Fluoride Action Network

China shuts solar plant after violent protests

Source: Pakistan Today | September 19th, 2011 | AFP
Location: China
Industry type: Photovoltaics

China shut down a solar panel factory on Monday after hundreds of angry residents staged days of violent protests over pollution, the second such incident in as many months…

“Everyone is angry beyond belief. This couldn’t happen in Shanghai,” one man living next to the plant told AFP… “We have been complaining about the pollution for half a year, but it was only when we protested that this got any attention,” said another local resident. The protesters broke into the factory, operated by the US-listed company Jinko Solar, in Zhejiang province, ransacking offices and overturning vehicles before being forced back by police in a three-day protest from Thursday. State media reports said demonstrators were demanding an explanation for the deaths of large numbers of fish in a nearby river. On Monday, Haining’s city government said tests had shown the factory was emitting excessive levels of fluoride, which can be toxic in high doses, as it announced the temporary shut-down…

The city govt said it had imposed a fine of 470,000 yuan ($73,550) on Jinko Solar, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has more than 10,000 employees working in plants in eastern China. Jinko apologised for what it said had been a leak. Waste containing fluoride had been stored outside the factory, it said, but polluted a nearby river after heavy rains in late August.

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According to Bloomberg.com (9-19-11): Chinese solar plant shuttered after protests over polluted river – … The agency found fluoride in water taken from a canal next to the plant that fed into the river was 10 times higher than the recommended limit, the paper reported. That may have been caused by residue from the manufacturing process getting washed into storm drains, the paper reported, citing the agency official.