Beijing, July 8 (IANS) Twelve industrial plants in eastern China's Jiangxi province were temporarily shut down Sunday after more than a dozen children were found to have excessive levels of lead in their blood, Xinhua reported.
More than 100 mg of lead per litre of blood is considered an excess level.
A seven-year-old boy was found to have 117 mg per litre of his blood when his mother took him to see a doctor to treat a sore throat in June.
Consultation with doctors led to the conclusion that pollution from an industrial park in Qingyuan district of Ji'an city, home to over 30 plants, may be the source of the poisoning.
More parents took their children for tests, and 15 children were found to have excessive levels of lead in their blood, with the worst case recording 299 mg per litre.
Lead in blood can harm the nervous and reproductive systems and cause high blood pressure and anaemia. In severe cases, it can lead to convulsions, coma and death.
The plants shut down at the industrial park are involved in copper, recycled paper and petrochemical products.
None of the 30 companies at the park work with lead, the government said in a statement.
The government has condcuted tests of samples of soil and underground water, and results are awaited.
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