From: Reuters
Published August 3, 2009 09:34 AM

China closes factory after cadmium pollution protest

BEIJING (Reuters) - China closed a chemical plant after local residents in central Hunan Province protested against cadmium pollution, which killed two people and affected hundreds of others, media reported on Monday.

The closure follows a number of recent high profile "mass incidents" which turned violent and prompted media criticism of officials' failure to respond quickly.

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Two villagers near the Xianghe Chemical Factory, which had produced zinc sulfate for six years, died in May and June. Autopsies found high levels of cadmium in their bodies, the semi-official China News Agency said.

Tests conducted after their deaths found that over 500 out of nearly 3,000 local residents also had elevated levels of cadmium in their urine, it added. Around 30 people were admitted to hospital after checkups, Hong Kong media reported.

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