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Lead poisoning by a Taiwan battery plant in Changzhou, Jiangsu, China

More than 70 employees, or one-third of the total number of people employed by a Taiwanese battery plant in Changzhou, Jiangsu have been found to have extremely high levels of lead in their blood.


In July 2011, East China's Jiangsu province, more than 70 employees, or one-third of the total number of people employed by the Taiwan-funded battery plant, Changzhou Ricun Battery Technology Co., Ltd., have been found to have extremely high levels of lead in their blood. Medical tests showed that the employees typically had lead levels between 280 and 480 micrograms per liter (ug/L)  of blood. "Normal" levels are below 100 ug/L, according to national diagnostic standards. Excessive amounts of lead in the blood harm the nervous and reproductive systems and can cause high blood pressure and anemia. In severe cases, it can lead to convulsions, comas and death. [8]

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Lead poisoning by a Taiwan battery plant in Changzhou, Jiangsu, China
State or province:Jiangsu
Location of conflict:Xutang (used to be a town, later became part of Chunjiang Town), Xinbei District, Changzhou City
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Manufacturing activities
Other industries
Specific commodities:batteries
Chemical products
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Located in Xinbei Industrial Park, Changzhou, Ricun Battery was established by Taiwan Yacht Battery Co., Ltd. in 2002, with an investment of 14.5 million US dollars (around 97 million Chinese yuan). The company owned 100 mu (6.7 ha) of land and 20,000 m2 (0.2 ha) of buildings.[1] There were nearly 70 employees related to lead directly, and more than 100 people involved in lead indirectly, and around 200 people in total. [4] It mainly produces lithium-iron batteries for electric vehicles and various lead-acid batteries and their accessories. [6]

Project area:6.9
Level of Investment:14,500,000.00
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:200-300
Start of the conflict:22/06/2011
End of the conflict:15/07/2011
Company names or state enterprises:Yacht Battery Co., Ltd. (Yacht Battery) from Taiwan - parent company
Changzhou Ricun Battery Technology Co., Ltd from China - polluter
Relevant government actors:- Changzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- Changzhou Maternal and Child Care Service Centre
- Economic Development Bureau of the Xinbei District Management Committee of Changzhou
- Administration Committee of Xinbei Industrial Park
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Industrial workers
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution
Potential: Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents, Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsabortion during pregnancy
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Specific impacts on women
Potential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood
Other socio-economic impactsabortion during pregnancy
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Project cancelled
Withdrawal of company/investment
Project temporarily suspended
the company withdrew from the area and moved to Vietnam
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:There was no later news for the compensation to workers with excessive blood lead, and no compensation to the female worker who has to abort due to lead poisoning, instead, she was fired immediately after the incident was uncovered.
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

the Law of Occupational Disease Prevention - 中华人民共和国职业病防治法
[click to view]

Occupational Chronic Lead Poisoning Diagnostic Criteria’ (GBZ37-2002) 职业慢性铅中毒诊断标准
[click to view]

Labour Law 劳动法(2009年修正)
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[6]常州日村电池科技有限公司-公司简介 – accessed on 2019/02/19
[click to view]

[3]江苏常州:积极查处一台资企业员工血铅超标事件 – accessed on 2019/02/19
[click to view]

[4]常州涉铅事件引起政府关注 企业表态会全权负责 – accessed on 2019/02/19
[click to view]

[1]江苏常州日村电池部分工人血铅超标 政府已介入 – accessed on 2019/02/19
[click to view]

[5]江苏常州工人血铅超标事件用人企业已停产– accessed on 2019/02/19
[click to view]

[7]常州:积极查处日村电池公司工人血铅超标事件(组图) accessed on 2019/02/20
[click to view]

[8]Taiwan battery plant probed for lead poisoning (accessed on 2019-02-21)
[click to view]

[2]江苏常州数十名工人自发体检发现血铅超标 – accessed on 2019/02/19
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

常州数十名工人血铅超标 是否铅中毒尚待确认
[click to view]

Other documents

chang zhou-lead3-dust the dust on the machine in the factory[7]
[click to view]

chang zhou-lead4-blood the blood test[7]
[click to view]

chang zhou-lead5-mask worker was with mask made from paper [7]
[click to view]

chang zhou-lead1-woman the woman who lost her baby[7]
[click to view]

chang zhou-lead-workers Wokers were in line for the blood test[2]
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Envjustice, ICTA-UAB/CY
Last update25/02/2019
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