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. 
The poisoning cases were exposed after a pregnant female employee named Zhang Xiaoyu fainted during her shift near the end of June 2011. She went to a local hospital, where she was found to have nearly double the normal amount of lead in her blood. The doctor told her that she was poisoned by lead, and that her baby must be aborted. Then other workers also realized that lead was poisoning and decided to have blood test.  Another reason for them to test their blood lead was that the Ricun Battery factory would be relocated in Vietnam, and the workers worried about no one would pay for the treatment if they had any health problems after that.  Later, the company arranged all 202 workers to have the blood test.
However, what people worried was that although some of their blood lead exceeded the normal standard, there were problems in the identification and recognition of occupational diseases due to the gap between excessive blood lead of normal people and occupational disease. As told by a doctor in Changzhou Maternal and Child Care Service Centre, the lead level in ordinary people's blood should be less than 100 ug/L.  For people engaged in lead-related works, the highest blood lead limit allowed by the state regulations is 400 ug/L, and 600 ug/L or more is considered to be mildly poisoned.  The Changzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated that “only the clinical blood test cannot immediately determine whether people have lead poisoning or not”.  According to ‘Occupational Chronic Lead Poisoning Diagnostic Criteria’ (GBZ37-2002), the blood lead level is not the only indicator to identify whether a person has excessive blood lead or not. Mild poisoning can be identified with blood lead at 600 ug/L or urine lead at 120 ug/L, and must be with other symptoms.  Besides, for testing, people need to go to the institutions which are at or above the provincial level and recognized by the health management department. 
There was distrust among workers to the company. Li Fanghe, deputy general manager of Ricun Battery Company, said that the company provided physical examination for employees every year. For those with high blood lead levels, they switched their jobs to the process with less lead exposure.  According to the workers, although health examinations were arranged, "we don't see our medical reports every time. We are not very clear about our health status.” The company admitted that "there was no need to give the reports to them, but we will pay attention to this point and we will hand over the medical reports to everyone later."  Some workers doubted the neutral position of the hospital: “who knows if the hospital has close relation with the company." 
Zhang Xiaoyu, the female worker who fainted with the pregnancy for 2 months, said that after the incident, one staff of the factory handed her a resignation form and let her sign on it, which meant she would not go to work the next day.  Another worker in the factory, Chunbao Meng, said that he was a worker in the production line of lead powder. There were lots of dust during processing, but the factory only gave the workers paper masks for protection.  Wenfeng Tan, a representative of the workers, said that they did not trust the medical examinations organized by the factory and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. "The company entrusts Huashan Hospital to conduct medical examinations for workers every year, but they never tell us the result even if we ask for it. Besides, they do not inform us the risk of the work in the factory." Because of the distrust, only half of the workers attended the annual medical examination. 
The distrust and resistance were also derived from the attitude of the Changzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Changzhou officials. According to them, "If you are engaged in lead-related occupations, the blood lead standard allowed by the state regulations is no more than 400 ug/L, 600 ug/L or more can be seen as mild poisoning." And “to fulfill your appeals you have to complete the medical examination first.” At first, the workers did not cooperate with the medical examination although the issue of excessive blood lead happened already. More workers got tested by 15 July. 
The company had 202 workers, of which women workers accounted for 3/4. Most of them were from Anhui, Henan, Sichuan and Northern Jiangsu, and there were also a small number of locals. Many employees thought that they have excessive blood lead. 
The management board (the Economic Development Bureau of the Administration Committee of Xinbei Industrial Park) has sealed up the company's raw materials and semi-finished products and ordered the company to suspend production for the time being. It has also told the company to arrange for medical tests for the employees and to compensate those who are found to have excessive levels of blood lead.  Until July 6, 2011, all production lines were shut down, and the factory was basically cleaned, but the lead powder workshop was still lit with a lot of dust.  The Administration Committee of Xinbei Industrial Park said: at present, all employees of Ricun Battery were being organized to go to Changzhou Disease Control Center for comprehensive physical examination of blood lead and urine lead. If the blood lead exceeded the standard, the management committee of the industrial park would instruct and supervise the involved enterprises according to laws and regulations, such as the Labor Law, and the Law of Occupational Disease Prevention and Control. Besides the sealed raw material and semi-finished product, and the suspension of production, the factory would be supervised for the facilities of environmental protection. Because the Ricun Battery Company would be relocated before the end of 2011, the Administration Committee of the Xinbei Industrial Park promised that the labor department of the park would properly carry out the transition work of the employees and actively create new jobs for them.