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.


Description

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
NameLead poisoning by a Taiwan battery plant in Changzhou, Jiangsu, China
CountryChina
ProvinceJiangsu
SiteXutang (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)Other industries
Manufacturing activities
Specific Commoditiesbatteries
Chemical products
Lead
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsLocated 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 (in hectares)6.9
Level of Investment (in USD)14,500,000.00
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population200-300
Start Date22/06/2011
End Date15/07/2011
Company Names or State EnterprisesYacht 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
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingIndustrial workers
Women
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Impacts
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
Otherabortion during pregnancy
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Specific impacts on women
Potential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood
Otherabortion during pregnancy
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseProject cancelled
Withdrawal of company/investment
Project temporarily suspended
the company withdrew from the area and moved to Vietnam
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.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
Legislations

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

Links

[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]

[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]

[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]

Media Links

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]
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chang zhou-lead4-blood the blood test[7]
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chang zhou-lead5-mask worker was with mask made from paper [7]
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chang zhou-lead1-woman the woman who lost her baby[7]
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chang zhou-lead-workers Wokers were in line for the blood test[2]
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Meta Information
ContributorEnvjustice, ICTA-UAB/CY
Last update25/02/2019
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