Cancer Village Qiugang and Jiucailuo Chemical plant in Anhui, China

Haihua Chemical Products Corporation polluting waters and causing an unprecedent rate of cancer at Anhui Province


In the two and a half years leading up to 2006, Qiugang—a village of 2,000 people in the Huai River Basin in Anhui Province—had 53 deaths due to cancer.[1] These deaths were not solely among the elderly; children as young as one-year old manifested malignant tumors. The air in the village smelled like rotten eggs. The pollution of Baojiagou River—a tributary of the Huai that is vital to the Qiugang's local economy and welfare— was due to the Jiucailuo Chemical Plant, a chemical factory in Bengbu, Anhui Province, located 135 km north of Nanjing on the Huai River.

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Basic Data
NameCancer Village Qiugang and Jiucailuo Chemical plant in Anhui, China
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Chemical industries
Specific Commoditiesbenzene, dyes
Chemical products
Project Details and Actors
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population2000 villages in Qiugang (53 deaths due to cancer) [1], 40,000 villagers living along the Baojia Waterway [6]
Start Date2003
End Date2008
Company Names or State EnterprisesJiucailuo Chemical and Industrial Products Company from China
Haihua Chemical Products Corporation from China
Relevant government actorsQiugang village officials, Bengbu city officials, Beijing environmental authorities
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersGreen Anhui, Yale Environment 360
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Industrial workers
International ejos
Local ejos
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Waste overflow
Potential: Genetic contamination
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Deaths
Potential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Othersevere diarrhea, vomiting, nosebleeds and lightheadedness, high incidence of cancer [1]
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Increase in violence and crime, Violations of human rights
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Violent targeting of activists
Withdrawal of company/investment
Displacement of the plant in an industrial park
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The smell of rotten eggs may be gone from Qiugang village, but years of pollution have left the soil contaminated—the entire village is less than 17 acres, and 10 percent of its soil is severely polluted. One chemical company offered to compensate the villagers for crops lost during the time it produced chemicals, but this compromise ignores the long-term damage to the soil and the many years to come during which Qiugang villagers will be unable to produce edible crops. The compensation also does not address lingering health problems [1]. According to a recent article in Xinhua News, the village of Qiugang remains desolate and highly polluted six years after the three polluting factories were ordered to shut down their operations and relocate to a nearby industrial park. Ongoing environmental restoration efforts have produced minimal results [5].
Sources and Materials

[7] Friends of the Earth and Banktrack - The Green Evolution
[click to view]


[1] Victory: A Grassroots NGO Empowers a "Cancer Village" to Take Action
[click to view]

[2] The Warriors of Qiugang: A Chinese Village Fights Back
[click to view]

[3] ‘The Warriors of Qiugang’ – Documentary
[click to view]

[5] 旧污未去,新污又来——淮河部分污染村庄回访目击
[click to view]

[4] Warriors of Qiugang
[click to view]

Media Links

[6] The Warriors of Qiugang: A Chinese Village Fights Back [Link to Oscar-Nominated Documentary]
[click to view]

Other Documents

The chemical plant form the Huai River Source:
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorEJOLT team at School of Geography and China Centre, University of Oxford
Last update24/02/2015