Kangqiao lead poisoning incident, Shanghai, China

Dozens of children in Shanghai have tested positive for excessive levels of lead in their blood since September 2011. Related firms were ordered to halt lead-related operations and to clean the contaminated soil.


Kangqiao forms part of suburban Shanghai and is a sub-district of Pudong. It is mostly a residential and commercial district, though it is also home to some of the main factories and production facilities in Shanghai.

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Basic Data
NameKangqiao lead poisoning incident, Shanghai, China
SiteKanghua New Village, Kangqiao area of the city's Pudong district
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Manufacturing activities
Specific CommoditiesBatteries
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsJohnson Controls is the world’s largest manufacturer of lead-acid batteries. In 2005, it purchased Shanghai Deke International Lead-Acid Batteries and formed Shanghai Johnson--its first step into the Chinese market. The company is located in Pudong New District’ s Kangqiao Industrial Park, where the former districts of Pudong and Nanhui used to meet before the boundaries were redrawn. Kanghua village, where the poisoning occurred, lies among the factories here. [14]

The company is importing batteries from its plants elsewhere to satisfy its customers in China, a strategy that executives said is break-even at best. The Shanghai plant's annual capacity is 2.6 million batteries, less than a Jiangsu Province plant that can produce 8 million units and a plant being built in Chongqing with a capacity for 6 million batteries annually. [15] The level of investment of Johnson Controls in China is 262,666,197 US dollars.[16]
Level of Investment (in USD)262,666,197
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Populationapprox. 2,000
Start Date02/09/2011
End Date2012
Company Names or State EnterprisesJohnson Controls from United States of America
Johnson Controls in China
Johnson Controls Asia Pacific Headquarters
Shanghai Xinming Auto Accessories Co., Ltd. /Shanghai Xinmingyuan Automobile parts Co. from China - Suspected polluter
Shanghai Kangshuo Waste Recycling Co Ltd from China - Suspected polluter
Relevant government actors-Pudong Environmental Protection Bureau

-The Government of Pudong New Area

-Pudong Health Bureau
Environmental justice organisations and other supporters1.Friends of Nature


2.Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs

The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingLocal government/political parties
Forms of MobilizationInvolvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Soil contamination
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other Health impacts
OtherPotential illnesses resulting from increased lead levels
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseEnvironmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Project cancelled
Withdrawal of company/investment
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.Polluting companies were halt; comprehensive assessments of the environmental conditions in the area was implemented by the government; it was also promised by the government to restore the lead-contaminated soil to ensure the safety of residents; lead pollutant monitoring system would be strengthened to avoid similar incidents.
Sources and Materials

[8]上海康桥血铅事件:企业污染 百姓为其埋单
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[1][14]A lead poisoning too far?
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[10] Johnson Controls says did not cause lead poisoning in Shanghai
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[7][15]Shanghai Halts Johnson Controls Lead Processing
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[16]Learn about Johnson Controls
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[2]32 children suffer lead poisoning
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[4]District in Shanghai identifies three companies in lead poisoning incident
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[5]China accuses US firm over child lead poisoning
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[6]When dirt is dangerously dirty
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[11]Independent Expert Study Confirms Johnson Controls Battery Plant is Not the Cause of Elevated Blood-Lead Incidents in Kangqiao Area in Shanghai
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Other Documents

Discharged sewage[12]
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The meeting about lead-acid batteries[9]
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Children of excessive lead[4]
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Meta Information
ContributorEnvJustice, ICTA-UAB/NWAFU 2018 Interns
Last update07/11/2018