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Lead poisoning in multi-sites of Chenzhou, Hunan, China

Hundreds of children in Chenzhou City, Hunan Province were found with excessive blood lead levels. Officials blocked the bus carrying people to do tests outside Chenzhou and detained several villagers.


Chenzhou is a prefecture-level city located in the south of Hunan province, at the juncture of Hunan and Guangdong provinces. Both Jiahe County (嘉禾县) and Guiyang County (桂阳县) are under the administration of Chenzhou. Jiahe County is also famous for its slogans in the early 2000s on development, including "One who affects Jiahe's development for a while, he/she will be affected for a lifetime. " [1]

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Lead poisoning in multi-sites of Chenzhou, Hunan, China
State or province:Hunan
Location of conflict:Jingjiling (natural village) in Baijue Village, Guangfa Town, Jiahe County and Yuanshan Village and Hejia village in Haotang Town, Guiyang County, Chenzhou City
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Mineral processing
Metal refineries
Specific commodities:Lead
Recycled Metals
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Details of these companies are not available from internet.

Project area:unknown
Level of Investment:unknown
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:unknown
Start of the conflict:07/2009
Company names or state enterprises:Jiahe County Jinzhu Metal Co., Ltd. from China - polluter
Yuanshan Scrap Lead Recycle Plant in Guiyang County from China - polluter
Tengda Nonferrous Metal Recycling Company from China - polluter
Relevant government actors:-Chenzhou Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau
-Chenzhou Municipal Health Bureau
-Public Security Bureau of Jiahe County
-CPC of Jiahe County
-Guangfa Township Government
-Jiahe county political and legislative committee
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:-Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims (Beijing Huanzhu Law Firm)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Health ImpactsVisible: Occupational disease and accidents, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other Health impacts
Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Malnutrition
Other Health impactsexcessive blood lead
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Other socio-economic impacts
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime
Other socio-economic impactscuring fees for the affected households; problems for drinking water access; land became no arable for trees and crops.
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Criminalization of activists
Violent targeting of activists
Project cancelled
so far only some damages were compensated, while not all victims were compensated
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Not all the victims were not well treated and compensated, one county made non-prosecution decision and there is no further information disclosed in the other county about the affected populations and the compensations, etc.
Sources & Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1]湖南嘉禾县政府:谁影响发展 我影响他一辈子 (accessed on 2019-03-04)
[click to view]

[3] Beijing News: 嘉禾血铅事件背后元凶 (accessed on 2018-09-26)
[click to view]

[14]郴州医生称万余儿童血铅超标 质疑标准(accessed on 2019-03-04)
[click to view]

[15] More kids with lead poisoning(accessed on 2019-03-04)
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[16] Baidu:郴州血铅中毒事件(accessed on 2018-09-27)
[click to view]

[6] Lead Poisoning Cases Stonewalled(accessed on 2018-09-26)
[click to view]

[11] Lead-poisoned children in C China in stable condition(accessed on 2018-09-26)
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[13]湖南郴州血铅超标事件3家责任企业均为非法生产(accessed on 2019-03-04)
[click to view]

[4] China defends detention of lead poisoning victims who sought medical help (accessed on 2018-09-26)
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[5] 陕西凤翔儿童血铅超标 (accessed on 2019-02-21)
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[7]湖南嘉禾县仍有83名儿童血铅超标 (accessed on 2018-09-26)
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[9]湖南郴州29名儿童血铅中毒住院 参检者过半超标(accessed on 2018-09-26)
[click to view]

[10]湖南郴州血铅中毒儿童人数上升至45人(accessed on 2018-09-26)
[click to view]

[12]湖南省郴州市大部分血铅中毒患者病情趋于稳定(accessed on 2018-09-26)
[click to view]

[17]中心律师赴湖南桂阳县调查血铅污染案(accessed on 2019-03-04)
[click to view]

[18]XinhuaNet: 湖南郴州“血铅超标”事件调查与反思(图)
[click to view]

[click to view]

[2]湖南郴州儿童血铅中毒事件:“黑色GDP”的最新版本(accessed on 2018-09-26)
[click to view]

[8]中心派律师到湖南嘉禾县调查血铅污染案 (accessed on 2019-03-04)
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EnvJustice, ICTA-UAB/2018 interns
Last update08/03/2019
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