Lead processing base closed down
All the lead processing firms situated within Jieshou city and Taihe county of Anhui province have been ordered to stop production until severe environmental pollution problems have been dealt with, Xinhua news agency reported.
The area, which accounts for about half of China's total production of the metal, has had several severe lead poisoning cases and grain-growing has been banned on areas surrounding the smelters. In June this year, the State Environment Protection Administration declared the whole area one of the eight worst polluted regions in the country.
The local government, which sent a special team to supervise the closure, has said that the lead processing firms must move their plants to a specially protected industrial zone and improve their pollution treatment facilities. Those that failed to comply would be closed down permanently.