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Shoot: Landscapes and Farmland in Lead and Zinc Mining Polluted Area in Hunan Province, China

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Tuanjie, Biancheng, Longtan and Maoer are neighboring villages in Huayuan county, Xiangxi autonomous prefecture, Hunan province, China. Hunan is China’s largest rice producer, but the province’s fertile rice paddies are interspersed with heavy metal mines, a combination that has led to dangerously high levels of soil pollution.
Yet available information about the extent of soil pollution in Hunan is limited.
Two decades of lead and zinc mining in these villages has taken a major toll. The population of the villages, most of who are ethnically Miao, has experienced severe health impacts as a result of heavy metal exposure.
Eighty to 90 percent of the population in these five villages has kidney stones, and, each year, an average of 40 additional patients suffer from uremia, a complication of chronic kidney disease. In 2014, blood lead levels of all but one child tested in the villages exceeded the national standard.
In response, residents petitioned the local government and were seen blocking trucks heading to and from the mine to ask for compensation.
Greenpeace East Asia tested soil samples from the area. For the majority of samples, cadmium, arsenic, lead and zinc exceeded the national standard. Rice samples also tested above the national standard for chromium and lead, and, in several cases, arsenic. A more detailed breakdown of the results is available.
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Corn Covered by Heavy Metal Dust in China
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Herd of Sheep near Polluted Area in China
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Mining Wastewater in Rice Field in China
Lead-zinc Mine Reserve in Hunan Province, China
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Lead-zinc Mine Reserve in Hunan Province, China
Polluted River in China
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Polluted River in China
Lead-zinc Mining Tailing Pond in Hunan Province, China
8 Aug, 2016
Lead-zinc Mining Tailing Pond in Hunan Province, China
Lead-zinc Mining Tailing Pond in Hunan Province, China
8 Aug, 2016
Lead-zinc Mining Tailing Pond in Hunan Province, China
Polluted River in Farmland in Hunan Province, China
8 Aug, 2016
Polluted River in Farmland in Hunan Province, China
Spoil Heaps Storage Field and Farmland in Hunan Province, China
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Spoil Heaps Storage Field and Farmland in Hunan Province, China
Tailing Ponds of Taifeng Mining Company in Hunan Province, China
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Tailing Ponds of Taifeng Mining Company in Hunan Province, China
Tailing Ponds of Taifeng Mining Company in Hunan Province, China
7 Aug, 2016
Tailing Ponds of Taifeng Mining Company in Hunan Province, China
Spoil Heaps Storage Field in Hunan Province, China
13 Jul, 2016
Spoil Heaps Storage Field in Hunan Province, China
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