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Toxics (campaign title)
Girls' Health Affected by Exposure to Heavy Metals in China
Cousins Shi Guizhen (17 year old, right) and Wu Xiuhui (19 year old, left), both suffer of chronic nephritis, a kidney disease, as result to exposure to heavy metals. They are residents of Naguang village, Changle township in Huayuan county, an area with lead and zinc mines, causing dangerously high levels of soil and water pollution.
Shi Guizhen began to feel sick on September 1, 2015.
At the hospital she was diagnosed with renal failure and chronic nephritis. Her condition improved after getting hemodialysis. However, Shi Guizhen’s is no longer able to go to school and her only way to survive is getting hemodialysis three times a week.
Shi Guizhen and her cousin Wu Xiuhui, rent a house near the Huayuan People's Hospital, so that they can more easily get the treatments every other day. The average annual medical expenses for Shi Guizhen is more than 57,000 yuan, of which about 18,000 yuan she has to pay herself, the rest is reimbursed by medical insurance.
Wu Xiuhui, whose father died ten years ago while working at the lead and zinc factory, uses her father's compensation for death, 230,000 yuan, to pay for her medical costs.
In original language:
© Qiu Bo / Greenpeace
Impacts of Toxic Waste from Heavy Metal Mining on Local Population in Hunan Province, China
A documentation showing the severe health impacts of heavy metal mines on the local population in Hunan province.
In May 2017, Greenpeace East Asia was informed about a case of severe soil pollution across five neighboring villages in 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 five 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.
Lead and Zinc Mine Tailing Ponds Surrounding Villages in Hunan Province, China