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Lead poisoning cases rise to 29 in central China province

2010-03-22 09:36 BJT

CHENZHOU, Hunan, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The number of patients sickened by lead poisoning rose to 29 Sunday in Chenzhou City of central China's Hunan Province, health officials said.

The Chenzhou Municipal Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine received 10 more children Sunday, bringing the number of patients tested to have excessive levels of lead in their blood to 29, 28 of whom were below the age of 14, said a statement from the public health bureau of Chenzhou.

Another two people demanded to be treated in the hospital but tests showed no excessive lead in their blood.

Most of the patients were in stable condition, said Wang Feixiong, a doctor with the hospital.

There could be more reports of sickened children, said Liu Jianrong, deputy head of the hospital.

The cases emerged about 10 months after 254 children were found with excessive levels of lead in their blood in Chenzhou in July last year.

A local factory held accountable for discharging contamination, which caused the poisoning, was closed.

Excessive amounts of lead in the body can harm the nervous and reproductive systems and cause high blood pressure and anemia. In severe cases, it can lead to convulsions, coma and even death.

Editor: Jin Lin | Source: Xinhua