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
NameLead poisoning in multi-sites of Chenzhou, Hunan, China
SiteJingjiling (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 CommoditiesRecycled Metals
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsDetails of these companies are not available from internet.
Project Area (in hectares)unknown
Level of Investment (in USD)unknown
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Populationunknown
Start Date07/2009
Company Names or State EnterprisesJiahe 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 organisations and other supporters-Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims (Beijing Huanzhu Law Firm)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
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
Otherexcessive blood lead
Socio-economic 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
Othercuring fees for the affected households; problems for drinking water access; land became no arable for trees and crops.
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
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 as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.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 and Materials

[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)
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[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]

[3] Beijing News: 嘉禾血铅事件背后元凶 (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)
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[6] Lead Poisoning Cases Stonewalled(accessed on 2018-09-26)
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[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)
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[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)
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[10]湖南郴州血铅中毒儿童人数上升至45人(accessed on 2018-09-26)
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[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)
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[14]郴州医生称万余儿童血铅超标 质疑标准(accessed on 2019-03-04)
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[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)
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[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)
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[click to view]

Other Documents

Lead and zinc plant in Guiyang[19]
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Tails of the lead plant[19]
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Crop failure in Jiahe County[19]
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Lead poisoned Chilren in hospital[18]
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Petition of villagers[2]
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorEnvJustice, ICTA-UAB/2018 interns
Last update08/03/2019