A Greenpeace East Asia investigation at the Lianyungang Chemical Industrial Park in Jiangsu Province identifies 226 organic chemicals in air, soil and water samples taken in the vicinity of the park. Out of this cocktail of chemicals, only one quarter are subject to safety management as “hazardous chemicals” under current regulations. The chemicals found include 16 known and probable human carcinogens and three persistent organic pollutants (POPs), illegal under both Chinese and international law, according to Greenpeace.
Desktop research reportedly shows that the Lianyungang Chemical Industrial Park has already received close to 200 penalties for noncompliance with environmental standards, from both county and municipal level environment authorities.
The findings in Lianyungang are symptomatic of a much broader problem of lax management of the chemicals industry in China, the world’s largest and fastest growing, according to Greenpeace.
“The chemical industrial plant in Lianyungang is showing shocking negligence towards safety. Workers, public health and the environment are all at serious risk of chemical harm,” says Cheng Qian, deputy head of toxics campaign at Greenpeace East Asia. “Despite being the world’s largest and fastest growing chemicals manufacturer, China’s chemicals management is extremely lax. The chemical industry must transform the way it operates and the Chinese government must urgently adopt a sound chemicals management system to ensure that the industry does not develop as a ticking time-bomb.”
A total of ten samples were collected from the vicinity of the Lianyungang Chemical Industrial Park between September and November 2016. Greenpeace took five samples from wastewater discharges, two from a small river running across the industrial park and a village and three air samples.
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