Inner-city toxics plant protested – John Kennedy

John Kennedy at Global Voices also writes about the potentially deadly chemical plant now under construction in Xiamen:

In November last year, construction began on a chemical plant in Haicang district, located on Xiamen island in the capital of Southwestern China’s Fujian province, slated to produce the solvent toluene, terephthalic acid, benzene and, for example, an expected annual output of 800,000 tons of the toxic para-xylene which, according to its Wikipedia entry:

” affects the brain. High levels from exposure for short periods (14 days or less) or long periods (more than 1 year) can cause headaches, lack of muscle coordination, dizziness, confusion, and changes in one’s sense of balance… It can cause unconsciousness and even death at very high levels (see inhalants).”

The plant had originally been placed seven kilometers away from the city center and given a buffer zone, but due to continued expansion is now just 1.5 kilometers from the nearest residential zone, 4 kilometers from the nearest school and 7 kilometers from the downtown core, not to mention having been built within a state-protected natural zone home to rare marine species. [Full text]


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