The official Xinhua News Agency said local authorities shut down the Borui Battery Co. Ltd. and another battery factory it did not name in Anhui province’s Huaining county after tests found that at least 200 local children had elevated lead levels, with 24 between the ages of nine months and 16 years requiring hospitalization.
Borui had failed to pass necessary environmental checks and was operating illegally, Xinhua said.
It said both factories were just across the street from a residential area despite regulations that battery plants must be at least 1,600 feet away. It did not say when the factories started operating, or what kind of batteries they produced.
The report did not explain how the children were exposed, but battery factories can pollute the air and soil with their emissions.