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China Lead Poisoning Sickens Over 100 VIllagers

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BEIJING — A state news agency says more than 100 villagers in eastern China have been poisoned by lead emissions from a battery plant built in a residential area.

The official Xinhua News Agency cited health and environmental authorities in Zhejiang province as saying Friday that tests showed that 139 people from three villages in Taizhou city had elevated lead levels. The sickened included 35 children.

The report says three villagers had lead levels three times the limit considered safe for humans. But none of the 501 villagers tested required hospitalization.

China is the world's largest producer and consumer of lead, a key component in lead-acid batteries needed for the growing number of vehicles in the country. New cases of lead poisoning regularly occur.

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