Contamination fears after toxic chemical spill in southern China

Paramilitary soldiers pour flocculent agent, which neutralises contamination, into a tank filled with water samples from a polluted river at a hydropower plant in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. [Reuters]
PHOTO

Paramilitary soldiers pour flocculent agent, which neutralises contamination, into a tank filled with water samples from a polluted river at a hydropower plant in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. [Reuters]

Last Updated: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 03:49:00 +1100

Authorities in southern China are still trying to control a toxic chemical spillage from a factory that has affected water supplies for a city of nearly four million people.

Local media report the toxic chemical - cadmium - has been found in the Liujiang River, near the city of Liuzhou in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Cadmium is a cancer-causing chemical that's mostly used in mining processes.

It can affect the kidneys and can be highly poisonous for young children.

The levels of cadmium found in the water at the dam were five times above safety standards.

Hundreds of tonnes of a neutralising substance have been dumped in to the river, to counterbalance the contamination.

Authorities are also diluting the water with 500-million-cubic metres of water from a hydropower station.

Residents have been warned not to fetch water from the polluted river.

This has triggered panic-buying across the city and emergency water supply stations have been opened in local districts.

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