6 Jan 2011

Chinese children suspected to have lead poisoning

8:52 pm on 6 January 2011

Twenty-four children in eastern China have been taken to hospital with suspected lead poisoning from nearby battery factories.

Authorities say at least 200 children in the village in Huaning county in the province of Anhui have been affected, the BBC reports.

The most serious cases are being treated in hospital, including that of a nine-month-old baby.

State-run media say the factories were just across a street from houses despite regulations stating they can not operate close to residential areas. They have been shut down.

China is the largest producer and consumer of lead for batteries, cars and electric bikes.