China punishes officials over lead poisoning

China has punished 20 officials in the northwestern province of Gansu after more than 2,000 people, including some 300 children, suffered lead poisoning in September 2006 because of waste discharged by a smelter, Xinhua reported on Tuesday.
Investigators determined last year that the local environmental protection bureau had violated laws in approving construction of the plant identified as the source of the contamination.

Ran Hong, chairman of the Huixian smelter company, would be charged with violating environmental laws, and the other 19 officials were either sacked or received warnings, the report said.

See full story