Friday, August 25, 2006

[environment] china dumps toxic waste in russian river

Over here, we don’t have a very high opinion of the Chinese authorities. This is one of the reasons why:

Chinese officials insisted Thursday that toxic waste dumped into a tributary of the Songhua River posed no threat to Khabarovsk and other Russian cities downstream, Interfax reported.

The Songhua River flows across the border and becomes the Amur River in Russia. The Amur supplies water to Khabarovsk, a city of 580,000. The Xinhua news agency reported that a chemical company in the city of Jilin had illegally dumped xylidine into the Mangniu River on Monday. Xylidine can damage the liver, lungs and kidneys.

The slick was brought under control Wednesday after 1,000 emergency workers built dams on the river and used activated carbon to absorb the pollutants. In November 2005, a similar spill forced the Chinese city of Harbin to temporarily shut down running water to 3.8 million people.

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