China fertiliser leaves tons of harmful waste, report finds

Apr 02, 2013
Mountains of hazardous waste left from China's huge phosphate fertiliser industry are polluting nearby communities and waters, the environmental group Greenpeace said in a report on Tuesday.

Mountains of hazardous waste left from China's huge phosphate fertiliser industry are polluting nearby communities and waters, the environmental group Greenpeace said in a report on Tuesday.

China, the world's top maker of the material, has seen production more than double over the past decade to 20 million tons last year, leaving 300 million tons of a byproduct called phosphogypsum that can contain .

"It's critical the government addresses this issue and assists the victims of corporate selfishness," Greenpeace activist Lang Xiyu said in a statement.

"We can no longer continue ignoring 300 million tons of phosphogypsum polluting our soil, water and air."

The campaign group's report comes as China grapples with the environmental fallout of decades of breakneck growth, with popular frustration mounting over hazardous air and that has tainted rivers and soil.

Huge heaps of leftover phosphogypsum—mostly found in southwestern provinces such as Sichuan, where Greenpeace conducted its investigation—can harm groundwater and worsen and landslides.

Four of nine samples tested from six sites qualified as hazardous material due to excessive fluoride and all of them contained such as arsenic and cadmium, the report said.

Four of the six sites were located less than 800 metres from the nearest village, as required by government rules.

Explore further: Controlling water quality in the age of pollution and natural disasters

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nike, Adidas suppliers 'polluting China rivers'

Jul 13, 2011

Environmental campaigners on Wednesday accused suppliers to major clothing brands including Adidas and Nike of poisoning China's major rivers with hazardous chemicals linked to hormonal problems.

Greenpeace warns of chemicals in global fashion

Nov 20, 2012

Two-thirds of high-street garments tested in a study by Greenpeace contained potentially harmful chemicals, the group said Tuesday, highlighting the findings with a "toxic" fashion show in Beijing.

China risking water crisis due to coal: Greenpeace

Aug 14, 2012

Environmental campaigners Greenpeace urged China Tuesday to review plans for a huge expansion in coal mines and power plants, warning of a water crisis in the country's already arid north.

China rice laced with heavy metals: report

Feb 16, 2011

Up to 10 percent of rice grown in China is contaminated with harmful heavy metals but little has been done to highlight the possible public health risks, a report said.

Recommended for you

Regulations only a first step in cutting emissions

1 hour ago

Intensifying calls for action on climate change have led to a variety of proposed regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions from specific sources of the economy, including, most recently, the environmental ...

The five most poisonous substances

1 hour ago

With the announcement of an inquiry into the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, talk of poisons is back in the news. There are many articles with lists of the most poisonous substances, which are often gathered based on their acute toxicity as measured by something called LD ...

User comments : 0