American firm cleared of Chinese environmental harm

An American company has been cleared of allegations that dangerous levels of lead poisoning could be resulting from a plant it owns near Shanghai in China. An independent panel, led […]

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By Tom Gibson

An American company has been cleared of allegations that dangerous levels of lead poisoning could be resulting from a plant it owns near Shanghai in China.

An independent panel, led by the China Research Academy of Environmental Science, included experts in environmental protection and the lead-acid battery industry. The group confirmed that Johnson Controls could not be the cause of the blood-lead incidents in Kangqiao, but did identify an abnormally high zone of lead content from a waste recycling facility near a residential area.

In the contaminated area, lead content was found to be over three times the present Chinese national standard. It is also found that the zinc content of this area was over 15 times the present Chinese national standards.

Shu Yang, vice president and general manager for Johnson Controls Power Solutions Asia said: “We remain concerned about the health and safety of the community, as the root cause of the elevated blood-lead incidents still needs to be addressed. We are committed to working with government officials, experts and other members of industry to support continued efforts around responsible lead handling and battery manufacturing best practices.”

Johnson Controls announced that the company will resume production at its Shanghai facility in January 2012 after lead-related operations were temporarily suspended due to reaching its annual lead quota in September 2011.