BEIJING, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Chinese authorities said they suspended an environmental official in eastern Anhui province after elevated levels of lead were found in 228 children.
The provincial government said high lead levels were blamed on excessive emissions from the Borui Battery manufacturing company, located in a densely populated community in Gaohe town, China Daily reported.
Zhao Yiping, a provincial director of the environmental protection bureau, was suspended after tests last week showed the battery manufacturing plant had allegedly polluted nearby soil and was responsible for the higher levels of lead in the children, the report said.
It quoted a government spokesman as saying the company did not rectify the pollution problem in its production process and that its facilities didn't meet official environmental standards. The company, where production has been stopped, is under investigation.
Of the children found to have higher levels of lead, 28 had their levels returned to normal after hospital treatment, the report said.
Excessive levels of lead in the blood can harm the body's digestive, nervous and reproductive systems, the report said.