Panic After Chinese City Declares Tap Water Toxic


Tom Phillips
The Telegraph
April 11, 2014

Waterpoison1Nearly 2.5 million residents of a major city in west China have been ordered not to drink its tap water after the supply was contaminated with dangerous levels of a carcinogenic substance.

Panic buying of bottled water broke out in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province, on Friday after state media announced authorities had “detected excessive levels of benzene in [its] tap water system”.

Officials found 200 micrograms of benzene per litre – 20 times the acceptable “national limit” – in samples of the city’s water supply, according to reports.

Exposure to benzene, a colourless liquid used to make plastics, lubricants, dyes, detergents and pesticides, has been linked to leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

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