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Chinese children suffering lead poisoning from polluting industries have been denied testing, effective treatment and even basic information by officials, a human rights advocacy group said.
The US-based rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) made the claim in a report on Wednesday, in which it said officials in provinces with heavy industrial pollution were restricting access to lead testing or falsifying test results.
The report follows China's latest lead pollution outbreak, after 103 children and scores of adults were poisoned by tinfoil-making workshops in eastern Zhejiang province.
HRW accused officials in four provinces - Henan, Yunnan, Shaanxi and Hunan - of trying to cover up the extent of lead poisoning among local children.
"Local authorities are ignoring the urgent and long-term health consequences of a generation of children continuously exposed to life-threatening levels of lead," the study, entitled "My children have been poisoned: A public health crisis in four Chinese provinces", said.
There was no immediate reaction to the report from the Chinese government.