Are China's Playgrounds Poisoning Children?

By William Lee, October 21, 2016

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Despite previous reports raising awareness, school playgrounds in China are still continuing to cause health issues for students. 

The Education Ministry in China inspected 68,000 school yard tracks this year and was forced to remove 93 that have fallen below safety standards.

Parents are blaming artificial plastic tracks for otherwise unexplainable illnesses that have been afflicting students: irritated eyes and skin, nosebleeds and coughs. 

In Shanghai, safety standards were introduced by the City Authority last year after schools and kindergartens in other cities had reported problems with the artificial surfaces. But despite these measures some, like one academic studying artificial tracks, believes 'the standards are flawed,' containing irrational and theoretical clauses.

In one of the latest occurrences, parents of pupils at Sijing No.3 Elementary School in Shanghai’s Songjang District are complaining that since their school’s new track opened, 75 of the school’s 400 students have been displaying mysterious symptoms much the same as those reported nationwide. 

poison-children-cover.jpeg

One father reported his son spoke to "had a skin rash on his back", but after the son stopped going to school his symptoms disappeared. 

The school has taken steps to assuage parent’s fears, they invited inspectors to carry out two rounds of tests on the surface last month and both tests put the track within the safe limits for hazardous substances.  The school has also been washing the surfaces and has introduced plants and air purifiers into classrooms.

[Images via Shanghai Daily, the Daily Mail]


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