Thursday, May 12, 2011

Lynas Gebeng: Masalah rakyat China akan jadi masalah rakyat Pahang?

China now produces 97 per cent of the world’s rare earths — a group of 17 obscure minerals with varying levels of radioactivity — vital to the manufacture of the some of the most popular consumer products such as flat-screen TVs, iPhones and energy-saving fluorescent lightbulbs.

AFP reported two days ago that Beijing was starting to clean up its rare earths industry by closing illegal mines, setting tougher environmental standards and restricting exports in a sudden keenness to burnish its green credentials even as it maintains its chokehold on the global market.

In the article, the international news agency placed two-thirds of the Chinese supply being processed in mineral-rich Baotou on the edge of the Gobi Desert.

The article described farmers living near the 10-sq-km expanse in northern China as suffering from a slew of health problems including cancer, which the residents blamed on toxic waste leaching into the groundwater and poisoning everything grown in their homeland.

Malaysia’s underwent a similar experience 20 years ago, when radioactive waste left behind by the Asian Rare Earth (ARE) plant was blamed for the area’s high cancer rate and newborns with birth defects…


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