Medical tests have shown that 45 children are suffering from lead poisoning in China's central Hunan province, the official news agency Xinhua has said.
Following the tests, which were conducted in two medical institutions in the provincial center Zhengzhou, 28 children aged under 14 were hospitalized.
Local authorities have closed down a local factory, which is believed to have caused the poisoning, Xinhua said.
A string of lead poisoning cases among children being registered since August 2009 has sparked violent protests by parents across China over factory pollution and public safety standards. More than 2,000 children across the country have been affected by the polluting industry.
Lead poisoning can be fatal, in severe cases, as the substance can remain in the system for some time, damaging the nervous and reproductive systems. There are a number of symptoms including severe headaches, stomach and muscle pain, behaviorial problems, anemia and memory loss.
China has a poor record for environmental pollution after many years of economic growth, corruption and lax pollution legislation.
MOSCOW, March 23 (RIA Novosti)