An explosion at Chinese chemical plant — no, not that one — will not affect Shanghai’s water supply … so say the ever-reliable “local authorities.” The blast occurred Thursday at the Jiangdu Chemical Plant, near Yangzhou in Jiangsu province, which neighbors Shanghai, and straddles the Yangtze River, the source of much of Shanghai’s water.
Six (or eight) tons of acrylonitrile — a recognized carcinogen used to make other chemicals such as plastics, synthetic rubber, and acrylic fibers — contaminated the nearby Xiaohan River, but according to a “Yangzhou official” the poisonous chemicals didn’t spread, because the leak was shut down quickly. (Acrylonitrile, if you’re curious, ranks in the top 10 percent of the most hazardous compounds on Earth.)
Shanghai authorities said they haven’t detected any pollution at the city’s water sources, adding that the blast 300 kilometers away should have little influence here.
“The Yangtze River’s water flow is much bigger than the Songhua’s in northeastern China, so it has a much bigger self-cleaning ability,” said Chen Guoguang, director of the Shanghai Water Quality Monitoring Center, referring to a November 13 chemical plant blast in Jilin Province that created a major pollution threat in the Songhua River.
Shanghai officials said they will keep a close watch on the local water supply to rule out any possible contamination.
Wait a second. Officials haven’t yet ruled out contamination? Then why, we wonder, did Shanghai Daily use this headline for the story: Shanghai ‘safe’ from plant spill. The word “safe” appears nowhere in the story.
The next thing you’ll tell us is that the Shanghai Daily is in cahoots with our old friends the “local authorities.”
Photo from jschina.com.cn.