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Chinese soldiers in an operation to protect a water filtration plant from the Jilin spillage (file photo) (epa)
19 December 2005 -- The level of cancer-causing benzene is increasing in the Amur River, Russian officials report.
The findings will add to concerns felt in the Russian Far East ever since an explosion in a plant in the Chinese city of Jilin on 13 November poured 100 tons of benzene and other toxic chemicals into a tributary of the Amur.
However, Aleksandr Gavrilov of the pollution monitoring agency Dalgidrometa said there was no need to over-dramatize the situation.
Gavrilov said the samples were taken 235 kilometers from the city of Khabarovsk.
The governor of the Khabarovsk region Viktor Ishaev warned in televised comments on 19 December that the Russian authorities may have to shut down Khabarovsk's central heating plant to prevent chemicals from the spillage from entering the city’s pipes.
A slick of toxic benzene and other chemicals is moving from China's Songhua River toward the Amur River in Russia's Far East. Russian authorities fear the consequences when the 80-kilometer-long toxic slick reaches the city of Khabarovsk, which relies on the Amur for its water supply.
Officials say supplies of clean water and filtering charcoal are being stockpiled in Khabarovsk. Russian authorities have warned that more than 1 million people living along the Amur could be affected by the contaminants. The spill is the result of an explosion on November 13, 2005, at a Chinese chemical plant in the city of Jilin....(more)
After Chinese Toxic Spill, Russian Environmentalists Raise Concerns About Ecological Policy