Friday, June 24, 2016
From the New York Times, June 23, reporter Owen Guo. To read the full story go here.
BEIJING — Chinese officials have pledged to replace school running tracks made of industrial waste that have reportedly sickened thousands of children, the latest public health scandal in a country already troubled by environmental hazards including air pollution and soil contamination.
The Ministry of Education said late Wednesday that it would coordinate with environmental protection and quality inspection authorities to inspect synthetic rubber tracks in schools across China during the summer break. Substandard running tracks — called “poisonous tracks” by the news media — are to be removed. Anyone who has cut corners in the construction of school sports facilities, the ministry said, will be “severely punished.’’ And it promised stricter oversight over the construction of such tracks.
The CCTV report, which said some tracks were made using recycled tires, cables and wires, provoked angry comments online. Some criticized government officials and school administrators for their lack of supervision.
“What kind of country would treat children’s health and lives as a joke?” a user identified as SoftLipa_cen wrote on Weibo, a Chinese microblogging service similar to Twitter.