Nearly 200 killed in chemical accidents in China in first eight months of year, says Greenpeace

China had 232 chemical-related accidents from January to August this year, causing 199 deaths and 400 injuries, according to research from the environmental group Greenpeace published on Wednesday.

Greenpeace said China needs to radically overhaul the way it manages its chemical industry, which is now “appallingly under-regulated”.

“The government must take urgent action to manage chemicals in a sound manner, provide a safety net for workers and citizens and protect ecologically important areas across the country,” said Cheng Qian, a campaigner with the group.

Tianjin disaster still scars firefighters’ families and friends one year on

The majority of China’s 33,625 chemical facilities are located in densely populated eastern coastal regions, Greenpeace said, citing publicly available data compiled from 2010 to 2011

It added that greater transparency was needed to provide a more accurate picture of the industry.

China has struggled to enforce its rules on acquiring, producing, storing and disposing of dangerous chemicals and experts have complained that rules published at the end of 2011 were inadequate and need to be tightened significantly.

Has China failed to learn the lessons of deadly Tianjin explosions?

A series of explosions at a chemicals warehouse in Tianjin killed 165 people last year. The government said hazardous materials were stored illegally at the site.

China detained 49 people in connection with the blasts, including port and work safety officials, saying that laws and regulations had been flouted.

The firm involved, Tianjin Ruihai International Logistics, was also accused of handling dangerous chemicals without a licence.

Four workers were also killed in an explosion at a facility run by the Wanhua Chemical Group on Wednesday.

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