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Reason Found for Strange Odor from Tap Water of Hangzhou
2014-01-19 11:21:10

Date of issue: Jan. 17, 2014

  The Provincial Department of Environmental Protection announced on Jan. 16 that after many rounds of comprehensive testing and verification by experts, the chief substance which caused the strange odor from the tap water in Hangzhou has basically been identified as o-tert-Butylphenol. The ten enterprises involved have been ordered to stop production and emission. The quality of tap water has restored to normal and remained steady, and the strange odor has disappeared.

  The Department of Environmental Protection has not released the names of the ten enterprises, nor has it announced the density of o-tert-Butylphenol in water. The reporter learned that o-tert-Butylphenol is a material chiefly for making antioxidant, plant protection products, synthetic resin, medicine, pesticide intermediate and perfume. A certain degree of density is stimulating to the eye, skin and mucosa.

  The provincial Department of Environmental Protection announced that up to Jan. 13, 2014, over 1200 people/times have been sent out by the province to inspect 713 enterprises. 199 factories have been ordered to stop production and be investigated. At the city level, Hangzhou, Jinhua and Quzhou have sent 9360 people/times to inspect 7172 enterprises, and found 245 environmentally-polluting enterprises. 15 enterprises have been transferred to public security departments with suspected crime of polluting the environment.

  According to experts, o-tert-Butylphenol is synthetic and is often used in plastic products and antioxidants. Plastic is commonly used in people’s daily life. o-tert-Butylphenol is volatile, but generally is not highly odorous. If the smell is strong, it means that it is a very serious case. Generally speaking, if the tap water is boiled, the volatile substance will disappear.

  The provincial Department of Environmental Protection says that in the following period, Zhejiang will strengthen its measures of law enforcement and supervision along the Qiantang River. It will conduct comprehensive management of pollution and strengthen 5 major mechanisms of control: joint-prevention and joint-control of the upper and lower stream regions, self-check and self-verification of major enterprises, supervision and spot-check of major enterprises, early warning and monitoring of the sources of drinking water, and emergency response of waterworks. It will also endeavor to strengthen safety measures of drinking water and further improve the ability to guarantee the safety of drinking water.

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