Beijing (CNN) -- More than 200 children have elevated levels of lead in their blood caused by a battery plant near their communities in eastern China, state media said.
At least 23 -- some as young as nine months -- were suffering from "moderate to severe" lead poisoning and have been hospitalized, said the Xinhua news agency, citing a hospital official. Five more were waiting to be hospitalized.
The children from a township in Huaining County were tested from late December, according to the official at a children's hospital in Anhui Province.
Most live near two battery plants where lead processing occurred, Xinhua said.
Local government officials have shut down the plants and are sending children to nearby hospitals for blood tests.
"We can draw a clear conclusion that the lead poisoning was caused by the lead pollution of the battery plants," Zhang Gong, director at the hospital where the children are undergoing treatment, told state media.