Stink dome: In the Chinese city of Hangzhou, this gigantic polyester dome was erected over the site of a former pesticide factory to contain noxious odours that still emanate from it despite its closure in 2009.
A Chinese company in the eastern city of Hangzhou has constructed a massive inflatable dome over the site of a closed pesticide factory.
While it covers an area the size of roughly three football fields, the 20,000-square-metre polyester dome still covers less than half the contaminated zone, according to a state media report.
The factory was shut in 2009, but the stench emitted by the soil still forces nearby residents to cover their mouths and noses. The cause of the odour was not given in report.
The erection of the dome brings to mind the main narrative device in The Simpsons Movie (2007), in which a glass dome was dropped on the fictional town of Springfield, cutting it from the rest of the world, after Homer Simpson unleashed an environmental catastrophe.
The dome also figured prominently in the 2013 CBS television drama Under The Dome, although its presence was more mysterious.
Decades of unrestrained economic growth has hit China’s environment hard, and anger over pollution has triggered protests that have helped make China’s leadership more sensitive to the risks.
Reports of contaminated soil have become commonplace, and last month the environment ministry estimated that roughly 16% of China’s soil contained higher-than-permitted levels of pollution.
The ministry found that 82.8% of the contaminated samples contained toxic inorganic pollutants, including cadmium, mercury, arsenic, chromium and lead.
Last month, China announced its first pilot project to treat metal pollution in soil and prevent farmland from further contamination, but critics say the efforts are under-funded and inefficient. – Reuters