Toxic Agate Products Sold Across China

Agate from China is dyed with toxic chemicals, and then sold in tourist spots across the nation.  (Kevin Walsh/Flickr)
Agate from China is dyed with toxic chemicals, and then sold in tourist spots across the nation. (Kevin Walsh/Flickr)

Dongpu Village in Xiamen is the biggest agate production site in China. It produces nearly 200 million agate bracelets annually, accounting for almost all of the agate bracelets on the market. Recently, however, the media exposed that Dongpu’s agate products are dyed with highly toxic chemicals, and then sold to various tourist spots across the nation.

Test results showed that the heavy metal content of such dyed agate is generally high, and accumulation inside the human body can lead to gene mutation and induce cancer.

Local operators said that more than 95 percent of the agate bracelets have been chemically dyed. The staining solution is highly corrosive, and mainly contains potassium nitrate, sodium nitrate, and silver nitrate. Workers are careful not to touch it, because the solution causes skin irritation. The toxic waste from local factories goes straight to waterways without treatment and pollutes the environment.

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