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Students Wear Face Masks to Class to combat neigbouring stench

Posted: 05/6/2014 8:00 am

Whenever you think class is boring and listening to your math teacher drone on and on is unbearable, take a moment to think about the poor students at Hong Cheng High School in Haifeng County, Guangdong Province. On top of the endless droning that they have to endure, these poor kids also have to suffer through an unbearable odor all day long.

Photographs published by Nanfang Agriculture Daily depict students sitting in the classroom wearing the too-obvious-to-miss blue masks that cover half of their faces in order to fend off the strong smell. (photo shown below.)

The foul smell is said to be a combination of a garbage transfer station located just 200 meters away from the campus, and discharged gas from several clothing factories operating near the campus, the newspaper said.

Built more than 10 years ago, the garbage station is one of the three transfer stations in Haicheng County. More than 10 tons of garbage are transported here on a daily basis.

The smell, which becomes even more pungent after a heavy rain fall, began roughly last semester. The smell has become so unbearable that “it compels one to vomit,” said one student surnamed Huang.

Classes were even disrupted because of the odor. When the wind blows the smell into the classroom, teachers often pause to let the odor disperse before they resume with the class, Huang said.

The principal said they have complained to the local environmental protection department a number of times, but nothing has changed. When asked by the newspaper reporter, one local official said the garbage station is expected to move to another location before September this year. Moreover, they have ordered three of the stinky clothing factories to shut down their operations.

But until graduation, students will have to cling tight to their filtered masks.

Home page and content page photo credit: Nanfang Agriculture Daily 

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