Shandong environmental officials say the result of an investigation into a deadly pollution case will be announced soon - responding to petitioners who called for government involvement last month. The attitude of the provincial officials yesterday was also a reflection of the political reality on the mainland - that attention from senior state-level officials is usually more effective in getting a complaint handled in a timely manner than approaching regional officials. The case came to light when a group of residents in Dongming county posted a petition letter on major internet hubs this month after their written complaint to the county government fell on deaf ears. They complained that many county residents had developed thyroid-related diseases after chemical factories discharged poisonous waste into local rivers. The internet petition was signed by at least 1,400 people whose family members had been diagnosed with thyroid problems, according to The Beijing News. It was largely ignored by the county government at first, but then it was seen by Premier Wen Jiabao, according to a Shandong environmental official, though it was not known when and where Mr Wen saw it. He ordered the Shandong authorities to investigate the issue and offer people a satisfactory answer, according to the report. Cnr.cn, the website of China National Radio, said Shandong officials had reached a preliminary conclusion on the Dongming incident, and several bureaus would call a joint press conference to announce the result of the investigation. It said Shandong environmental and health regulators had sent more than 100 people to investigate the pollution but found only roughly eight out of 10,000 people had contracted thyroid-related diseases. The result, still unconfirmed, contrasted greatly with an early investigation conducted by The Beijing News. The newspaper said Dongming resident Wang Junping had eight family members affected by thyroid diseases since last year, when several large chemical factories started operating. The report said 10 of 30 employees in a small local hospital had been diagnosed with thyroid diseases since last year. An office worker told the newspaper that six of 10 colleagues had thyroid problems. County officials, however, had been on the defensive, insisting that all waste water discharged by chemical factories had met compulsory state requirements. 'Factories were not allowed to drain waste water until it met water-quality requirements,' a deputy county environment director told the newspaper. The official said he had shown residents the official test results of the waste water, but not everyone trusted those tests. The dispute escalated in the past few weeks, and one angry resident called for an uprising in an open letter published on internet forums. Without giving his name or contact information, the person said more than 5,000 residents had signed up for a protest, with the goal to kill the Communist Party chief and county director as a way to obtain justice. 'The uprising might not be successful, but it marks the start of a revolution against a crude regime,' the letter said.