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22 workers have contracted disease

Samsung Electronics and may other makers of memory and microchips around the world sometimes use chemicals and other materials in the construction of their products that are toxic and could be lethal to humans if exposed in large doses. Samsung has been battling allegations that some workers in its plants in China have contracted cancer from exposure into the work place.

Samsung has been under pressure by activist groups to take responsibility for the incidents of workers contracting leukemia or lymphoma. So far, 22 workers from the chip plants Samsung operates have been diagnosed with lymphoma or leukemia between 1998 and 2010. Ten of these workers have died because of the diseases so far. Samsung has long maintained that the chemicals it uses in the production of chips at the plants have not caused the cancers in workers.

Samsung Memory Division president Cho Soo-in said, "We are deeply sorry about the loss of loved ones... and we've actively cooperated on epidemiologic investigations, which concluded there were no leaks of radiation." He continued saying, "But I feel we should also have done this (communicated with the public) in the first place to stop speculation from growing."

The Korea Times reports that Samsung is working hard to reduce the suspicions that the workers contracted the diseases while working at Samsung's plants. In an effort to do this, the electronics giant is opening up some of its plants to reporters. These plants are usually closely guarded and only open to visiting politicians.

The latest Samsung worker to succumb to diseases believed to be contracted at the Samsung plant was 23-year-old Park Ji-yeon, who was a worker at the Samsung plant in Onyang in the North Chungcheong Province since 2004. She died from leukemia and used an x-ray machine to check chips produced at the plant. The process produced radiation which some believe caused her leukemia.

The Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency has stated that the relationship between working conditions and leukemia is unclear. The agency stated, "The chances of males getting leukemia or cancer was lower than average, while among females, the chances of dying from the disease were 1.48 times higher than normal, which could be considered insignificant."

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RE: Cashing in?
By ChristopherO on 4/16/2010 12:28:59 PM , Rating: 3
The willingness to accept claims as fact without solid evidence is at the heart of most of society's problems.

Which is total BS and you evidentially didn't read what I said... I would need to know *who* was diagnosed and *what* they did. Samsung could employ 40 million people, but if they all worked in shipping/logistics they aren't in a high risk career and thus should track with national averages.

If they employed 100 QC technicians who used radiation, and 22 of them had leukemia, that would be a different matter. Counting all the factory workers is a pointless excuse and using irrelevant numbers to mask an issue. The article is largely meaningless without this data. For example, as I mentioned before, benzene has a proven link to blood cancers. Statistically, if you come into contact with it, you're in a vastly higher risk category.

The willingness to give be companies a pass and let them outsource labor to countires with virtually no health and safety regulations... Well, that's part of the reason no major fabs are in the US. Chip foundries are some of the nastiest places, a veritable chemical supermarket, and we don't have them domestically in large part due to environmental regulations that make them non cost-competitive when compared to nations with lax environmental standards. Sure labor costs are cheaper abroad, but US environmental policy incurs cost well beyond other factors (for fabs).

RE: Cashing in?
By MGSsancho on 4/19/2010 12:42:49 AM , Rating: 2
This really comes down to, we the public need to see the data, they can with hold names if they like but data with out context means nothing. Sadly this information would be good to help out those suffering not just from the mentioned ailments. =(

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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