Factory Conditions Sicken Chinese Workers

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The fact that lead-laced toys put kids at risk is bad enough, but Chinese factories also cause big problems for another population—workers.

A few of the ways factory employees risk their lives to produce goods bound for the U.S., according to the Salt Lake Tribune‘s series on the hazards of manufacturing plants in China:

*Making Char-Broil grills and gas stoves: Experts estimate 4.4 million Chinese workers have silicosis, a fatal lung disease caused by inhaling metal particles.

*Assembling furniture and household accessories: Millions of workers have lost limbs and fingers while using outdated factory equipment.

*Painting furniture: workers who inhale solvents like benzene, toluene and xylene suffer from a range of health problems (one interviewed for the article had myelodisplastic anemia, a precursor to leukemia).

*Making batteries: inhaling cadmium dust, a carcinogen, can cause “severe bone pain, kidney failure and death.”

The conditions that cause these health problems (old equipment, loose regulations, lack of protective gear) will most likely take a long time to improve, but the Tribune points out that it might speed things up if American consumers think twice about that new Char-Broil grill.

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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