“Over the past few years, Samsung Corporation has faced a number of troubling allegations about the health of some of its workers in the company’s home base, South Korea. Former workers and their families, along with labor activists, have said that conditions at the company’s semiconductor factories have led to higher occurrences of illnesses such as leukemia and other cancers among former semiconductor workers,” The Huffington Post Korea reports. “In a new series, The Huffington Post Korea and its media partner, The Hankyoreh, report that long-term exposure to toxic chemicals may not only have lasting effects for some former Samsung workers, but also for their children.”
“The issue of reproductive toxicity, when children fall ill because of the accumulation of various toxic compounds over a long period in their parents’ bodies, has not surfaced very often because many parents blame themselves and keep their children’s condition hidden. It is difficult for those who often could not even fathom blaming their company for their own sicknesses to connect their children’s illnesses to their workplace,” The Huffington Post Korea reports. “Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, world-class corporations and leaders of the Korean semiconductor industry, both deny the relationship between work conditions in semiconductor manufacturing and reproductive toxicity.”
“That reaction is similar to the first reports, in 2008, of ‘semiconductor industrial diseases’ — when former Samsung workers started attributing leukemia and other diseases they had developed to conditions in semiconductor factory work. While Samsung initially denied a link between the incidents and conditions at its plants, Korean courts ruled in several cases that former Samsung semiconductor workers with leukemia were victims of industrial accidents. The ubiquitous technology giant finally issued an apology in May 2014 to workers and their families, promising appropriate compensation to workers’ families,” The Huffington Post Korea reports. “The Hankyoreh now follows the largely unreported story of the ‘tears of the semiconductor second generation.’ This story, the first installment of the series, explores the devastating narrative of one family’s struggle to survive in the face of chronic health problems created in the workplace.”
“A picture of my son’s first birthday? There is no such thing. I was too busy begging the doctors to save my child, bedridden in the hospital.” – Ms. Kim Hee-eun
Currently, Hee-eun is suffering from thyroid cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis and epithelial cancer. She undergoes thyroid cancer treatment every 6 months, meningitis treatment every 3 months and rheumatoid arthritis treatment every 2 months. She has to go back to the Seoul National University Hospital every month, although the same hospital told her and [son] Gunoo not to come back after 13 long years. “I want to sleep at least one night without any pain,” Hee-un said, expressing her most fervent wish.
Much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Terribly sad and yet another atop a mountain of reasons to boycott Samsung-branded products, from TVs to refrigerators to pretend iPhones.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “WindozeBloze” for the heads up.]
Samsung: Sorry about that cancer – May 14, 2014