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5,000 in Hubei die of work-related lung disease

NEARLY 5,000 workers from central China's Hubei Province have died from an occupational lung disease and more than 20,000 have contracted pneumoconiosis in the past eight years.

Hubei Province Public Health Bureau revealed the figures yesterday while promoting awareness of occupational diseases at Wuchang Railway Station in the capital city Wuhan - a transport hub for migrant workers, today's Chutian Metropolis Daily reported.

The bureau's data indicted 21,760 known cases of pneumoconiosis were reported in Hubei from 2000 to 2008, of which 4,834 had died. The number of those infected is expected to rise further.

The disease is caused by breathing in dust and costs about 40,000 yuan (US$5,859) a year to treat. The bureau has set up 111 testing centers across the province and has reduced check-up fees to 120 yuan, according to Bai Yibing, a bureau official.


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