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Health fear for workers

MORE than 50 migrant workers from a town in southwest China's Yunnan Province are suffering from a lung disease after working at a gravel factory in east China's Anhui Province, Chuncheng Evening News reported yesterday.

Twelve people have died over the past two years, the report said.

The villagers of Yunnan's Shuifu County have been working at a gravel factory in Fengyang County, Anhui's Chuzhou City, since 2004, the report said. By 2007, the number working there had reached 300.

In 2006, many of them began to suffer from chest pain, coughs and other respiratory problems. When one, Jing Facai, went to Beijing for treatment last year, the disease was identified as pneumoconiosis, caused by inhaling dust.

The local medical authority realized how serious the situation was in 2007 when the first death was reported, said Chao Zengming, clinic director of Yong'an Village, Fushui County.

Local health authorities say they are ready to provide help for the workers after an appraisal from medical health experts.

Wang Changgui said he returned to his hometown after just two months at the factory as the environment there was intolerable.

He told the newspaper that he had no money to cure the disease. He just had to wait for his death, Wang said.


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