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January 8, 2010

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Mercury poisons workers in bulb works

AUTHORITIES in Guangdong Province promised that workers in a light bulb factory could claim compensation after they were found suffering from mercury poisoning.

Gaoming District government in Foshan City said medical tests have found elevated mercury in urine samples of 143 workers in the Foshan Electronic and Lighting Company. Another nine workers have already shown symptoms of mercury poisoning.

The provincial labor and social security bureau said the workers could claim compensation from their employer once they were diagnosed with mercury poisoning.

All 590 workers were on paid leave to receive further tests at the Guangdong Prevention and Treatment Center for Occupational Diseases, according to Xinhua news agency. These workers were reported to have been exposed to liquid mercury without wearing protection masks for at least eight hours every day in their work.

Zhu Wangzhong, 38, who worked in the company for three years, said he feared he was suffering a "fatal disease" as he had a constant headache and rashes on his skin.

Luckily, a doctor of the workers named Guo Yong said all could be cured in one or two weeks.

Guangdong Health authority said the nine who showed symptoms will start their treatment immediately.


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