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Workers win compensation promise for mercury poisoning

WORKERS in a light bulb factory in south China can claim compensation after they suffered mercury poisoning, a district government has announced.

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

A spokesman with 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 masks for at least eight hours every day.

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

Guangdong Health authority said the nine who showed symptoms will start their treatment immediately. Other workers will also get medical help.


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