Cancer in Samsung Factory Workers

Mic Wright, The Kernel:

Sadly, design is not the only aspect of the sprawling Samsung organisation that is in crisis. In a paper published by the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health in its Summer 2012 edition, Samsung is highlighted as one source of major health issues in the semiconductor industry.

The study, “Leukaemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in semiconductor industry workers in Korea”, says: “Samsung, the world’s largest information technology and electronics corporation (as measured by revenues), has refused to make public such data concerning the industrial processes that affect electronics workers and has impeded attempts by independent researchers to obtain essential information.”

I wanted to find out more, so I searched “samsung suwon factory workers cancer”. STOP SAMSUNG:

The majority of the 56 victims of the blood disorder cluster at Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. were vocational high school graduates from poor families in small cities. They went to work at Samsung in the late 1990s when South Korea boasted one of the world’s highest college enrollment rates, 61 percent. Before the victims fell to a variety of blood disorders, Samsung, which was on its way to become the world’s largest chipmaker, was their source of pride and opportunity. On July 9, Hankyoreh 21, one the county’s few independent weeklies, profiled four victims from the small city of Kunsan in a cover story.

Elizabeth Grossman, Yale University:

To experts in health issues relating to high-tech electronics workers, the story emerging from Samsung’s manufacturing plants in South Korea is distressingly familiar: An unusually high incidence of leukemia, lymphoma, brain cancer, and other serious diseases appears to exist among relatively young people who have worked in Samsung’s semiconductor and other chemically-intensive manufacturing plants. While direct cause and effect are difficult to prove, the South Korea situation presents striking similarities to patterns of illness seen at semiconductor plants in the United States and elsewhere in decades past.