Over 1,300 workers diagnosed with neurotoxicity in central Vietnam

Thanh Nien News

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Workers received treatment at Hop Luc General Hospital, the central province of Thanh Hoa, on May 15 / PHOTO COURTESY OF TUOI TRE
Some 1,355 footwear workers were hospitalized with symptoms of "toxicant syndrome" after drinking water at a factory in Thanh Hoa Province on Thursday.
Le Huu Uyen, head of Thanh Hoa Department of Health’s medical profession division, confirmed the initial diagnosis on the workers at the Taiwanese-owned footwear factory Hong Fu Co., Ltd. with VnExpress on Saturday.
Uyen's division has yet to identify the precise toxin responsible.
According to the International Labor Organization, neurotoxicant syndromes are brought about by substances that can adversely affect nervous tissue, including arsenic, lead, mercury, manganese, tin, and insecticides.
Uyen said initial biochemical tests so far have found all substances in the drinking water were within safety ranges, adding that other tests were still in progress.
On Thursday about 500 workers were rushed to Hop Luc General Hospital suffering symptoms like vomiting, headaches, and stomachaches.
The workers claimed that they developed the symptoms after drinking water at the factory.
Statistics from local hospitals showed that 1,355  Hong Fu workers were hospitalized, the newspaper reported.
As of Friday, about 50 workers remained hospitalized, but they had all recovered.
In March 2011, nearly 300 Hong Fu workers were also hospitalized with serious food poisoning symptoms like stomachache, vomiting and convulsion, after eating lunch at the company canteen.
No fatalities were recorded at the time.

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