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South Korea Rules Samsung Plant Caused Woman's Cancer

By - Source: AP (via CBS News) | B 32 comments

Woman's family will receive an undisclosed amount in compensation.

A South Korean government agency has ruled that a Samsung plant located in South Korea caused a former employee to develop cancer. The Associated Press cites a branch of the labor ministry as saying the woman who developed breast cancer after a five-year stint at a Samsung plant was exposed to organic solvents and radiation.

The women, referred to only by her last name, Kim, started working at Samsung in 1995 when she was 19-years-old and left the company in the year 2000. She developed breast cancer several years later and died this past March having lived with the disease for three years. According to the AP, the Korea Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service, the government agency responsible for the ruling, said there was a "considerable causal relationship" between the Ms. Kim's cancer and her five years of work the semiconductor plant outside of Seoul.

The plant Ms. Kim worked at is said to have had no radiation detector. While working there, she was reportedly exposed to benzene as well as other carcinogens. It's thought that this ruling will be good for other sick employees with pending lawsuits. Ms. Kim's family will receive monetary compensation following the ruling.

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  • 26 Hide
    Maxx_Power , December 15, 2012 1:28 PM
    dns7950Totally retarded. She used to work at Samsung, then got cancer, so Samsung is responsible?? I held an iPhone once, and now it hurts when i pee! I think Apple owes me some money....


    You are missing the establishment of a causal link. She worked with chemicals KNOWN to promote cancer via mutations.

    Your cell phone is KNOWN only to cause an addiction to Apple and a gradually emptying wallet.
  • 23 Hide
    A Bad Day , December 15, 2012 12:14 PM
    For those who try to explain that the cancer was not caused by the workplace because of several years of delay...

    Carcinogens increase the risk of cancer, but do not cause it immediately. Sometimes you get lucky and you don't get any cancer. Sometimes you get not so lucky and get it several years later. Sometimes it comes very quickly and brutalizes your body (usually very high dosage and/or weak immune system).
  • 16 Hide
    A Bad Day , December 15, 2012 1:03 PM
    dns7950Totally retarded. She used to work at Samsung, then got cancer, so Samsung is responsible?? I held an iPhone once, and now it hurts when i pee! I think Apple owes me some money....


    Yeah, sorry, but I don't think iPhones emit large quantities of benzene and other fun stuff for you.

    (Large quantity: May still be low atmospheric concentration, but high enough to cause some concern.)
Other Comments
    Display all 32 comments.
  • 10 Hide
    ojas , December 15, 2012 12:13 PM
    Disturbing, to say the least. :o 
  • 23 Hide
    A Bad Day , December 15, 2012 12:14 PM
    For those who try to explain that the cancer was not caused by the workplace because of several years of delay...

    Carcinogens increase the risk of cancer, but do not cause it immediately. Sometimes you get lucky and you don't get any cancer. Sometimes you get not so lucky and get it several years later. Sometimes it comes very quickly and brutalizes your body (usually very high dosage and/or weak immune system).
  • 14 Hide
    halcyon , December 15, 2012 12:23 PM
    Unfortunately, this is not not surprising in the least. ...glad this is getting some publicity and hopefully not only with the woman be well compensated but Samsung will be forced to correct the issues. There's no excuse, disregard for employee's health and safety isn't acceptable at Foxconn and it sure as hell isn't acceptable for Samsung either.

    Now, Samsung, get working on my Galaxy Note III please.
  • 16 Hide
    A Bad Day , December 15, 2012 1:03 PM
    dns7950Totally retarded. She used to work at Samsung, then got cancer, so Samsung is responsible?? I held an iPhone once, and now it hurts when i pee! I think Apple owes me some money....


    Yeah, sorry, but I don't think iPhones emit large quantities of benzene and other fun stuff for you.

    (Large quantity: May still be low atmospheric concentration, but high enough to cause some concern.)
  • 13 Hide
    mesab66 , December 15, 2012 1:23 PM
    "no radiation detector"....."exposed to benzene as well as other carcinogens"

    I suspect she will not be alone in taking action.

  • 26 Hide
    Maxx_Power , December 15, 2012 1:28 PM
    dns7950Totally retarded. She used to work at Samsung, then got cancer, so Samsung is responsible?? I held an iPhone once, and now it hurts when i pee! I think Apple owes me some money....


    You are missing the establishment of a causal link. She worked with chemicals KNOWN to promote cancer via mutations.

    Your cell phone is KNOWN only to cause an addiction to Apple and a gradually emptying wallet.
  • 15 Hide
    house70 , December 15, 2012 1:48 PM
    dns7950Totally retarded. She used to work at Samsung, then got cancer, so Samsung is responsible?? I held an iPhone once, and now it hurts when i pee! I think Apple owes me some money....

    nah, most likely your addiction to porn caused it...lol
  • 1 Hide
    stygian , December 15, 2012 1:49 PM
    I thought Apple had a patent on a "manufacturing facility which facilitates the horrible existence and early demise of the workers therein". Apple should sue! As long as they get that "engineer" from the first trial on the jury they'll win. Another 9 figures in the bank the easy way!
  • 4 Hide
    house70 , December 15, 2012 1:54 PM
    halcyonUnfortunately, this is not not surprising in the least. ...glad this is getting some publicity and hopefully not only with the woman be well compensated but Samsung will be forced to correct the issues. There's no excuse, disregard for employee's health and safety isn't acceptable at Foxconn and it sure as hell isn't acceptable for Samsung either.Now, Samsung, get working on my Galaxy Note III please.

    Unfortunately, exposure to increasing amounts of various carcinogens are part of modern life. This particular case is not an oddity, it just made this news forum because it had "Samsung" tied to it.
    Thinking about it: one case that comes to become public, even though there are dozens of people working in the same area. Hundreds working in the same field. Thousands working in the same cellphone manufacturing plants. This case came to attention because it got the attention it needed and the outcome it deserved. For each case like this there are hundreds that go un-noticed or un-solved.
  • 0 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , December 15, 2012 2:07 PM
    Doesn't a hazmat suit completely eliminate chemical contamination if used correctly although it doesn't completely eliminate radiation exposure? Also why is radiation involved in such a factory?
  • 10 Hide
    A Bad Day , December 15, 2012 2:47 PM
    IndignantSkepticDoesn't a hazmat suit completely eliminate chemical contamination if used correctly although it doesn't completely eliminate radiation exposure? Also why is radiation involved in such a factory?


    Three issues with those:

    1. Expensive

    2. They lack air conditioning, and it's very easy to become sweaty and gross in those suits.

    3. Interference with body motions, which may reduce factory productivity.


    An cheaper solution is to upgrade the ventilation system, isolate the carcinogen-emitting sources from the rest of the factory (air-tight seals, separate ventilation system, etc), or do without the carcinogens.
  • 0 Hide
    ericburnby , December 15, 2012 3:18 PM
    stygianI thought Apple had a patent on a "manufacturing facility which facilitates the horrible existence and early demise of the workers therein". Apple should sue! As long as they get that "engineer" from the first trial on the jury they'll win. Another 9 figures in the bank the easy way!

    Nothing like spreading lies.

    Apple was responsible for discovering Hogan was sued by Seagate years ago. Apple was the one who notified Samsung lawyers about Hogan's past involvement with Seagate. One lawyer for Samsung is married to the lawyer that sued Hogan. Yet despite all this Samsung never bothered to question Hogan about this during jury selection.

    Judge Koh even stated: "Let me ask a question. Mr. Hogan disclosed he worked for Seagate. Why didn't you ask him a question during voir dire?"

    Here's a link to the transcript which proves Koh asked Samsung about their not questioning Hofan despite their knowledge of his link to Seagate.

    http://live.theverge.com/live-apple-samsung-patent-trial-hearing/
  • -5 Hide
    wildkitten , December 15, 2012 3:51 PM
    A Bad DayYeah, sorry, but I don't think iPhones emit large quantities of benzene and other fun stuff for you.(Large quantity: May still be low atmospheric concentration, but high enough to cause some concern.)

    I reread the article several times and never saw the wards "large quantities". Why do people have to insinuate articles say things they never said.

    Also, one of the things the article, as well as the CBS/AP article it's based on, never touch on is what in her personal life may have led to this. Was she a smoker? Was she on medication that led to increased risk of cancer? There is a line in the article that seriously leads me to question the judgement of this agency...
    Quote:
    It said it also reviewed records from overseas which showed that working night shifts is linked to a higher chance of breast cancer.

    So does this mean doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers will all now not have to work night shifts because of increased risk of breats cancer?
  • 2 Hide
    InvalidError , December 15, 2012 5:17 PM
    wildkittenSo does this mean doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers will all now not have to work night shifts because of increased risk of breats cancer?

    Stress has also been established as a contributor to many illnesses including various types of cancer.

    If we stop doing everything that has a statistically verifiable detrimental effect on health, we are very much screwed.
  • 2 Hide
    Maxx_Power , December 15, 2012 5:24 PM
    InvalidErrorStress has also been established as a contributor to many illnesses including various types of cancer.If we stop doing everything that has a statistically verifiable detrimental effect on health, we are very much screwed.


    You are talking about one-sided statistics, i.e., there is a very strong positive correlation between those who eat potatoes and those who die.

    Stress also allows your body to develop itself, for example, working out. Mental exercises (problem solving), etc, etc. You need additional variables to quantify what type of stress, how it is applied, over how long of a duration, and how much stress, etc to properly gauge human reaction to stress.

    One-sided statistics are what most of the mainstream media understands that attempts to reduce everything we experience down to a single sound bite. Reality is much different.
  • -6 Hide
    makaveli316 , December 15, 2012 6:00 PM
    She worked all those years and she had no clue about the risks? I doubt that, but still a sad story...
  • 4 Hide
    Maxx_Power , December 15, 2012 6:31 PM
    makaveli316She worked all those years and she had no clue about the risks? I doubt that, but still a sad story...


    It is hard to say... She looks like she started working there while she was in her late teens and early adolescence. I would say most people in those years lacks the necessary amount of education to fully comprehend cancer and causes of cancer, as well as fair and equitable treatment in a workplace. Never mind that this is probably her first job, so she probably never had a chance to find out how other places treats their workers, and what is the norm vs. expected.
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , December 15, 2012 6:32 PM
    house70Unfortunately, exposure to increasing amounts of various carcinogens are part of modern life. This particular case is not an oddity, it just made this news forum because it had "Samsung" tied to it. Thinking about it: one case that comes to become public, even though there are dozens of people working in the same area. Hundreds working in the same field. Thousands working in the same cellphone manufacturing plants. This case came to attention because it got the attention it needed and the outcome it deserved. For each case like this there are hundreds that go un-noticed or un-solved.
    I know you're right about that for sure. There's quite a toll paid to have electronics.
  • 1 Hide
    Maxx_Power , December 15, 2012 6:41 PM
    halcyonByI know you're right about that. for sure. There's quite a toll paid to have electronics.

    Absolutely. Thinking of all the e-waste, the chemicals/metals involved in production of electronics, and the driving factor behind consumer electronics (bigger, faster, newer, better, etc) makes me feel ill (and certainly has made a lot of people ill, or more ill).

    I can think that the average person is benefitted from modern technology (even if some aren't), but the biggest benefactor are those who got filthy rich in the process. I am not sure if this is a good thing...
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