Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Toxic Factories take a toll on China's workers
(Wall Street Journal P-1 Jan. 15 -2008) Chinese workers making goods for American consumers have long borne the brunt of a global manufacturing system that puts cost cutting ahead of safety. The search for cheaper production means dirty industries are migrating to countries with few worker protections and lenient regulatory environments. Cadmium batteries are safe to use. They are also cheap, saving American parents about $1.50 on the average toy, compared with pricier batteries. But cadmium batteries can be hazardous to make. In southern China The nickel-cadmium battery illustrates this trend. Once widely manufactured in the West, the batteries are now largely made in China, where the industry is sickening workers and poisoning the soil and water. Now, some regulators and companies are taking action. This year, the European Union is banning the sale of nearly all cadmium batteries. A few companies, including Hasbro Inc., are eschewing the battery.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119972343587572351.html
Alfred Hitchcock's "Foreign Correspondent"