Samsung chip factory worker dies of breast cancer, South Korea blames company, brings up poor working conditions

Samsung chip factory worker dies of breast cancer, South Korea blames company, brings up poor working conditions
As awesome as our gadgets are, truth is they are manufactured in conditions we tend to not think about much. Samsung might have just concluded it employs no underage workers and might have somewhat polished its public image, when a report by Korea’s Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service judged that a worker in one of its plants died of breast cancer.

The woman had worked at the Samsung plant for five years and has had the cancer for three, enought for the Workers Service to agree about a "considerable causal relationship" between the employment and the cancer.



The sad news is the woman was only 36 years old when she passed out, three years after getting the diagnosis.

And the blame lays squarely on Samsung on this case - the manufacturing plant in question is allegedly lacking a radiation detector, and workers had to deal with carcinogens like benzene.

This is just one of many cases undergoing in South Korea, a red flag raised to us to keep on questioning tech companies about the conditions of their workers. And appreciate a little more the technology we are getting.

source: Associated Press via Gizmodo

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43 Comments

41. synot

Posts: 277; Member since: Sep 14, 2012

People who works in factories generally gets skin and lungs cancer not breast cancer breast cancer is generally caused from harmones inside the womans body when they reached certain age ,such as imbalanced of estrogen and improper diet

39. nwright94 unregistered

You people are sick. A woman died of cancer, happened to be a Samsung factory (it could've been anywhere) and all you're worried about if fighting like little kids over android and iOS? This site gets progressively worse everyday.

36. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Benzene is part of plastics manufacturing process. Do you know that it is recommended that for a vehicle parked in sunlight never move i n immediately after opening doors as the dashboard assembly is also largely plastic and that releases carcinogenic crap under heat/sunlight.

26. ibap

Posts: 873; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

Not the best reporting I've read. Passed out? Not so much on these boards, but all you out there bashing OSHA - think again. However - one case among their employees, after 2 year's exposure? I don't see that as demonstrating causality. There might be something there, but the sample is statistically much too small. I used to work for a company that had a lot of smokers working in one of their plants. Guess what? - high rate of lung cancer. But some years later, for longer term employees, the rate went down. Cause - serious anti-smoking campaign because it lowered health care costs. Want to assign causality? "Being employed by company X reduces your chance of lung cancer."

25. jibraihimi

Posts: 816; Member since: Nov 29, 2011

This is just simply pathetic........ Big croporates just thinking about making more profits from their products and not using their cash reserves to provide better working condition to these workers........ Their executives who are sitting in AC office just planning about how to sell the products these workers make, are getting much better condition. So what's stopping these big companies to provide the better working conditin to workers. Because if there weren't any labours, there wouldn't be any products which all this companies could sell................. People should raise their voice for better condition at factories........ I'm feeling so sad for that lady, guys she was just 36, just think abt. her family, wat they must be going through........ :(

23. Kakarotto

Posts: 255; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

Nice try cr@pple.

22. garz_pa

Posts: 154; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

Passed out? Then she's probably going to wake up anytime soon. Passed away? Nah.

20. JohnnyBravo

Posts: 105; Member since: Dec 02, 2012

This is BS. You can write a similar article about other companies in similar situations. Its all about bad press and being "Samsung" or "Apple". Sad part is that if your company isnt big then no light will get shed on your working conditions. >:-/ This is why Im thankful everyday to have a desk job. Worst health hazzard for me is Whiteout! Freaking Whiteout...

19. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Jeezes people get a grip all companies NEED TO GET their act together AND START USING THEIR money for BETTER WORK SANCTIONS in their plants instead of making these hard working people in force labor. this just makes me sick no matter which company

18. AamirSIII

Posts: 187; Member since: Oct 04, 2012

what i see here is a very sad story of a worker. its very bad if this really happened cause of the working conditions for the woman. being from asia, i can imagine how the conditions might be there at work but i find these western countries blaming asian regions of not having proper working envirnments. what about europe and american industries? do u guys have any proper working conditions there? i dont think so! we should all sought out this acute problem which has gone way beyond limits now not only in asia but also all over the globe! the employers really need to think of their workers and do something about them!

32. someones4

Posts: 628; Member since: Sep 16, 2012

The american and european companies don't have to care because most of their factories are in china, india or indonesia. When these things happen, the execs just smile and wave as well as postponing damage payment as much as possible.

17. ryq24

Posts: 877; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

and that is why south korea will hire more foreign workers coz local workers refuse to work in that kind of hazardous work and more will after this news came out. only foreign workers from poor countries are willing to work in this kind of condition.

13. Nikolas.Oliver

Posts: 1574; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

wondering what would happen to those "geniuses" at apple store who deal with tearing and assembling iPhone's logic board...

12. JeffdaBeat unregistered

We have to stop acting like these companies are so much more different from each other. Sure, we all have our favorite products, but that doesn't excuse business practices, especially if they hurt people. Now, tying something like cancer to a specific thing is a tough thing to do, but if it is something to do with Samsung, then it needs to change. Period. Don't let your love for a smartphone outweigh the cost of a human life. Don't make excuses for Samsung IF (and only if) they are to blame for something like this. It frustrated me to no end that Apple partners with a manufacturer that has to hang nets around the dorms so workers don't kill each themselves. It still does and I don't make excuses for them. No one ever should. People are more important than gadgets or brand loyalty.

11. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

She had cancer for 3 years.. of course it's Samsung's fault!!! It would be interesting to see the actual report and if there truly is a link. Nobody can deny that being around these hazardous chemicles and radiation while working 40 hrs (or 100) a week will be detrimental to your health. The way this was reported is ridiculous. Having said that.. shame on Samsung if they don't have the proper detectors and safety measures in place to protect their workers. FIX IT and don't turn into another Apple here!

27. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

There is no proof its Samsungs fault especially if she had the cancer for three years. There should be multiple cases with the same or more years. Then I might say there could be a link to cancer. What about people that work at gas stations? This would be like saying its South Koreas fault for not providing healthcare if they dont have it. Its an unfortunate death, but you cant be pointing fingers if she did not get medical attention. Maybe she couldnt afford it and that is the sad truth. Most people cant afford it and they depend on peoples charity at the cancer hospitals.

40. synot

Posts: 277; Member since: Sep 14, 2012

Your comment is biased and without merit,consider this ,a plant that has hundreds of workers everyday at the same location ,with the same exposure would result in more than one worker being infected and dying and also the resulting cancer could have been with the woman in the early stages before coming to knowledge when it did. Exposure from the plant would more result in lungs cancer than breast cancer which is more prevalent in women

10. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

This is stupid. How many people work here and how many have cancer? 1? We work around everything that causes cancer. If you read McDonalds fine print on their fries in the nutrition wall, it says it can cause cancer. Cancer is here and it's always around us. ALWAYS. Unless you live in a cave away from anything man made.

9. joey18

Posts: 698; Member since: Jul 20, 2010

dont worried americans buy there gs3 dont care lol

42. sarb009

Posts: 322; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Go then buy iPhone made in U.S.A.(?)

6. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

What a bunch of hog wash, women (and, men) die of Breast Cancer every day; their environment is, more often than not, not a causal contributor. Consider all the people who develop Lung Cancer (and, die), many of them have never smoked or been around smokers but, based on the "story" above, if they work at, say, a 7 Eleven, therefore, it's 7 Eleven's fault for having cigarettes on the premises?? My theory is: maybe the woman who died of breast cancer in South Korea sat next to someone on a public bus who was using an iPhone that was leaking low levels of the radiation leakage that has been reported!

31. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

boi you are HILARIOUS! LOOOL man you had me going for a second then you hahaha rag on apple again .........funny stuff man funny stuff

5. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Wow! Samsung is really copying apple to the extreme now!!!

7. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

iDiSagree, Samsung has a better manufacturer's warranty; worth looking into (in this case).

8. syedzain

Posts: 175; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Lol yep u can see that now haha.

15. Mxyzptlk unregistered

If they were copying apple they would have had better working conditions.

21. darkkjedii

Posts: 31816; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Sad that we take this for granted all for android vs iOS

28. Googlethis

Posts: 179; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

this shouldn't be a apple vs google or apple vs samsung article. some one lost there life to an ailment (this case cancer) and the possible cause is working condtions this could happen to any company or any person either way its sad that it happend. like the article states we do not always concider the people that make the product and the conditions they live and work in hopefully this means tech companies step up and make sure there employies are taken care of propperly not only making sure that conditions in the factory are up to proper code. or even making all companies meet a global standard for there factories.

29. someones4

Posts: 628; Member since: Sep 16, 2012

The workers would also commit suicide instead of getting cancer.

34. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Not everyone is lucky to be employed on same terms and compensation package by Apple like you are :)

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