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HindustanTimes Sat,01 Nov 2014

World

Bangladesh in slow motion
Bharati Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times
May 05, 2013
First Published: 23:50 IST(5/5/2013)
Last Updated: 23:52 IST(5/5/2013)

The horrific tragedy in Bangladesh is forcing global garment manufacturers to pay attention to how goods are manufactured for their label. It must also compel other manufacturers to do the same. There is enough evidence that many consumer products cost the planet and the workers.

China, never compared to Bangladesh, is a mess. Industrial pollution has created cancer villages. Earlier this year, the New York Times reported a chemical spill in the Zhuozhang river by a coal-to-chemical plant, which severely impacted 28 villages and about a million people.

Things are not that good in the electronic goods manufacturing world either, as reports of toxicity and workers' health stream in about one of China's largest companies, Foxconn.

It has become such a crisis, that combatting pollution is one of the priorities of the current five-year plan. Even the Chinese Communist Party has begun to discuss this previously taboo issue, so why not the companies who benefit from cheap Chinese manufacturing?

In Indonesia, tin mining for the world's leading manufacturers of electronics has been found to have disastrous impacts on the environment and people.

In Canada, a study end last year showed that women in the plastic industry were frequently exposed to very dangerous chemicals, and had a five fold risk increase of breast cancer.


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