A Change of Guard

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Sunday, 30 October 2011

Bug spray hospitalizes garment factory workers

Agence France-Presse
October 30, 2011

Hundreds of workers were sent to hospital after falling ill this week at a Cambodian garment factory - the latest in a string of such incidents in the industry, police and union officials said.

Nearly 1,000 employees at the Anful Garments Factory (Cambodia) Ltd. in the southern province of Kampong Speu described feeling weak, nauseous and dizzy during their shift, labour leaders said.

Many reportedly lost consciousness in the incident, which happened after the plant had been sprayed with insecticide over the weekend.

Provincial police chief Keo Pisei confirmed that scores of workers at the factory had passed out, but he said the number was "less than one thousand".

It was not immediately clear which clothing brand the factory supplies.

There have been around a dozen reported incidents of mass fainting spells in Cambodian garment factories this year.

They are mostly blamed on workers' poor health, bad ventilation in the workplace or exposure to dangerous chemicals.

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