Court: Chemicals caused Samsung chip worker's ovarian cancer

January 29, 2016 byYoukyung Lee

A court said Friday that exposure to carcinogens at a Samsung chip factory caused a worker's ovarian cancer in the first ruling in South Korea to link the disease with chemicals that chip workers were exposed to.

The Seoul Administrative Court said it saw a "significant causal relationship" between the disease and even a low level of toxic chemicals because the worker Lee Eun-joo was exposed to carcinogens over a long period.

Lee died in 2012 after battling ovarian cancer for more than a decade. She worked at a Samsung chip factory for six years since 1993 when she was 17.

The court said the glues that Lee used to put a silicon wafer on a lead frame contained formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, and phenol, a known promotor of tumors, according to its material safety data sheets.

The court also blamed many night shifts and the factory's ventilation system. It ordered a government agency to compensate her family.

The court also said the agency should be less stringent in deciding eligibility for compensation when the cause of the disease is not completely clear cut.

In South Korea, a government agency levies companies and oversees insurance for workers with occupational diseases.

Banolim, an advocacy group, says it has details of more than 200 current or former Samsung workers suffering from grave diseases such as leukemia. Of them, 76 have died. Less than a dozen cases had a causal relationship recognized by courts or the government.

Samsung recently agreed on preventive measures but remains deadlocked over other issues after many workers opposed the company's compensation plan announced last year.

Explore further: Court: Studies understated Samsung health hazards (Update)

Related Stories

Court: Studies understated Samsung health hazards (Update)

October 23, 2013

A South Korean court said studies conducted to evaluate safety at Samsung chip factories failed to fully examine workplace health hazards, undermining the electronics giant's efforts to distance itself from claims that its ...

Samsung reaches partial agreement with sick workers

January 12, 2016

Samsung Electronics reached a partial agreement on workplace safety with sickened workers and their families, nearly a decade after the death of a 22-year-old chip worker from leukemia galvanized concern about conditions ...

SKorea says Samsung chip plant caused cancer

December 14, 2012

(AP)—A South Korean government agency said Friday that working at a Samsung Electronics factory caused the breast cancer of a worker who died earlier this year, only the second time it has recognized a link between cancer ...

Samsung aid for sick workers comes with conditions, secrecy

December 11, 2015

Samsung's hopes of ending years of acrimony over whether its computer chip factories caused cancer have hit a hitch: some sickened workers and their families say they'll never accept its highly conditional offer of financial ...

Samsung apologizes to sickened chip workers (Update)

May 14, 2014

Samsung Electronics Co. apologized and promised compensation to chip factory workers who suffered cancers linked to chemical exposure, a rare win for families and activists seven years after the death of a 23-year-old employee ...

Study at Samsung says cancers unrelated to work

July 14, 2011

(AP) -- A study commissioned by Samsung into cancers among six of its semiconductor workers found they were unrelated to exposure to chemicals on the job but the electronics giant is not yet releasing the full results.

Recommended for you

Samsung to disable Note 7 phones in recall effort

December 9, 2016

Samsung announced Friday it would disable its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in the US market to force remaining owners to stop using the devices, which were recalled for safety reasons.

Swiss unveil stratospheric solar plane

December 7, 2016

Just months after two Swiss pilots completed a historic round-the-world trip in a Sun-powered plane, another Swiss adventurer on Wednesday unveiled a solar plane aimed at reaching the stratosphere.

Solar panels repay their energy 'debt': study

December 6, 2016

The climate-friendly electricity generated by solar panels in the past 40 years has all but cancelled out the polluting energy used to produce them, a study said Tuesday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.