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Pesticide blamed for fainting spells at factory

Pesticide blamed for fainting spells at factory

THE Ministry of Labour on Thursday said overuse of a pesticide at a garment factory in Russey Keo district was to blame for workers fainting on the job last week.

About 130 workers mysteriously fainted at Maurea Garment Corp in Svay Pak commune. Pok Vanthat, director of the Labour Health Department, said Thursday that the workers fainted "because of overuse of a chemical pesticide employed to protect their clothes from insects", adding that general weakness among some of the workers was also to blame.

"[Today] I will verify whether conditions at the factory are safe enough for workers to return," he said. "I will allow workers who did not faint to enter first, and if they are not affected, then those who fell ill will be allowed to return to work," he said.

Va Rithy, a health officer at Maurea Garment Corp, questioned the ministry's conclusion.

"I don't think we can say that it was because of overuse of a pesticide," he said, adding that prior to the fainting spells, firefighters had deployed simulated smoke in a training exercise that might have caused the fainting.

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