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Nearly 200 faint from factory fumes over three days

Victims are carried to an ambulance after a mass fainting at a Takeo province factory this week. Photo supplied
Victims are carried to an ambulance after a mass fainting at a Takeo province factory this week. Photo supplied

Nearly 200 faint from factory fumes over three days

More than 180 garment workers have fainted over the course of three days at a Chinese factory in Takeo province’s Bati district.

A manager at the Seduno (Cambo) Knitting factory, who declined to give his name, said workers were sickened by the smell of pesticide being sprayed at a nearby rice field on Tuesday. However, workers continued to faint yesterday even though the fumes had dissipated.

“I’m not sure whether it’s because of health problems or because one by one they got scared,” he said.

Horm Rin, 38, a worker and the representative for the Workers Friendship Union Federation, attributed the fumes to chemicals in the factory.

She also said conditions at the factory were stressful, with employees often pressured into working overtime.

“We work seven days a week, and Monday through Friday we work from 7am to 8pm,” Rin said.

The phenomenon of mass fainting in Cambodia is still not well understood. Labour advocates have attributed the cause to poor working conditions, while some believe the faintings are psychogenic events.

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