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Factories shut down over toxic glue

By Zheng Caixiong (China Daily)

09:00, February 17, 2012

Chen Xilong, a 23-year-old migrant worker from Sichuan province, lies in Guangzhou No 12 People's Hospital suffering the effects of glue poisoning. He had been working in a local handbag factory. (China Daily / Ai Xiuyu)

GUANGZHOU - About 1,000 companies producing leather goods, shoes and bags in the Guangdong provincial capital have had their business suspended after being suspected of using harmful glues.

Authorities have also sealed up another 31 enterprises and shut down 15 others during an inspection campaign launched at the beginning of this month.

Guangzhou production safety bureau has set up a special task force to investigate enterprises suspected of breaking labor laws relating to health and safety.

"Most of the factories involved were found to have no operation licenses or had violated laws," a bureau official surnamed Wang said on Thursday.

Guangzhou police have also detained six people who are suspected of illegally producing and selling poisonous glues.

The campaign, which has investigated 2,873 companies, was launched after 37 migrant workers who worked in leather, shoe and bag companies in the city's Baiyun and Liwan districts suffered from glue poisoning in November. Four of the workers died.

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