Skip to content

DEATH INDUSTRY: Pakistan's stone crushing factories take toll on workers

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/20/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Laborers at plant fall ill and die from respiratory illnesses

Any type of industry in developing nations are usually seen as good things, but this is not always the case. Pakistan's stone crushing factories, which exist far and away from any sort of regulatory and safety laws, claim the lives of many of its laborers. Dust from the crushed stones lead to respiratory illnesses for many, leading to illness disability and death.

Lack of dust control systems at stone-crushing factories mean silica dust will also affect people in nearby areas. In fact, most crushing units are located in or near residential areas.

Lack of dust control systems at stone-crushing factories mean silica dust will also affect people in nearby areas. In fact, most crushing units are located in or near residential areas.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
7/20/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Pakistan, silica, respiratory illness, workers


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Inside one such factory, near the village of Nut Kallar, young men toil without safety equipment. Breaking down quartz stones into smaller pieces with a hammer, the workers then feed them into a small crusher that will reduce them to the size of chickpeas.

Mixed with silica dust and boric acid with hands or shovels, these minerals are then packed into polythene bags for supply to foundries for the inner lining of furnaces. The facility here has no mechanism to control the dust rising from the crushing or during mixing and packing.

Get food into the hands of needy children -- by going here --

Many workers there are unaware of the adverse effect of the dust they inhale. Many of these workers then fall sick from deadly silicosis, caused from the silica found in many of the rocks. 

Lack of dust control systems at stone-crushing factories mean silica dust will also affect people in nearby areas. In fact, most crushing units are located in or near residential areas.

Found in rocks, silica, when inhaled, can cause both silicosis and cancer and increase the risk of other lung diseases.

"People working in industries such as cement, mining, plastic, foundry work, glass and stone-crushing are prone to inhaling it unless protective measures are taken," Dr. Khalid Waheed, who has treated several silicosis patients at Lahore's Jinnah Hospital, says. Three of these workers died last year. "Workers aren't provided safety gear to prevent dust inhalation. Silicosis-related deaths could be prevented if factory owners took proper safety measures and their workers underwent medical check-ups every six months."

By the time most silicosis patients are brought to the doctors, they are already at an advanced stage of the disease.

There is hope: Early diagnosis can save lives. As most industries where workers are exposed to silica dust operate in the informal sector, it's hard to guess their number and how many workers they employ. The number of factories could be in the hundreds, that of workers in the thousands.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for MAY 2017
Christians in Africa.
That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.


Comments


More Asia Pacific

North Korea's missile launch strikes near Russian coast - could hit vital U.S. military base next Watch

Image of If North Korea's most recent missile test was successful, they could hit a United States military base.

On Sunday, North Korea launched their most successful missile test yet. The results of this trial point to the idea that North Korea's ... continue reading


Anonymous predicts WW3 is near, what do they know that you don't? Watch

Image of Does Anonymous know something we don't?

The hacktivist group Anonymous has put out a new video predicting the imminent start of World War 3. The flashpoint, they say is North ... continue reading


Parents of gays told to kill their children in Chechnya Watch

Image of Ramzan Kadyrov, 40, the the present leader of Chechnya. He has vowed to eliminate all the gays in the region.

Homosexuals in Chechnya are being rounded up, tortured and killed, according to numerous reports from the restive Russian federal ... continue reading


Even if North Korea tests a nuke, the U.S. may refrain from strike Watch

Image of North Korea's greatest threat to the world remains its conventional army.

North Korea may be preparing for a sixth nuclear test, according to satellite photos taken of their nuclear testing facility. Most experts ... continue reading


Now Russia deploys troops to border with North Korea - what does this tell us about what's REALLY going on? Watch

Image of A Russian soldier rides on an armored vehicle in this file image.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin has ordered troops to occupy the 11-mile long border with North Korea amid fears that the U.S. will ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.