Eighty workers at Ly Quiang Corp garment factory fainted yesterday in Kampong Cham’s Batheay district after inhaling pesticide used at a nearby farm, the National Social Security Fund said, the second such incident there in the past three months.
According to an NSSF statement, 77 workers are still receiving treatment at Batheay Referral Hospital, while three have been discharged. “The fainting was caused by inhaling pesticide sprayed by farmers near the factory. While they were working, they started to faint. They were sent to hospital immediately,” it reads.
In a similar event last November, more than 40 workers at the same factory fainted from inhaling pesticide fumes.
Deputy commune chief Doung Nga yesterday defended the use of pesticides by the area’s farmers. “They do it legally. We cannot ban them from using pesticides on their own crops, but we suggested them not to spray when the workers are working,” he said.
Factory worker Srey Nha said workers could not endure the smell of the pesticide and lost strength after inhaling it. “It was a very bad smell and we had difficulty breathing [But] now we are better.”