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Life Of Family Harmed By Humidifier Disinfectants In South Korea

YONGIN, SOUTH KOREA - MAY 06: Lim Seong-joon, 13, who is suffering from chronic lung disease, plays a game by himself as he is connected to an oxygen tank (not shown) at home on May 6, 2016 in Yongin, South Korea. His mother bought a humidifier sterilizer called 'Oxy Humidifier on Duty' back in 2003, and used the product with a humidifier for more than a year, subsequently damaging the lungs of Seong-joon. Seong-joon has gone through operations and now is living off of an oxygen tank 24 hours a day. His mother, Kwon Mi-ae, said that she thought of killing herself many times, but decided to live for him. Beginning in 2001, Reckitt Benckiser Korea (known as Oxy prior to 2014) used Polyhexamethylene guanidine (PHMG) in a humidifier sterilizer product called Oxy Ssak Ssak; the ingredient was dropped in 2011 when the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) published a report showing a link between the compound and lung damage and deaths. Several companies in South Korea made humidifier sterliizers with poisonous ingredients between 2001 and 2011. According to a BBC report in May 2016, about 500 people, many of them women and children, are reported to have died or been injured after inhaling these ingredients. One of the victims's fathers is visiting U.K. right now, and a few other victims's families are planning to visit the U.K. at the end of May. The U.K.-based firm Reckitt Benckiser has admitted and apologized for selling a humidifier disinfectant that killed more than 100 people in South Korea on May 2, 2016. (Photo by Jean Chung/Getty Images)
Life Of Family Harmed By Humidifier Disinfectants In South Korea : News Photo
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Jean Chung / Stringer
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May 06, 2016
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