Poisoning Workers and Consumers for Profit | The Most Revolutionary Act

The Toxins Return is a German documentary about the failure of western governments to regulate the toxic chemicals present in their imports from third world countries.Most of the film focuses on textiles. Textile manufacturing has virtually collapsed in the developed world, with most multinational corporations moving  their factories to Asian countries that pay sweat shop wages. Unsurprisingly these third world countries also make no effort to regulate the toxic chemicals used to bleach, “soften” and dye these textiles – nor the toxic pesticides used to protect them from insect pests during their long journey to the industrialized world.Organophosphates, organochlorine compounds and methyl bromide*, toxic chemicals long banned in the EU (but not in the US), are used routinely in China and India, where 90% of European textiles are produced. Most third world textile workers survive at most two years in the industry before they become too ill with work.Meanwhile German workers who come in direct contact with the shipping containers and/or textiles are also at high risk of developing chronic occupational illnesses.One-fifth of shipping containers that enter through the Hamburg port are found to contain toxic gasses. In Hamburg, customs workers have special instruments to detect toxic gasses before the containers are opened. Yet only a minority of textile containers are opened in Hamburg. Most on on-shipped by train to the Czech Republic for opening and redistribution of the goods they contain.The Czech Republic has no protocol in place to protect their workers from toxic shipping containers. Although the EU has laws regulating toxic imports, there is virtually no mechanism in place for enforcing them.

Source: Poisoning Workers and Consumers for Profit | The Most Revolutionary Act

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