Updates to this story
A number of Chinese workers remain hospitalised after being exposed to the dangerous N-Hexane chemical which has left many seriously injured. Wintek bosses were allegedly aware of the risks.
Vapours from the chemical N-Hexane are believed to be responsible for a variety of serious ailments, hospitalising 60 workers from one company alone in nine months, even rendering them unable to walk, according to the Australian Broadcast Corporation.
Stephen Mcdonnell, a news reporter at ABC, managed to gain access to the Number 5 People’s Hospital in Suzhou, on the banks of the Yangtze River, and spoke to some of those involved.
"At first the symptoms were pretty obvious. My hands were numb. I could hardly walk or run," said one of those effected.
Another woman was explicit about those in charge being fully aware of N-Hexane's harmful nature: "I think they knew it was poisonous to human bodies, but if they had used another chemical, our output would not have increased. By using N-Hexane, it was much more efficient."
Although Wintek, the firm responsible, has paid hospital bills and apparently removed the chemical, workers are still in hospital despite Wintek playing down any injuries in May, claiming that all employees affected had either already recovered or are in the process of recuperation.
Another man says he is indeed back at work but still feeling the effects of the chemical: "I am back at work but my symptoms are still with me. My legs still hurt. This will accompany me for the rest of my life. It's very painful."