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Laos: Chinese-owned factory that operates without permit emits foul smell that affects residents' health; causes death of worker

"Chinese-Owned Factory in Laos Causes Health Scare, Foul Smells in Nearby Villages", 4 December 2019

A Chinese-owned factory in Laos that recently started operations is causing noise and air pollution that affect the health of nearby residents....

The factory, which produces packing foam for use in transporting bananas, is made up of one building situated on a hectare of land in Bolikhamxay's Paskanh district. More than ten households have reported that the factory is noisy and that they must endure awful smells when it is in operation between 6 a.m. and midnight.

[...]

"The villagers feel so uneasy. It is unbearable. Many of us have sore noses and eyes and we can't stand the constant noise either," the source said.

The villager told RFA that the factory began operations on Oct. 10, but its owners did not have a permit from the district or the province. It has continued to operate every day since.

[...]

The environmental official said his department inspected the factory three times, finding that the strong odor is from melting plastic. The department has ordered the factory to close, but the factory owners are ignoring this.

RFA was not able to reach the owners of the factory.

The official said the department will refer the matter to provincial authorities because a female worker was killed by plastic fumes.

[...]

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