Victims of Samsung Electronics
(Statements gathered from victims and other informants in the factories)
Updated at Apr. 10, 2010
※ The reported number of blood cancer victims (leukemia and lymphoma) in the Gi-heung and On-Yang plants is at least 26; and so far 10 of them have died.
■ Semiconductor plant in Gi-heung (Fabrication process) : leukemia cases
1. Hwang Yu-mi ( Line #3, Acute Leukemia)
- joined Gi-heung plant at age 19 (a senior high school student) in October 2003.
- worked as an operator on Line #3.
- Wet-cleaning manual work at line #3, an old line
- worked in pairs soaking and pulling out ‘RUNs’ in baskets of 4-5 chemicals
- worked in three shifts ( 8 hours a day including night duty)
- Symptoms such as bruises, emesis, fatigue and dizziness noted in May 2005
- diagnosed with acute myelocytic leukemia (M2) the next month.
- took bone marrow transplant operation in December 2005 but cancer came back.
- died at the age 23 on 6th March, 2007
-Yu-mi’s father filed a claim for Workmen’s Accident Compensation Insurance (Bereaved Family Allowance) in June 2007
-Note: Choi Eun-sun who had worked with Hwang Yu-mi left Samsung after suffering a miscarriage. Lee Suk young replaced her Both Hwang and Lee got acute leukemia.
2. Lee Suk-young(Line #3, Acute Leukemia)
- joined Gi-heung plant at age 19(a senior high school student)
- worked for 12 years as an operator at line#3
- diagnosed with acute myelocytic leukemia (M2) in July 2006 and died on 17th August (at age 31)
- filed a claim Workmen’s Accident Compensation Insurance (Bereaved Family Allowance) on 28th April 2008
- note: worked in pair with Hwang Yumi and died of the same leukemia. Lee was healthy before joining Samsung. After a few years, she got contact dermatitis, sinusitis, and respiratory disease; she kept working until she suffered a miscarriage.
3. Hwang Min-woong (Line #1.5 Acute Leukemia)
- joined Gi-heung in 1997. (at age 23)
- worked as an equipment engineer (Set-up, Back-Lab work).
- used organic solvents including ethylene glycol and IPA but not aware of all organic solvents he used and was exposed to
- in charge of regular PM (preventative maintenance) work.
- worked on three shifts, frequently working time was extended (e..g night duty, holiday work and overtime
- diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia in October 2004 and treated in A-Ju University Hospital
- died 23th July, 2005 (at age 32)
- His family filed a claim (bereaved family allowance) from Workmen’s Accident Compensation Insurance on 28th April 2008
4. Ju OO (Line #1~3, Acute Leukemia)
- joined Gi-heung plant in 1983
- worked as a diffusion engineer.(supervisor/ a director of Tech-dept.)
- diagnosed with leukemia around March 2006 (at age 46). frequently suffered respiratory problems before getting cancer.
※ Two other supervisors in the Tech-Dept who worked with Ju got Wegener’s granulomatosis, a rare blood cancer.
5. Kim Kyung-mi (Line #2, respiratory disease)
- born in 1980(29-year-old)
- joined around April 1999. (Wafer Etching work at line #2 for 5 years)
- retired in 2004
- became a housewife and managed to give birth in 2007 after having suffered a
- diagnosed with acute myelocytic leukemia (M2) in April 2008
- died in November 2009.
■ Semiconductor plant in Gi-heung (Fabrication process): cancer cases except leukemia
1. Kim Ki-young (Wegener’s granulomatosis/ Engineer)
- joined 1996. worked as a diffusion engineer
- worked for 8 years.
- Wegener’s granulomatosis discovered among co-workers in the same engineering team.
2. Nam OO (Wegener’s granulomatosis)
- Equipment engineer
- worked with Ju Kyochul, Kim Kiyoung
- died of Wegener’s granulomatosis in 2008
3. Hong OO (Process engineer, extreme anemia)
- joined in 1984.
- worked as a process engineer
- committed suicide and died in 2002. (at the age of 43)
- treated for anemia for 6 months
4. Koh OO (Process engineer, died of gastrointestinal cancer)
* Informant via email (from Line #3, wet-etch) (March 7, 2008)
“When I worked in 2006, a woman in the stepper process suffered a miscarriage of twins and finally passed away… She might have been treated for 6 months…not for leukemia…; but for cancer. We just kept our silence…I think that was not accidental…The company makes the number of cancer cases grow.
■ Samsung Semiconductor Gi-heung plant: rare diseases
1. Cho Sung-ae (Female/ inflammatory multiple neuropathy/ Guillan-Barre syndrome)
-born in 1976
- joined line #6 in 1995 (at age 19)
- retired in 1999 due to illness
- worked in diffusion in line #6, chemical and gas injection in thin film process and pollution measurement
- got Guillain-Barre syndrome and retired.
*She has heard that a co-worker had the same illness
2. OOO (Male / Lou Gehrig’s disease –Amyelotropic lateral sclerosis, or ALS)
- joined in 1992 and worked at line #5,
- worked for 15 years as a CVD engineer
- discovery of ALS in 2007
※ Miscarriages, infertility, irregular menstruation, anemia, loss of hair, blood disorders, kidney troubles including glomerulonephritis, and liver disease are reported.
■ Semiconductor plant in On-Yang (Assembly, Test): leukemia and lymphoma cases
1. Park Ji-yeon (tester, used radiation machine)
- joined in 2004(a senior high school student).
- tested and checked bad semiconductors using chemicals (X-ray tests in mold process)
- lived at the dormitory.
- diagnosed with acute myelocytic leukemia in 2007. The first question from the doctor was “did you use chemicals?”
- carried out bone-marrow transplant surgery and was being treated.
- When she ran the X-Ray tests, she put materials in and closed lid to run test. At the end of the test she turned test button off and pulled out materials. When busy with too much work she often opened the lid without pushing the off-button.
- When she ran tests using flux and 141b, there was white smoke and she got headaches due to disgusting smells.
- No safeguard equipment was provided. Cotton gloves were provided but they absorb chemicals.
- died on March 31, 2010 (at age 23).
2. Kim Okee (worked with Song Changho)
- joined in 1991.
- worked in early stage of the plant in On Yang
- worked the same job for 6 years (cutting, molding, marking, back-lap) / used TCE
- retired in 1996 and lived as a housewife
- Acute myelocytic leukemia diagnosed in 2005
- Treatments have concluded but she has regular checks.
- filed a claim for Workmen’s Accident Compensation Insurance on 28th April 2008
3. Song Chang-ho (Male/ diagnosed with malignant lymphoma in 2008)
- 38-year-old (born in 1970)
- claimed Workmen’s Accident Compensation Insurance in December 2008
-jobs: plating (boiling several chemicals) (1993~1998)
- used carcinogenic substances : → TCE → 1,1, 1trichloroethane
- wore fabric mask, smelled odors through machine breaks while working
- People in the same unit have had fatal diseases. Kim Ok-ee got leukemia. Lee Jung-sook got lymphatic cancer. Another worker at the same unit gave birth to a child with no toes. There are also workers with eye cancer and liver cancer.
4. Lee Jung-sook (Female/ lymphoma outbreak in 2009) (lymphatic cancer)
- joined in 1990s and is still working
■ Samsung Electronics LCD Unit
1. Han Hye-kyeong (Ki Heung LCD / brain tumor )
- born in 1978
- joined in 1995 (as a senior high school student)
- worked at LCD module unit for 6 years
- put masks with holes on green plate and plastered solder cream with flat spoons
- used solder cream, IPA and acetone
- notes: no menstruation after 3-year work.
- quit the job because health worsened
- diagnosed with cerebellar tumor and got a surgery
- judged as 1st grade of injury and is under treatment
2. Yeon OO
- TFT-LCD engineer
- worked for 6 years – died of mediastinal cancer on 23th July 2009
■ Display R&D Team –
Researcher Lee OO Died of acute leukemia in 2005
■ 6 other informants of hematopoietic cancer- mostly hematopoietic cancer
■ Other Reports
• Jung **(11-year-work at Gi-Heung plant, wife of the late Hwang Min-woong)
“I witnessed co-workers’ nosebleed due to smells from chemicals and high atmospheric pressure. I also suffered a miscarriage and have seen and heard about miscarriages, sterility and birth defects.”
• Lee **(Welder at GI-heung, husband of the late Lee Suk-young)
“My wife had a miscarriage while working in 2000. Six workers suffered miscarriages in the same line. She said there were many miscarriages and irregular menstruation.”
• Lee** (informant)
“I went to see a doctor. I had an ache in my chest. The doctor said several people who worked at Samsung have heart problems. My friend was transferred to Cleaning and her heart condition got worse. At first, she felt dizzy, and then felt oppressed in the breast. She couldn’t digest then. Finally she developed heart trouble.”
“Headaches are common. 20 people in a shift are working in the line. Around10 people have irregular menstruation.”
“There is lots of loss of hair. 2-3 people in a shift…Being weak-sighted is common.”
“After a year I got nettle rash on my face. My friends got rash after 3 months. They had had fair skin; their face turned red and rough. I got better soon after I quit the job.”
• Lee** (informant)
“The miscarriage rate is incredibly high. We cannot find friends who succeeded in having a baby on the first try. Twice, three times they tried but it’s not easy to have a baby…”
“I didn’t work at lines for a long time…recently there are many who have the same disease including the Director***. The Director*** worked at line #6-7. His disease is melanoma…*** was told that *** got a granuloma.”