After a new factory opened in Jilin, China, citizens flooded local hospitals with complaints about convulsions, breathing difficulties, vomiting and temporary paralysis. They all lived or worked near the new Jilin Connell Chemical Plant. The Chinese government responded in an all too familiar way: declaring the cases to be little more than “mass hysteria” and ordering doctors to stop treating the patients. More than 1,200 of the workers at the new factory has sought medical help.
Among other things, the factory produces aniline, a highly toxic chemical used in the manufacture of polyurethane, rubber, herbicides and dyes.
Chinese officials insist that it is no more than psychogenic illness, or mass hysteria.
A medical team for Beijing insisted that the factory is not a problem and told doctors to encourage patients to simply “get a hold of their emotions.”
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