back to article Samsung issues 'deep apology' to cancer-hit semiconductor workers

Samsung has officially apologised to over 200 semiconductor workers who suffered from leukaemia and other cancers – for which their families blame the Korean firm. The company has also promised to compensate "affected" workers and their families, according to local news agency Yonhap. "Several workers at our production …

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Bronze badge

Wouldn't it be better...

...just to do the decent thing from the first moment, rather than be skunks and then try to do the honourable thing after you stink to high heaven?

Just askin'

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Bronze badge

Re: Wouldn't it be better...

There are numerous carcinogenic compounds used in the process of manufacturing microprocessors and other sorts of electronic bits, but that does not necessarily mean that the employees got their cancer from their jobs. A great many things are made with carcenogenic compounds, but when the compounds are properly handled, there is no cause for concern. There are very few substances that will cause cancer on a one time exposure to them. Those that are capable of such a feat are usually fatal for other reasons. Vapourized mercury, for instance, is quite deadly, but liquid mercury is perfectly harmless, provided it does not get rubbed into a cut or scratch--or is used to make fillings.

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Re: Wouldn't it be better...

In this day and age, you could argue that if you are a major multinational corporation, it would be better to "do the decent thing", even if you are blameless, given the scandal that inevitably results if there is even the hint of a cover-up. You have to weigh up the cost of the settlement versus the bad publicity.

Having said that, a couple of hundred "rare cancers" (whatever that means) in a workforce measured in what... tens of thousands at most? Is likely not a statistical anomaly.

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Re: Wouldn't it be better...

@Simon,

Of course I don't know, but I would reckon that out of Samsung's workforce, probably far less than tens of thousands work in the semiconductor ovens / labs...

Maybe time to stop using Samsung phones and use iPhones? Oh no... they are built by kids... hmm Ascend P7? Probably built by Foxconn kiddies as well... now what? no phone?!!

Guus

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Silver badge

Hmmm....

I am sceptical whether there really is a cluster of cancers caused by this factory. I have only read stories from the newspaper cited in the article, but it seems very politicised and I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung just gave up. If there exists informed scientific opinion that the cancers are caused by poor conditions at the factory then fair enough.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC101

The chemicals in the Semiconductor industry are nasty. Some chemicals weren't known to be problems until many years after their introduction. One supposedly safe chemical ended up causing five times the national average of miscarriages.

Properly handled? Yeah right. Management wants the job done. That means things get overlooked. The big fabs are better but none are as good as they claim.

AC because I have been in the industry for close to forty years and I need a few more working years so I can retire.

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Re: Hmmm....

I agree that science and statistics are key. Rare events always appear to form clusters because it they are insufficiently numerous to be spread temporally or spatially at an average rate. Two things are needed - a low 'p' value (i.e. the cluster is significantly unlikely to be due to chance) and a mechanism. Dangerous chemicals might supply the latter but they are not by any means the only possibility. We all agree that correlation does not imply causation but lack of correlation usually implies lack of causation, so we need to first be sure that there is a statistically significant phenomenon to be investigated.

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Anonymous Coward

Did they really ask Sim Sang for comment on Sam sung?

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I remember the Leukemia cluster around Selafield that turned out to be ;

not in Nuclear worker's families, not around Selafield, and not significant.

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