An extensive document describing and analyzing several cases of benzene-poisoning in China is part of new campaigning material of the Ban Benzene Campaign by Labour Action China (LAC). The document is accompanied by postcards that briefly describe the stories of Cairu Zhang and Jiayong Hu. Both got severely ill from benzene-exposure on the work floor at their respective employers, Philips and ASM.

The postcard highlights two cases:

Miss Zhang, who began to work at a Philips lighting factory in Shenzhen in 2010, suffers from occupational mild and chronic benzene poisoning (leukopenia) as a result of benzene exposure.

Mister Hu, who was a manager at ASM Pacific, died in July 2013 from occupational leukemia. His wife is fighting for compensation, with LAC at her assistance.

The front of the postcards depicts masks used during a protest in February 2013. The masks, looking sad and with tears coming from their eyes, are saying ‘stay away from chemicals’. The postcards also refer to Ming Kunpeng, the young worker of ASM who suffered from leukemia and recently committed suicide.


Philips disagreed with Zhang’s diagnosis and appealed against the decision to the Shenzhen municipal committee of the occupational diseases diagnostic confirmation. The municipal committee accepted the appeal and reversed the conclusion. With the assistance of LAC, Zhang on her turn appealed. In May 2013, the first and original diagnosis was affirmed and reinstated. Similarly, ASM has objected against Hu’s diagnosis. LAC is in possession of the formal diagnosis certificates of both Zhang and Hu.

Ban Benzene

Benzene is a highly carcinogenic chemical that is used in different industries: electronics, garments, toys, furniture, etcetera. The Ban Benzene Campaign was setup in 2013 and contains, among others, a ‘Ban Benzene Declaration’. From 28 April until early May, representatives of Labour Action China are on tour through Europe to ask attention for the problem of benzene. For more info, visit the website: