Saturday, January 12, 2008

China, lead and coal mines

I've talked toxic about this before... the number of products coming from China laden with lead. Seeing all of the recalls for products I'm well aware of how many recalls include the manufacturing location of China. It's not just lead paint, it's also defective or below standard products.

In my toxic note on the subject I tossed out the possibility that they were out to get us... Who needs nuclear weapons when you can poison the kids and destroy the economy? Destroy the economy you say??? It's killing some of these companies to have to recall all the toys and other products.

Today a news story floated across my screen (posted below) that stated China had the worst record in the world for deaths in coal mines. I had thought all the lead based paints on toys and products from China might be happening due to the low cost of paint (maybe they bought all our rejects) or, as said earlier, a desire to cripple the U.S.

Now I'm thinking this through a little deeper. I know they have a large population in China. Maybe human life doesn't have a high enough value in China (by my standards).

All those people who are involved in painting our lead covered toys are being exposed on a much higher level than our kids. Expendable? Lower caste? Lead soaked brains make happy drones?

If they didn't make so many of our products it would be easier to boycott China-made. But that begs a bigger question. If we're not buying then where do the factory workers in China go? If life is bad for them now, and it must be horrific if they're breathing and touching lead all day, then what would it be like on the streets?

I think we need to toughen up our standards and figure out a way to enforce them. Big money involved in enforcement.

See how easy it is to get off on a tangent? I start writing about life and end up on enforcing regulations.

It would be interesting to do some comparative stats between life in America vs. life in China. Quality, life expectancy and other comparisons could tell an interesting story. Maybe I'll add that to my list of things to do someday.

Here's the story:

China's coal mines kill 3,786 in 2007
BEIJING - Accidents in China's notoriously dangerous coal mines killed nearly 3,800 people last year, state media reported Saturday — a toll that is a marked improvement from previous years, but still leaves China's mines the world's deadliest.

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