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Photo essay: China's hi-tech toxics
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Boys dipping chips
Dangerous work

Two boys aged about 13 dip used computer chips into foul-smelling solder - a mixture of lead and tin - to make them look new. I also saw a boy aged about 14, with no respiratory protection, dusting the ink out of an old toner cartridge with an ordinary paintbrush. Toner ink is classed as a possible human carcinogen. Investigators from the Basel Action Network (BAN) in the region have seen villagers burning the coating off cables in open fires certain plastics are known to release highly toxic dioxins and furans when burnt. Workers with no respiratory protection were also seen swirling computer chips in huge baths of steaming acid to recover tiny amounts of gold.
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