Inequalities and Workplace Injuries: How Chinese Workers Cope with Serious Diseases Caused by Benzene Poisoning

  • Ee Lyn TanEmail author
  • Mohan Jyoti Dutta


In China, use of benzene in common raw materials like paints, thinners, solvents, and glue in factories has been linked to diseases like leukaemia, leukopenia (reduced white blood cell count), severe anaemia, and asthma in exposed workers. Apart from straining the public healthcare system, benzene exposure causes untold suffering to victims and their families. Here, participants share how they negotiate access to treatment after they are clinically diagnosed with a serious benzene-related disease. Through the theoretical lens of the culture-centred approach, this chapter explores the structures that constitute securing confirmation of an occupation-related illness, specifically examining what challenges workers face while negotiating access to this confirmation, and treatment. It is hoped this information would provide insight to policymakers and advocacy groups, so change may be pursued in tackling this hazardous pollutant and opening up access to treatment for victims.


Benzene Diagnosis Occupational disease Treatment Workers China 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communications and New MediaNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE)Massey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand

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