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Surging number of lung nodule cases found in E.China bank, raising concern over workplace pollution

â–²Over 110 lung nodule cases have been found among employees at a local bank in Changshu, East China’s Jiangsu Province, with at least three diagnosed with lung cancer, drawing online concern over workplace pollution. Lung cancer Illustration: VCG

Over 110 lung nodule cases have been found among employees at a local bank in Changshu, East China’s Jiangsu Province, with at least three diagnosed with lung cancer, drawing online concern over workplace pollution. 

A special work team has been dispatched to investigate the incident, and a third environment test has been arranged, local authorities said in an announcement on Saturday. 

Since August 31, employees of the Changshu Rural Commercial Bank have been posting messages on social networks, saying that several bank staff members working in the Suzhou Industrial Park have been diagnosed with lung nodules during physical examinations, with one diagnosed with lung cancer. 

In only two months, the number of cases has surged from 60 in late August to over 110, an employee surnamed Zhang told Zaker News. 

“All the examination results were fine a year ago, so it is reasonable to suspect that the incident has something to do with the change of working environment,” a staff member said. After moving to a newly decorated office in the Suzhou Industrial Park in May 2019, they soon discovered a pungent smell of chemicals.

Employees then put forward requirements such as relocating, examining the interior air quality, and investigating personnel involved in the decoration project.

However, it was not until Thursday that the bank released results of the previous two air quality tests carried out in July and September, 2019, which both met the standard and showed no abnormalities. 

“Upon learning that a number of employees have been diagnosed with lung disease, the company’s first reaction was not to investigate the case, but to postpone physical examinations for staff,” an employee was quoted by news site ifeng.com as saying. 

Local authorities are now dispatching a special work team to provide medical treatment for the patients, and arrange a third environmental test as soon as possible. 

Global Times  

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