South Korea to review toxins data disclosure process

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea plans to review if there was any negligence in the government’s handling of sick workers’ inquiries about workplace toxins, after an Associated Press investigation found the government repeatedly withheld such information following requests from Samsung.

Ko Dong-woo, a director at the Labor Ministry, said Friday that the ministry took the AP report seriously and would ensure officials properly evaluate information requests from workers seeking government compensation for work-related illnesses.

The AP reported Wednesday that in workers’ compensation cases involving at least 10 former Samsung Electronics Co. semiconductor and display plant workers with various diseases, regulators allowed Samsung to use trade-secrets concerns to block release of information about exposure to hazards. It is almost impossible to gain compensation without such data.

Samsung is by far South Korea’s biggest employer.

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