Several civil groups came together and held a press conference in July at the Sejong-no Seoul-based Central Government Complex to make an announcement regarding the results of a survey that was performed on 709 individuals who came from a community that had used radon-contaminated latex products before.
The results of that survey revealed that around 80% of the latex products that the respondents used were being suspected of radioactive contamination. Experts say that when you inhale radon over a long period, it can result in the development of stomach cancer (gastric cancer) and lung cancer (lung carcinoma).
Twenty-three per cent of the respondents stated that the period that they had used these latex products was less than one year, while 15% stated that they had used them for 3 years.
Another 14% per cent of respondents said they had used the latex products for 4 years, and 11% stated they used them for 5 years. Hence, a high number of the respondents had bought the latex products in the previous 5 years.
All the respondents who had previously used the latex products were complaining of skin diseases, respiratory sickness, lung illness and thyroid-related illnesses.
When they were asked to give their opinion concerning future measures (many answers possible), 85% of respondents stated that the government should do an investigation into the levels of radiation in latex products.
Other responses included returns and refunds (71 Percent), investigation on the effect of the products on health (60%), legal compensation (56%), and a ban on household products that are contaminated with radon (51%).
The activist groups stated that most of these products that are in question were made using negative ion latex materials that contain radon. The group continued saying that consumers purchased the products believing that the promotional materials that indicated negative ion latex products were helping them in inducing sleep, and they were also good for blood circulation.
However, the groups said that the number of latex products victims is rising because the materials of negative ion latex were used in producing beds. Consumers bought the products because they were relying on the government’s approval of the negative ions positive effect.
The activist groups are asking the government to start taking responsibility for the latex and radon crisis and start carrying out studies on the effects of latex products on consumer health.
Also, the groups are asking the government to collect latex products and make sure that latex isn't used to produce the household materials that are used every day in the future.
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