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Decorated with deadly stone

Norway will not stop imports of Chinese granite, even if workers die.


[working environment] Every year, Norwegian municipalities import several thousand containers of cheap granite slabs from China. In recent years, Oslo Municipality has refurbished Karl Johans gate and most streets in central Oslo with such stone. At the same time, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least half a million Chinese suffer from silicosis – stone boot lungs.

Many of them have had the lung disease in the quarries that supply Norwegian municipalities with granite slabs. The number of sick people is increasing, and at least 24.000 Chinese die from silicosis every year.

- The situation in today's Chinese quarry is as it was in Norway in the 1920s and 1930s, says Rune Wangen, responsible for the granite department in Heimdal Granitt & Betongvare, one of the Norwegian importers.

The Swedish radio program Kaliber has visited some of the Chinese factories that produce stone for the European market. There they found workers working in life-threatening dust and in deafening noise. Completely without protection such as a face mask, hearing protection. . .

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