Fagin: A Cancer Cycle, From Here to China

Dan Fagin says your Chinese-made, aniline-dyed blue jeans are causing cancer in China.

“The reality of 21st-century globalism, however, is that none of us can pretend that by pushing the chemical industry out of our communities we have stopped enabling its dangerous practices. The industry jobs that started in Basel, and then migrated to Cincinnati and Toms River, are now in Shanxi Province and other coal-rich areas of China. BASF alone now owns or invests in 45 Chinese ventures. Meanwhile, hundreds of smaller companies like the Tianji Coal Chemical Industry Group, whose Changzhi factory was the source of last week’s leak, are busy turning coal into aniline and a host of other chemical products.

Business is booming. If you don’t believe me, head over to the Ocean County Mall in Toms River, where you can get a pair of jeans dyed just the right shade of faded blue, thanks to aniline-based indigo dye. They’re made in China, and they’re cheap — if you don’t count the long-term cost.” [NYTimes]

2 thoughts on “Fagin: A Cancer Cycle, From Here to China”

  1. First, did the reporter verify the term “aniline” was not being used generically. It’s like “Kleenex”. Aniline dyes now may not have true aniline beginnings like in the past.
    Second, I am amazed the Chinese even told their people about the spill, even if they did wait five days.
    Third, considering there are a huge number of callous, uncaring people in the US who are fine letting the Chinese refine rare earth metals, frack for gasoline and any other activity our darling children and grandchildren could possibly be harmed by (even when there is NO evidence this true, as the article admitted), why the sudden concern over the poor Chinese now? Environmentalists have considered the Chinese expendable for every other evil the US doesn’t want in their back yards.

  2. Aniline dyes have been used in the U.S. for over a century. From mechanics hand tools with wooden handles to toilet seats in railroad carriages. If people had been dying from this, it’s practice would long since have been stopped.

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