Chinese language media Xin Tang Ren reported on August 5 that a group of employees from a medical supply company in Jingmen, Hubei Province, had been poisoned. One person died of a sudden myocardial infarction, while at least 43 others had abnormal signs. The rest of the staff is still being treated in the hospital.

According to CCTV news, on July 31, three employees of Ogilvy & Mather (Jingmen) Medical Supplies Co., Ltd. working in the wet wipes workshop were admitted to the First People’s Hospital in Jingmen with abnormal liver function and other indicators.

On August 5, Ogilvy announced that some employees of its subsidiary Jingmen Ogilvy felt physicaly unwell and were diagnosed with poisoning.

According to the analysis, the wet wipes workshop workers were poisoned after inhaling harmful compounds found in the glue used to seal the boxes.

The glue is a product customized by Jingmen Ogilvy for specific customers and packaged in PET plastic boxes.

The announcement also stated that PET glue was only used in the outer packaging of customized products made for specific clients and that the production process involved a contract amount of about $330,000.

The Southern Metropolis Daily quoted Mr. Zhang, one of the poisoned employees, “Now the main reason is said to be that the glue is poisonous and causes abnormal liver function.”

Mr. Zhang recalled that a week earlier, he had experienced symptoms including a cold, vomiting, and diarrhea. He said, “About ten days ago, there were people around me who couldn’t eat and went to the hospital to find out why the doctor said it may be related to work.”

Regarding the workplace, Mr. Zhang said that although he typically complies with the regulations to “wear one-piece suits, masks, and shoe covers,” the workshop where he is located is crowded, unventilated, and small.

Tetrachloroethane, the poisonous compound in the glue,  is a colorless liquid with a chloroform-like odor. It has anesthetic and depressant effects on the central nervous system and can cause liver, kidney, and myocardial damage. The symptoms of acute and subacute poisoning are neurological and gastrointestinal. There could be ascites, jaundice, hepatomegaly, vomiting, loss of appetite, and stomach pain. Long-term inhalation may result in liver function damage, multiple nerve damage, weakness, headaches, insomnia, constipation, or diarrhea.

Since 2008, Ogilvy Medical has retained its position as the top exporter of medical apparel in China.

As of August 5, Ogilvy Medical’s stock price closed at about $2, down 2.1%, with a total market value of about $1.181 billion.

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