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Park urges thorough probe into toxic humidifier sterilizers

All News 14:49 April 28, 2016

SEOUL, April 28 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye called Thursday for a thorough investigation into numerous deaths and illnesses suspected to have been caused by toxic humidifier sterilizers.

Earlier this week, state prosecutors summoned a former chief of the South Korean unit of the British firm Oxy Reckitt Benckiser over a connection between people who died from lung problems and the chemicals used to clean household humidifiers.

"Many people were victimized by the humidifier disinfectant case in 2011. I especially feel for the deaths of infants," Park said during a Cabinet meeting at the Cheong Wa Dae.

Park further urged officials to thoroughly look into the case so that the victims get properly compensated.

The humidifier disinfectant case, one of the worst scandals involving consumer products using chemicals, came to light after four pregnant women died of lung problems for unknown reasons in 2011.

Companies that made and sold the sterilizers in question include the market Oxy, along with Lotte Mart and Homeplus, two of South Korea's largest retailers.

"Please make utmost efforts so that a similar case does not occur again," Park said, urging a comprehensive safety inspection of chemicals used by people.

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