Domestic and international experts shared solutions on reducing the adverse impacts that Vietnam’s production of electronic products is having on workers’ health and surroundings at a symposium held in Hanoi on January 7.

Vietnam now has more than 500 electronics manufacturing factories, mainly receiving investment from giant multinational corporations such as Intel, Samsung, Canon and Sharp, delegates noted at the event.

The industry contributes greatly to generating jobs for rural labourers, speeding up national economic growth, and reducing poverty, striving for 40 billion USD in export turnover by 2017.

Thousands of types of chemicals used in electronics manufacturing have resulted in hazardous influence on labourers’ health and environment, as warned by the US, Scotland and the Republic of Korea, said Executive Director of the Asia Monitor Resource Centre ( AMRC ) Sanjiv Pandita .

Ngo Van Hoai, leader of the Centre for Development and Integration ( CDI ) research team , said her centre and the Oxfam Solidarity Belgium ( OSB ) jointly carried out research activities to initially evaluate how working condition impacts on workers at electronics assembling and producing factories, in a bid to conduct an overall research on the industry’s labour safety and hygiene.

The research’s outcomes showed 200,000 workers of the industry, mainly women, are suffering from hazardous working conditions.

By December 31, 2012, around 28,000 labourers caught occupational diseases while the chemical-related illness accounted for 10 percent of the total, according to the Ministry of Health.

Up to 90,000 tonnes of electronic waste, harmful to public health and the environment, are skipped annually in Vietnam.

In order to develop a safe and sustainable electronics industry, it is vital to check and perfect legal frameworks related to labour safety standards and electronic waste management, participants suggested.

Firms operating in the field must announce types of chemicals used in their production, with the aim of enabling their workers to access information on the chemicals, they added.

Together with attaching importance to warnings released by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, an (International Labour Organisation) ILO-OSH-2001 occupational safety and health management system should be established, said experts.-VNA