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South Korean executive jailed for link to deadly humidifier disinfectant

Daniel Uria
The family member of a person victimized by a toxic humidifier sterilizers shed tears at the Seoul Central Court in Seoul, South Korea. Former Oxy Reckitt Benckiser executive Shin Hyun-woo was found guilty of accidental homicide and falsely advertising the toxic disinfectant Oxy as safe and was handed a maximum prison sentence of seven years. Three other current and former Oxy Reckitt Benckiser researchers and executives from South Korean retailers Lotte Mart and Homeplus also received prison sentences for their connection with the toxic disinfectant.Photo by Yonhap South Korea/European Pressphoto Agency
 

A former South Korean chief executive of a British consumer goods company was sentenced to seven years in prison for a disinfectant linked to the death of more than 100 people.
Shin Hyun-woo, who headed Britain-based Oxy Reckitt Benckiser from 1991 to 2005, was found guilty of accidental homicide and falsely advertising the toxic disinfectant Oxy as safe, the BBC reported.
Reckitt Benckiser withdrew the Oxy disinfectant, used to sterilize humidifiers, from the market after South Korean authorities suggested a link between the chemicals used in the product and lung conditions in 2011.
Government investigators indicated that about 113 people, including infants, died due to inhaling toxic disinfectants such as Oxy.
"They had never done enough tests to ensure the safety of their disinfectants," Seoul Central District Court Judge Choi Chang-young said, according to the New York Times. "They even used false labels claiming that they were safe for humans, and even for babies."
Shin was sentenced to seven years, the maximum prison sentence allowed by the court, while three former and current Oxy Reckitt Benckiser researchers were also sentenced to five to seven years on similar charges.
Former executives from South Korean retailers Lotte Mart and Homeplus were also found guilty of selling the toxic disinfectants and received four-year prison sentences.
Oxy Reckitt Benckiser acknowledged responsibility for selling the disinfectants in May and offered "a heartfelt and sincere apology to all victims and their families," as well as monetary compensation.
The company also expressed plans to establish a multimillion dollar humanitarian for Oxy victims and their families.
South Korean executive jailed for link to deadly humidifier disinfectant Reviewed by Chidinma C Amadi on 4:59 PM Rating: 5

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