Korea’s antitrust agency to file criminal charges vs toxic humidifier sanitizer makers, sellers

2018.02.12 16:47:55 | 2018.02.12 16:48:18

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Korea’s anti-trust watchdog has decided to file a criminal complaint against SK Chemicals and Aekyung Industrial and their former presidents for involvement in manufacturing toxic humidifier sanitizers that caused the deaths and injuries of many people.

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said on Monday it decided to impose a penalty of 134 million won ($123,600) in total with a remedial order on SK Chemicals, Aekyung Industrial and E-mart as they concealed and omitted human safety information and made false and misleading ads on humidifier sanitizers. It also decided to file a criminal complaint to the prosecution office against SK Chemicals and its two former heads and Aekyung and its two former heads.

The FTC said the toxic humidifier sanitizers that contained CMIT/MIT can cause humans considerable harm during its deliberation resumed after Aug. 19, 2016. Objective and reliable epidemiological investigations found CMIT/MIT-containing humidifier sanitizers were hazardous to human bodies, the FTC ruled.

SK Chemicals and Aekyung manufactured and sold such humidifier sanitizers from Oct. 2002 to Apr. 2, 2013, and E-Mart from May 2006 to Aug. 31, 2011.

The decision will aid lawsuits by consumers and potential victims, said an FTC official.

By Seok Min-soo and Minu Kim

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