S Korea jails man behind 100 deaths from toxic humidifier

Seoul: A former South Korean executive of a Britain-based company was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment for the deaths of around 100 people, a media report said. Shin Hyun-woo was found guilty of accidental homicide and falsely advertising a humidifier disinfectant linked to the deaths, the BBC reported on Friday.

Reckitt Benckiser, a British multinational consumer goods company that produces health, hygiene and home products, is one of several firms linked to the deaths. Lotte Mart, Homeplus and other retailers were also found guilty of selling the toxic product.

Lim Seong-joon, center, a victim of toxic humidifier. AP

Lim Seong-joon, center, a victim of toxic humidifier. AP

Reckitt Benckiser withdrew its product from the market after the South Korean authorities suggested a link between chemicals to sterilise humidifiers and lung conditions in 2011. Shin was head of Reckitt Benckiser's Oxy subsidiary from 1991 to 2005. The seven years were the maximum prison sentence the court could give.

It is thought that about 100 people have died from the products that elevated related health problems. The firm has offered compensation to the families of those who died, as well as the hundreds more who were suffering.

The company also said it was setting up a multi-million-dollar humanitarian fund for the victims and their families.

Updated Date: Jan 06, 2017 14:50 PM

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