Purchasing shoes made in China can be dangerous. It's important to your health to only purchase shoes that have been approved for retail sale and use in your country. This ensures that materials and chemicals used in the making the shoes will not cause you any adverse effects. Some manufacturing shops in China may utilize unapproved materials and substances or may violate employment laws.
Sweatshops and child labor
Companies like Nike, Adidas and Reebok have strict rules when outsourcing to Chinese manufacturing companies. Unfortunately, some companies do not adhere to these standards. Chinese sweatshops are dangerous work environments with unreasonably high production quotas and low standards for treatment of workers. Sweatshops lure workers in with promises of stability. Yet living and working conditions are horrible, and the pay is not fair or guaranteed. Thousands of workers are crammed into tiny, overheated rooms with no ventilation. Their wages are deducted docked to defray the cost of their mattresses and toilet privileges. The sweatshops don't stop at luring poor farmers or other out-of-work adults; they also imprison and employ children. A work day might easily exceed 16 hours of constant labor, with minimal food and water.
Unapproved materials and toxic chemicals
Anemia, a blood deficiency, is a side effect from the chemical benzene, found in glue used for shoe making in China. This chemical is known to make workers sick. Benzene attacks bone marrow, and sustained contact causes anemia. While benzene has been banned in many places, it is still utilized in smaller factories due. Other dangerous chemicals and known carcinogens used in shoe making shops in China include lead, cadmium and mercury.
Quality suffers when workers have poor working conditions. Laborers push through product at an alarming rate, missing detail, just so they can fulfill their quotas. When workers become exhausted, they are not permitted to take breaks and must try not to fall asleep at their station. When the focus is on quantity and cost cutting, rather than quality, shoes fall apart quickly, and may be dangerous.
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McKay voz Machina is a professional writer who has contributed content for Wildhorse Ranch Rescue and been published in a poetry journal and several online publications. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics.