American Imports, Chinese Deaths

Reporter Loretta Tofani gets inside America's factory, China, where the lack of health and safety precautions has Chinese workers dying.

In interviews with dozens of dying workers and through review of their medical records, she documents how Chinese workers routinely lose limbs from old machinery or develop fatal diseases from exposure to toxins while making products for export to the U.S. market.

Analysis of U.S. import records traces the goods those workers make to U.S. businesses and consumers. A century ago death and disease were the norm for American workers too, on unregulated factory floors. Those risks have shifted now to China. But America is still at the heart of the story, a result of its reliance on Chinese workers to make cheap consumer goods. Tofani's reporting shows how Chinese workers are paying the real price of Americans' cheap goods, with their health and their lives.

Loretta Tofani Wins IRE Gold Medal

Loretta Tofani's "American Imports, Chinese Deaths" series was awarded the 2007 Investigative Reporters and Editors' Gold Medal for medium sized newspapers.

Loretta Tofani interviews with the Washington Observer

Editor in Chief Lily Chen interviews Pulitzer Center grant-recipient Loretta Tofani about her "American Imports, Chinese Deaths" series. January 9, 2008, the Washington Observer (Mandarin Chinese), a World Security Institute publication. Lily interviews Loretta Tofani, an American journalist, about her call for people's attention to Chinese workers' benefits and rights.

Note: This article is in Mandarin Chinese.