On September 1st, hundreds of elementary students burned their eyes when the ultraviolet lights were turned on by mistake for over five hours. The accident occurred at Xingqiao No.1 Elementary School in Yuhang district, Hangzhou city. On September 3rd, the school promised to do a briefing about the incident after investigation. On September 4th, the district education bureau made the announcement that the ultraviolet lights were turned on due to operation errors in the trouble shooting process of power failure1.
Mr. Li, father of a 7-year old girl, shared some information with The Paper. His daughter was found to have flushed face and bloodshot eyes when her grandfather picked her up on September 1st. She was diagnosed with electro-optical ophthalmia, with conjunctival hyperemia in both eyes and the corneal epithelium peeled off. Her vision wasn’t affected. There were many other students with similar or worse conditions. As of now, the parents have reported five children having electro-optical ophthalmia and one child suffering damage in the macular area of the eyes3.
All the students have left the hospital. Some parents informed the reporter that each classroom has 8 ultraviolet lamps installed for disinfection. The incident occurred in three classrooms. A total of 129 students were affected. The parents have formed a group to defend their rights.
Numerous ultraviolet light accidents among children have occurred in recent years2. Limited follow-ups could be traced. The high frequency of these incidents reflected how careless schools have been responding to the risks. The lack of responsibilities taken for accidents needs public attention and pressure. Oversight from the government on the accidents is much-needed. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a good resolution to these accidents in the near future under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party.
- 环球时报. “#教育局通报学生被紫外线灯灼伤#：断电故障排除时误操作” 新浪微博 https://m.weibo.cn/status/4545450881060150
- 龙 之朱. “又现紫外线伤眼事件，学校何以管不住一盏灯.” 又现紫外线伤眼事件，学校何以管不住一盏灯 _光明网, 2020, guancha.gmw.cn/2020-09/04/content_34156809.htm.
- 喻 琰. “杭州一小学误开紫外线灯致上百名学生眼睛灼伤，校方称正调查.” 澎湃新闻, www.thepaper.cn/newsDetail_forward_9013504.