As China boomed around 200 men set out from Shuangxi's rural idyll to build its infrastructure and skyscrapers. Now lung disease from dust has killed a quarter of them and 100 more are waiting to die.
Former construction worker Xu Zuoqing, who suffers from black lung disease, holds an x-ray of his lungs in Shuangxi, Hunan province on April 29, 2013. "It's like my lungs are being choked. My chest feels so tight," says the 44-year-old who worked on construction sites for about 15 years.
Back home amid rice paddies and forested hills, Xu Zuoqing walks outside and his face contorts in pain from the effort. As he struggles to breathe, his wife rushes over a stool so he can recuperate.
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