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Mount Ijen, in Indonesia, releases sulfur from the insides of its crater. Although still being an active volcano, hundreds of local workers risk their health daily to extract its precious yellow material, mostly used in sugar processing and whitening.

Toxic fumes burn eyes, throats and lungs, and only a few men care for or can afford gas masks to protect themselves. The average life expectancy is just 45 years. 


The journey starts in the middle of the night, giving workers time to accomplish more during their shift. Up to 80 kg of solid sulfur will be carried several times all the way up on their shoulders.


The company responsible pays 7 cents per sulfur kilo delivered, the average daily wage coming to around $8. This figure is much higher that what conventional jobs in the area give, such as rice harvesting, justifying such struggle.

Banyuwangi Regency, Java.
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