Kevin Frayer’s photographs of illegal Chinese steel factories look like postcards from the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Thick smoke spews out of tall stacks, steam rises from vast pits, and molten steel flows across the ground like lava. All around, men toil without even basic protective gear. “It was like stepping back in time,” says Frayer, who spent four days at two steel factories in Inner Mongolia in early November. “The way of working seemed unchanged and unaffected by technology.”
SEE MORE: Step inside China’s hellish, illicit steel factories.