A history of world-class operations? Best global standards? You might imagine that we make this sort of thing up. We don’t – Dow’s potty new Chief Operating Officer Andrew Liveris does. His elevation to the top of the toxic pile has presented us with a ‘world-class’ fantasist.
“The similarities between our people and the strong orientation towards safety were key success factors (in the Dow-Carbide merger).” Leaving aside the contemptible record of human harm already documented on this site, this’ll be the same Dow, for instance, that is being sued by the New York DA for advertising Dursban – implicated in “nerve damage, asthma and birth defects in humans” – as ‘safe’. The same Carbide who, between Jan-August 1994 alone, had almost 100 toxic spills reported in the US by the EPA.
We should hardly be surprised that when grubby facts are passed through Liveris’ brain they come out bluey-white – he’s also a board member of the Soap and Detergent Association. But it isn’t just historical and environmental realities that have escaped the new COO’s reason. “I think we’ve invented a new drug,” Liveris told the Chemical and Engineering News after Dow swallowed Carbide, “it’s a mixture of adrenalin and caffeine.” Though knowledge of pharmacology at bhopal.net is modest, we understand that this concoction is neither new to mankind, nor powerful enough to explain Liveris’ ‘bark at the moon’ drivel.
However, ‘off-the-wall’ does in no way mean ‘inoffensive’. While Dow plays musical chairs, with the frankly sinister ‘Pants on Fire’ Stavropoulos as ring-master, real people are having their blood, organs and brain tissue bombarded with lethal toxins originating from under and over-ground dumps such as the sacks of Lindane and Aldicarb and Sevin rocks you can see Liveris ignoring to the right. Families in Bhopal are consuming mercury and organic chemicals including chlorinated methanes, ethanes, benzenes and cyclohexanes via their drinking water. Each day, the toxic load on their systems is getting heavier. Every day, the risks of leukemia, skin lesions, bladder cancer, kidney tumours, impaired foetal development, chromosomal aberrations, miscarriages and central nervous system damage increases. Six chemicals found in the water wells of Atal Ayub Nagar four years ago, at levels wildly above EPA permitted standards, are major liver carcinogens, causing damage such as yellow atrophy and tumours.
In its pr brief on Bhopal, Dow lies that Carbide’s mess is not its business (you can read the facts here). But Dow cannot deny that it knows all about these vicious, unfolding crimes: it has known all about them for years. Andrew N Liveris’k’ knows all about them too. And still they do nothing. That makes them both criminals.
Mad, bad and dangerous: Dow COO Andrew Liveris’k’ visits Carbide’s rotting factory, courtesy of Bhopal.net, but remains in fairy land
Chemicals found in a water well in Atal Ayub Nagar in 1999