Environmental

In 1989 Union Carbide was desperate to get out of India. The lease for the factory site required that it be handed back in an acceptable environmental state. The corporation carried out some tests on soil and water which, horrifyingly for them, showed that both were heavily and lethally contaminated with chemicals known to cause cancers, birth defects and multiple organ failures. Carbide’s response, instead of warning nearby communities of the clear danger to their water supply, was to keep silent and deny there was any contamination. The silence lasted ten years, until in 1999 Greenpeace published a definitive report establishing that wells were indeed contaminated. In places Greenpeace found mercury at levels 6,000,000 times higher than background. During those ten years of silence, many children were born damaged, thousands of families already decimated by the 1984 gas leak suffered further tragedies. In this section we bring together all the materials we have relating to the contamination of Bhopal and the role of the company, government agencies and particularly the spectacularly incompetent NEERI (National Environmental Engineering Research Insitute) in covering up the problem.

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