Bhopal: toxic legacy | Centre for Science and Environment


Bhopal: toxic legacy

For over 25 years the impoverished residents of Bhopal have been silently suffering the consequences of contamination caused by a ruthless, money making multi national pesticide company. But not anymore, their tireless struggle led the Centre for Science and Environment to investigate what they have been alleging all along that the water and soil around the factory had been heavily contaminated. CSE's investigation revealed the extent of contamination in the vicinity of location of the world's largest industrial disaster site was unparalleled. Everything from heavy metals to pesticides were detected in soil and ground water samples at times in very high concentrations.
 
In fact chemicals found at the factory site were the same as those found at various locations as far as three kilometers away leading to the conclusion that the factory was the only source of contamination. Despite evidence of the contamination, the state government continues to be in denial. The state government has plans to open up the site for tourism by creating a memorial and a bazaar.
 
The question then arises as to who should be liable for cleaning up the waste. Obviously, it should be the polluter-Union Carbide Corp., now owned by US based Dow Chemicals. While Dow accepts liabilities previously created by UCC elsewhere, it refuses to do so in the case of Bhopal saying it no longer owns the Bhopal factory. CSE has been campaigning to make Dow liable and undertake a through clean up of the site and its surroundings. 

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