Surviving Bhopal 2002: Toxic Present - Toxic Future, Shrishti and Fact Finding Mission on Bhopal, 2002

January 01, 2002

What should one do if the food, the soil, the water, and ones own body is contaminated with toxics? Where does one turn, how does one cleanse oneself, just to be able to live healthily and support a livelihood? Where does one turn if there is no access to any resources, and no one is prepared to even believe in your suffering? Can human rights be more violated, than through the slow everyday creeping of poison in ones body, through processes unleashed by a powerful corporate, which is now nowhere to be seen? To protect the citizen is not the reason why we have a Constitution, laws, to be able to have a Right to Life and a healthy one? Should not any environmental and health policy basically attempt to ensure just this? The on going saga of the Bhopal tragedy and this report confirms that this is exactly what is not happening.

As the following report once again evidences, Bhopal did not just happen on December 3rd, 1984, it is continuing to happen to those who were unfortunate to live in its vicinity on that fateful day. Not only this generation but the next generations too stands to be contaminated and poisoned by the disaster. Not only is the soil, but also groundwater, vegetables as well as mother’s breast milk has found to be contaminated.

1.1 Toxics Entrenched: All media, soil, ground water, vegetables, breast milk investigated were found contaminated by heavy metals, and organochlorines to various degrees. The evidence suggests that the toxics had not only moved across various mediums but had also become part of body burdens. As is well known, some of these toxics accumulate in human fat, and are passed onto the next generation through mother’s breast milk. The effects on the infant are traumatic, not only in terms of the amount of toxics, which it receives, and it can exceed a lifetime supply, but also in their nature. Current toxicological knowledge shows that there may be no acceptable level, which can lead to health effects. In children this is especially true since low dosage toxicity can lead to endocrine disruption and hormonal malfunctions, effects of which may only emerge at puberty in some cases.