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Bhopal disaster

Bhopal disaster

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Encyclopedia
The Bhopal disaster also known as Bhopal Gas Tragedy was a gas leak
Gas leak
In common usage, a gas leak refers to a leak of natural gas, from a pipe or other containment, into a living area or any other area where the gas should not be...

 incident in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, considered one of the world's worst industrial catastrophes. It occurred on the night of December 2–3, 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide
Pesticide
Pesticides are substances or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest.A pesticide may be a chemical unicycle, biological agent , antimicrobial, disinfectant or device used against any pest...

 plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh , often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal and Indore is the largest city....

, India. A leak of methyl isocyanate
Methyl isocyanate
Methyl isocyanate is an organic compound with the molecular formula CH3NCO. Synonyms are isocyanatomethane, methyl carbylamine, and MIC. Methyl isocyanate is an intermediate chemical in the production of carbamate pesticides . It has also been used in the production of rubbers and adhesives...

  gas and other chemicals from the plant resulted in the exposure of hundreds of thousands of people. Estimates vary on the death toll. The official immediate death toll was 2,259 and the government of Madhya Pradesh has confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release. Others estimate 3,000 died within weeks and another 8,000 have since died from gas-related diseases. A government affidavit in 2006 stated the leak caused 558,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary partial and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries.

UCIL was the Indian subsidiary of Union Carbide
Union Carbide
Union Carbide Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company. It currently employs more than 2,400 people. Union Carbide primarily produces chemicals and polymers that undergo one or more further conversions by customers before reaching consumers. Some are high-volume...

 Corporation (UCC). Indian Government controlled banks and the Indian public held 49.1 percent ownership share. In 1994, the Supreme Court of India allowed UCC to sell its 50.9 percent share. Union Carbide sold UCIL, the Bhopal plant operator, to Eveready Industries India Limited
Eveready Industries
Eveready Industries India, Ltd is the flagship company of the B.M. Khaitan Group. The brand Eveready has been present in India since 1905....

 in 1994. The Bhopal plant was later sold to McLeod Russel (India) Ltd. Dow Chemical Company
Dow Chemical Company
The Dow Chemical Company is a multinational corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. As of 2007, it is the second largest chemical manufacturer in the world by revenue and as of February 2009, the third-largest chemical company in the world by market capitalization .Dow...

 purchased UCC in 2001.

Civil and criminal cases are pending in the United States District Court, Manhattan and the District Court of Bhopal, India, involving UCC, UCIL employees, and Warren Anderson, UCC CEO at the time of the disaster. In June 2010, seven ex-employees, including the former UCIL chairman, were convicted in Bhopal of causing death by negligence and sentenced to two years imprisonment and a fine of about $2,000 each, the maximum punishment allowed by law. An eighth former employee was also convicted, but died before judgment was passed.

Summary of background


The UCIL factory was built in 1969 to produce the pesticide Sevin (UCC's brand name for carbaryl
Carbaryl
Carbaryl is a chemical in the carbamate family used chiefly as an insecticide. It is a white crystalline solid commonly sold under the brand name Sevin, a trademark of the Bayer Company. Union Carbide discovered carbaryl and introduced it commercially in 1958...

) using methyl isocyanate (MIC) as an intermediate. An MIC production plant was added in 1979.

During the night of December 2–3, 1984, water entered a tank containing 42 tons of MIC. The resulting exothermic reaction
Exothermic reaction
An exothermic reaction is a chemical reaction that releases energy in the form of light or heat. It is the opposite of an endothermic reaction. Expressed in a chemical equation:-Overview:...

 increased the temperature inside the tank to over 200 °C (392 °F) and raised the pressure. The tank vented releasing toxic gases into the atmosphere. The gases were blown by southeasterly winds over Bhopal.

Theories differ as to how the water entered the tank. At the time, workers were cleaning out a clogged pipe with water about 400 feet from the tank. The operators assumed that owing to bad maintenance and leaking valves, it was possible for the water to leak into the tank. However, this water entry route could not be reproduced. UCC also maintains that this route was not possible, but instead alleges water was introduced directly into the tank as an act of sabotage by a disgruntled worker via a connection to a missing pressure gauge on the top of the tank. Early the next morning, a UCIL manager asked the instrument engineer to replace the gauge. UCIL's investigation team found no evidence of the necessary connection; however, the investigation was totally controlled by the government denying UCC investigators access to the tank or interviews with the operators.
The 1985 reports give a picture of what led to the disaster and how it developed, although they differ in details.

Factors leading to the magnitude of the gas leak include:
  • Storing MIC in large tanks and filling beyond recommended levels
  • Poor maintenance after the plant ceased MIC production at the end of 1984
  • Failure of several safety systems (due to poor maintenance)
  • Safety systems being switched off to save money—including the MIC tank refrigeration system which could have mitigated the disaster severity


The problem was made worse by the mushrooming of slums in the vicinity of the plant, non-existent catastrophe plans, and shortcomings in health care and socio-economic rehabilitation.

Public information


Much speculation arose in the aftermath. The closing of the plant to outsiders (including UCC) by the Indian government and the failure to make data public contributed to the confusion. The initial investigation was conducted entirely by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Central Bureau of Investigation. CSIR was forbidden to publish health effect data until after 1994.

Plant production process



UCC produced carbaryl using MIC as an intermediate. After the Bhopal plant was built, other manufacturers including Bayer
Bayer
Bayer AG is a chemical and pharmaceutical company founded in Barmen , Germany in 1863. It is headquartered in Leverkusen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany and well known for its original brand of aspirin.-History:...

 produced carbaryl without MIC, though at a greater manufacturing cost
Manufacturing cost
Manufacturing cost is the sum of costs of all resources consumed in the process of making a product. The manufacturing cost is classified into three categories: direct materials cost, direct labor cost and manufacturing overhead.- Direct materials cost :...

. However, Bayer also uses the UCC process at the chemical plant once owned by UCC at Institute, West Virginia, USA and many other states

Contributing factors


Other factors identified by the inquiry included: use of a more dangerous pesticide manufacturing method, large-scale MIC storage, plant location close to a densely populated area, undersized safety devices, and the dependence on manual operations.

Plant management deficiencies were also identified – lack of skilled operators, reduction of safety management, insufficient maintenance, and inadequate emergency action plans.

The chemical process, or "route", used in the Bhopal plant reacted methylamine
Methylamine
Methylamine is the organic compound with a formula of CH3NH2. This colourless gas is a derivative of ammonia, but with one H atom replaced by a methyl group. It is the simplest primary amine. It is sold as a solution in methanol, ethanol, THF, and water, or as the anhydrous gas in pressurized...

 with phosgene
Phosgene
Phosgene is the chemical compound with the formula COCl2. This colorless gas gained infamy as a chemical weapon during World War I. It is also a valued industrial reagent and building block in synthesis of pharmaceuticals and other organic compounds. In low concentrations, its odor resembles...

 to form MIC (methyl isocyanate), which was then reacted with 1-naphthol
1-Naphthol
1-Naphthol, or α-naphthol, is a colorless crystalline solid with the formula C10H7OH. It is an isomer of 2-naphthol differing by the location of the hydroxyl group on naphthalene. The naphthols are naphthalene homologues of phenol, with the hydroxyl group being more reactive than in the phenols....

 to form the final product, carbaryl. This route differs from MIC-free routes used elsewhere, in which the same raw materials are combined in a different manufacturing order, with phosgene first reacted with naphthol to form a chloroformate ester, which is then reacted with methyl amine. In the early 1980s, the demand for pesticides had fallen, but production continued, leading to buildup of stores of unused MIC.

Work conditions


Attempts to reduce expenses affected the factory's employees and their conditions. Kurzman argues that "cuts...meant less stringent quality control and thus looser safety rules. A pipe leaked? Don't replace it, employees said they were told ... MIC workers needed more training? They could do with less. Promotions were halted, seriously affecting employee morale and driving some of the most skilled ... elsewhere". Workers were forced to use English manuals, even though only a few had a grasp of the language.

By 1984, only six of the original twelve operators were still working with MIC and the number of supervisory personnel was also cut in half. No maintenance supervisor was placed on the night shift and instrument readings were taken every two hours, rather than the previous and required one-hour readings. Workers made complaints about the cuts through their union but were ignored. One employee was fired after going on a 15-day hunger strike. 70% of the plant's employees were fined before the disaster for refusing to deviate from the proper safety regulations under pressure from management.

In addition, some observers, such as those writing in the Trade Environmental Database (TED) Case Studies as part of the Mandala Project from American University
American University
American University is a private, Methodist, liberal arts, and research university in Washington, D.C. The university was chartered by an Act of Congress on December 5, 1892 as "The American University", which was approved by President Benjamin Harrison on February 24, 1893...

, have pointed to "serious communication problems and management gaps between Union Carbide and its Indian operation", characterized by "the parent companies [sic] hands-off approach to its overseas operation" and "cross-cultural barriers".

Equipment and safety regulations



It emerged in 1998, during civil action suits in India, that the plant was not prepared for problems. No action plans had been established to cope with incidents of this magnitude. This included not informing local authorities of the quantities or dangers of chemicals used and manufactured at Bhopal.
  • The MIC tank alarms had not worked for four years.
  • There was only one manual back-up system, compared to a four-stage system used in the US.
  • The flare tower and several vent gas scrubbers had been out of service for five months before the disaster. Only one gas scrubber was operating, and it could not treat such a great amuont of MIC with sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), bringing the concentration down to a safe level.. In fact, The maximum amount of MIC the scrubber could handle was only a quarter of the pressure during the leak. The flare tower could only hold a quarter of the gas that leaked in 1984, and moreover it was out of order at the time of the incident.
  • To reduce energy costs, the refrigeration system was idle. The MIC was kept at 20 degrees Celsius, not the 4.5 degrees advised by the manual.
  • The steam boiler, intended to clean the pipes, was out of action for unknown reasons.
  • Slip-blind plates that would have prevented water from pipes being cleaned from leaking into the MIC tanks through faulty valves were not installed. Their installation had been omitted from the cleaning checklist.
  • The water pressure was too weak to spray the escaping gases from the stack. They could not spray high enough to reduce the concentration of escaping gas.
  • According to the operators the MIC tank pressure gauge had been malfunctioning for roughly a week. Other tanks were used rather than repairing the gauge. The build-up in temperature and pressure is believed to have affected the magnitude of the gas release. UCC investigation studies have disputed this hypothesis.
  • Carbon steel valves were used at the factory, even though they corrode when exposed to acid.
  • UCC admitted in their own investigation report that most of the safety systems were not functioning on the night of December 3, 1984.
  • The design of the MIC plant, following government guidelines, was "Indianized" by UCIL engineers to maximize the use of indigenous materials and products. Mumbai based Humphreys and Glasgow Consultants PVT. Ltd. were the main consultants, Larsen and Toubro fabricated the MIC storage tanks, and Taylor of India Ltd. provided the instrumentation.

Previous warnings and incidents


A series of prior warnings and MIC-related incidents had occurred:
  • In 1976, the two trade unions reacted because of pollution within the plant.
  • In 1981, a worker was splashed with phosgene
    Phosgene
    Phosgene is the chemical compound with the formula COCl2. This colorless gas gained infamy as a chemical weapon during World War I. It is also a valued industrial reagent and building block in synthesis of pharmaceuticals and other organic compounds. In low concentrations, its odor resembles...

    . In panic he ripped off his mask, thus inhaling a large amount of phosgene gas; he died 72 hours later.
  • In January 1982, there was a phosgene leak, when 24 workers were exposed and had to be admitted to hospital. None of the workers had been ordered to wear protective masks.
  • In February 1982, an MIC leak affected 18 workers.
  • In August 1982, a chemical engineer came into contact with liquid MIC, resulting in burns over 30 percent of his body.
  • In October 1982, there was a leak of MIC, methylcarbaryl chloride, chloroform and hydrochloric acid. In attempting to stop the leak, the MIC supervisor suffered intensive chemical burns and two other workers were severely exposed to the gases.
  • During 1983 and 1984, leaks of the following substances regularly took place in the MIC plant: MIC, chlorine, monomethylamine, phosgene, and carbon tetrachloride
    Carbon tetrachloride
    Carbon tetrachloride, also known by many other names is the organic compound with the formula CCl4. It was formerly widely used in fire extinguishers, as a precursor to refrigerants, and as a cleaning agent...

    , sometimes in combination.
  • Reports issued months before the incident by UCC engineers warned of the possibility of an incident almost identical to that which occurred in Bhopal. The reports never reached UCC's senior management.
  • UCC was warned by American experts who visited the plant after 1981 of the potential of a "runaway reaction
    Thermal runaway
    Thermal runaway refers to a situation where an increase in temperature changes the conditions in a way that causes a further increase in temperature, often leading to a destructive result...

    " in the MIC storage tank. Local Indian authorities warned the company of problems on several occasions from 1979 onwards.

The leakage


In November 1984, most of the safety systems were not functioning. Many valves and lines were in poor condition. Tank 610 contained 42 tons of MIC (disputed), much more than safety rules allowed. During the nights of 2–3 December, a large amount of water is claimed to have entered tank 610. A runaway reaction
Thermal runaway
Thermal runaway refers to a situation where an increase in temperature changes the conditions in a way that causes a further increase in temperature, often leading to a destructive result...

 started, which was accelerated by contaminants, high temperatures and other factors. The reaction generated a major increase in the temperature inside the tank to over 200 °C (400 °F). This forced the emergency venting of pressure from the MIC holding tank, releasing a large volume of toxic gases. The reaction was sped up by the presence of iron from corroding non-stainless steel pipelines. Workers cleaned pipelines with water and claim they were not told to isolate the tank with a pipe slip-blind plate. Because of this, and the bad maintenance, the workers consider it possible for water to have accidentally entered the tank. UCC maintains that a "disgruntled worker" deliberately connected a hose to a pressure gauge connection.

Short term health effects



The leakage caused many short term health effects in the surrounding areas. Apart from MIC, the gas cloud may have contained phosgene
Phosgene
Phosgene is the chemical compound with the formula COCl2. This colorless gas gained infamy as a chemical weapon during World War I. It is also a valued industrial reagent and building block in synthesis of pharmaceuticals and other organic compounds. In low concentrations, its odor resembles...

, hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide , also called carbonous oxide, is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly lighter than air. It is highly toxic to humans and animals in higher quantities, although it is also produced in normal animal metabolism in low quantities, and is thought to have some normal...

, hydrogen chloride
Hydrogen chloride
The compound hydrogen chloride has the formula HCl. At room temperature, it is a colorless gas, which forms white fumes of hydrochloric acid upon contact with atmospheric humidity. Hydrogen chloride gas and hydrochloric acid are important in technology and industry...

, oxides of nitrogen
Nitrogen oxide
Nitrogen oxide can refer to a binary compound of oxygen and nitrogen, or a mixture of such compounds:* Nitric oxide, also known as nitrogen monoxide, , nitrogen oxide* Nitrogen dioxide , nitrogen oxide...

, monomethyl amine
Methylamine
Methylamine is the organic compound with a formula of CH3NH2. This colourless gas is a derivative of ammonia, but with one H atom replaced by a methyl group. It is the simplest primary amine. It is sold as a solution in methanol, ethanol, THF, and water, or as the anhydrous gas in pressurized...

 (MMA) and carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

, either produced in the storage tank or in the atmosphere.

The gas cloud was composed mainly of materials denser than the surrounding air, stayed close to the ground and spread outwards through the surrounding community. The initial effects of exposure were coughing, vomiting, severe eye irritation and a feeling of suffocation. People awakened by these symptoms fled away from the plant. Those who ran inhaled more than those who had a vehicle to ride. Owing to their height, children and other people of shorter stature inhaled higher concentrations. Many people were trampled trying to escape.

Thousands of people had succumbed by the morning hours. There were mass funerals and mass cremations as well as disposal of bodies in the Narmada river. 170,000 people were treated at hospitals and temporary dispensaries. 2,000 buffalo, goats, and other animals were collected and buried. Within a few days, leaves on trees yellowed and fell off. Supplies, including food, became scarce owing to suppliers' safety fears. Fishing was prohibited causing further supply shortages.

A total of 36 wards were marked by the authorities as being "gas affected", affecting a population of 520,000. Of these, 200,000 were below 15 years of age, and 3,000 were pregnant women. In 1991, 3,928 deaths had been certified. Independent organizations recorded 8,000 dead in the first days. Other estimations vary between 10,000 and 30,000. Another 100,000 to 200,000 people are estimated to have permanent injuries of different degrees.

The acute symptoms were burning in the respiratory tract and eyes, blepharospasm
Blepharospasm
A blepharospasm , is any abnormal contraction or twitch of the eyelid....

, breathlessness, stomach pains and vomiting. The causes of deaths were choking
Choking
Choking is the mechanical obstruction of the flow of air from the environment into the lungs. Choking prevents breathing, and can be partial or complete, with partial choking allowing some, although inadequate, flow of air into the lungs. Prolonged or complete choking results in asphyxia which...

, reflexogenic circulatory collapse
Circulatory collapse
A circulatory collapse is defined as a general or specific failure of the circulation, either cardiac or peripheral in nature. A common cause of this could be shock or trauma from injury or surgery...

 and pulmonary oedema. Findings during autopsies
Autopsy
An autopsy—also known as a post-mortem examination, necropsy , autopsia cadaverum, or obduction—is a highly specialized surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse to determine the cause and manner of death and to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present...

 revealed changes not only in the lungs but also cerebral oedema, tubular necrosis of the kidneys, fatty degeneration of the liver
Fatty liver
Fatty liver, also known as fatty liver disease , is a reversible condition where large vacuoles of triglyceride fat accumulate in liver cells via the process of steatosis...

 and necrotising enteritis
Enteritis
In medicine, enteritis, from Greek words enteron and suffix -itis , refers to inflammation of the small intestine. It is most commonly caused by the ingestion of substances contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms. Symptoms include abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, dehydration and fever...

. The stillbirth
Stillbirth
A stillbirth occurs when a fetus has died in the uterus. The Australian definition specifies that fetal death is termed a stillbirth after 20 weeks gestation or the fetus weighs more than . Once the fetus has died the mother still has contractions and remains undelivered. The term is often used in...

 rate increased by up to 300% and neonatal mortality rate by 200%.

Hydrogen cyanide debate


Whether hydrogen cyanide was present in the gas mixture is still a controversy.
Exposed to high temperatures, MIC breaks down to hydrogen cyanide (HCN). According to Kulling and Lorin, at +200 °C, 3% of the gas is HCN. However, according to another scientific publication, MIC when heated in the gas-phase starts to break down to hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and other products above 400 °C. Concentrations of 300 ppm can lead to immediate collapse.

Laboratory replication studies by CSIR and UCC scientists failed to detect any HCN or HCN-derived side products. Chemically, HCN is known to be very reactive with MIC. HCN is also known to react with hydrochloric acid, ammonia, and methylamine (also produced in tank 610 during the vigorous reaction with water and chloroform) and also with itself under acidic conditions to form trimers of HCN called triazenes. None of the HCN-derived side products were detected in the tank residue.

The non-toxic antidote sodium thiosulfate
Sodium thiosulfate
Sodium thiosulfate , also spelled sodium thiosulphate, is a colorless crystalline compound that is more familiar as the pentahydrate, Na2S2O3•5H2O, an efflorescent, monoclinic crystalline substance also called sodium hyposulfite or “hypo.”...

 (Na2S2O3) in intravenous injections increases the rate of conversion from cyanide to non-toxic thiocyanate. Treatment was suggested earlyand tentatively used on some people, but it did not provide any significative relieve
In this way, bronchodilators were proven more effective as could in part reverse the acute respiratory failure caused by pulmonary edema due to MIC

Long term health effects



It is estimated 100,000 to 200,000 people have permanent injuries. Reported symptoms are eye problems, respiratory difficulties, immune and neurological disorders, cardiac failure secondary to lung injury, female reproductive difficulties and birth defects among children born to affected women. The Indian Government and UCC deny permanent injuries were caused by MIC or the other gases.

Aftermath of the leakage

  • Medical staff were unprepared for the thousands of casualties.
  • Doctors and hospitals were not informed of proper treatment methods for MIC gas inhalation. They were told to simply give cough medicine and eye drops to their patients.
  • The gases immediately caused visible damage to the trees. Within a few days, all the leaves fell off.
  • 2,000 bloated animal carcasses had to be disposed of.
  • "Operation Faith": On December 16, the tanks 611 and 619 were emptied of the remaining MIC. This led to a second mass evacuation from Bhopal.
  • Complaints of a lack of information or misinformation were widespread. The Bhopal plant medical doctor did not have proper information about the properties of the gases. An Indian Government spokesman said that "Carbide is more interested in getting information from us than in helping our relief work."
  • As of 2008, UCC had not released information about the possible composition of the cloud.
  • Formal statements were issued that air, water, vegetation and foodstuffs were safe within the city. At the same time, people were informed that poultry was unaffected, but were warned not to consume fish.

Compensation from Union Carbide

  • The Government of India passed the Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster Act that gave the government rights to represent all victims in or outside India.
  • UCC offered US $350 million, the insurance sum. The Government of India claimed US$ from UCC. In 1989, a settlement was reached under which UCC agreed to pay (the insurance sum, plus interest) in a full and final settlement of its civil and criminal liability.
  • When UCC wanted to sell its shares in UCIL, it was directed by the Supreme Court to finance a 500-bed hospital for the medical care of the survivors. Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC) was inaugurated in 1998. It was obliged to give free care for survivors for eight years.

Economic rehabilitation

  • After the incident, no one under the age of 18 was registered. The number of children exposed to the gases was at least 200,000.
  • Immediate relief was decided two days after the tragedy
    Tragedy (event)
    A tragedy is an event in which one or more losses, usually of human life, occurs that is viewed as mournful. Such an event is said to be tragic....

    .
  • Relief measures commenced in 1985 when food was distributed for a short period and ration cards were distributed.
  • Widow pension of the rate of Rs 200/per month (later Rs 750) was provided.
  • One-time ex-gratia payment of Rs 1,500 to families with monthly income Rs 500 or less was decided.
  • Each claimant was to be categorised by a doctor. In court, the claimants were expected to prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that death or injury in each case was attributable to exposure. In 1992, 44 percent of the claimants still had to be medically examined.
  • From 1990 interim relief of Rs 200 was paid to everyone in the family who was born before the disaster.
  • The final compensation (including interim relief) for personal injury was for the majority Rs 25,000 (US$ 830). For death claim, the average sum paid out was Rs 62,000 (US$ 2,058).
  • Effects of interim relief were more children sent to school, more money spent on treatment, more money spent on food, improvement of housing conditions.
  • The management of registration and distribution of relief showed many shortcomings.
  • In 2007, 1,029,517 cases were registered and decided. Number of awarded cases were 574,304 and number of rejected cases 455,213. Total compensation awarded was Rs.1,546.47 crores.
  • On June 24, the Union Cabinet of the Government of India
    Government of India
    The Government of India, officially known as the Union Government, and also known as the Central Government, was established by the Constitution of India, and is the governing authority of the union of 28 states and seven union territories, collectively called the Republic of India...

     approved a Rs
    Indian rupee
    The Indian rupee is the official currency of the Republic of India. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the Reserve Bank of India....

    1265cr
    Crore
    A crore is a unit in the Indian number system equal to ten million , or 100 lakhs. It is widely used in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan....

     aid package. It will be funded by Indian taxpayers through the government.

Occupational rehabilitation

  • 33 of the 50 planned work-sheds for gas victims started. All except one was closed down by 1992.
  • 1986, the MP government invested in the Special Industrial Area Bhopal. 152 of the planned 200 work-sheds were built. In 2000, 16 were partially functioning.
  • It is estimated that 50,000 persons need alternative jobs, and that less than 100 gas victims have found regular employment under the government's scheme.

Habitation rehabilitation

  • 2,486 flats in two- and four-story buildings were constructed in the "Widows colony" outside Bhopal. The water did not reach the upper floors. It was not possible to keep cattle. Infrastructure like buses, schools, etc. were missing for at least a decade.

Health care

  • In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the health care system became tremendously overloaded. Within weeks, the State Government established a number of hospitals, clinics and mobile units in the gas-affected area.
  • Radical health groups set up JSK (the People's Health Centre) that was working a few years from 1985.
  • Since the leak, a very large number of private practitioners have opened in Bhopal. In the severely affected areas, nearly 70 percent do not appear to be professionally qualified.
  • The Government of India has focused primarily on increasing the hospital-based services for gas victims. Several hospitals have been built after the disaster. In 1994, there were approximately 1.25 beds per 1,000, compared to the recommendation from the World bank of 1.0 beds per 1,000 in developing countries.
  • The Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC) is a 350-bedded super speciality hospital. Heart surgery and hemodialysis are done. Major specialities missing are gynecology, obstetrics and pediatrics. Eight mini-units (outreach health centers) were started. Free health care for gas victims should be offered until 2006. The management has faced problems with strikes, and the quality of the health care is disputed.
  • Sambhavna Trust
    Sambhavna Trust
    The Sambhavna Trust, or Bhopal People's Health and Documentation Clinic, is a charitable trust run by a group of doctors, scientists, writers and social workers who have been involved with various aspects of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India, ever since its occurrence in December...

     is a charitable trust that registered in 1995. The clinic gives modern and Ayurvedic treatments to gas victims, free of charge.

Environmental rehabilitation

  • When the factory was closed in 1985–1986, pipes, drums and tanks were sold. The MIC and the Sevin plants are still there, as are storages of different residues. Isolation material is falling down and spreading.

  • The area around the plant was used as a dumping area for hazardous chemicals. In 1982 tubewells in the vicinity of the UCC factory had to be abandoned. UCC's laboratory tests in 1989 revealed that soil and water samples collected from near the factory and inside the plant were toxic to fish. Several other studies have shown polluted soil and groundwater in the area.

  • Reported polluting compounds include naphthol
    Naphthol
    Naphthol may refer to:* 1-Naphthol* 2-Naphthol...

    , naphthalene
    Naphthalene
    Naphthalene is an organic compound with formula . It is a white crystalline solid with a characteristic odor that is detectable at concentrations as low as 0.08 ppm by mass. As an aromatic hydrocarbon, naphthalene's structure consists of a fused pair of benzene rings...

    , Sevin
    Carbaryl
    Carbaryl is a chemical in the carbamate family used chiefly as an insecticide. It is a white crystalline solid commonly sold under the brand name Sevin, a trademark of the Bayer Company. Union Carbide discovered carbaryl and introduced it commercially in 1958...

    , tarry residue
    Tar
    Tar is modified pitch produced primarily from the wood and roots of pine by destructive distillation under pyrolysis. Production and trade in tar was a major contributor in the economies of Northern Europe and Colonial America. Its main use was in preserving wooden vessels against rot. The largest...

    , mercury
    Mercury (element)
    Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

    , toxic organochlorines, volatile organochlorine compounds, chromium
    Chromium
    Chromium is a chemical element which has the symbol Cr and atomic number 24. It is the first element in Group 6. It is a steely-gray, lustrous, hard metal that takes a high polish and has a high melting point. It is also odorless, tasteless, and malleable...

    , copper
    Copper
    Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

    , nickel
    Nickel
    Nickel is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile...

    , lead
    Lead
    Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

    , hexachloroethane
    Hexachloroethane
    Hexachloroethane, also known as perchloroethanes , C2Cl6, is a colorless solid at room temperature which is used by the US Military in smoke compositions, e.g...

    , hexachlorobutadiene
    Hexachlorobutadiene
    Hexachlorobutadiene, Cl2C=CC=CCl2, is a colorless liquid at room temperature that has an odor similar to that of turpentine. It is a chlorinated aliphatic diene with niche applications but is most commonly used as a solvent for other chlorine-containing compounds.-Synthesis:Hexachlorobutadiene, or...

    , and the pesticide HCH
    Hexachlorocyclohexane
    Hexachlorocyclohexane or 666 is a six chlorine substituted cyclohexane, a polyhalogenated compound. It comes in many forms. Some are pesticides.Common forms are:* α-HCH , or α-BCH, alpha-Hexachlorocyclohexane...

    .

  • In order to provide safe drinking water to the population around the UCC factory, there is a scheme for improvement of water supply.
  • In December 2008, the Madhya Pradesh High Court decided that the toxic waste should be incinerated at Ankleshwar in Gujarat.

Union Carbide's defense


Now owned by Dow Chemical Company
Dow Chemical Company
The Dow Chemical Company is a multinational corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. As of 2007, it is the second largest chemical manufacturer in the world by revenue and as of February 2009, the third-largest chemical company in the world by market capitalization .Dow...

, Union Carbide denies allegations against it on its website dedicated to the tragedy. The corporation claims that the incident was the result of sabotage, stating that safety systems were in place and operative. It also stresses that it did all it could to alleviate human suffering following the disaster.

Investigation into possible sabotage


Theories differ as to how the water entered the tank. At the time, workers were cleaning out pipes with water. The workers maintain that entry of water through the plant's piping system during the washing of lines was possible because a slip-blind was not used, the downstream bleeder lines were partially clogged, many valves were leaking, and the tank was not pressurized. The water, which was not draining properly through the bleeder valves, may have built up in the pipe, rising high enough to pour back down through another series of lines in the MIC storage tank. Once water had accumulated to a height of 6 meters (20 feet), it could drain by gravity flow back into the system. Alternatively, the water may have been routed through another standby "jumper line" that had only recently been connected to the system. Indian scientists suggested that additional water might have been introduced as a "back-flow" from the defectively designed vent-gas scrubber. However, none of these postulated routes of entry could be duplicated when tested by the Central Bureau of Investigators (CBI) and UCIL engineers.
The company cites an investigation conducted by the engineering consulting firm Arthur D. Little
Arthur D. Little
Arthur D. Little is an international management consulting firm originally headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, and formally incorporated by that name in 1909 by Arthur Dehon Little, an MIT chemist who had discovered acetate. Arthur D. Little pioneered the concept of contracted...

, which concluded that a single employee secretly and deliberately introduced a large amount of water into the MIC tank by removing a meter and connecting a water hose directly to the tank through the metering port. Carbide claims such a large amount of water could not have found its way into the tank by accident, and safety systems were not designed to deal with intentional sabotage. Documents cited in the Arthur D. Little Report state that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) along with UCIL engineers tried to simulate the water-washing hypothesis as a route of the entry of water into the tank. This all-important test failed to support this as a route of water entry. UCC claims the plant staff falsified numerous records to distance themselves from the incident, and that the Indian Government impeded its investigation and declined to prosecute the employee responsible, presumably because that would weaken its allegations of negligence by Union Carbide.

Safety and equipment issues


The corporation denies the claim that the valves on the tank were malfunctioning, claiming that "documented evidence gathered after the incident showed that the valve close to the plant's water-washing operation was closed and leak-tight. Furthermore, process safety systems—in place and operational—would have prevented water from entering the tank by accident". Carbide states that the safety concerns identified in 1982 were all allayed before 1984 and "none of them had anything to do with the incident".

The company admits that "the safety systems in place could not have prevented a chemical reaction of this magnitude from causing a leak". According to Carbide, "in designing the plant's safety systems, a chemical reaction of this magnitude was not factored in" because "the tank's gas storage system was designed to automatically prevent such a large amount of water from being inadvertently introduced into the system" and "process safety systems—in place and operational—would have prevented water from entering the tank by accident". Instead, they claim that "employee sabotage—not faulty design or operation—was the cause of the tragedy".

Response


The company stresses the "immediate action" taken after the disaster and their continued commitment to helping the victims. On December 4, the day following the leak, Union Carbide sent material aid and several international medical experts to assist the medical facilities in Bhopal.

Union Carbide states on its website that it put $2 million into the Indian Prime Minister's immediate disaster relief fund on 11 December 1984. The corporation established the Employees' Bhopal Relief Fund in February 1985, which raised more than for immediate relief.

According to Union Carbide, in August 1987, they made an additional in humanitarian interim relief available.

Union Carbide states that it also undertook several steps to provide continuing aid to the victims of the Bhopal disaster after the court ruling, including:
  • The sale of its 50.9 percent interest in UCIL in April 1992 and establishment of a charitable trust to contribute to the building of a local hospital. The sale was finalized in November 1994. The hospital was begun in October 1995 and was opened in 2001. The company provided a fund with around from sale of its UCIL stock. In 1991, the trust had amounted approximately . The hospital caters for the treatment of heart, lung and eye problems.
  • Providing "a $2.2 million grant to Arizona State University to establish a vocational-technical center in Bhopal, which was constructed and opened, but was later closed and leveled by the government".
  • Donating $5 million to the Indian Red Cross.
  • Developing the Responsible Care
    Responsible Care
    Responsible Care is a global, voluntary initiative developed autonomously by the chemical industry for the chemical industry - it is run in 52 countries whose combined chemical industries account for nearly 90% of global chemicals production....

     system with other members of the chemical industry as a response to the Bhopal crisis, which is designed "to help prevent such an event in the future by improving community awareness, emergency preparedness and process safety standards".

Long-term fallout


Legal action against Union Carbide has dominated the aftermath of the disaster. However, other issues have also continued to develop. These include the problems of ongoing contamination, criticisms of the clean-up operation undertaken by Union Carbide, and a 2004 hoax.

Legal action against Union Carbide


Legal proceedings involving UCC, the United States and Indian governments, local Bhopal authorities, and the disaster victims started immediately after the catastrophe.

Legal proceedings leading to the settlement


On 14 December 1984, the Chairman and CEO of Union Carbide, Warren Anderson, addressed the US Congress, stressing the company's "commitment to safety" and promising to ensure that a similar incident "cannot happen again". However, the Indian Government passed the Bhopal Gas Leak Act in March 1985, allowing the Government of India to act as the legal representative for victims of the disaster, leading to the beginning of legal wrangling.

In 1985, Henry Waxman
Henry Waxman
Henry Arnold Waxman is the U.S. Representative for , serving in Congress since 1975. He is a member of the Democratic Party. He is considered to be one of the most influential liberal members of Congress...

, a California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 Democrat, called for a US government inquiry into the Bhopal disaster, which resulted in US legislation regarding the accidental release of toxic chemicals in the United States.

March 1986 saw Union Carbide propose a settlement figure, endorsed by plaintiffs' US attorneys, of that would, according to the company, "generate a fund for Bhopal victims of between over 20 years". In May, litigation was transferred from the US to Indian courts by US District Court Judge. Following an appeal of this decision, the US Court of Appeals affirmed the transfer, judging, in January 1987, that UCIL was a "separate entity, owned, managed and operated exclusively by Indian citizens in India". The judge in the US granted UCC's forum request, thus moving the case to India. This meant that, under US federal law, the company had to submit to Indian jurisdiction.

Litigation continued in India during 1988. The Government of India claimed US$ from UCC. The Indian Supreme Court
Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial forum and final court of appeal as established by Part V, Chapter IV of the Constitution of India...

 told both sides to come to an agreement and "start with a clean slate" in November 1988. Eventually, in an out-of-court settlement reached in 1989, Union Carbide agreed to pay US$  for damages caused in the Bhopal disaster, 15% of the original claimed in the lawsuit. By the end of October 2003, according to the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Department, compensation had been awarded to 554,895 people for injuries received and 15,310 survivors of those killed. The average amount to families of the dead was $2,200.

Throughout 1990, the Indian Supreme Court heard appeals against the settlement from "activist petitions". In October 1991, the Supreme Court upheld the original , dismissing any other outstanding petitions that challenged the original decision. The Court ordered the Indian government "to purchase, out of settlement fund, a group medical insurance policy to cover 100,000 persons who may later develop symptoms" and cover any shortfall in the settlement fund. It also requested UCC and its subsidiary "voluntarily" fund a hospital in Bhopal, at an estimated , to specifically treat victims of the Bhopal disaster. The company agreed to this.

Charges against Warren Anderson and others


UCC Chairman and CEO Warren Anderson was arrested and released on bail by the Madhya Pradesh Police in Bhopal on December 7, 1984. The arrest, which took place at the airport, ensured Anderson would meet no harm by the Bhopal community. Anderson was taken to UCC's house after which he was released six hours later on $2,100 bail and flown out on a government plane. In 1987, the Indian government summoned Anderson, eight other executives and two company affiliates with homicide
Homicide
Homicide refers to the act of a human killing another human. Murder, for example, is a type of homicide. It can also describe a person who has committed such an act, though this use is rare in modern English...

 charges to appear in Indian court. Union Carbide balked, saying the company is not under Indian jurisdiction.

In 1991, local Bhopal authorities charged Anderson, who had retired in 1986, with manslaughter, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. He was declared a fugitive from justice by the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhopal on February 1, 1992, for failing to appear at the court hearings in a culpable homicide
Homicide
Homicide refers to the act of a human killing another human. Murder, for example, is a type of homicide. It can also describe a person who has committed such an act, though this use is rare in modern English...

 case in which he was named the chief defendant. Orders were passed to the Government of India to press for an extradition
Extradition
Extradition is the official process whereby one nation or state surrenders a suspected or convicted criminal to another nation or state. Between nation states, extradition is regulated by treaties...

 from the United States.

The U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 refused to hear an appeal of the decision of the lower federal courts in October 1993, meaning that victims of the Bhopal disaster could not seek damages in a US court.

In 2004, the Indian Supreme Court ordered the Indian government to release any remaining settlement funds to victims. In September 2006, the Welfare Commission for Bhopal Gas Victims announced that all original compensation claims and revised petitions had been "cleared".

In 2006, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is one of the thirteen United States Courts of Appeals...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 upheld the dismissal of remaining claims in the case of Bano v. Union Carbide Corporation. This move blocked plaintiffs' motions for class certification and claims for property damages and remediation. In the view of UCC, "the ruling reaffirms UCC's long-held positions and finally puts to rest—both procedurally and substantively—the issues raised in the class action complaint first filed against Union Carbide in 1999 by Haseena Bi and several organizations representing the residents of Bhopal".

In June 2010, seven former employees of the Union Carbide subsidiary, all Indian nationals and many in their 70s, were convicted of causing death by negligence
Negligence
Negligence is a failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in like circumstances. The area of tort law known as negligence involves harm caused by carelessness, not intentional harm.According to Jay M...

 and each sentenced to two years imprisonment and fined Rs.
Indian rupee
The Indian rupee is the official currency of the Republic of India. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the Reserve Bank of India....

1 lakh
Lakh
A lakh is a unit in the Indian numbering system equal to one hundred thousand . It is widely used both in official and other contexts in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and is often used in Indian English.-Usage:...

 (US$2,124). All were released on bail shortly after the verdict. The names of those convicted are: Keshub Mahindra, former non-executive chairman of Union Carbide India Limited; V.P. Gokhale, managing director; Kishore Kamdar, vice-president; J. Mukund, works manager; S.P. Chowdhury, production manager; K.V. Shetty, plant superintendent; and S.I. Qureshi, production assistant.
Federal class action litigation, Sahu v. Union Carbide et al. is presently pending on appeal before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. The litigation seeks damages for personal injury, medical monitoring and injunctive relief in the form of cleanup of the drinking water supplies for residential areas near the Bhopal plant. A related complaint seeking similar relief for property damage claimants is stayed pending the outcome of the Sahu appeal before the federal district court in the Southern District of New York.

Ongoing contamination


Chemicals abandoned at the plant continue to leak and pollute the groundwater
Groundwater
Groundwater is water located beneath the ground surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations. A unit of rock or an unconsolidated deposit is called an aquifer when it can yield a usable quantity of water. The depth at which soil pore spaces or fractures and voids in rock...

. Whether the chemicals pose a health hazard is disputed.

Contamination at the site and surrounding area was not caused by the gas leakage. The area around the plant was used as a dumping ground for hazardous chemicals. By 1982 water wells in the vicinity of the UCC factory had to be abandoned. In 1991 the municipal authorities declared water from over 100 wells unfit for drinking.

UCC's laboratory tests in 1989 revealed that soil and water samples collected from near the factory were toxic to fish. Twenty one areas inside the plant were reported to be highly polluted. In 1994 it was reported that 21% of the factory premises were seriously contaminated with chemicals.

Studies made by Greenpeace
Greenpeace
Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over forty countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, The Netherlands...

 and others from soil, groundwater, wellwater and vegetables from the residential areas around UCIL and from the UCIL factory area show contamination with a range of toxic heavy metals and chemical compounds.

Substances found, according to the reports, are naphthol
Naphthol
Naphthol may refer to:* 1-Naphthol* 2-Naphthol...

, naphthalene
Naphthalene
Naphthalene is an organic compound with formula . It is a white crystalline solid with a characteristic odor that is detectable at concentrations as low as 0.08 ppm by mass. As an aromatic hydrocarbon, naphthalene's structure consists of a fused pair of benzene rings...

, Sevin, tarry residues, alpha naphthol
1-Naphthol
1-Naphthol, or α-naphthol, is a colorless crystalline solid with the formula C10H7OH. It is an isomer of 2-naphthol differing by the location of the hydroxyl group on naphthalene. The naphthols are naphthalene homologues of phenol, with the hydroxyl group being more reactive than in the phenols....

, mercury, organochlorines, chromium
Chromium
Chromium is a chemical element which has the symbol Cr and atomic number 24. It is the first element in Group 6. It is a steely-gray, lustrous, hard metal that takes a high polish and has a high melting point. It is also odorless, tasteless, and malleable...

, copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

, nickel
Nickel
Nickel is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile...

, lead, hexachlorethane, Hexachlorobutadiene
Hexachlorobutadiene
Hexachlorobutadiene, Cl2C=CC=CCl2, is a colorless liquid at room temperature that has an odor similar to that of turpentine. It is a chlorinated aliphatic diene with niche applications but is most commonly used as a solvent for other chlorine-containing compounds.-Synthesis:Hexachlorobutadiene, or...

, pesticide HCH (BHC
Hexachlorocyclohexane
Hexachlorocyclohexane or 666 is a six chlorine substituted cyclohexane, a polyhalogenated compound. It comes in many forms. Some are pesticides.Common forms are:* α-HCH , or α-BCH, alpha-Hexachlorocyclohexane...

), volatile organic compound
Volatile organic compound
Volatile organic compounds are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary, room-temperature conditions. Their high vapor pressure results from a low boiling point, which causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate or sublimate from the liquid or solid form of the compound and...

s and halo-organics. Many of these contaminants were also found in breast milk.

In 2002, an inquiry found a number of toxins, including mercury
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

, lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

, 1,3,5 trichlorobenzene
Trichlorobenzene
Trichlorobenzene may refer to any of three isomeric chlorinated derivatives of benzene with the molecular formula C6H3Cl3:* 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene* 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene* 1,3,5-Trichlorobenzene...

, dichloromethane
Dichloromethane
Dichloromethane is an organic compound with the formula CH2Cl2. This colorless, volatile liquid with a moderately sweet aroma is widely used as a solvent. Although it is not miscible with water, it is miscible with many organic solvents...

 and chloroform
Chloroform
Chloroform is an organic compound with formula CHCl3. It is one of the four chloromethanes. The colorless, sweet-smelling, dense liquid is a trihalomethane, and is considered somewhat hazardous...

, in nursing women's breast milk. Well water and groundwater tests conducted in the surrounding areas in 1999 showed mercury levels to be at "20,000 and times" higher than expected levels; heavy metals and organochlorines were present in the soil. Chemicals that have been linked to various forms of cancer were also discovered, as well as trichloroethylene
Trichloroethylene
The chemical compound trichloroethylene is a chlorinated hydrocarbon commonly used as an industrial solvent. It is a clear non-flammable liquid with a sweet smell. It should not be confused with the similar 1,1,1-trichloroethane, which is commonly known as chlorothene.The IUPAC name is...

, known to impair fetal development, at 50 times above safety limits specified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency
United States Environmental Protection Agency
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is an agency of the federal government of the United States charged with protecting human health and the environment, by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress...

 (EPA).

In a 2004 broadcast on BBC Radio 5
BBC Radio 5 Live
BBC Radio 5 Live is the BBC's national radio service that specialises in live BBC News, phone-ins, and sports commentaries...

, it was reported that the site is still contaminated with 'thousands' of metric tons of toxic chemicals, including benzene hexachloride
Hexachlorocyclohexane
Hexachlorocyclohexane or 666 is a six chlorine substituted cyclohexane, a polyhalogenated compound. It comes in many forms. Some are pesticides.Common forms are:* α-HCH , or α-BCH, alpha-Hexachlorocyclohexane...

 and mercury
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

, held in open containers or loose on the ground. A drinking water sample from a well near the site had levels of contamination 500 times higher than the maximum limits recommended by the World Health Organization.

In 2009, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a Delhi based pollution monitoring lab, released test results showing pesticide groundwater contamination up to three kilometers from the factory.
The BBC took a water sample from a frequently used hand pump, located just north of the plant. The sample, tested in UK, was found to contain 1000 times the World Health Organization's recommended maximum amount of carbon tetrachloride, a carcinogenic toxin.

UCC states that "after the incident, UCIL began clean-up work at the site under the direction of Indian central and state government authorities", which was continued after 1994 by the successor to UCIL, Eveready Industries, until 1998, when it was placed under the authority of the Madhya Pradesh Government. The successor, Eveready Industries India, Limited (EIIL), ended its 99-year lease in 1998 and turned over control of the site to the state government of Madhya Pradesh.

Settlement fund hoax


On December 3, 2004, the twentieth anniversary of the disaster, a man claiming to be a Dow representative named Jude Finisterra was interviewed on BBC World News. He claimed that the company had agreed to clean up the site and compensate those harmed in the incident, by liquidating Union Carbide for USD.

Immediately afterward, Dow's share price fell 4.2% in 23 minutes, for a loss of in market value. Dow quickly issued a statement saying that they had no employee by that name—that he was an impostor, not affiliated with Dow, and that his claims were a hoax. The BBC broadcast a correction and an apology.

"Jude Finisterra" was actually Andy Bichlbaum, a member of the activist prankster group The Yes Men
The Yes Men
The Yes Men are a culture jamming activist duo and network of supporters created by Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos. Through actions of tactical media, The Yes Men primarily aim to raise awareness about what they consider problematic social issues. To date, the duo has produced two films: The Yes Men...

. In 2002, The Yes Men issued a fake press release explaining why Dow refused to take responsibility for the disaster and started up a website, at "DowEthics.com", designed to look like the real Dow website, but with what they felt was a more accurate cast on the events.

Books and reports

  • Cassels, J. (1993). The Uncertain Promise Of Law: Lessons From Bhopal. University Of Toronto Press. India: Other India Press ISBN 81-85569-65-7 Main author Chouhan was an operator at the plant. Contains many technical details. Doctoral thesis. A story of how one company's chemical prducts and byproducts have damaged public health and the environment. 466 pages. Review Written by a retired former employee of UCC who was a member of the investigation committee that reproduced the tank residue and determined the true cause of the incident. Includes several original documents including correspondence between UCIL and the Ministries of the Government of India. Essay for MPH. A short overview, 57 pages, 82 references. Preview Google books All known facts 1960s – 2003, systematized and analyzed. 283 pages, over 200 references.
  • Eckerman I (2011) Bhopal Gas Catastrophe 1984: Causes and Consequences. In: Nriagu JO (ed.) Encyclopedia of Environmental Health, volume 1, pp. 302–316 Burlington: Elsevier. Reprinting and annotating landmark writing from across the years. 291 pages. In Down to Earth
    Down To Earth (magazine)
    is an Indian science and environment fortnightly, established by the in May 1992. Over the years the magazine has informed and inspired people about environmental threats facing India and the world—a dimension underplayed in mainstream media. DTE has become a reading habit in 400 of about 500...

     London: The Institution of Chemical Engineers Conference on Preventing Major Chemical Accidents [In Swedish]
  • Kurzman, D. (1987). A Killing Wind: Inside Union Carbide and the Bhopal Catastrophe. New York: McGraw-Hill.Greenpeace Research Laboratories, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter UK A novel, based on facts, that describes the development from the 1960s to the disaster itself. Very thrilling. The chief coordinator of rescue operations at the district level writes rather critically on how the administration and bureaucracy functioned after the disaster.

Journal articles and academic papers

CorpWatch, December 2, 2009
  • Lepowski, W. "Ten Years Later: Bhopal". Chemical and Engineering News, 19 December 1994. Solidarity ATC 106, September–October 2003

Governmental institutions

Bhopal Gas Disaster Research Centre, Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal (2003?) Contains the studies performed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Department of Community Medicine, Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal (2009) Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation Department, Bhopal (2009)

Union Carbide Corporation

Union Carbide Corporation, New York (1976) Union Carbide India Limited, Agricultural Products Division: Bhopal (1978) Union Carbide Corporation, US (1989).

Dow Chemical

In Notice of the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on Thursday, May 10, 2007 (Agenda item 4, pp 39–41) May 10, 2007

Mixed

A collection of different articles and papers concerning the Bhopal disaster.

Presentations

  • Eckerman, Ingrid. Power point presentation (2010)
  • Eckerman, Ingrid. Power point presentation in easy English (2008)
  • Eckerman, Ingrid. Poster presentation (2007)

External and Wikipedia links



News


Important Court Orders


Films


Musical tributes

  • "No Thunder, No Fire, No Rain" by Tim Finn
    Tim Finn
    Brian Timothy "Tim" Finn, OBE is a New Zealand singer and musician. Finn is most known for his music with New Zealand 1970s and 1980s rock group Split Enz, and later for his solo work, a temporary membership in his brother Neil's band Crowded House and his joint efforts with Neil Finn as the Finn...

    , from the 1986 album Big Canoe
    Big Canoe
    Big Canoe is the 1986 solo album released by former Split Enz frontman Tim Finn. This album was the first time that Tim had worked with Split Enz co-founder Phil Judd since Judd left the band in 1978. In interviews Tim has said that the idea was that he and Phil were intending on writing again,...

    , presents a lyrical narrative of the disaster.
  • "Bhopal (Driftnet Plan)" by Bob Wiseman
    Bob Wiseman
    Bob Wiseman is a Juno winning Canadian musician, filmmaker, singer-songwriter, and actor. Wiseman was an original member of Blue Rodeo.-Career:Wiseman was raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He studied piano at York University...

    , from his 1989 album In Her Dream: Bob Wiseman Sings Wrench Tuttle, explores who is to blame for the disaster.
  • "Close My Eyes" from the 1987 album Exorcise This Wasteland by Single Gun Theory
    Single Gun Theory
    Single Gun Theory is an Australian band made up of Jacqui Hunt , Pete Rivett-Carnac and Kath Power , recording on the Canadian label Nettwerk. Their music combines elements of downtempo electronic dance music with introspective, ethereal vocals and samples of dialogue...


Photos