On August 11, 1985, a
135 people were sent to the hospital due to a chemical leak at a Union Carbide
facility, in West Virginia, just 115 days after that devastating day in Bhopal
that killed 4,000 people and permanently disabled 17,000. Furthermore, UCIL
waged a protest prior to the accident in Bhopal concerning the installation of
15,000-gallon storage tanks which posed a safety hazard. Union Carbide
installed the tanks anyway. Not to mention that there were no safety measures
implemented for the possibility of an accident. Such as green-belts, evacuation
plans, early warning systems etc. The community in Bhopal had no idea that the
plant they were living on top of holding
such a risk, including the medical professionals who had no idea how to treat
the exposed individuals. In fact, many other smaller facilities that contained
hazards to a community were moved to remote locations. In 1982, a safety audit
was conducted at Bhopal where many safety issues were cited. However, there is
no record of the safety issues being fixed. Despite Union Carbide knowing which
procedures and antidotes could help the infected, the medical professionals had
never been told to give the antidote for cyanide poisoning, or for the victims to
breathe through a wet towel. With this information, an untold number of lives
could have been saved. This record exhibits Union Carbide’s unequivocal guilt
and I would give the company an F for
failing to be a good company ethically, legally, and socially responsible. (Bowonder)

 

The trial regarding the Bhopal catastrophe was a
catastrophe. If developing countries can be taken advantage of by corporations
and MNCs it is the job of the country the corporation comes from to police.
Developing countries do not have a government, legal system, money, or
infrastructure established enough to protect the
people of their nation from the power an
MNC can bring to bear. We must respect the people of the nation that is harmed
however if their legal system or government is not able to gain the
compensation and help they deserve after being victimized it is the
responsibility for our nation, as the nation from which Union Carbide came from,
to give them justice.

 

Dow Chemical has every legal, ethical, and social
responsibility to not only help the victims of Bhopal but to clean the site of
any hazardous chemicals. The U.S. and Indian governments both have laws that
state the polluter pays to have the site cleaned. The responsibility of
hazardous sites is sold with the rest of the company so when Dow Chemical
bought Union Carbide they took responsibility for returning the site to livable
conditions. Not to mention that Union Carbide agreed to return the land to what
it was before. Dow has protested that Union Carbide settled the claim for 470 million
which was only 3.3% of the original claim and only leaves the survivors with
$550 each. Not to mention that only half of the families that survived have
been identified and received their due compensation.

 

Many lessons can be learned from Bhopal. Such as an
emergency plan that is known to the whole community and practiced. All medical
procedures needed to treat any outbreaks or poisonings. Engaging the public in
risk management and acceptance of all the dangers. Changing and downsizing the
storage containers and policies of hazardous substances. Substituting hazardous
chemicals with safer alternatives. Establishing safety measures for plants that
use hazardous materials, such as greenbelts, early warning systems, and evacuation plans. Developing methods to assess and mitigate any outbreak of hazardous
chemicals. Evaluation of measures put in place to alleviate the gravity of an
accident. Maintaining the integrity and health of all equipment. However, most
important of all would be for the government and country a corporation
originates to police and execute justice. (the_motley_fool)

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