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Bhopal Medical Appeal: Dow! It's water pollution not gas poisoning

The Bhopal Medical Appeal has issued a statement following the announcement by LOCOG that Dow Chemical are to provide the London Olympic Stadium ‘wrap’. It emphasises that its concern is not the 1984 gas disaster but the contamination of drinking water by chemicals from toxic waste dumps in and around the United Carbide site.

An extract is produced below. The full statement is attached.

"Our contention is that: since the London Olympics have been consistently touted as the 'sustainable games’ and that the Olympic site itself was heavily contaminated before work on the games began then Dow, given their connection to an ongoing contamination situation in Bhopal, must be seen as an inappropriate choice of sponsor. It is important to note that we are NOT talking about the 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster.

The contamination issue we are referring to is an entirely separate, 'second disaster’ which sees the drinking water, used by many thousands of poor people contaminated with highly toxic chemicals. These chemicals leached into the groundwater from toxic waste dumps in and around the abandoned Union Carbide pesticide factory, site of the 1984 disaster, while it was in operation. Union Carbide is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow.

This second disaster is not connected to the 1984 disaster and that fact is acknowledged in the US courts. It is a major environmental catastrophe and public heath problem and, thanks to the continuing poisoning of tens of thousands of poor people is, our primary concern."

The Bhopal Medical Appeal also highlights a speech by Andrew Liveris of the Dow Chemical Company in which he claimed the company was committed to creating safe, sustainable water supplies around the world:

"Water is the single most important chemical compound for the preservation and flourishing of human life…

"And yet today, more than a billion people are in peril every day because they do not have enough water or the water they have is unhealthy. Lack of clean water is the single largest cause of disease in the world and morethan 4,500 children die each day because of it."

Despite these honeyed words Dow continues to refuse to meet its obligations to the people of Bhopal to clean up the contamination which is polluting their water supplies and provide them with clean safe drinking water.

BMA Briefing.pdf899.37 KB

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