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Dow Chemical must take responsibility for clean-up

Twenty years on the Bhopal plant continues to ruin the lives of the surrounding communities. The effects of the leak and the contaminated environment continue seriously to affect people's basic human rights. UCC -- and Dow who merged with UCC in 2001 -- have still not cleaned up the site or stopped pollution that started when the plant opened in the 1970s, meaning local residents are continuing to fall ill from drinking contaminated water.
Two and a half years ago I stopped menstruating entirely

Shehesta Kureishi, 35, who moved to the area 12 years ago, also has pain from her lower back to her groin. Her seven-year-old son Ateeb complains of pain in his joints. Both have been drinking contaminated water.

People from Bhopal need your support. Take action and demand that Dow clean up the Bhopal factory site!

Write to Mr Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical. You can base your letters on the sample below.

Please send appeals to:*

Andrew N. Liveris
President and Chief Executive Officer
Dow Chemical Company
2030 Dow Center
Midland, MI 48674
United States of America
Fax: (+1) 989 6389468
E-mail: anliveris@dow.com

* If you write by e-mail, please send us a copy of your letter at cc.appeals@amnesty.org.

Dear Mr Liveris,

I am very concerned about the devastating consequences to the health of the communities of Bhopal, India, posed by Union Carbide's disused pesticide factory.

For more than 30 years the Bhopal plant has been a source of environmental pollution. After the disaster in 1984, which killed thousands of people, Union Carbide abandoned the factory without decontaminating the site and left behind large amounts of toxic waste. Stockpiles of contaminants continue to pollute the water and soil, on which entire communities rely, affecting the health of those living in the area.

According to numerous reports, contaminants have been found in vegetables grown near the plant and in breast milk samples taken from women in Bhopal. Water has been found to be unfit for consumption but, in the absence of any other source, most local people continue to drink it.

The company has never done anything meaningful to clean up the site. I therefore urge you:

  • to ensure that the Bhopal factory site and its surroundings are promptly and effectively decontaminated, that the groundwater is cleaned up, and that the stockpiles of toxic and hazardous substances left by the company when they abandoned the site are removed;

  • to co-operate fully with those assessing the nature and extent of the damage to health and the environment caused by improper waste disposal and contaminants at the abandoned factory site;

  • to ensure that Dow Chemicals promptly provide full reparations, restitution, compensation and rehabilitation for the continuing damage done to people's health and the environment by the ongoing contamination of the site.
Yours sincerely,

A complete version of the Amnesty International report on Bhopal "Clouds of Injustice: Bhopal Disaster- 20 years on", ASA 20/015/2004, is available at http://www.indianet.nl/cloudsofinjustice.pdf .


Landelijke India Werkgroep - 30 november 2004