25th anniversary of Bhopal incident

Happy anniversary to you
Happy anniversary to you
Yep it has been 25 years since this
http://blog.buzzflash.com/analysis/950 Union Carbide set up a plant in Bhopal, India to manufacture chemicals. They went there for cheaper labor and lax worker safety and environmental laws. This is what it created. There was an explosion and thousands of people died. Their lungs were seared as they ran from the plant. They bled out. It was ugly and horrible. Union Carbide sold out to Dow .
Union Carbide made a financial settlement. The people who suffered got 500 dollars. The families of the dead got 1000. The plant has been leaking horrible chemicals into the ground water since. There is a legacy of birth defects . It was not Americam business at its finest.

Sure you didn’t mean for this to go into the Pit or MPSIMS?

No, we have had a lot of dopers who have explained that poor countries should be eternally grateful for any jobs we ship over to them. I have been told that several times. I think environmental and employment laws should be the same around the globe. NAFTA and CAFTA should have included environmental laws ,so the American companies could compete. The money they save building sub standard plants that don’t have pollution rules is even more important than cheap labor.

Well, that explains all the poisoned wells.

bolding mne

This thread looked more like a Pit thread than a Great Debate, but for once you have actually provided a point on which a discussion may be launched.

Do you have even a single bit of evidence that Union Carbide actually set up the plant deliberately to avoid safety regulations? You do know, of course, that the Indian investigators discovered that the local workers were violating UC’s–not India’s or the U.S.'s, but UC’s–explicit work rules, right? So it would be a good idea for you to demonstrate that there is actually evidence that UC told the workers to violate ts own rules.
After all, every company wants the capital invested in expensive factories to go up in smoke.


The locals of an impoverished nation are probably more likely to view it as acceptable to cut corners. They didn’t grow up in a clean and kindly atmosphere. Their own companies view the workers as expendable and the sort of equipment that they deal with has been run into the ground and repaired with duck tape and is still going 30 years later (or else it wouldn’t still be around.) Sensitive equipment, proper treatment of workers, accepting feedback on possibly dangerous activities, these are things that are entirely foreign. Even if you make the head guy a whitey, there’s no guarantee that the management is going to act like he tells them to once he’s out of the room.

You might consider this post about problems in cultural differences.

But, of course, this does not mean that it was the Indians and not Union Carbide who was at fault. I’m simply pointing out that minus evidence either way, deciding who to blame is rather hasty. If it’s a cultural thing, you really can’t blame anyone at all.

Americans can afford very high levels of safety because we are fabulously wealthy. Trying to apply all of our standards to countries that are poor would not help them. Poverty is dangerous and poverty kills. A job which is unacceptably dangerous to a typical American could be an increase in safety and life-quality to a poor person in another country if it means they have food to eat, running water and maybe some rudimentary health care. If you tried to mandate American-style health and safety practices, it would cost money and would either make the low-paying jobs pay even less, or it would make it not worth farming out jobs to other countries in the first place.

The above doesn’t relate to Bhopal, just to your statement I quoted.

Deliberately? No for financial reasons. A portion of the safety equipment had been down for 4 months. When the event occurred , what was left failed. Then the company did not send out a warning for an hour. When people were hitting the hospitals Union Carbide did not tell the hospitals what chemicals they were dealing with.
The plant had 6 accidents from 81 to 84 and 3 of them involved poisonous gas (MIC). Employees died .