The 1984 gas release from the plant in Bhopal, India was a terrible tragedy. It is important to note that Dow never owned or operated the plant, which today is under the control of the Madhya Pradesh state government. Dow acquired the shares of Union Carbide Corporation more than 16 years after the tragedy, and 10 years after the $470 million settlement agreement - paid by Union Carbide Corporation and Union Carbide India, Limited - was approved by the Indian Supreme Court. [For Union Carbide Corporation's perspective on the gas tragedy, visit its web site at www.unioncarbide.com/bhopal.
Statement of The Dow Chemical Company Regarding the Bhopal Tragedy
On December 3, 1984, one of the most tragic incidents in the history of the chemical industry occurred in Bhopal, India. Those of us in the industry remember that day well, and the following days, when many people died and others were injured as a result of exposure to gas released from a plant owned and operated by Union Carbide India Limited.
Although Dow never owned nor operated the plant, we - along with the rest of the chemical industry - have learned from this tragic event, and we have tried to do all we can to assure that similar incidents never happen again.
To that end, the chemical industry learned and grew as a result of Bhopal – creating the Responsible Care program with its strengthened focus on process safety standards, emergency preparedness, and community awareness. The industry also has worked with governmental regulators to assure that industry best practices are implemented through regulations for the protection of workers and communities.
We have led the industry in the implementation of Responsible Care to drive global industry performance improvements. Responsible Care standards are essential for the protection of our employees and the communities where we live and work. While Dow has no responsibility for Bhopal, our pledge and our commitment is the full implementation of Responsible Care everywhere we do business around the world.
For more information on Bhopal:
The former Bhopal plant was owned and operated by Union Carbide India, Ltd. (UCIL), an Indian company, with shared stock ownership by Union Carbide Corporation, the Indian government, and private investors. Union Carbide sold its shares in UCIL in 1994, and UCIL was renamed Eveready Industries India, Ltd., which remains a significant Indian company today. See www.unioncarbide.com/bhopal for the history and additional information from Union Carbide Corporation on Bhopal.
Responsible Care® is a registered service mark of the American Chemistry Council, Inc.
Last updated: September, 2014
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