I would have to say the Bhopal or Union Carbide disaster would rank as the world’s worst case of environmental injustice. On December 3, 1984, the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India released toxic gases, exposing 500,000 people. The official immediate death toll was 2259 people, but estimates since have ranged from over 3000 to 15,000 people, with another 25,000 from gas-related diseases. The plant has since been abandoned, but toxics still leak into the soil and groundwater. The onus of responsibility has since been mired in lawsuits, and Union Carbide is now owned by Dow Chemical. The conditions at the plant at the time, both in terms of the physical protection and safety of the (impoverished) workers and the structural integrity of the physical structure, were deplorable. Human health and environmental damages have run into the billions.
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