The Bhopal Incident: A Catalyst to Environmental Awareness
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This paper studies the incident that took place on December 2, 1984 in Bhopal, India when a series of mechanical and human failures led to the worst industrial disaster known to mankind--a gas leak of 40 tons of methyl isocyanate from a Union Carbide chemical plant that killed an estimated 10,000 people. The effects of this tragic incident were global. Corporate environmental awareness was raised to new levels as industrial giants worldwide scrambled to preemptively reevaluate the safety of their own chemical processes, while lawmakers put together new environmental regulations in response to Bhopal. Public environmental awareness was also brought to the forefront as the "right-to-know" movement gained impetus. Ultimately, these three factors paved the way for environmental auditing and management systems--because these were the controls that gave the chemical industry the tools to prevent another Bhopal, while also meeting expected new government regulations and gathering information to satisfy the public's newly awakened interest in industrial processes.
From the Paper:"One of the largest and most horrific industrial disasters of modern times took place in Bophal, India on the evening of December 2, 1984, when about 40 tons of methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked from an underground storage tank at a Union Carbide chemical plant into the environment, killing 2,000 to 3,400 people almost immediately and leaving about 8,000 others to die gradually from exposure to the killing fumes.1 The gas polluted an area of over 18 square kilometers and displaced over 500,000 people. There were at least 250,000 people injured as a result of this accident. The MIC gas caused severe respiratory distress, pulmonary edema, eye and lung diseases, gynecological problems, psychological crisis, and many other medical problems before it had run its course. The sheer magnitude of the accident drew over 12,000 relief operations personnel to the area in hopes of rendering aid, but for many of the victims, it was already too late (Bisarya & Puri, 2001; EPA, 2001; Nolan & Street, 2000)."
Cite this Case Study:
The Bhopal Incident: A Catalyst to Environmental Awareness (2003, February 07) Retrieved September 21, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/case-study/the-bhopal-incident-a-catalyst-to-environmental-awareness-6843/
"The Bhopal Incident: A Catalyst to Environmental Awareness" 07 February 2003. Web. 21 September. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/case-study/the-bhopal-incident-a-catalyst-to-environmental-awareness-6843/>