Thursday, October 2, 2008

Truly Toxic

Given the recent references to some financial instruments as "toxic waste" and all the apocalyptic predictions about their harmful potential, I think it's important we remember what the real thing can do.

In the early hours of 3 December 1984, a toxic chemical leaked from a pesticide plant then run by the US company, Union Carbide, in the city of Bhopal in India's northern state of Madhya Pradesh.

Nearly 3,000 people died on the night of the leak. There have been at least 15,000 related deaths since.

For the last 24 years, 390 metric tonnes of the waste has been lying on the premises of the now defunct plant - and no way has yet been found to dispose of it safely.

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