Environmental Science

Topics: Bhopal disaster, Bhopal, Chemical industry Pages: 3 (942 words) Published: November 2, 2008
Environmental Science and Ethics
The case study of A Question of Responsibility: The Legacy of Bhopal described an event that caused a chemical explosion at an agriculture pesticide plant in the capital city of Madhya, Pradesh, India. A U.S. corporation under the direction of CEO, Warren Anderson, founded Bhopal Chemical Plant. On December 3, 1984, the chemical substance that was released into the atmosphere was 40 metric tons of methyl isocyanate (MIC) ----- the safety devices did not work to prevent the explosion that resulted in devastation and loss of life (Newton and Dillingham, 2002). As a result, “approximately 3,800 people died and several thousands other individuals experience permanent and partial disabilities” (Union Carbide Corporation, 2005). Due to the catastrophic situation that occurred at Bhopal Chemical Plant, the following paper will provide a summarization of the disaster along with describing the role of ethics that played an intricate part in the lives of the Bhopal natives. Summary of Bhopal Disaster

According to the U.S. based Union Carbide Corporation, “the Bhopal plant was built in the late 1970’s and was owned and operated by Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL), an Indian company with about 51 percent of its stock owned by Union Carbide Corporation and the remainder owned by Indian financial institutions and thousands of private investors in India” (Union Carbide Corporation, 2005). In addition, “the Bhopal plant produced pesticides for use in India to help the country’s agricultural sector increase its productivity and contribute more significantly to meeting the food needs of one of the world’s most heavily populated regions.

On December 3, 1984, “MIC that was stored in a holding tank overheated and released toxic MIC gas into the atmosphere that engulfed the surrounding area, killing thousands natives instantly. Because of the catastrophic event, the transportation system in the city collapsed, leaving many people...

References: Newton, L. & Dillingham, C. (2002). Watersheds 3, ten cases in environment
ethics. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company
Union Carbide Corporation. (2006). Bhopal Retrieved on August 11, 2006 from
Wikipedia, Inc. (2006). Bhopal Disaster Retrieved on August 11, 2006 from
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