The Dow Chemical Company, with annual sales exceeding $30 billion US, is the largest chemical manufacturing company in the world. Despite being one of the richest companies on the planet, Dow has done little to be a good steward of the environment. Dow's environmental track record includes the original manufacturing and distribution of now highly restricted or banned (in the United States) chemicals such as DDT, Agent Orange, Dursban (pesticide) and asbestos.
Bhopal survivors continue to pressure Dow Chemical to cleanup the toxic site.
Dow's ascension to the top of the worldwide list of chemical producers comes partially as a result of their recent purchase of Union Carbide, whose merger with Dow was completed on February 6, 2001. In acquiring Union Carbide's assets, Dow also assumed responsibility for Union Carbide's liabilities. These liabilities include Union Carbide's negligent role in the worst chemical spill in history.
Greenpeace and a coalition of survivor groups in Bhopal demand that Dow Chemical:
- assume liability for the continuing and long-term health impacts of the disaster, including release of unpublished medical reports on the toxicity of leaked gases;
- assume liability for the loss of livelihood caused as a result of the disaster by providing income opportunities to victims and support to those rendered destitute;
- remove the contamination of the ground water and soil in and around the factory;
- ensure that prime accused Warren Anderson, former chairman of Union Carbide, is brought to justice in the Bhopal criminal court, along with authorized representatives of the company.