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Lessons of Bhopal

More than 1000 groups and individuals signed this platform in remembrance of the explosion in Bhopal:

THE LESSONS OF BHOPAL

STOP THE DANGERS OF CHEMICAL PRODUCTION - AT BAYER´S PLANTS AND ANYWHERE ELSE

On the 3rd of December 1984 in Bhopal/India the greatest chemical poisoning of all time took place. Within a few hours approx. 2'000 people were asphyxiated, and more than a half million more were hospitalised by an METHYLISOCYANATE-accident at the chemical plant of UNION CARBIDE. Even today, fifteen years later, people are dying as a consequence of this chemical catastrophe. In the meantime more than 10'000 people have died of the lingering after effects.

And BAYER?

According to the opinions of experts, the BAYER company has extensive detailed experiences with the effects of chemicals on the human body, because of its ongoing production of chemical weapons over many decades. Professor Max Daunderer, specialist in Toxicology in Munich/Germany, believes even that at the time of the accident only BAYER had large knowledge of METHYLISOCYANATE, the killer gas of Bhopal, and its effects on human body. Correspondingly, BAYER was repeatedly requested to make its knowledge in this area available for scrutiny, in order to save lives in Bhopal. The company refused, however, to give the secret information of its scientific institutes. Instead BAYER experts were sent to Bhopal to count the number of victims and to compile statistics into a clinical detailed report.

Danger for Millions

A catastrophe which is comparable to the Bhopal-disaster or an even worse one is possible each and every day. At a BAYER plant or anywhere else. Natural catastrophes, wars or technical breakdowns can cause an accidents at any time. A jumbo jet crashed into a residential area in the Dutch capital Amsterdam in 1993 and a few years ago a fighter plane smashed the center of the German city Remscheid. BAYER and other chemical plants are spread all over the world. They are often situated in high populated areas, frequently flown over by planes, sometimes located in areas with earthquake-activities. If a catastrophe comparable to the Bhopal disaster takes place in one of the chemical plants in heavily populated areas, maybe hundreds of thousands are at risk.

BAYER plays down the risks

The Coalition Against BAYER-Dangers has been monitoring BAYER activities all over the world for 20 years. There is no absolute security, especially in producing large quantities of chemicals. On the contrary, the real risks are unknown, are kept secret, or are played down. Chemical plants, and BAYER plants as well, are a highly explosive and poisonous cocktails of thousands of chemicals and biological materials, and latterly genetically altered material. The high level of risk towards the human beings and natural environment of these plants is only comparable to the nuclear power stations. At no time BAYER has made public some projections about the Bhopal accident, the "worst case scenarios" for its own plants. There is no information about the comparable risks at the BAYER plants all over the world. It is likely that the company has some ideas of the emergency response that would be required if a massive, toxic release were to occur at each of its plants.

That's why we are calling on you:
· Let the fifteenth anniversary of the chemical catastrophe in Bhopal be a day of solidarity with the victims of Bhopal!
· On this occasion try to focus public attention on the everyday perils of chemical production!
· Reveal the ideology of the so called safety which uniquely serves the pursuits of profits!
· Demand real safety for employees, consumers, local residents and the environment!
· Take part in this campaign, endorse and distribute this appeal!

We demand:
· Glasnost now! Public information whatever chemical plants plants are producing all over the world!
· End the practise of large-scale production/storage of dangerous chemicals within highly populated urban areas! Ensure full job security of workers during all environmentally needed transitions.
· Safe production, safe products, safe transports, safe storage and safe waste!
· Safety for employees, consumers, local residents and the environment!
· No double standards! Same safety in all chemical plants all aver the world!

We appeal to you to launch similar initiatives against every chemical plant possible. BAYER is just one example because it is known all over the world as one af the biggest and most powerfull chemical corporations.

Coalition Against BAYER-Dangers
Bund Umwelt und Naturschutz NW
The Pesticides Trust/London

Supported by:

and more than 1000 persons and organisations