Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Legacy of Bhopal: Lessons Learned?

This is one of the better articles that emerged from the 19th anniversary of the Bhopal catastrophe last week.
Recently, it's become even harder to track the chemical industry, since it has been working with the Bush Administration behind the veil of homeland security to conceal information about the "worst case disaster" for its facilities and the health threat posed by its products. But the picture that is emerging is a frightening one.

According to federal government sources, there are 123 chemical facilities nationwide that could kill at least one million people if they accidentally exploded or were attacked by terrorists. Some of these
chemical factories are located in major American cities and put as many as 8 million lives at risk. Yet the chemical industry continues to resist any meaningful regulation that would require it to replace the most dangerous chemicals with safer alternatives. A recent "60 Minutes" expose vividly showed that many facilities lack even the most basic security protection, yet the government is spending billions of our tax dollars looking for chemical terrorists overseas.

We don't have to look in Iraq for weapons of mass destruction. They are right here, in our neighborhoods, in our food and in our bodies.