Followup - December 3, 1984, Union Carbide's killing 2,500, injuring 200,000
Pesticide Action Network
North America
Updates Service
December 18, 1998

The next PANUPS will be posted on January 8, 1999.

Global "No Pesticides Day" Launched

This year, on December 3, the Pesticide Action Network (PAN)
launched "No Pesticides Day" in commemoration of the hundreds who
died and the thousands who suffered due to the disaster in Bhopal in
1984. No Pesticides Day has also been established to draw attention
to the life threatening impacts of chemical pesticides on people and
the environment.

On December 3, 1984, Union Carbide's pesticide-manufacturing plant
in Bhopal, India leaked 42 tons of the deadly gas methyl isocyanate
into a sleeping, impoverished community -- killing more than 2,500
people in the first night of the disaster and injuring up to 200,000

According to some estimates, more than 16,000 people have died since
that time as a result of medical problems related to their
exposures; 50,000 people are still suffering significant long term
health impacts and over 500,000 people have filed injury claims with
the Bhopal Compensation Courts.

There have been no criminal verdicts issued in the Bhopal case,
however, Union Carbide settled with the Indian government for US$470
million in 1989. To date, Bhopal survivors or their families have
received US$3,300 for loss of life and US$800 for permanent

Union Carbide has since abandoned its Bhopal plant which originally
produced pesticides for use in cotton production and has refused to
clean up the extensive pollution of water and soil it left behind.

"We can never forget Bhopal" stated Sarojeni V. Rengam of PAN Asia
and the Pacific at the launch of this campaign. "Bhopal is a tragedy
that need not have happened. PAN International is launching "No
Pesticides Day" in memory of those who suffered at Bhopal," she

As the years pass, the harms attributable to the Bhopal disaster
grow worse as new health problems are discovered. In 1995 a
neighborhood clinic -- the Bhopal People's Health and Documentation
Centre, Sambhavna -- was set up to help people still suffering the
effects of the disaster. "The clinic was started using voluntary
contributions from thousands of people around the world who are
standing up against unacceptable business practices and corporate
irresponsibility which caused such devastation," explained Barbara
Dinham of The Pesticides Trust, UK.

Bhopal, however, is only one example of the dangers of toxic
pesticides. The manufacture, distribution, and use of chemical
pesticides have for years had devastating impacts on people and the
environment. Every year approximately three million people are
poisoned around the world and 200,000 die from pesticide use. Beyond
these reported acute cases of pesticide poisoning, even more
worrying are the chronic long term effects such as cancer and
reproductive disorders.

While most pesticide-related deaths occur in the South, pesticides
also pose serious problems in industrialized countries. In both rich
and poor countries, the effects of pesticide poisoning are suffered
disproportionately by poor and disadvantaged people.

Around the world, toxic pesticides can be found in even the most
remote village. In the South, availability of highly toxic
pesticides, lack of information and knowledge of their hazards,
aggressive marketing by industry as well as poverty, illiteracy, and
lack of health facilities in rural areas ensure that pesticides are
a major cause of poisoning in farming communities.

"This is why we need to take the 'No Pesticides Day' message to the
grassroots, to every village... every person needs to understand the
dangers that pesticides pose to human health and the environment"
stressed Luis Gomero of PAN Latin America. Commenting on the goals
of the campaign, Sarojeni V. Rengam added, "The Campaign will not
only show the human and environmental hazards of chemical pesticides
but also stress that pesticide use is unnecessary in food and fiber

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is a global coalition of citizen's
groups and individuals who oppose the misuse and overuse of
pesticides, and support the reliance on safe and sustainable
alternatives. PAN links over 300 groups in 50 countries and operates
through 5 regional centers.

For more information contact the regional center nearest you.

PAN Centre Regional Pour L'Afrique, B.P. 15938, Dakar-Fann, Dakar,
Senegal; phone/fax (221) 254 914; email

Asia and the Pacific
PAN Asia/Pacific, P.O. Box 1170, 10850 Penang, Malaysia; phone (604)
657 0271/656 0381; fax (604) 675 7445; email

The Pesticides Trust, Eurolink Business Centre, 49 Effra Road,
London SW2 1BZ, UK; phone (44-171) 274 8895; fax (44-171) 274 9084;

Latin America
Red de Accion en Alternativas al Uso de Agroquimicos (RAAA),
Mariscal Miller No. 2622, Lince, Lima, Peru; phone (51-1) 421 0826;
fax (51-1) 440 4359; email

North America
PAN North America (PANNA) San Francisco, U.S.A; phone (1-415) 981
1771; fax (1-415) 981 1991; email

Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA)
49 Powell St., Suite 500, San Francisco, California 94102
Phone (415) 981-1771
Fax (415) 981-1991
web site

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