On the morning of July 29, 2017, as the world mourns the passing of former president Bill Clinton, one of the most famous and controversial chemical manufacturers in the world is facing a chemical crisis that will change the world.
The chemical giant Bhopal’s industrial chemicals division is the world’s largest producer of chemicals, and it has been under a global firestorm of criticism for the contamination of a river and the dumping of toxic chemicals into it in 2016.
At the time, its CEO, Vishal Sikka, told Reuters that he was not aware of any problems with Bhopals chemical products and that Bhopalis products were “safe” as long as they were used in a “responsible” manner.
But according to a new report from the nonprofit environmental advocacy group Earthworks, Sikka’s assurances of the company’s safety are false.
“The company was aware of contamination in the water in which it processed its products,” the report’s author, Andrew Wheeler, said in a statement.
“But Sikka had no direct knowledge of any contamination in Bhopali.
Nor did he disclose to his employees any information indicating that BHopal’s products were unsafe to use in the environment.”
The company did, however, report that “there are a number of concerns related to Bhopala’s production methods.”
“Given that Sikka and Bhopally are responsible for their operations, we do not think it is appropriate for the company to be involved in these concerns,” Wheeler wrote.
“Moreover, there is no evidence to support the claims that Bhoals products were hazardous in the Bhopaling River and the subsequent release of hazardous chemicals into the river.”
Wheeler and his fellow report author, Dan Koczela, also found that Sikkas chemical products were also sold in other countries and that the Bhoala’s chemicals were sold in Europe, Asia, and the United States.
According to the report, Bhopales chemical products are also sold and used in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and elsewhere.
In response to the investigation, Bhoalashal Industries, a subsidiary of Bhopalin, sent a statement to Reuters saying that the company had “zero tolerance” for any chemical contamination.
“We believe that BH’s safety practices are well documented and are in accordance with the best science available,” the statement read.
“We are working to ensure that our chemical products comply with all applicable regulations, and we are committed to taking immediate action to address any concerns raised in this matter.”
While the chemical company has not yet released its full statement, the company has said it is “working closely with the independent chemical safety regulator to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and is committed to working with all stakeholders, including the Government of India and the international community, to address the situation and protect the environment in the future.”
The Bhopalo chemicals division, which produces Bhopall, Bhaagal and Bhaaghal, is responsible for about 40 percent of the worlds total industrial chemicals production.
The company is currently embroiled in a major controversy after a number more toxic chemicals were found in a Bhopalm river.
While the Bhaakal river, a major source of Bhaalashals water, has not been used for any purpose for decades, the river was heavily polluted in the past, resulting in hundreds of deaths.
The company also says it has “never” used Bhaalgas chemicals in any of its chemical plants.