The Bhopal Gas Tragedy

The Bhopal disaster, also referred to as the Bhopal gas tragedy, was a gas leak incident in India, considered the world's worst industrial disaster. It occurred on the night of 2–3 December 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Over 500,000 people were exposed to methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals. The toxic substance made its way in and around the shanty towns located near the plant. Estimates vary on the death toll. The official immediate death toll was 2,259. The government of Madhya Pradesh confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release. Others estimate 8,000 died within two weeks and another 8,000 or more have since died from gas-related diseases. A government affidavit in 2006 stated the leak caused 558,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary partial injuries and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries. Effects on human health  Respiratory Disorders – Irritation to the lungs, causing coughing and/or shortness of breathing. Higher exposure caused build up of fluids (pulmonary edema). Caused Asthama.  Cancer Hazard – Caused mutation (genetic changes). It caused cancer.  Reproductive Hazard – Association between exposure to Methyl Isocyanate and miscarriages. It may damage the growing fetus.May also affect fertility in men and women.  Traces of many toxins were found in the Brest Milk of mothers and were inturn transmitted to the recepient babies. UCIL was the Indian subsidiary of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), with Indian Government controlled banks and the Indian public holding a 49.1 percent stake. In 1994, the Supreme Court of India allowed UCC to sell its 50.9 percent interest in UCIL to Eveready Industries India Limited (EIIL), which subsequently merged with McLeod Russel (India) Ltd. Eveready Industries India, Limited, ended clean-up on the site in 1998, when it terminated its 99-year lease and turned over control of the site to the state government of Madhya Pradesh. Dow Chemical Company purchased UCC in 2001, seventeen years after the disaster. Civil and criminal cases are pending in the District Court of Bhopal, India, involving UCC and Warren Anderson, UCC CEO at the time of the disaster. In June 2010, seven ex-employees, including the former UCIL chairman, were convicted in Bhopal of causing death by negligence and sentenced to two years imprisonment and a fine of about $2,000 each, the maximum punishment allowed by Indian law. An eighth former employee was also convicted, but died before the judgement was passed.

the BP oil disaster. the Gulf of Mexico oilspill. After several failed efforts to contain the flow. Some reports indicate the well site continues to leak. In Louisiana. a sea-floor oil gusher flowed for 87 days.2 billion. the Ixtoc I oil spill. until it was capped on 15 July 2010. Oil cleanup crews worked four days a week on 55 miles of Louisiana shoreline throughout 2013. Due to the months-long spill. In October 2013. as well as deformities and lesions found in fish. extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats. controlled burns and 1. along with adverse effects from the response and cleanup activities. an estimated 8% to 31% larger in volume than the previously largest. BP and the Department of Justice agreed to a record-setting $4.9 million barrels (210 million US gal.British Petroleum Oil Spill The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill.6 million pounds of oily material was removed from the beaches in 2013. fishing and tourism industries. In November 2012. The US Government estimated the total discharge at 4. and the Macondo blowout) began on 20 April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect. 4.84 million US gallons (7. As of February 2013. BP and the United States Department of Justice settled federal criminal charges with BP pleading guilty to 11 counts.000 m3). criminal and civil settlements and payments to a trust fund had cost the company $42. 780. and the Environmental Protection Agency announced that BP would be temporarily banned from new contracts with the US government. In 2013 it was reported that dolphins and other marine life continued to die in record numbers with infant dolphins dying at six times the normal rate. floating booms. wetlands and estuaries from the spreading oil utilizing skimmer ships. It claimed eleven lives and is considered the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. and human health problems have continued through 2014. Following the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. over double the amount collected in 2012. citing a decline in seafood catches. .000 m3) of Corexit oil dispersant.525 billion in fines and other payments but further legal proceedings not expected to conclude until 2014 are ongoing to determine payouts and fines under the Clean Water Act and the Natural Resources Damage Assessment. Al Jazeera reported that the gulf ecosystem was "in crisis". the well was declared sealed on 19 September 2010. BP also agreed to four years of government monitoring of its safety practices and ethics. A massive response ensued to protect beaches.

Scientists have proven that 1% depletion in ozone causes a 5% increase in cases of skin cancer. As UV radiation hits the Ozone layer the ozone gas absorbs the radiation and turns it into oxygen. ozone is being broken down by natural and unnatural processes that lead to ozone depletion. It is made up of ozone gases that act like a blanket to stop too much UV radiation from the sun entering the atmosphere. The depletion of ozone and increase in UV rays can also lead to DNA damage. Immunity to diseases has also been effected due to the increase in UV radiation entering the atmosphere. Emissions of CFC’s have accounted for roughly 80% of total stratospheric ozone depletion. The chlorine contained within these CFC’s break down the ozone gases in the ozone layer which further increases Ozone depletion. If this process is greater than the production of ozone then the ozone layer becomes thinner and less effective. which is vital because too much of these UV rays can cause cancer.   Solutions to Ozone depletion The ozone hole is here to stay for about 50 years before the ozone levels will start to return to their normal levels. UV radiation has also increased the number of cases of cataracts. cataracts and DNA damage. At the same time. The CFC’s released into the atmosphere do not break down and therefore remain stable within the atmosphere for between 20 and 120 years. Small amounts of ozone are constantly being made by the action of sunlight on oxygen. which can be catastrophic. Causes of Ozone Depletion Ozone depletion occurs when the natural balance between production and destruction of stratospheric ozone is tipped in favour of destruction. the depletion rate has been 6% since 1970 and therefore the number of cancer cases has increased rapidly. CFC’s are released into the atmosphere through the use of aerosols and cooling systems in fridges. The destruction of the Ozone layer is caused due to 1 main factor which is:   The release of chemicals which contain chlorine and bromine such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) into the atmosphere by human activity.Ozone Layer Depletion The ozone layer sits in the stratosphere approximately 25km above the Earth. which affects people’s vision. .   Effects of Ozone Depletion   An increase in UV radiation has been linked to an increase in skin cancer which effects fair skinned individuals who are at a greater risk than darker skinned people. The Ozone layer prevents the harmful UV radiation entering the Earth.

the "bottom line" refers to the sum of revenue minus expenses. not exploit or endanger any group of them. but their metal mine causes thousands of deaths from pollution. would pay fair salaries to its workers. A triple bottom line enterprise seeks to benefit many constituencies. is a common feature. Planet". if a corporation shows a monetary profit. would maintain a safe work environment and tolerable working hours. there are no official plans to try to fix the ozone hole in the Antarctic because we don't know enough about stratospheric mechanics to do so. labour and other stakeholder interests are interdependent. Over the last 50 years. a TBL business would not use child labour and monitor all contracted companies for child labour exploitation. A TBL company conceives a reciprocal social structure in which the well-being of corporate. and the government ends up spending taxpayer money on health care and river clean-up. The term originated because profit is always shown as the very "bottom line" on a statement of revenue and expenses. By trying to fix the problem we might make it worse. a farmer in fair trade agricultural practice. The three together are often paraphrased as "Profit. for example. by introducing full cost accounting. Any ozone that we could artificially add would most likely be destroyed and would not help our problem in the long run. which is either "loss" if negative. People. The chemicals would transform active ozone-depleting chlorine into non-ozone depleting hydrochloride. Another possible plan is to dump about 50. The "upstreaming" of a portion of profit from the marketing of finished goods back to the original producer of raw materials. environmentalists and social justice advocates have struggled to bring a broader definition of "bottom line" into public consciousness. For example. A different approach is to destroy the CFC's when they are in the troposphere with highpowered infrared lasers located on mountainsides. or "profit" if positive. and would not otherwise exploit a community or its labour force.    Triple Bottom Line In traditional business accounting. A TBL business also typically seeks to "give back" by contributing to . or referred to as "the three pillars" Bottom Lines "People" pertains to fair and beneficial business practices toward labour and the community and region in which a corporation conducts its business. social and environmental concerns. and their copper mine pollutes a river. In concrete terms. how do we perform a full societal cost benefit analysis? The concept of a triple bottom line (abbreviated as TBL or 3BL) adds two more "bottom lines". However.000 tons of ethane or propane into the Antarctic stratosphere each spring.

"Planet" (natural capital) refers to sustainable environmental practices. among other things. problematic and often subjective. A TBL endeavour reduces its ecological footprint by. This is often confused to be limited to the internal profit made by a company or organization (which nevertheless remains an essential starting point for the computation). for example. including the cost of the capital tied up. Often environmental sustainability is the more profitable course for a business in the long run. within a sustainability framework. toxic chemicals or batteries containing dangerous heavy metals.the strength and growth of its community with such things as health care and education. Institute 4 Sustainability and others. A triple bottom line company does not produce harmful or destructive products such as weapons. the cost of disposing of non-degradable or toxic products is borne financially by governments and environmentally by the residents near the disposal site and elsewhere. In the original concept. It would be more equitable for the business which manufactures and sells a problematic product to bear part of the cost of its ultimate disposal. an original TBL approach cannot be interpreted as simply traditional corporate accounting profit plus social and environmental impacts unless the "profits" of other entities are included as a social benefit. an enterprise which produces and markets a product which will create a waste problem should not be given a free ride by society. . CERES. Arguments that it costs more to be environmentally sound are often specious when the course of the business is analyzed over a period of time. Generally. which typically conduct a life cycle assessment of products to determine what the true environmental cost is from the growth and harvesting of raw materials to manufacture to distribution to eventual disposal by the end user. It is the real economic impact the organization has on its economic environment. "Cradle to grave" is uppermost in the thoughts of TBL manufacturing businesses. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has developed guidelines to enable corporations and NGOs alike to comparably report on the social impact of a business. Currently. Ecologically destructive practices. In TBL thinking. the "profit" aspect needs to be seen as the real economic benefit enjoyed by the host society. carefully managing its consumption of energy and non-renewables and reducing manufacturing waste as well as rendering waste less toxic before disposing of it in a safe and legal manner. sustainability reporting metrics are better quantified and standardized for environmental issues than for social ones. A number of respected reporting institutes and registries exist including the Global Reporting Initiative. Quantifying this bottom line is relatively new. "Profit" is the economic value created by the organization after deducting the cost of all inputs. Therefore. It therefore differs from traditional accounting definitions of profit. such as overfishing or other endangering depletions of resources are avoided by TBL companies. A TBL company endeavors to benefit the natural order as much as possible or at the least do no harm and minimise environmental impact.