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Bhopal Case

  • Date Submitted: 10/10/2013 01:12 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 36 
  • Words: 572
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TOXIC GAS EXPOSED POPULATION OF BHOPAL Toxic Gas Leak and Its Aftermath Sudden leakage of tons of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) from a storage tank at the Union Carbide Factory in Bhopal on the night of 2nd-3rd December, 1984, had caused death of more than 2,000 people over the following 3 days, from amongst an estimated population of over 5 lacs (out of a total of 8 lacs) who were actually exposed to the toxic MIC and its reaction products together called toxic gas.   The circumstances under which the toxic gas leaked from the Union Carbide Factory, and what followed are described in the first ICMR Technical Report : Population Based Long Term Epidemiological Studies (1985-1994)1.   Based on the prevailing meteorological conditions it was observed that strong inversion currents prevailed at that time of the night slowly drifted the toxic cloud, affecting both human and plant life along its path over an area of approximately 40 sq km.   Since it was a comparatively cold and humid night the toxic gas cloud behaved like an ‘aerosol’, settling on the adjoining area in the shape of a mushroom, engulfing the population and then gradually spreading to the neighbouring areas.   A large proportion of the exposed population inhaled this ‘aerosol’ and instantly developed acute respiratory symptoms; also contact with eyes produced acute severe eye problems.   In utter panic, they ran helter skelter, seeking protection and relief.   The medical professionals at Bhopal faced a situation in the early hours of December 2-3, 1984 which was unparalleled in the annals of medical history.   Thousands of very sick people thronged the corridors of the hospitals; gasping for breath, frothing at mouth, congested watery eyes unable to see clearly, retching and vomiting, with fear and panic writ large on their face.   A team of local doctors including the Gandhi Medical College staff, paramedical and social workers under the able and dynamic leadership of Dr.N.P.Misra promptly moved into action to...

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