ANROEV Statement on LG Polymers Gas Leak

May 8, 2020 in Top News

ANROEV STATEMENT ON LG POLYMERS FACTORY GAS LEAK TRAGEDY IN INDIA
ANOTHER GAS LEAK TRAGEDY IN INDIA WITHOUT PROSECUTION OF EARLIER CULPRITs
We have not forgotten Bhopal gas tragedy of methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leak incident on the
early morning of 3rd December 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in
Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, one of the world’s worst industrial disaster resulting over
500,000 people exposed to methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas and official immediate death toll was
2,259. A government affidavit in 2006 stated that the leak caused 558,125 injuries, including
38,478 temporary partial injuries and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling
injuries.
Following several Civil and Criminal Courts in US and back home in Indian multiple courts on
multiple occasion. Still the culprit company and Officials were not prosecuted, victims were not
well compensated and sites still remains contaminated. People are still suffering since 35 years
with unknown period of yet to be suffered.
Yet another tragedy occurred on the 7th of May, when styrene leaked from the Korean-owned
LG Polymers plant during the early hours of Thursday, 7th May 2020, when families in the
surrounding villages were asleep. This chemical factory located into the village called Vizag,
Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh in southern India has killed at least ten people and led to
thousands being taken to hospital, amid fears that the death toll could climb higher.
Styrene is derivative of benzene and is a colorless oily liquid. Health effects of styrene include
irritation of the skin, eyes, and the upper respiratory tract. Long exposure can also lead to
cancer. Styrene is Group 2A Carcinogen by IARC under the WHO.
These kind of repeated tragedies should be stopped due to negligence of the LG Chemicals, and
victims should be immediately and fully compensated and survivor should be fully treated and
rehabilitated with due diligence. Investigation of the disaster and bio-monitoring of all those
exposed should be immediately done without any further due. Due diligence must be
implemented to ensure workplaces are safe after the lock down measures. There must be
stronger regulatory and workplace safety systems in place.

If the exposure leads to chronic health conditions, such as kidney, liver failures or airway hypersensitivities. But I suspect, the more important issue will be the social and medical necessities that will make the social distancing difficult for those residents who are affected.
As we continue to grapple of double tragedy of Gas Leak and ongoing COVID pandemic, as we
continue to fight for a decent work, safe workplace and environment. We, members of the
Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims (ANROEV) will
continue to “Remember the Dead, and Fight for the Living”.
The Asian Network for the Rights Of Occupational and Environmental Victims (ANROEV)
formerly known as the Asian Network for Rights of Occupational and Accident Victims
(ANROAV) is a coalition of victims’ groups, trade unions and other labour groups across Asia, all
committed to the rights of Victims and for overall improvement of health and safety at the
workplace.

Our demands:
– Immediately provide relief and support to victims family and those injured
– Long-term health support for all the victims and exposed population
– Thorough and impartial investigation on the reason for the gas leak
– Allow and include Civil Society and Victims representatives to take part in the investigation
– Hold LG Chemicals and those responsible for the gas leak accountable
– Due Diligence before re-opening workplaces under COVID-19 lockdowns
– Strengthen regulatory and workplace safety systems
May 8, 2020
Contact: Jagdish Patel, Peoples Training and Research Centre, India / WhatsApp (+91 94264 86855)

Signatories:
Organizations
Cividep, India
Peoples Training and Research Centre, India
Occupational and Environment Health Network India
Environics Trust, India
Worker’s Initiative – Kolkata, India
India Ban Asbestos Network (IBAN)
Asian Citizen’s Center for Environment and Health (환경보건시민센터), Korea
Association for the Rights of Industrial Accident Victims (ARIAV), Hong Kong
OSH Link, Taiwan
CEPHED, Nepal
Hesperian Health Guides, USA

Peoples Health Movement-USA
International Campaign for Responsible Technology (ICRT)
Sedane Labour Resource Centre (LIPS), Indonesia
Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE)
Worker Empowerment, Hong Kong
Labour Education Foundation, Pakistan
Asia Monitor Resource Centre, Hong Kong

Working Peoples Party- Indonesia

Globalisation Monitor

Society for Occupational Health, Environmental Safety & Social Security (SOHES), Chennai

Tamilnadu Rural Labour Movement-Central Trade Union

Jeevan Trust/ Erode

European Work Hazards Network

Scottish Hazards and Stichting Netwerk, the Netherlands.

 

Individuals
Vipul Pandya
General Secretary
Bandhkam Mazdoor Sangathan, India
Affiliated with BWI
Sanjiv Pandita
Solidar Suisse
Mohit Gupta
Environics Trust, India
Omana George
Prof. PAEK Domyung
Seoul National University, School of Public Health
Sugio FURUYA
Secretary General
Japan Occupational Safety and Health Resource Center (JOSHRC)
Nadia De Leon
Insitute for Occupational Health and Safety Development, Philippines
Thomas H Gassert MD
Harvard Chan School of Public Health, Boston USA

Alec Farquhar, Coordinator, Asbestos Free Canada