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    PRESS STATEMENT on LG Styrene Vapour release

    July 14, 2020 in Events, SlideShow, Top News

    LG killed 15 from Styrene Vapour Release at Vizag, India Press Statement Event Banner1Asian Citizen’s Center for Environment and Health, South Korea organizing a press statement on LG Styrene Vapour release resulting 15 deaths of innocent people including children of age 6 to 10 and huge damage to crops, soil and water contamination and losses of numerous domestic animals and cattle in Vizag, Andhrapradesh, India. 

    The incidence had happen in LG polymer Pvt. Ltd. company  in India owned by LG Chem South Korea.

     
    Press statement event will be held today on 14th July 2020, Tuesday 1 pm at Downtown, Seoul, South Korea. 
    More can be found at :

    ANROEV PRESS RELEASE on LG Chemical Personnel Run Away from India

    June 30, 2020 in SlideShow, Top News

    For Immediate Release

    Attn: News, Business, Science, Health Editors

    28 June 2020

    Contact:           Jagdish Patel (India), +91 9426486855 jagdish.jb@gmail.com

     

    LG Chemical Personnel Run Away from India As Government Investigation Reports Identify Safety Failures

     Korean personnel’s mission clashes with community realities

    (Visakhapatnam, India): Three Korean LG personnel whose passports were confiscated due to their importance in the investigation of the company’s deadly styrene gas release, have fled India after getting a favorable court judgement. Community members and Indian occupational and environmental safety activists affiliated with the ANROEV network condemned the decision noting that once LG Chemical personnel leave India, they will likely avoid responsibility and not return, as has happened in other cases, including Bhopal.

    Korean personnel fled India following a critical report by India’s National Green Tribunal and just before an investigative report emerges from the Andhra Pradesh State Government, which objected to calling the tragedy an accident noting that, “We all know it was not an accident. The styrene leak was a result of a series of safety failures.”

    LG Chemical sent the Korean team to Visakhapatnam, India in mid-May to investigate the cause of the styrene release and support, “responsible rehabilitation.” In contrast, LG has pursued a vigorous effort to avoid investigation of its safety failures and to evade any payment of compensation for the tragedy that it caused.

    Here are some examples of LG actions in India following its deadly styrene leak:

    1. LG hired the former Attorney General of India to petition the Supreme Court in an effort to remove the National Green Tribunal from investigating the tragedy.
    1. LG tried to stop disbursement of an interim fine of of ₹50 crore (~US$6.6 million, ~₩8.1 billion) for compensation and restoration.
    1. More than one month after the tragedy, LG still had not responded to questions from a State investigative committee.
    2. LG also claimed in Korean media to be disbursing food to local residents. However, the State Government already was distributing food to migrant workers struggling with the COVID-19 lockdown. Community residents received food from the State-managed food supply, not LG.
    3. LG claimed that Suraksha Hospital would “take care of all residents’ health check-ups and future treatment.” However, the experience of community residents is that while the first visit was free, all subsequent treatment for LG’s styrene gas release had to be paid by the victims.

    In summary, Korean LG personnel were essentially invisible in the affected community and did not resolve any key community issues. LG’s Korean personnel did not declare long-term measures to monitor the environmental and health impacts of their company’s pollution. Instead, they ran away from the country on a chartered flight as government investigations started closing in.

    Community members and public interest advocates call on LG to act more like a responsible corporate leader. Absolute liability should be applied to both LG Chemical and LG Polymers, including accountability for deaths, injuries, crop damage, and environmental pollution, among others. Long-term health surveillance and support should be provided to the community and be paid for by the company. Finally, there should be a thorough and impartial investigation of the tragedy and civil society and victims’ representatives should be part of the investigation and any settlement with the company.

    LG Polymers uses styrene to make polystyrene plastic components for LG appliances sold in India. Styrene is a probable human carcinogen, crosses the placenta and has a variety of harmful effects. Styrene is explosive and must be stored at low temperatures. However, LG failed to maintain the storage temperature below 20C during a COVID-19 lockdown period, leading to the harmful release.

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    Reporters and editors please contact:

    Jagdish Patel (India), +91 9426486855 jagdish.jb@gmail.com

    GLOBAL PROTEST AGAINST LG POLYMER Gas Leak

    June 5, 2020 in ActionAlerts, Events, SlideShow, Top News

    Numbers of ANROEV Members organisations around ASIA Continent have joined today the Global Protest against LG Polymer Gas Leak protest as solidarity actions in support of victims. So far 14 People in Vizag India and 1 People in Korea has been killed by LG Chemicals and its company based in India and Korea.  ANROEV member organisation from India, Korea, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Japan etc. have joined the CALL FOR ACTIONS in their respective countries and have also participated on online demonstration rally today organised mainly in Korea and India.

    Jagdish Patel India Jagdish Patel India1 Jagdish Patel India2 LG Be Res 22 Show Room NP LG Be Res Show Room NP LG Justice to Victim Show Room NP LG NTDS Show Room 1 NP LG NTDS Show Room NP LG Poster on Vizag Action A Poster on Vizag Action AL Poster on Vizag Action H Poster on Vizag Action HL

    PRESS RELEASE on LG Polymer Gas Leak press conference

    May 17, 2020 in Top News

    For Immediate Release

    Attn: News, Business, Science, Health Editors

    15 May 2020

    Contact:           Ram Charitra Sah, ANROEV, Coordinator , +977-9803047621

     

    Affected community members and public interest advocates call on LG Chemical to take full responsibility for the Vizag tragedy

     

    (Vizag, India): Community members affected by the poisonous Vizag gas leak and public interest advocates from India and South Korea called on LG Chemicals, the South Korean parent company of LG Polymers, to take full responsibility for the poisonous styrene gas leak early in the morning on 7 May that killed 12 and sickened hundreds of community members. The tragedy occurred in Vizag, Visakhapatnam in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. LG Polymers has been operating illegally and a government forensic laboratory has concluded that the styrene leak occurred due to company error. On 8 May, the National Green Tribunal directed LG Polymers to deposit an interim fine of ₹50 crore (~US$6.6 million) and formed a committee to investigate the tragedy.

     

    Community members, local doctors, and Indian occupational and environmental safety activists affiliated with the ANROEV network discussed the challenges faced by the community after the gas leak. They described how the people from communities surrounding the LG Polymer plant are experiencing a combination of fear and anger, and demanding support for all those affected by the poisonous gas leak.

     

    They also noted concerns about repeating injustices that occurred after the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984 when thousands were killed and more than 500,000 people were exposed to poisonous methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas, but Union Carbide and Dow Chemical were never fully held accountable. The UN Special Rapporteur for Toxics, Baskut Tuncak, noted the parallels between the Vizag LG tragedy and the Bhopal disaster and urged Indian and South Korea authorities and implicated businesses, “to avoid the same mistakes and abuse of judicial procedures that have denied justice to the victims of the Bhopal disaster, who are still suffering to this day.”

     

    Community members and public interest advocates called on LG and relevant government agencies to take the following actions:

     

    • Immediately provide relief and support to victim families 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
    • Include civil society and victims representatives to take part in the investigation and any settlement with the company
    • Hold LG Chemicals and those responsible for the gas leak fully accountable
    • Establish a bio-monitoring system for 3 years to provide health surveillance for all those affected
    • Due diligence before re-opening workplaces under COVID-19 lockdowns
      Strengthen regulatory and workplace safety systems

     

     

    LG Chemicals has a history of environmental and health and safety violations in South Korea:

     

    2019: The Ministry of Environment caught LG Chemical altering and even fabricating pollution release data.

    2018: LG Chemical polycarbonate factory leaked phosgene gas, injuring five workers

    2015: LG Chemical fined 6 million won for leaking hydrogen chloride and violating the Industrial Safety and Health Act

    2013: LG Chemical executives sent to prison over the 2012 explosion at their Cheongju OLED manufacturing plant. The judge noted that the company pursued profits over safety.

    2013: In a government review of occupational accidents, LG Chemical’s Cheongju Plant was noted as a workplace with many deaths, including a 2012 explosion that killed eight workers.

     

    LG Polymers uses styrene to make polystyrene plastic components for LG appliances sold in India. Styrene is a probable human carcinogen, crosses the placenta and has a variety of harmful effects. Styrene is explosive and must be stored at low temperatures. However, LG failed to maintain the storage temperature below 20C during a COVID-19 lockdown period, leading to the harmful release.

     

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    Reporters and editors please contact Ram Charitra Sah at the ANROEV Secretariat anroev@gmail.com.  Video footage and photos are available.

    News Coverage on ANROEV Press Conference

    https://m.news.naver.com/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=102&oid=056&aid=0010836164

    https://m.news.naver.com/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=102&oid=056&aid=0010835930

    http://www.eco-health.org/bbs/board.php?bo_table=sub02_03&wr_id=987

    http://www.eco-health.org/bbs/board.php?bo_table=sub02_03&wr_id=988

    https://www.setoghar.com/archives/61565 (from Nepal in english)

    http://www.lokpath.com/story/255426  (from Nepal in Nepali)

    https://www.khabarhub.com/2020/17/165543/ (from Nepal in Nepali)

    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

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