Tidbit: Bhopal

Today is the 24th anniversary of the beginning of the Bhopal incident, in which thousands of people have died.  I don't have much to say, other than that it hasn't ended yet:

BHOPAL: Twenty-four years have passed since the world's worst man-made disaster - Bhopal gas tragedy - occurred. But despite the passage of time the trauma continues for the survivors of that fateful night of Dec 2-3, 1984, when over 40 tonnes of methyl isocyanate (MIC) spewed out of the now defunct Union Carbide's pesticide plant here.

Having borne the brunt of neurological, hormonal and mental health problems - besides the economic hardships - the survivors are now faced with the problem of deformed children being born.

Children of affected parents conceived and born after the disaster were significantly different from children of the same age born to unexposed parents, says a study carried out by Sambhavna Trust that runs a clinic to treat the gas-affected people.

"Such children were shorter, thinner, lighter and had smaller heads. Also, children of exposed parents showed abnormal growth of upper part of their bodies - disproportionately smaller than their lower bodies," says the study.

Medical research is desperately needed specially into the possible genetic and reproductive after-effects of the lethal gas leak that killed over 3,000 people instantly and thousands more over years later.

But the genetic damage to the children - born to survivors - has been severely under-studied, allege rights activists. This has led to "unsystematic treatment of gas victims already faced with neurological, hormonal and mental health problems", they say.

Lack of research - into the possible genetic and reproductive ramifications of exposure to lethal gasses and now to contaminated water - has seriously marred efforts to check the effects of poisonous gases on the next generation of the affected.

In case you feel like getting involved...

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