In a study, carried out by a team of scientists from MGM New Bombay Hospital, fresh tests were performed on people exposed to MIC in the Bhopal Gas Disaster concluding that survivors continue to suffer DNA damage over 33 years later.
In a previous study carried out by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) between 1985- 1988 people were grouped as severely exposed to the gas, moderately exposed or unexposed and the new study used similar categorizations. The results were compared with the ICMR study and 130 usable samples were collected. They showed that, although people who were severely exposed to the gas now possess fewer abnormal cells, the frequency of aberrations within such cells has increased with time.
Worryingly, the study also found an increase in chromosomal aberrations in people who were not exposed or only moderately exposed to the gas which begs the question as to what is damaging their DNA.
The researchers cite several reasons and, perhaps unsurprisingly, among them are soil and/ or water contamination caused by the dumping of toxic waste by Union Carbide.
As reported on Outlook India: CLICK