New Abnormalities Seen in Third Generations of Bhopal Children

birth defects, Bhopal

Poona Bai holds her son, Raj, who is three years old. Raj cannot walk and is visually impaired and has been like this since birth.

At a press conference in Calcutta on Sunday 3rd March 2013, doctors from Bhopal confirmed that congenital birth defects in affected areas of the city are seven times higher than usual rates.

Third generations are increasingly born with psychological and physical deformities as a result of widespread water contamination following the world’s worst industrial disaster in 1984.

Over 28 years ago, on the 3rd December 1984, 27 tonnes of deadly gas leaked from a Union Carbide pesticide plant which was built in a heavily populated area of the city. To this day the abandoned factory stands leaking chemicals into the environment nearly 30 years on. The water contamination was widespread around the factory several years prior to the disaster due to the indiscriminate dumping of toxic waste from the plant since it started manufacturing pesticides in 1969.

Surveys have shown that in affected areas of Bhopal 3,000 children out of 20,000 families are suffering from multiple and serious congenital deformities. Doctors who have worked in affected areas of the city for over 20 years recognize that the abnormalities presented are new and unique in nature from those that have been seen before.

The humanitarian catastrophe in Bhopal has been widely cited as an ongoing disaster. The high levels of chemicals responsible for the congenital anomalies are evident in both the water and the air in the affected areas of the city. Over 120,000 people are still suffering from debilitating illnesses in Bhopal today.

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We believe Dow must finally accept responsibility for Bhopal. Until then, The Bhopal Medical Appeal funds two award-winning clinics in the city. Both offer free, first-class care to victims of the gas disaster or the ongoing water contamination. The survivors have nowhere else left to turn – please help if you can.