Bhopal Disaster Kate and Meg

In 1984 Bhopal, India a leak of 50,000 pounds of toxic methyl isocyanate gas occurred. At the time it was called the worst industrial disaster. Many repercussions resulted from the leak.

What Caused the Bhopal Disaster?

A combination of design flaws, operating mistakes, maintenance failures, and training errors caused a tragic gas leak that killed a minimum of 2,000 deaths. There were at least 10 violations of standard procedure. A few months before the leak the manager shut down the refrigeration unit that was supposed to keep methyl isocyanate cool and keep from chemical reactions. Workers ignored the leak when it first started. Many thought it was just a simple water leak. There was no alarm to warn any workers or civilians.

What were the Repercussions?


More than 2,000 people died from the leak. Those who survived suffer with respiratory problems, eye irritation, and possibly blindness. Even after 30 years the people who were exposed to the gas leak face two times of a higher disease burden compared to people who were lucky enough to not be affected.


There was reports of thousands of deaths of stray dogs, cats and birds. As well as 2,000 commercial cows, buffaloes, goats and horses were reported dead several months after the tragic gas leak (Irina Gray).


As a result of the gas leak, many plants showed signs of genetic damage. It is even warned to not eat local vegetables in the effected area. The methyl isocyanate gas went through the soil and into the water system. Meaning that all vegetation has toxicated resources.


Bhopal Union Carbide Corporation spent 2 million dollars on waste removal, but the problem was not fixed. A twenty five million dollar waste clean up is estimated to fix the problems that the leak caused. However neither the company nor property owners will accept responsibility and pay. The IMCB, a team of medical and engineering professionals, recommend a system of community. This would include health services that would work on long term effects of gas exposure. The system is expected to cost the U.S 5.6 million dollars a year but would be able to be used by all the affected areas. It is has been estimated that if the system is used correctly then by seventy years the problem will be solved.

In the Future

They could have prevented this gas leak if they followed procedures. The company also could kept the refrigeration unit running that was supposed to keep methyl isocyanate cool and keep from chemical reactions. Also if the workers were more aware of things and were alarmed about the gas leak they could have fix the leak before it got worse.

In the future big companies like Bhopal Union Carbide Corporation need to have rules set in place to lower the amount of violation that occurred. They would also need to set alarms that will go off in case of a leak. This will prevent future disasters such as the Bhopal Disasters.


"Bhopal Disaster: A Tragic Environmental Pollution Case Study." Tropical Rainforest Animals, Irina Gray,

Diamond, Stuart. "THE BHOPAL DISASTER: HOW IT HAPPENED." New York Times, 28 Jan. 1985. Science in Context, Accessed 11 Apr. 2017.

McPhate, Mike. "Bhopal Disaster Continues to Be a Plague." ["World & I"]. World & I, vol. 21, no. 3, Mar. 2006, p. 11. EBSCOhost,

Ng, Delvin. "Call to Alleviate Long-Term Effects of Bhopal Gas Disaster." Lancet, vol. 348, no. 9042, 14 Dec. 1996, p. 1652. EBSCOhost,

Peterson, I. "After Bhopal: Tracing Causes and Effects." Science News, vol. 127, no. 13, 30 Mar. 1985, pp. 196-197. EBSCOhost,

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