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Union Carbide

From Academic Kids

fr:Union Carbide nl:Union Carbide zh:美國聯合碳化物 Union Carbide of South Charleston, West Virginia is a chemical manufacturer, now a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company. The company is most well-known for the Bhopal Disaster in 1984, in which the leakage of the highly toxic gas methyl isocyanate (MIC) killed thousands in Bhopal, India.

The chairman Warren Anderson was charged with culpable homicide in India for this tragedy, though he now lives freely in the USA. He is now a declared absconder and a fugitive in Indian courts, against whom India is seeking an extradition ruling from the United States.

Though it reached an out of court settlement with the Indian Government, Union Carbide refused to accept responsibility for the disaster, blaming it on terrorism and industrial sabotage.

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Company history

The Union Carbide Company was founded in 1898, and in 1917 the Union Carbide & Carbon Corporation was formed from this and other companies.

A hydro-electric project just east of Charleston at Gauley Bridge, West Virginia became known as the Hawk's Nest Incident. During construction of a three mile-long tunnel by Union Carbide beginning in 1927, the tunnel was filled with silica dust. Workers were not given masks for protection, even though management wore such masks during the short times they visited for inspection. As a result, thousands of workers, mostly poor and black, died from silicosis, sometimes as quickly as within a single year.

The Bakelite Corporation merged with Union Carbide in 1939. This company was founded by Dr. Leo Baekeland, a pioneer in plastics (specifically Bakelite).

In 1997 Union Carbide and the Exxon Chemical Company began a cooperative enterprise with research into polyethylene production.

They became a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company on February 6, 2001.

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