Navigation Links
Ex-workers Ask HLL to Accept Liability for Mercury Deaths

Kodaikanal (Tamil Nadu): The death of a 47-year-old man who had worked for a Hindustan Lever thermometer factory// for 18 years brought out hundreds of ex-employees, who had also been exposed to toxic mercury, to the streets.

P. Natarajan passed away Thursday, prompting more than 500 protestors, who said he had been slowly poisoned to death by mercury contamination, to block roads and demand an autopsy to assess the possibility of mercury-induced damage.

Many in the crowd, including civil rights and environmental activists, had also worked with Natarajan in the factory on the outskirts of this resort town before it was shut down by the government in March 2001.

A large number of workers were exposed to mercury because of unsafe working conditions and the failure of the management to inform employees about the dangers of toxic metal when the factory started in 1983, said a former worker K. Gopalakrishnan.

"We learnt about the harmful effects on mercury only recently from friends and experts outside," he added.

"Even though mercury is a neuro-toxic chemical and a known poison, HLL (Hindustan Lever Ltd) chose to hide safety information from the workers and wilfully poisoned them."

Mercury is a nerve poison that can cause subtle to severe long-term effects, including kidney damage, even at very low concentrations.

Natarajan was employed in the mercury filling area, one of the high-exposure areas.

Scores of people in the area suffer from skin diseases, premature greying, incessant headaches, stomach pain, kidney problems and blood in the urine, say the former workers who approached the Supreme Court in 2005 demanding compensation.

"HLL has caused irreparable damage to the health of the workers. More than 20 workers between the ages of 22 and 35 years have died due to poisoning from the factory in the last 18 years," Mahendra Babu, president of the Ponds-HLL Ex M ercury Worker's Welfare Association, told IANS.

Greenpeace activist Navroz Mody said: "The Indian government must prosecute HLL for the murder of at least 17 workers."

In 1983, Hindustan Lever's predecessor Pond's India Ltd relocated a 30-year thermometer factory from Watertown, New York, to India. The factory had reportedly shut down in New York for environmental reasons.

Once in India, the factory was allowed to import mercury, glass and other raw material, export all thermometers and leave behind the mercury wastes in India, association staffers alleged.

The owner was allowed to convert agricultural land for industrial use and set up shop on a bluff whose slopes drained into the perennial Pamban River through the Shola forests of the Palani-Nilgiri ranges, they added.

According to the former employees, in 16 years of operation, HLL and its previous owner Pond's India Ltd exposed between 600 and 800 workers to mercury in the workplace. Mercury spills were common.

Reacting to complaints from workers and the public, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board ordered the factory to shut down and clean up. At least 300 tonnes of mercury waste has been sent back to the US, Hindustan Lever says.

The Supreme Court Monitoring Committee has also acknowledged mercury related health damage of workers and community residents: "The situation at HLL is extremely serious in nature. There can be no two opinions that remediation and rehabilitation of the natural environment and of workers and others are both urgently required..."

Source-IANS
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Smoking Ban Believed To Enjoy Widespread Public Acceptance In Scotland
2. Breast-Feeding In Public – Will The Society Accept It
3. More Caffeine Could Mean a Greater Acceptance Tendency
4. Study Finds Healthier Women Are Those Who Accept The Way They Look
5. Body talk: Accept and appreciate the way you are, for a healthier you!
6. China Permits Anti-AIDS Campaigner to Accept US Award
7. Maverick Gay Ex-governor Turns a New Leaf - Accepted at the Episcopalian Seminary
8. Drug Firm Disowns Liability
9. Mercury Pollution Linked To Rise In Autism
10. Mercury fillings during pregnancy may not lead to low birth weight
11. Fish Consumption Results In Higher Mercury Levels
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Mediaplanet’s ... ostomy patients, standing as living proof that attitude and determination can combine into ... issues that spike around the holidays. This campaign will offer patients a new-found ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... Mediaplanet is proud to announce the ... the innovative treatments, therapeutic technologies, and revolutionized nutrition that are helping patients and ... 6 years in the last 3 decades,” says Dr. Valentine Fuster, a world-renowned ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... veterinarian diagnostic imaging systems and the first company to offer robotic ... a Heart at their tradeshow booth # 941 for the American Association of ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Abilene, Texas (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... article that delves into how this current generation fits into Bible Prophecy. Yisrayl says ... lists various facts pointing to this conclusion, showing how the details line up exactly ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... meals to needy individuals and families from eight different sites throughout Miami-Dade and ... Day. Over 1,000 volunteers worked very hard on Thanksgiving morning by putting together ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... YORK , December 2, 2016 ... Braces & Support) is Expected to Gain a Significant Market ... to Orthopedic Ailments  ... , According to ... Study on Medical Implants Sterile Packaging: Clamshell Product Type Segment ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... On Thursday, the NASDAQ Composite and ... the Dow Jones Industrial Average managed to stay in green. ... which prompted Stock-callers this morning to look at the performances ... NUVA ), Smith & Nephew PLC (NYSE: SNN ... Cesca Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: KOOL ). You can ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... -- The concept of rare diseases and the idea that ... has been taking shape in Europe ... initiatives related to orphan medicinal products have been emerging at ... states individually. Many member states in the EU have led ... medicinal products, the result of which took the shape of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: