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After LG’s toxic release of styrene vapor into a nearby residential area killing and injuring people, the Andhra Pradesh State Government convened a High Power Committee (HPC) to investigate the tragedy.

Two months later, the HPC delivered a 4,000-page report sharply critical of LG’s management. The government investigation demonstrated LG’s disregard for safety, raised the possibility of a double standard in LG operations in South Korea and India and revealed significant environmental pollution caused by LG’s massive styrene release.

Read IPEN’s summary analysis of the HPC reportTimeline of the LG Tragedy

Key findings of the report include the following:

India’s Andhra Pradesh State Government created a High Power Committee to investigate the LG tragedy which released its final report on 6 July 2020. The investigation revealed LG’s disregard for safety, raised the possibility of a double standard in LG operations in South Korea and India and revealed significant environmental pollution caused by LG’s massive styrene release.

Read IPEN’s brief below.

 

Updated: 9 July 2020

Joe DiGangi, PhD
Senior Science and Technical Advisor, IPEN

To mark World Environment Day, activists in India and South Korea performed press events to push LG to take full responsibility for its horrible tragedy in India. Note that LG is a Korean company headquartered in Seoul. Groups in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, and Vietnam joined virtually.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) is the government legal body with expertise and jurisdiction over environmental matters. After LG's toxic release of styrene gas into a nearby residential area killing and injuring people, NGT convened an investigative committee.

Read IPEN’s summary and analysis of the NGT report | Timeline of the LG Tragedy

The NGT investigative committee delivered a critical final report on 28 May 2020 which concluded that LG’s “gross human failure” and the company’s lack of basic safety equipment and procedures caused the tragedy. The committee noted that, “The root cause thus appears to be the lack of experience of LG Polymers India and their Korean principal, LG Chem, in monitoring and maintaining full tanks of styrene that were idled for a long period of several weeks without operation.”

Key findings of the report include the following:

India’s National Green Tribunal created a monitoring committee to investigate the LG tragedy which released a final 168-page report on 28 May 2020, finding that LG’s disregard for safety as the cause of the lethal chemical release.

Read IPEN's brief below.

A man carrying an unconscious child runs for help during the evacuation. (CNN)

Absolute liability should be applied in deaths and injuries at its plastics factory in India

Polystyrene plastic is familiar to consumers in the form of coffee cups and take-out food containers. However, many people do not realize that the building block of this common plastic – styrene – is a probable human carcinogen with a variety of toxic effects. The recent LG tragedy in India demonstrates the toxicity of polystyrene production on community residents. The parent company and its Indian subsidiary should be held fully accountable and absolute liability should be applied.

Women and Chemicals At-A-Glance

21 May 2020 - 4:52pm -- ipen

Women are differently susceptible to chemical exposures and health outcomes because of their physiology, different types of occupational exposures, and differential exposures to chemicals in personal care and household products. Women cannot be empowered nor gender equality achieved if exposures to hazardous chemicals leave women suffering from cancer, chronic illnesses, infertility, and damage to their nervous systems.

Women & Chemicals

Gender equality is a fundamental human right that is well-established in international law. Women face substantive barriers to the achievement of equality due to factors such as poverty, prejudice, violence, oppressive social and institutional structures, and lack of inclusion in decisions that affect their lives.[1] Women and girls should be free to realize their potential and rights in all aspects of their lives.

Saving the Egyptian Vulture: S Bharathidasan, founder of Arulagam, an NGO that works towards conservation of vultures in The Nilgiris Biosphere talks about the declining numbers of Egyptian Vultures in Tamil Nadu

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