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A Toxics-Free Future

Contaminated Sites

Later this month the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the multinational company Unilever will be honored by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as a Champion of the Earth.

Sadly, many communities and children have been affected by mercury pollution from a former thermometer factory run by Hindustan Unilever Ltd. in Kodaikanal, India. The Unilever corporation has rejected requests from the community to clean the mercury waste that is still contaminating the area, despite the factory having been closed since 2001.

Right next to Hortobagy National Park – the oldest and possibly most sensitive national park of Hungary - lies an abandoned toxic waste repository. Three to four thousand tonnes of dangerous chemicals (including trichloroethylene compounds and other chlorinated solvents, galvanic sludge and cyanide-based tempering salts) are flowing out freely from the mouldering barrels of the repository into the ground. The warehouse has no walls and its top is almost completely in ruins.

IPENer Amanda Hawes is quoted in this important story from NBC Bay Area. 

By Stephen StockDavid Paredes and Scott Pham

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