Evaluating Chemical Hazards in the Aftermath of the Bhopal Tragedy

November 1987 (VOL. 5, NO. 3)

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This article addresses a number of policy concerns that have arisen in the aftermath of the chemical accident that occurred in Bhopal, India on December 2, 1984. In view of magnitude of that tragedy and its implications for the export of hazardous technologies to the Third World, evaluations of the chemical industry based upon simple extrapolations from past industry performance are inadequate. Future policies undertaken to regulate the industry must explicitly account for the long-term global uncertainties, irreversibility, catastrophic potentials, and dependencies created by the development of chemical technologies.