Unilever's toxic mercury spill in India
Campaign group 38 Degrees is asking supporters to contact Unilever. They say that thousands of workers were exposed to mercury poisoning at Unilever’s Kodaikanal thermometer assembly plant in India.(1) The factory closed in 2001 after 18 years of operation.
The factory operators did not give its workers any protective equipment or information about the disastrous impact that mercury has on health.(1)
More than 45 workers exposed to mercury during their employment are dead.(2) And at least 18 children, born to workers of the unit, have died so far and more than 30 are severely affected.(2)
Ex-worker's testimony on health impacts:
The factory, owned by Hindustan Unilever, also dumped toxic mercury around their plant, and this has not been cleaned up in the 14 years since this plant was shut down. The contamination continues to impact forests and groundwater.
The workers cannot afford private healthcare. They have been fighting for Unilever to clean up the toxic contamination and compensate them for their medical expenses as a result of mercury for many long years.
Unilever owns some of the most popular brands in the UK - from PG Tips, to Marmite, to Dove soap.
Four days after a rap song that took a swipe at Unilever for its failure to curb mercury poisoning in Kodaikanal became a social media hit, the company responded to the concerns about its former factory.
In a press release published on its website, Unilever said that it 'continues to take the issue very seriously and it’s one we are keen to see resolved'.
Listing several 'expert studies' that have been conducted since the factory’s closure, Unilever claimed that its 'former employees did not suffer ill-health due to the nature of their work'.
The company assured that it will 'continue to act in a transparent and responsible manner regarding this matter' and have asked all the NGOs, employee representatives and legal representatives to come together and agree on an outcome.
Join the 38 Degrees campaign demanding that Unilever clean up their mess and compensate the victims:
Send a quick email to Unilever's headquarters now
Give them a quick call.
Leave a comment on a Unilever Facebook page.