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Union Carbide Corp.
Type wholly owned subsidiary of
Dow Chemical
Founded 1917
Headquarters Houston, TX
Key people Patrick E. Gottschalk, CEO & President
Industry Manufacturing
Products Bulk Chemicals, Ethylene, Ethylene Derivatives
Revenue $7.33 billion(2008, 10-K release Feb 20, 2009)
Website www.unioncarbide.com

Union Carbide Corporation (Union Carbide) is one of the oldest chemical and polymer companies in the United States, currently employing more than 3,800 people.[1] It became infamous for the worst ever industrial accident that took place in its Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India plant in 1984[1]. Union Carbide was found liable for the disaster, but has denied responsibility. Union Carbide became a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company on February 6, 2001, [2] following completion of its settlement and opening of The Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, ending its chapter in India in the same year.[3] It sells most of the products it manufactures to Dow Chemical. It is a former component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.[4]

In 1920, its researchers developed an economical way to make ethylene from natural gas liquids such as ethane and propane, giving birth to the modern petrochemical industry. Today, Union Carbide possesses some of the industry's most advanced process and catalyst technologies, and operates some of the most cost-efficient, large-scale production facilities in the world. Before divesting them, the chemical giant owned consumer products Eveready and Energizer batteries, Glad bags and wraps, Simoniz car wax and Prestone antifreeze. The company divested other businesses before being acquired by Dow including electronic chemicals, polyurethane intermediates, industrial gases and carbon products.

Union Carbide primarily produces chemicals and polymers that undergo one or more further conversions by customers before reaching consumers. Some of these materials are high-volume commodities, while others are specialty products meeting the needs of smaller market niches. The end-uses served include paints and coatings, packaging, wire and cable, household products, personal care, pharmaceuticals, automotive, textiles, agriculture and oil and gas.

Contents

Bhopal disaster

The Bhopal disaster was an industrial disaster that took place at a Union Carbide pesticide plant in the Indian city of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. At midnight on 3 December 1984, the plant accidentally released methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas, exposing more than 500,000 people to MIC and other chemicals. The first official immediate death toll was 2,259. The government of Madhya Pradesh has confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release.[5] Others estimate 8,000-10,000 died within 72 hours and 25,000 have since died from gas-related diseases. 40,000 more were permanently disabled, maimed, or rendered subject to numerous grave illnesses; 521,000 exposed in all.[6][7][8] As of 2009 no one has yet been prosecuted for the disaster.

References

  1. ^ Union Carbide Corporation, About Us. Accessed July 9, 2008.
  2. ^ Union Carbide Corporation, History, Accessed July 9, 2008.
  3. ^ http://www.bhopal.com/chrono.htm Website on chronology of Bhopal events set up and maintained by Union Carbide
  4. ^ History of DJIA, globalfinancialdata.com
  5. ^ http://www.mp.gov.in/bgtrrdmp/relief.htm
  6. ^ Eckerman (2001).
  7. ^ Eckerman (2004).
  8. ^ Vinay Lal, Bhopal and the Crime of Union Carbide. ucla.edu.

See also

External links

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