The death of a 47-year-old man who had worked for a Hindustan Lever thermometer factory for 18 years brought out hundreds of ex-employees, who had also been exposed to toxic mercury, to the streets.
Scores of people in the area suffer from skin diseases, premature greying, incessant headaches, stomach pain, kidney problems and blood in the urine, say the former workers who approached the Supreme Court in 2005 demanding compensation.
Well, I don’t know what to say. This tragedy goes on in India continuously, occupational pollution exposure is through the roof in most factories. Safety equipment is not used, enforcement is minimal, all in all, in a country of 1+ billion people, some are more expendable than others.
I suspect this one is getting more play because a large multinational is involved. But Indian factories are equal opportunity killers, whether owned by large behemoths like Unilever, or by your local rotary club small businessman.
It looks like they have not even done an autopsy/blood test to look for mercury in this man’s system, so it’s early days.