Dow Chemical Company
• The Dow Chemical Company merged with Union Carbide in 2001 to become the world’s second largest chemical company, primarily producing chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, and plastics.
• Dow Chemical produced the incendiary weapon napalm and the extremely toxic defoliant Agent Orange, used during the Vietnam War.
• Union Carbide was responsible for one of the worst industrial disasters in recorded history when 27 tons of deadly gases were released into the city of Bhopal, India in 1984 killing thousands within hours and in the days that followed.
• Dow continues to fight to shirk responsibility for the disaster, and has even taken legal action against survivors’ groups.
• Use Go Green to find out how to avoid supporting Dow, and take action with Students for Bhopal, Corporate Accountability International or Greenpeace and demand Dow reform and address the Bhopal chemical catastrophe.
-- Profile Updated 08/05/2010
About Dow Chemical Company
The Dow Chemical Company is the world’s second largest chemical company, behind only BASF. Dow’s primary industries are chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, agricultural sciences and plastics. In 2005 Dow sold $46.307 billion worth of goods and employed 42,413 people.
Investor Environmental Health Network
The Investor Environmental Health Network heads a campaign to secure sustainable long-term returns on investments by making sure companies are actively reducing the risks associated with toxic chemicals in their products…
The Investor Environmental Health Network heads a campaign to secure sustainable long-term returns on investments by making sure companies are actively reducing the risks associated with toxic chemicals in their products. The campaign asks that companies keep investors fully informed of any toxics risks and calls on investors to engage in shareholder activism through resolutions where appropriate.
Dirty Dow Campaign
Students for Bhopal is working to get Dow to take responsibility for a history absolutely plagued by environmental and humanitarian crime, and to amend their practices to prevent further catastrophes and environmental destruction. Along with numerous ways to get involved in reforming Dow, Students for Bhopal’s Dirty Dow resource outlines Dow’s shameful track record of putting profits before all else at an enormous human cost.
Greenpeace Bhopal Campaign
Greenpeace is calling on Dow to address the continued human suffering caused by the Bhopal disaster in India, the most catastrophic chemical spill to date. Dow Chemical purchased Union Carbide, the company responsible for the Bhopal incident, and has yet to take responsibility for the environmental and health problems that Union Carbide left in its wake. Greenpeace is urging the public to pressure Dow to take action on the matter.
There are no known affiliates associated with Dow Chemical Company.
Contact Dow Chemical Company
Dow Chemical Company
Midland, MI 48674 USA
Health and Safety
Although the Bhopal disaster is often held up as the worst example of the chemical industry’s disregard for human life, Dow’s products have a terrifying tendency to cause massive health problems and birth defects even when used as intended. Products that cause these defects can cause suffering generations after the initial exposure. For example, the defoliant Agent Orange continues to plague American and Vietnamese civilians and soldiers exposed to it during the Vietnam War. Dow also produced the now banned pesticide DDT, which is linked to human cancer and resulted in egg shell thinning among birds, nearly wiping out many species of American birds including the Bald Eagle. DCBP (Nemagon), Dursban, Dioxin, and Vinyl Chloride are just a few more of Dow’s products that have caused, and continue to cause, health and other environmental problems for people the world over. The scope of the contamination Dow has achieved is as staggering as the number of chemicals it has contributed—Dow has contaminated areas as diverse and far flung as Bhopal, India; Colombo, Sri Lanka; New Plymouth, New Zealand; Plaquemine, Louisiana; Seadrift, Texas; Uravan, Colorado; and finally, Dow has so thoroughly contaminated the area surrounding its headquarters in Midland, Michigan that residents are advised not to come into contact with the soil around their homes. While this is by no means an exhaustive list of Dow’s hazardous products and contaminations, it paints an undeniable picture of a company that is simply not concerned with human safety or the environment.
-- Students for Bhopal, 11/06/2007
Source URL: www.studentsforbhopal.org/DirtyDow.htm#Uranium
A Los Angeles jury ruled in favor of a group of fruit growers in the first of five trials pitting thousands of Central Americans against the fruit giant Dole and pesticide manufacturer Dow Chemical. Although the jury did not find that all the defendants had been sufficiently injured by the companies to warrant compensation, in the case of 6 workers the jury felt that Dole and Dow had caused them grievous harm. Specifically, the workers were exposed by Dole to the pesticide Nemagon (DCPB), which among other toxic side effects can cause sterility. While Dole was found to bear the majority of the blame for exposing the workers, Dow, the manufacturer of the chemical, was found to have concealed and “actively suppressed” information regarding the pesticide’s reproductive toxicity. The workers won a total award of $3.3 million dollars, and the companies still face legal challenges from more than 5,000 other workers who claim that they were sterilized by exposure to Nemagon.
-- BBC News, 11/05/2007
Source URL: news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7080143.stm
US PIRG identified Dow Chemical as one of twelve companies endangering the most people. A 2004 report entitled, “Dangerous Dozen: A Look at How 12 Chemical Companies Jeopardize Millions of Americans,” found that approximately 6.03 million people live in Dow Chemical’s “vulnerability zones.” The EPA defines the radius of a “vulnerability zone” as the greatest distance between “the point of release of a hazardous substance in which the airborne concentration could reach the level of concern under specified weather conditions.” People living within these zones have an increased risk of being affected by Dow Chemical’s production of phosgene, chlorine, and hydrocyanic acid.
-- U.S. PIRG, 06/01/2004
Source URL: static.uspirg.org/reports/DangerousDozen2004.pdf
Cargill and Dow are the parent of companies of Cargill Dow, maker of NatureWorks PLA, a synthetic material made without petroleum and instead uses corn. While the use of this biodegradable and renewable resource is an important step toward sustainability, the company fails to inform consumers that the corn used for its products is genetically engineered. Many environmental groups are adamantly opposed to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) for a host of reasons, including concerns about what would happen if GMOs manage to contaminate non-modified crops. Cargill is one of the world’s largest producers of genetically engineered corn. Critics claim that Cargill Dow products are merely another manifestation of the company’s attempts to fight the growing criticism of genetically modified organisms through greenwashing.
-- Organic Consumers Association, 04/22/2002
Source URL: www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=2328
According to the nonprofit investigative journalism group the Center for Public Integrity, Dow Chemical has been linked to 96 superfund sites where it may be solely or partially responsible for contamination. A Superfund site is defined as a toxic waste site that falls under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund program, which was enacted in 1980. Under the law, companies and other parties found responsible for polluting sites are required to clean up the area or pay the costs for cleanup to the EPA. So far, Dow has only managed to clean up 15 of their 96 sites, and on one site they have failed to prevent contaminated groundwater from spreading.
-- Center for Public Integrity, 11/07/2007
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has cited Dow Chemical for violating testing, operating, monitoring, record keeping, reporting, and notification requirements as outlined in the Clean Air Act. The Midland, Michigan-based company also exceeded the national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants, and the EPA has filed an administrative complaint for the company’s failure to comply with the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. Dow Chemical has been cited for neglecting to file the required chemical release form for the years 2000, 2001, and 2002. The EPA has proposed a $53,109 penalty for these violations.
-- Planet Ark, 07/17/2006
A 2006 CERES report titled "Corporate Governance and Climate Change: Making the Connection," commissioned by Investor Responsibility Resource Center, details a comprehensive measurement of how 100 leading global companies are responding to global warming. Through an evaluation of board oversight, management performance, public disclosure, emissions accounting, and strategic performance, to address climate change, the companies were evaluated on a 0 to 100 scale. Dow scored a total of 59 points.
-- CERES, 03/21/2006
In May 2005 Amnesty International offices around the world sent letters to the top shareholders of Dow Chemical, including 100 top investors in the US such as Fidelity, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and Merrill Lynch. The letters asked investment institutions to demand information from Dow about liabilities associated with the Union Carbide chemical disaster in Bhopal, India. In November Dow investors holding shares with a combined worth of $190 million filed a resolution requesting an explanation of company initiatives to deal with the environmental and health impacts of the Bhopal disaster.
-- Amnesty International, 11/30/2005
Ethics and Governance
In 2006 Dow Chemical CEO Andrew N. Liveris received $16,821,542 in compensation according to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) calculations, and $12,041,183 by the alternative calculation method used by the AFL-CIO.
-- AFL-CIO, 11/05/2007