Coincidence or Consequence?: Reinhard Krause / Reuters
Eleven-year-old Salu Raikwar, born with six fingers on both hands, walks near the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. In December 1984 an estimated 27 tons of toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked from the plant and into the environment. The disaster resulted in the death of more than 6,000 people.
Now, with the passing of the 25th anniversary of the disaster, anecdotal evidence and reports not publicly available suggest a long-lasting legacy in the form of higher rates of cancer, delayed growth, and birth defects like webbed or extra fingers and cleft palates in children of parents exposed to the chemical, but no comprehensive studies have been made.