Talk:Dow Chemical Company

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Dow Chemical is one of the leading manufacturers of Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that is used in the making of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Recent studies have shown that the BPA in common consumer products is leading to many serious diseases, even at a low level. Effects include infertility, obesity, breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, thyroid malfunction, and attention deficit disorder.[1] Recent studies have also found links to genetic problems leading to chromosome abnormalities which can lead to miscarriages, Down's syndrome, and Turner syndrome, among other serious conditions.[2] Some common products containing BPA include the linings of canned foods, household appliance parts, compact discs, sunglasses, eating utensils, paints, and reusable bottles.[3] See more here. See also an extensive list of products containing BPA in the Friends of the Earth publication, "Bisphenol A in plastics - does it make us sick? A consumer guide."


Chlorpyrifos is a pesticide manufactured and sold by Dow Chemical. At low exposures Chlorpyrifos is known to cause nausea, dizziness, and confusion, and at very high exposures has been linked to respiratory paralysis and death.[4]

Air pollution

Dow ranked number 7 in the Political Economy Research Institute's top 100 air polluters in the U.S. for 2012.[5]

Purchasing agreement for gasified coal

On April 27, 2009 Dow & GreatPoint Energy (a coal gasification company) signed an agreement that gives Dow the option to buy GreatPoint's gasified coal if the company reaches the commercial level. [6] If the two companies do decide to do business with each other, they will enter into a fifteen-year contract and Dow will buy gas from GreatPoint's first three commercial plants.[6] The press release states: "Dow is one of the country’s largest industrial users of natural gas and has over thirty years of gasification experience, having developed its own gasification technology, known as E-gas, and extensive chemical industry processing and technology scale-up experience… Daniel Goldman, GreatPoint Energy’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, who led the negotiations with Dow, commented, “having Dow as a potential major purchaser of natural gas further validates our technology and enables financing structures that will reduce our cost of production." [6] GreatPoint Energy CEO Andrew Perlman stated, “This potential gas agreement will also enable us to move forward with the development of large scale facilities in North America.” [6]

In 2007, Dow worked with Citi Sustainable Development Investments, The AES Corp., and Suncor Energy, Inc. to put together a $100 million investment for GreatPoint Energy. [7] The investment was used to create a pilot gasification plant called the Mayflower Clean Energy Center, located at Dominion's Brayton Point station in Somerset, Massachusetts. This was the largest "green tech" investment of 2007, and "one of the industry's biggest venture capital rounds ever."[8][9]

Shifting material from article page pending rewrite and expanding the referencing. --Bob Burton 15:08, 24 Apr 2006 (EDT)

On December 3rd, 1984, the company Union Carbide, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical, caused the greatest industrial tragedy in history, when a chemical leak, caused by cutbacks on safety, killed thousands of people living in Bhopal, India. Twenty-seven tons of lethal gases leaked from the Union Carbide's pesticide factory, immediately killing 8,000 people and poisoning thousands of others. The factory's safety systems were all either malfunctioning, under repair, or switched off as part of a cost-cutting excercise

Today at least 150,000, including children born to parents who survived the disaster, are suffering from exposure-related health effects such as cancer, neurological damage, and mental illness.

The abandoned factory stands in Bhopal as it did 20 years ago and continues to contaminate the soil and drinking water in Bhopal. Over 20,000 people are forced to drink water laced with alarmingly high levels of mercury, dichlorobenzene, chloroform, carbon tetachlordie and other presistent organic pollutants and heavy metals. Traces of lead and mercury have also been found in breast milk of women living in Bhopal. Many victims do not have access to appropriate medical treatment and are unable to pursue their usual means of livelihood due to illness.

To date, the CEO of the company at the time, Warren Anderson, has not been brought to trial. A very meager compensation package has slowly been finding its way to the people of Bhopal.

[1] Click here for a list of Dow facilities. [2]

See also Dow Chemical entry at

Memorable Dow products

  • Agent Orange is a dioxin contaminated herbicide and defoliant used throughout the Vietnam and Cambodian wars to destroy "communist" villages (i.e. those suspected of harbouring Viet Cong); dioxin is a carcinogen with lasting effects.

Two rarely told stories about Agent Orange:

  1. After the Vietnam War, Dow Chemical reconstituted Agent Orange to be used as a herbicide to purportedly keep high tension cable paths cleared. This toxic chemical (millions of gallons) was sprayed in the southern Amazon region of Brazil to clear vegetated areas. This "new herbicide," Agent Orange dried up vegetated areas which, allowed farmers to later use a slash and burn method in those same locations.
  2. In the 1980's the World Bank aggressively began promoting the cultivation of coffee in Vietnam. The problem is that significant numbers of coffee trees were planted in dioxin contaminated areas, resulting in further contamination of the coffee production. NB: Several companies produced Agent Orange, e.g., Monsanto, Hercules, but Dow Chemical produced the bulk of it and stored it in enormous quantities.
  • Napalm was originally developed by Louis Fieser in 1943, and then "improved" by adding phosphorus (to make it continue to burn when doused with water) and liquid plastics (so it would stick better to skin and other surfaces).

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