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Nityanand Jayaraman, 05/12/06, Letter to the editor, Midland Daily News (never published)
Letter to Editor
Midland Daily News
12 May, 2006
I live in India, but follow your newspaper regularly despite the distance because both Midland and Bhopal are tied in controversy over one company. I am intimately aware of the cavalier manner in which Dow Chemical treats people's concerns about toxic contamination. I'm writing in response to the article titled "Soil tests to begin this summer. . ." dated 11 May, 2006. The article suggests that homeowners are concerned about revealing the levels of dioxins on their property. If this is true, it is highly irresponsible of individual property owners to not divulge the levels of dioxins on their land solely to protect property prices. In effect then, the homeowners are functioning like a single family corporation, looking only at the interests of their shareholders (narrowly defined as their family). I'm amazed at what we can allow to happen in the name of privacy. Dioxins are confirmed transboundary pollutants and here, hotspots may be concealed even from their neighbours because a few home-owners may choose to vote to hide the truth, rather than fight for clean-up. What about the privacy rights of those who don't want the chemicals on their land, or to "trespass" into their bodies?
But is this really true? The article is lacking in objectivity and detail. Not one homeowner or resident is quoted, not even to support the view that homeowners, like Dow and DEQ and EPA, want to keep the results of the testing hush-hush.
If there's a Bhopal in white man's land, it's happening now in Midland.
Independent Journalist & Researcher
H19/4 Gangai Street, Kalakshetra Colony
Besant Nagar, Chennai 600 090
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