Dow Chemical already had a sinister reputation before they acquired Union Carbide, in 2001. Dow Chemical put a lot of money into its development and manufacturing of napalm for the U.S. military, a chemical which was infamous in the Vietnam War for giving people horrific burns and damaging a generation of unborn babies.
Union Carbide, though, is directly responsible for the deaths of around 8,000 Indian people in December 1984, and the birth defects that followed. The Bhopal disaster occurred when a pesticide factory in Bhopal, India, owned and operated by Union Carbide Corporation, leaked large and deadly amounts of Methyl isocyanate, a highly poisonous gas. So many people were affected because the workers at the plant were so poor that their families set up homes outside the factory gates.
Union Carbide offered $350 million in compensation, the Government of India said that the damages cost $3.3 billion; the Government, in the end, had to settle for $470 million. Throughout the years, UCC have had to fund hospitals and response centers after being nagged by officials, but many still say that what UCC have donated is negligible when compared to the human cost of the disaster.
Dow Chemical, who are the wealthier new owners of Union Carbide, have yet to make significant reparations to the people of Bhopal.
--I'm posting this because Dow Chemical is one of the companies we, at my company, publicly get news about, and I do recognize it's one of the biggest Chemical companies worldwide. FML!