The Bhopal Disaster

Om mig - about me


During the night Dec 2-3, 1984, large amounts of water entered a tank containing 43 tonnes of Methyl isocyanate (MIC) in Union Carbide's plant in Bhopal, India. A strong chemical reaction started and a big cloud of toxic gases spread over the sleeping town. 500,000 people were exposed to the gases. 8,000 died within the first week, and 8,000 since. 100,000 have permanent injuries.

Today, Dow Chemical has taken over Union Carbide Corporation. The survivors fight for their right to full economic compensation and medical care. Together with other residents, they fight for Dow and the Government of India to clean up the polluted area and the ground water.

Since September 29, 2008, I have had difficulties to get visa. These problems seemed to be over - but in spite of my visa, I was not allowed to enter India in January 2011! Instead I was sent back to Sweden. Is it a crime for foreigners to support human rights in India? Please make comments in my blog!

When my "granddaughter" was going to marry in October 2015, the ambassador obtained permission for me to go to Bhopal "for strict private reasons". I missed the wedding but spent three marvellous December weeks with her and her relatives in Bhopal - first visit for nearly six years! Of course, I also visited my friends at Sambhavna and Chingari Trust. It might be a one time event - I don't know what will happen next time I apply for visa.

(in Swedish and English) are found here

THE BHOPAL SAGA - Causes and Consequences of the World's Largest Industrial Disaster

India: Universities Press. ISBN 81-7371-515-7.

This is the book I published in India on time for the 20th anniversary of the Bhopal Gas Leak in 1984. Since I was in Bhopal for the first time, as a member of the International Medical Commission on Bhopal 1994, I have collected all material that I could find. The list of references contains more than 200 items.

The Bhopal Saga contains little new information that has not been published before. But the material is structured, systematized and analysed. It covers the period from the Green Revolution during the 60s until 2003. 

The Bhopal Saga covers technical, medical, economic, social, psychological and environmental aspects of the disaster. 

I show that the figure for immediate deaths should be more than 8,000 people. The official figure is 4,000. I also show the whole range of diseases and symptoms that has hit the survivors, as well as the insufficient support from the Governments and Union Carbide.

My analysis shows that the causes of the leakage were the design of the plant and the economic pressure. The parties responsible for the magnitude of the disaster are Union Carbide Corporation and the Governments of India and Madhya Pradesh.The publisher is Universities Press (India) Private Ltd, Hyderabad. The book's royalty goes to Sambhavna Clinic.

Read the manuscript DOI 10.13140/2.1.3457.5364
Read parts of The Bhopal Saga at
Review in Down To Earth, February 2005
Review in Environmental Health Perspectives, May 2005

In India: Sambhavna Trust Clinic   
Outside India: Apex Press, USA 
Second hand Amazon 
Or by the author    

The Bhopal Saga is also found at some university libraries in USA, GB and Sweden.
In Bhopal, it is donated to Gandhi Medical College.

"Chemical Industry and Public Health - Bhopal as an example" is the title of my essay in MPH 2001. It is a shorter version of The Bhopal Saga (58 pages, 82 references).
Read the essay here

"The Bhopal gas leak: Analyses of causes and consequences by three different models. Journal of Loss Prevention in the process industry 2005:18;213-217.
Read the abstract here. Read the text here.

The Bhopal Saga - causes and consequences of the world's largest industrial disaster. Abstract for 14th World Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine 2005:20; suppl. 1 p 92

"The Bhopal disaster 1984 - working conditions and the role of the trade unions" in Asian-Pacific newsletter on occupational health and safety, 2006:13(2);48-49. Read the article here.

"Bhopal Gas Catastrophy 1984: Causes and Consequences" in Encyclopedia of Environmental Health, Elsevier 2011, p. 302-316. Read the abstract here.  

"Bhopal Gas Catastrophe 1984: Causes and Consequences". Updated in Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, 2013. Read the abstract here

The Bhopal Saga (long version 2015)
The Bhopal Saga (short version) 
Too late for good epidemiology from WONCA 2006, Firenze, Italy 
Combining "complementary" medicine with western medicine 
The Bhopal Disaster 1984 - Children's acute and chronic exposure to chemical substances 
More presentations are found here


Read an interview from 1999, the 15th anniversary (in Swedish) here
Read an interview from 2004, the 20th anniversary (in Swedish) here 
Listen to an interview in Radio UPF 2006 (in Swedish) here

Apex Press sells new and old books about the Bhopal Gas Tragedy.


The Bhopal People's Health and Documentation Center. Here allopathic (western) medicine as well as Ayurvedic (traditional Indian) medicine and Yoga are offered to the victims. The clinic is financed by private contributions, mainly from the USA and Great Britain. It started on a very small scale but is steadily expanding. The new building was inaugurated in april, 2005. 

Read more at English Wikipedia

Read "The Architecture of Healing", an article about the new buildings.

Sambhavna is supported by the Swedish Doctors for the Environment (LfM)

Economic contributions can be made on


Since 2005, disabled children to affected parents or living in the waterpolluted area, get treatment here. Support is also given to poor women.

Economic contributions can be made on


Workshop and symposium Jan 23 - Febr 4, 2011 with the purpose to find a "heritage form" for the plant area. See

Websites The website from the conference about how to make the plant site to a memorial site. Order the memorial book!  The official website of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal. It's the authoritative resource for Bhopal information, and contains the latest updates and events from around the world.  The official website of the Sambhavna clinic in Bhopal.  American students are active in the fight for the Bhopal survivors. Lots of information is available here. Two surviving women started a clinic for treatment of children and supporting women.  

Wikipedia about Bhopal disaster  Here are a lot of facts about the catastrophe as well as links and recommended literature. The version from July 30, 2012 contains more reference material than the current version.

Wikipedia about IMCB  Here is information on the International Medical Commission on Bhopal, 1994.  The official website of Union Carbide and Dow Chemical. The official website of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation Department, Government of Madhya Pradesh

Bhopalkatastrofen  Svenska Wikipedia 

Den fruktansvärda natten i Bhopal  Bra sammanfattning i Ny Teknik 2.12.2009

Photoes from 1984

Slide show Greenpeace

Pablo Bartholomew



It happened in Bhopal part 1 27.8.2007 Youtube

It happened in Bhopal part 2 27.8.2007 Youtube

Sambhavna Trust Clinic 2007


Bhopali the movie  Made in 2009

Bhopal - a prayer for rain  Released 2014. A good documentary.

Updated July 17, 2015