Dow’s Expansion into Nuclear Weapons and the Aftermath Essay
637 Words3 Pages
Dow’s Expansion into Nuclear Weapons and the Aftermath
Rocky Flats Plant, a nuclear weapons production facility managed by Dow from 1951 to 1975, produced plutonium triggers for hydrogen bombs. A number of accidents took place under Dow’s management during this period. In 1957, radioactive particles were released into the atmosphere due to the burning of plutonium dust by a fire in the facility. In 1967, 3,500 barrels (560 m3) of lubricants and solvents, laden with plutonium, leaked into the ground. Another fire took place in 1969 and it was the costliest industrial accident in the USA up to that time. Finally, Rockwell International took over the management of the facility in 1975.
In 2008, a federal judge ordered Dow and Rockwell to pay…show more content… The original product wasn’t so hot – if the gooks (Vietnamese) were quick they could scrape it off. So the boys started adding polystyrene – now it sticks like shit to a blanket. But then if the gooks jumped under water it stopped burning, so they started adding Willie Peter (white phosphorus) to make it burn better. It’ll burn under water now. And just one drop is enough; it’ll keep on burning right down to the bone so they die anyway from phosphorus poisoning.”
Agent Orange was another of the Dow’s horrific innovations. This time it was with another company, Monsanto with Dow being the principal manufacturers. Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant containing dioxin, was used during the US military’s chemical warfare in Vietnam. US air force planes bombed jungles and paddy fields with Agent Orange to destroy forest cover and food crops used by the Vietnamese resistance and villagers. The defoliant which was poison in itself was also contaminated with dioxins which caused serious health effects in generations of humans. In 2005, a lawsuit was filed by Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange against Dow and Monsanto Co. The lawsuit was dismissed whereas, Dow settled for $180 million with 4,000 American veterans exposed to the herbicide during the Vietnam War in 1984. The Vietnamese victims are still waiting for justice to be delivered.
Dow has misused its knowledge