BAYERwatch on 26 Jan 2001 16:46:04 -0000

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<nettime> Brazil: Bayer contaminates environment

     [orig To: <>]

German Chemicals giant Bayer contaminates Brazil

Greenpeace sampling results show toxic chemicals slated for ban are 
being released at Bayer plant in Rio de Janeiro.

On January 22, 2001, over 20 Greenpeace activists from Brazil, 
Argentina, Chile, USA, Switzerland, Spain and Belgium invaded the Bayer 
Plant located in Nova Iguacu, state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, to 
demand a zero toxic discharge commitment from the company. A new 
Greenpeace investigation shows that Bayer is contaminating the 
environment in Brazil with toxic Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) 
such as PCBs and heavy metals such as mercury.

A group of activists climbed the BAYER hazardous waste incinerator to 
stop the operations and hanged a banner stating "BAYER -- Incineration 
is not the solution!". A 4-meter inflatable model of a foetus was 
floated in front of the plant gates to remind the German chemical 
corporation of the threats to the future generations posed by the 
discharge of heavy metals and POPs into the environment.

Recent Greenpeace sampling of Bayer's effluent from the plant indicate 
Bayer has been releasing toxic chemical into the environment such as 
mercury and PCBs - one of the POPs that world governments agreed to ban 
due to its toxicity to the environment and human health.

"We are here in solidarity to the community of Belford Roxo in Rio de 
Janeiro to send BAYER a very clear message: "STOP POLLUTING", said 
Marcelo Furtado, from Greenpeace. "The company must phase out 
incineration and work towards zero toxic discharge".

PCBs are industrial chemicals used mostly in electrical equipment. They 
harm the environment and have been classified as a persistent global 
pollutant by the UN environment Program. PCBs have also been linked to a 
wide range of effects on the health and development of both wildlife and 
humans including immune suppression, learning disorders and the 
disruption of the hormone system. Of particular concern are the toxic 
effects of persistent organic pollutants on young children and the 
developing foetus. Mercury is an extremely toxic metal. It is 
bioaccumulative and in organic form can permanently damage the nervous 
system, kidneys and developing foetus.

"Bayer are taking advantage of the lax legislation in Brazil to freely 
pollute the environment. This is a blatant case of double standards," 
said Delcio Rodrigues, Greenpeace campaign director.

The Bayer Plant in Nova Iguacu, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil manufactures 
primarily raw materials for polyurethane resins, veterinary and 
phito-sanitary products. They also provide hazardous waste incineration 
and landfilling services to other industries. Bayer has a very poor 
record in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro State Environmental Protection 
Agency has identified Bayer as a leading source of heavy metal 
contamination of the Baia de Guanabara. The plant has a history of 
contaminating the environment with Chromium VI. Last year the U.S. 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Bayer 
Corporation in Baytown, TX (USA), for safety and health violations, with 
penalties totalling USD$135,900.



BAYERwatch collects information about BAYER and coordinates activities 
against violations of human and environmental rights caused by this 
company. Anyone who has information on possibly illicit activities of 
BAYER - please let us know. Anyone who needs photos or information 
concerning BAYER is invited to contact us:

CBG/BAYERwatch, Postfach 15 04 18, 40081 Duesseldorf, Germany


Fax: +49 211 333 940 Tel: +49 211 333 911

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