Royal Dutch Shell Group .com Shell contests Brazil toxic site report


A News item from Business Respect, Issue Number 12, dated 8 Sep 2001


Oil and chemical group Royal Dutch/Shell has defended itself against the conclusions of a report in Brazil regarding the contamination from one of its factories in Paulinia. In particular, the company disputes that the pollution which occurred represented any threat to the health of the residents.


Shell admitted earlier this year that the plant had affected the soil and groundwater, with discharges of Aldrin, Dieldrin and Endrin prior to 1990. These chemicals are amongst the most toxic known, and are part of the group of substances collectively termed "the dirty dozen".


The report, released by the Paulinia City Hall, suggested that 156 of the 181 residents examined have some degree of contamination from the chemicals, with 28 of the children suffering chronic contamination.


Shell has stated, however, that the findings are contrary to work carried out by the company using data collected by US and Brazilian laboratories - which showed no contamination. Dr Flavio Zambrone, the toxicologist hired by Shell to carry out their analysis, accused City Hall of using low benchmarks compared to those recommended by the World Health Organisation.


Shell has already made a commitment to decontaminate the site and has provided drinking water, social counseling and medical exams for residents.


Article source: Reuters


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