File Size: 1606 KB
Print Length: 270 pages
Publisher: Trafford Publishing (January 24, 2012)
Publication Date: January 24, 2012
Sold by: Digital Services LLC
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Best Sellers Rank: #1,008,646 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) #54 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Civil & Environmental > Environmental > Insecticides & Pesticides #1656 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Reference > History #2049 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Science > Technology > General & Reference
The Black Box of Bhopal, by Dr. Themistocles D'Silva, is a clear and comprehensive account of the Bhopal plant disaster, including the plant's origin, the gaseous decomposition and its analysis and social and legal events following. Dr. D'Silva was a member of the scientific team that investigated the event and analyzed the contents of fateful Tank # 610(along with Tank # 611, the "black boxes").From a series of over 500 experiments, the team was able to reproduce the exact decomposition on a laboratory scale and establish the initial conditions. D'Silva's conclusions, borne out by two independent studies, was that the gaseous emission resulted from introduction of a massive volume of water into the methyl isocyanate of Tank # 610. The implications of the water introduction are discussed. This book is unique as the first account of the incident by an organic chemist with both opportunity and background to uncover the event's causes and explain them in detail. Extensive footnoting of technical and press reports preserves the high readability of the text, never obscured by its extensive documentation. Dr. D'Silva is an internationally-recognized expert in carbamate and methyl isocyanate chemistry and his book is essential for an understanding of the Bhopal tragedy. David T. Manning, Ph.D.
D'Silva'a account of the Bhopal MIC tragedy was clear and concise. The case is now closed. He informs us of the background of the building of the plant, the negotiations and contract with the Indian government, and critical decisions made that affected the profitability of the operations. Several circumstances (political upheaval, worker discontent, plant maintenance negligence, cost cutting, imminent plant shutdown) conspired to creat a recipe for disaster. The tragedy that followed the act of sabotage could have been averted if the proper safeguards were in place. D'Silva adeptly highlights crucial technical, business, legal, and political aspects of the rise and fall of Union Carbide India Limited's pesticide business, the release of methyl isocyanate that smothered the lives of so many innocent people, and the bungled aftermath. He conveys the conclusive results of the chemical investigation by Union Carbide Agricultural Products Company, Inc. of the MIC storage tank residue after the incident, previously published in peer-reviewed technical journals, in terms easily understood by the general public.D'Silva maintains a tone of compassion throughout his narrative. His many conversations with victims of the tragedy remind us of the huge moral cost and its unimaginable toll on human life and suffering. He should be very proud of his successful ten-year effort to get the true story told- it's one that's worth listening to.D'Silva will donate all proceeds from the book to charitable and educational institutions in India.
A good book that gives an inside perspective on the Bhopal gas tragedy. For someone like me who is not a chemist by training, some more detail would have helped in interpreting the data, especially the tables in the appendix. It would have also made it easier to understand and explain to someone else what he says the flaws in the official analysis are, especially because the author's views would be confronting a skeptical audience. It could also do with an update in light of more recent court verdicts.
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