Union Carbide Corporation



Union Carbide, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical, was founded in 1898 in Niagara Falls, New York, to produce ethylene and other chemicals. In 1930, the company began building the Hawks Nest Tunnel in West Virginia where workers, who were mostly African-American, were exposed to silica. Many of the workers were denied the use of respirators and over 700 were estimated to have died from the breathing in silica dust which is akin to breathing in shards of glass. In 1962, the company began mining asbestos in King City, California, which it shipped to factories in New Jersey and New York for use in industrial manufacturing. Many workers exposed to asbestos became ill with asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Union Carbide, however, is most famous for one of the world’s biggest industrial disasters in Bhopal, India, in December 1984, in which an accidental leak of methyl isocyanate resulted in the deaths of at least 16,000 people and for over 40,000 to be permanently maimed or disabled. The company paid out compensation of $470 million in 1989, but the families of victims in India have continued to fight for a better deal>


Bulk chemicals, ethylene, ethylene derivatives.


Union Carbide violation data can be found here.
Data for Union Carbides parent company, Dow Inc, can be found here.
Number of Records
Total Penalties
~ $2,000,000 (January 4, 2022)
Individual Records & Summaries
Click here for violation data on Union Carbide
Information in this section is drawn from the Violation Tracker database produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First in Washington DC. It is the most comprehensive source of data on business violations of laws and regulations in the United States. For specific examples of misconduct, please click on the links.


Article Archive

Bhopal: The World's Worst Industrial Disaster, 30 Years Later

Published by
The Atlantic
Alan Taylor

Thirty years ago, on the night of December 2, 1984, an accident at the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, released at least 30 tons of a highly toxic gas called methyl isocyanate, as well as a number of other poisonous gases.

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Union Carbide documents showing that "unproven technology" was used in Bhopal

Published by

On 2 December 1973 three documents were presented to the Management Committe of Union Carbide Eastern Inc, a subsidiary of Union Carbide Corporation: a two-page internal memorandum relating to the company’s plan to begin manufacturing methyl-isocyanate at its Bhopal factory; supported by a four-p

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Videos & Podcasts
Union Carbide Disaster In Bhopal India | Flashback | NBC News
Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India - December 3, 1984
Protest marks 30th anniversary of Bhopal gas leak tragedy
India: Protest marks 35th anniversary of Bhopal gas leak tragedy
A Brief History of: The Bhopal Gas Tragedy (Short Documentary)


CorpWatch Stories
Partial Chronology of Union Carbide's Bhopal Disaster

CorpWatch | Helene Vosters | May 15, 2003

Gas spill at the Union Carbide pesticide factory in Bhopal kills 8,000 in first three days. Over 120,000 injured


Recent & Ongoing Campaigns
Victims of Bhopal gas tragedy say pandemic has worsened their plight

Reuters | December 3, 2020

Protesters in the central Indian city of Bhopal formed a human chain on Thursday to demand justice for people suffering cancer, blindness, respiratory, immune and neurological problems from the world’s worst industrial disaster 36 years ago.

Bhopal prays and protests on 35th anniversary of 1984 Union Carbide gas leak tragedy

Express News Service | New India Times | December 4, 2019

On the 35th anniversary of Bhopal Gas Tragedy on Tuesday, organizations working for the cause of the victims and survivors of the 1984 industrial disaster carried out protest marches in the Old Bhopal area here, where the Union Carbide factory now lies defunct.

Bhopal Gas Tragedy: Survivors Stage Protest in Front of Defunct Union Carbide Factory

News 18 | December 3, 2016

Survivors of 1984 Bhopal Gas tragedy on Saturday staged a protest in front of the now-defunct Union Carbide factory here on the 32nd anniversary of the world's worst industrial disaster, with activists alleging that toxic waste lying there was still to be cleaned up.

Angry Protest 30 Years On From Bhopal Disaster

Sky News | December 3, 2014

Victims of the Bhopal disaster in central India have demanded harsher punishments for those responsible and more compensation.

Major Investigations
& Lawsuits
Union Carbide Faces New Lawsuit Over Water Pollution

Curtis Tate | West Virginia Public Broadcasting | September 10, 2021

An attorney for the Courtland Company has filed a new complaint in U.S. district court in Charleston over water pollution from an industrial landfill that Union Carbide owns.

Lawsuit Alleges Union Carbide Failed To Report Toxic Landfill

Brittany Patterson | WV Public Broadcasting | August 7, 2020

On a recent sticky July afternoon, Diana Green stands on the muddy bank of lower Davis Creek in South Charleston, West Virginia

Jury Awards Widow $2.38 Million in Mesothelioma Lawsuit Against Union Carbide

Mesothelioma Hope Team | February 8, 2019

A jury has recently awarded a widow $2.38 Million in a landmark mesothelioma lawsuit against Union Carbide Corporation. Union Carbide is an asbestos supplier and subsidiary of Dow Chemical Company that shipped its asbestos products to the victim’s employer for more than four decades.

Environmental Impacts
The World’s Worst Industrial Disaster Is Still Unfolding

Apoorva Mandavilli | The Atlantic | July 10, 2018

In Bhopal, residents who survived the massive gas leak and those who arrived later continue to deal with the consequences.

Union Carbide accountable for water pollution: Victims

The Economic Times | September 2, 2015

Union Carbide Corp (UCC) is responsible for water pollution that continues to foul local wells at the site of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster, the world's worst industrial tragedy, lawyers representing communities living near the plant have argued in a US federal court.

Employment Practices
& Relations
Bhopal gas tragedy victims face agonising neglect even after 37 years

Anup Dutta | The Hindu | December 3, 2021

Even 37 years after the Bhopal gas tragedy, hundreds of survivors of the world’s worst industrial disaster continue to the fight to receive adequate medical attention and compensation.

High cancer risk from union carbide emissions in kanawha persists analysis suggested workplace study

Mike Tony | Charleston Gazette | July 23, 2021

Pam Nixon wanted answers. It was July 2019, two-and-a-half years since federal environmental regulators had classified ethylene oxide as a carcinogen. Union Carbide plants in Institute and South Charleston had emitted more than 865,000 pounds of the chemical since 1987.


Corporate Headquarters
Most Recent Gross Revenue
$4.377 billion (2019) | source
Most Recent Net Revenue
$0.523 billion (2019) | source
Stock Exchange Tickers
Parent Company - NYSE:DOW

Union Carbide is a subsidiary of Dow Inc.

Croctail Subsidiary Tool using the CorpWatch API - This API extracts the subsidiary relationship information from Exhibit 21 of companies' 10-K filings with the US SEC.

Major Shareholders

Union Carbide parent company, Dow Inc, shareholder data.


Political Influence

Open Secrets - Tracks corporate lobbying of US politicians.


Open Secrets Logo

OpenSecrets.org Profile of Union Carbide

Import & Export Data

ImportYeti - Shipping Tracking Tool - Bill of ladings are public information that are too cost prohibitive, challenging to obtain and difficult to use for the average joe. ImportYeti's goal is to solve that problem.

Subsidy Tracker
Subsidy Tracker
Subsidy Tracker is a project of Good Jobs First in Washington DC. It is the most comprehensive source of data on state and federal subsidies in the United States. For more details, click on the links.
Click here for details on subsidies received by Union Carbide
Tax Havens
& Evasion
Union Carbide Corporation v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, No. 11-2552 (2d circuit 2012)

Swanson Reed | December 16, 2014

This is an appeal from the U.S. Tax Court denying Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) a credit for supplies used in the conduct of qualified research. Judge Pooler agrees with this judgment and files a separate concurrence.

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