PRESS RELEASE | Music Video Spotlights Unilever’s Double Standards in Mercury Cleanup

Unilever’s unending racism: Image gallery and fact-sheet: Tamil | English 29 June, 2018. CHENNAI Artists and social activists in Chennai and Kodaikanal today released “Kodaikanal Still Won’t” — a music video that brands the Anglodutch multinational Unilever’s double standards in cleaning up its mercury contaminated factory site in Kodaikanal as a case of environmental racism. The video featuring rapper Sofia Ashraf […]

Unending fallout of defunct thermometer factory at Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu: The New Indian Express

CHENNAI: The three-month soil remediation trials carried out by Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) in the now-defunct thermometer factory at Kodaikanal failed to achieve even the ‘liberal’ 20 mg/kg mercury clean-up standard. Environmentalists suspect that the trials may have liberated more mercury to the environment than was recovered. While the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and […]

High Mercury Levels in Fish from Kodai lake, Periakulam Ponds; IIT-Hyderabad Study Cautions Fish Consumers

PRESS RELEASE — 12 November, 2017. MADURAI Download Media Kit A study by IIT-Hyderabad has found high levels of mercury in fish from Kodaikanal lake and ponds fed by the Pambar Stream in Periakulam plains. A letter written by IIT-H scientist Prof. Asif Qureshi to Theni and Dindigul district collectors, and Kodaikanal municipal commisioner on August 2, 2017 urges the administration […]

Don’t accept sub-standard cleanup in Kodai – Write to the environment minister

Hindustan Unilever has proposed to clean the mercury contamination in Kodaikanal to a standard that is 20 times WEAKER than what may be considered safe for residents in the United Kingdom, where Unilever is headquartered. What is more shocking is that the Central Pollution Control Board seems to have endorsed this. Please don’t accept Unilever’s […]

PRESS RELEASE – Study Finds Record High Levels Mercury in Kodai Forest Sediments

Issued by Tamilnadu Alliance Against Mercury, St. Mary’s Road Residents Welfare Association & Community Environmental Monitoring 15 June, 2016 — Exposing as false Hindustan Unilever’s claim that its mercury contaminated factory site is not an ongoing threat to the Pambar Shola ecology, results of analyses from a Department of Atomic Energy laboratory have revealed record […]

Unilever’s Mercury Pollution in Kodaikanal, India – Claims vs Reality

In 2001, a mercury thermometer factory operated by Unilever subsidiary Hindustan Unilever Ltd was shut down by state environmental regulators after it was found that the company had illegally disposed tonnes of mercury wastes at a local scrapyard. The factory site, which is nestled between two biodiverse and ecologically valuable watershed forests in the beautiful […]

Victory – Hindustan Unilever settles with 591 Kodaikanal workers

PRESS RELEASE: Activists Celebrate as Unilever Settles with Kodaikanal Workers 9 March, 2016 — The settlement between Hindustan Unilever and 591 former mercury workers from its thermometer factory in Kodaikanal is an unprecedented victory and a fitting culmination of the 15-year campaign by workers and the hundreds of thousands of supporters worldwide, said campaign organisations […]

IPEN Mercury Policy Advisor – Guidance on the indentification, management and remediation of mercury-contaminated sites.

Find the full document attached below.

This multigenre music video, fusing rap, carnatic and gaana kuthu spotlights Anglo-dutch multinational Unilever's double standards and its refusal to apply the globally accepted environmental standards in India. In 2001, Unilever dumped toxic mercury in the South Indian hill town of Kodaikanal, poisoning its workers and the forest. It took 15 years of campaigning and a rap song that went viral to force Unilever to settle with its workers. But the mercury-tainted factory site continues to leak the deadly neurotoxin into the environment and the forests nearby. Unilever refuses to apply the same standards of clean-up for India that it would have to in Europe. That is Environmental Racism. It is up to us to remind Unilever to treat all people equally. Support us to get Unilever to shed its double standards.

Please sign and circulate the petition NOW

The verdant hills, forests and grasslands of Kodaikanal — a popular tourist destination in South India — hides a toxic secret. Unsafe practices of handling and disposing hazardous material at Unilever’s mercury thermometer factory has exposed hundreds of workers to toxic mercury and contaminated the local environment. Dozens of workers have died prematurely, and hundreds of others and their families are struggling to cope with illnesses they believe are caused by exposure to mercury. The tonnes of mercury released into Kodai’s environment by the company has polluted the soil and water and can affect generations to come unless it is cleaned up to exacting standards. In fact, ex-workers say that Unilever’s toxic act is already claiming lives and futures of a second generation of victims. The company, for its part, acknowledges that mercury contaminates the environment but denies that its past practices and its failure to clean up is hurting people.

Poisoned – Pictures by Sudhanshu Malhotra

HLEU Demonstration outside HUL Head Office