Mercury Affected Children and Ex-workers From Kodaikanal Protest Outside the AGM of HLL

Mumbai, 18 May 2007: Ex Workers and their children from the Hindustan Lever (HLL) mercury thermometer factory in Kodaikanal along with their supporters in Mumbai today protested outside the venue of the Annual General Meting (AGM) of HLL demanding accountability form the company. Eleven ex-workers exposed to toxic mercury (representing about 500 affected workers) highlighted the various health problems like neurological disorders, tremors, bleeding gums, heart disorders, renal malfunctions and high levels of abortions among women during their work at the thermometer factory. To highlight the intensity of the problem, 5 children born to the ex-workers were also present, these children suffer from various known mercury induced illnesses such as brain disorders, heart disorders and congenital deformities. Appealing to the shareholders of HLL, the ex-workers said, “Shareholders should not only be interested in the profits but also demand responsibility from the company. Kodaikanal is a liability that the company cannot escape from and shareholders should ensure that justice is done to the victims of HLL here.”