The verdant hills, forests and lakes of Kodaikanal — a popular tourist destination in South India — hides a toxic secret. Unsafe practices of handling and disposing hazardous material at Unilever’s thermometer factory has contaminated the region and exposed hundreds of workers to toxic mercury. Once released into the environment, mercury can cause various symptoms, among them: ‘birth defects, memory loss, organ failures [kidney, liver, reproductive, etc.]’.
Claiming that “There were no adverse effects on the health of the employees or the environment“, Unilever continues to deny responsibility for illnesses suffered by the ex-workers and their families, many of whom died or became physically handicapped as a result of mercury poisoning.