Chemical Corridor

TitleChemical Corridor
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsHedahl, M, Henderson, M, Heurer, K, Nelson, JL, Rieder, TN, Whyte, K
Corporate AuthorsGeorgetown University Undergraduate Bioethics Society,, American Society for Bioethics + Humanities,
Date Published05/2013
PublisherGeorgetown University Undergraduate Bioethics Society
Place PublishedWashington, D.C.
KeywordsCHEMISTRY , ENVIRONMENTAL , ENVIRONMENTAL ethics , ENVIRONMENTAL policy , Environmental Sciences
Abstract(See page 10 of PDF) There is an 85 mile stretch of the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to new Orleans Lousiana unofficially known as "Chemical Corridor." The area is heavily industrialized, hosting numerous oil refineries, petrochemical plants, and factories. The EPA's Toxic Release Inventory cits literally tons of chemicals released into the environment along this stretch of river, and this area is home for mostly poor and black people, who are thought to suffer from a higher incidence of several diseases, including cancer and ashma. Recently, a manufacturer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) a common plastic used for pipes, was considering installing a plant here, but under threat of legal protest, decided instead to build it in a less poor community, removing a potential source for more contamination but taking much-needed jobs with it. Should private companies be held liable for the negative externalities of their business practices? How is your response affected with reference to the lack of clear, scientific evidence on the health effects of these business practices?
NotesCase from the 2013 Bioethics Bowl head as part of the National Undergraduate Bioethics Conference. Hosted by Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. April 5-7, 2013.
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