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In utero exposure to methyl isocyanate in the Bhopal gas disaster: evidence of persisting hyperactivation of immune system two decades later
  1. P K Mishra1,
  2. S Dabadghao1,
  3. G K Modi1,
  4. P Desikan1,
  5. A Jain1,
  6. I Mittra2,
  7. D Gupta1,
  8. C Chauhan1,
  9. S K Jain3,
  10. K K Maudar1
  1. 1
    Bhopal Memorial Hospital & Research Centre, Bhopal, India
  2. 2
    Department of Surgical Oncology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, India
  3. 3
    Department of Biotechnology, Dr. HS Gour University, Sagar, India
  1. Pradyumna Kumar Mishra, Department of Research & Training, Bhopal Memorial Hospital & Research Centre, Raisen Bypass Road, Bhopal, India; pkm_8bh{at}

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The methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leak from the Union Carbide Plant at Bhopal, India, in 1984 represents the worst chemical disaster in modern industrial history. The leak resulted in release of 30–40 tons of MIC spreading over approximately 30 square miles. The estimated mortality of this accident is believed to have been between 2500 and 6000 people, with up to 200 000 injured.1 Given the nature and intensity of the accident, many facets of the event have been studied through at least 24 cohort studies among survivors but exposure to MIC and its possible immunological implications never received much attention. Two early studies conducted on exposed adult victims by Deo et al2 and Saxena et al3 reported significant delay of the cell cycle and a decreased response to mitogen-activated stimulation of proliferative lymphocytes studied.

The study was approved by the institutional review board of Bhopal Memorial …

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: The study was approved by the institutional review board of Bhopal Memorial Hospital & Research Centre, India.