Chemicals & Manufacturing

ArcelorMittal, the global steel giant, has been ordered to hand over documents about the environmental impact of two South African facilities to community activists. The Luxembourg-based company, the largest steel producer in Africa, has been accused of polluting the air and water as well as dumping hazardous waste.
Indonesia's economy is riding the recent wave of high global commodity prices. But local pressure is arising towards steel makers and power producers in China and India who have diverted coal supplies abroad by locking in 20-year supply contracts with Indonesian miners.
Asbestos, a known carcinogen, causes 100,000 occupational deaths per year. Although banned in much of the world, asbestos is a common and dangerous building block in much of Asia's development boom, and its export remains both legal and profitable -- to the health detriment of the region.
Residents took to the streets of Chengdu to protest a $5.5 billion ethylene plant under construction by PetroChina, reflecting a surge in environmental awareness by urban, middle-class Chinese determined to protect their health and the value of their property.
A Chinese facility that hasn't been inspected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made the active ingredient in much of the widely used Baxter International Inc. blood-thinner that is under investigation after reports of hundreds of allergic reactions and four deaths among the drug's users, the agency said yesterday.
CrocTail is an extension of the Crocodyl.org Wiki web site project, an online compendium profiling the accountability and transparency track records of multinational corporations. Developed with support from the Sunlight Foundation, CrocTail users can search the entire subsidiaries database. In this new version, users can click on different years and see how subsidiary relationships for a company have changed over time.
Neighbors of a former IBM plant in New York state sued the company on Thursday, saying it released chemicals into the air, ground and water for nearly 80 years that caused birth defects and cancer.
School Districts and city governments are promising to purchase "sweat-free" uniforms and sports equipment. Organizers say the grassroots initiatives are a cutting edge in the fight against sweatshops.
In a combative and sometimes colorful annual meeting, Chevron's CEO and chairman exchanged barbs with activists over pollution in the Amazon rain forest and the company's human rights record. The nation's second-largest oil company is awaiting a verdict from a judge in Ecuador that could come with a $27 billion price tag.
Residents of the town of Blackwell, Oklahoma have brought a class action lawsuit against mining giant Freeport McMoRan. The plaintiffs say that the company's zinc smelter, which closed in 1974, left a toxic legacy in the town, including contaminated sand from the smelter that was given away for free.