Twenty-five years after the Bhopal gas leak, I still wonder if we are any wiser on an antidote to Methyl isocyanate. Wikipedia doesn’t have an entry for MIC antidote. Presumably, it still remains a trade secret of Union Carbide (now owned by Dow Chemical) – a secret that killed thousands in Bhopal and left thousands of others physically impaired.
Doctors in Bhopal on that December night in 1984, clueless and left to their own devices, administered drugs for cyanide poisoning, as victims who inhaled the gas poured in at Hamidia Hospital only to die by the hundreds. I recall, reporting in The Times of India, ‘ all nine cremation grounds in town were kept busy round the clock’. And all that Union Carbide could be persuaded to say, in the face of such calamitous gas leak, was that methyl isocyanate ‘had nothing to do with cyanide and that the two substances had entirely different effects on tissues and human health’. They weren’t being very helpful, were they ?
Postmortem indicated that the deaths were due to respiratory failure following pulmonary oedema (fluid in the lungs). It was found that the lungs of gas victims contained 250 cc of fluid and weighed 900 grams against the normal lungs weight of 400 to 500 grams.
Sourced from my article : The night Bhopal Turned a Gas Chamber.