By Adriana Brasileiro – May 31, 2012 1:10 AM GMT+0100
Brazilian prosecutors asked a court to order Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and Cosan SA Industria & Comercio’s joint venture Raizen and BASF SE (BAS) to pay 1 billion reais ($496 million) in compensation for workers who were allegedly sickened from work at a pesticide plant, according to a statement from the Labor Prosecutor’s office.
Prosecutors say the plant’s conditions caused severe health problems to workers employed at the facility in Paulinia, Brazil, from 1977 to 2002. The workers came into contact with substances such as aldrin, endrin and dieldrin, which can cause cancer and other diseases, according to the statement.
The prosecutors asked the court to order the companies to pay for medical care for a larger number of workers and their family members. Prosecutors seek to increase the number of people receiving health benefits to 1,142 from 786.
Calls to Raizen and BASF’s press offices in Brazil seeking comment after regular working hours weren’t answered.
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