Everytime I see one of those "feel good" ads for General Electric, my skin crawls. "We bring good things to life" should more accurately be "We bring good dividends to our shareholders - At any cost".
I'm from a town in Connecticut along the Housatonic river, arguably the most beautiful river in the Northeastern US. In the 1970's a GE plant upstream in Pittsfield Mass. for years had been dumping raw PCB laden cooling oil from old electrical transformers (the one's on telephone poles) into the Housatonic, instead of wasting precious shareholder dividend dollars processing the waste oil.
PCB is heavier than water, so didn't simply wash out into the ocean. It settled into the silty riverbed, polluting fish and making them inedible. Not only that, but whenever the river floods, to this day, that contaminated silt is washed over the banks onto flood plains. In the town where I grew up, there is a town park that has been routinely coated with this contaminated silt. Children play in this park all the time...
For the last 20 years, GE was first denying, then offering insultingly paltry settlements for this damage. I myself used to work at a GE division and when I told co-workers this story was told to "just be quiet".
This is only one example of the quiet damage that I'm sure goes on even today. In addition, I shudder to think what kind of poisons are being dumped by GE and other multinationals in developing countries, where corrupt officials are more than happy to take a little money to look the other way while these nations largely young populations are in effect treated as lab rats.
"We bring good things to life" - like death?
McSpotlight: The action of PCBs on fatty tissue is swift, irreversible and frequently fatal in moderate doses. The symptoms of contamination are a sudden, large and disfiguring rash of blackheads called chloracne; if you get such a rash, you should avoid eating any fish or crustaceans, especially bottom-feeders like lobster. Try to grind up some activated charcoal (the sort you put in fishtanks) and eat that and get yourself down to your local hospital as fast as possible. You should also report your case to any group that may be concerned; your local environmental agency, any pressure groups and your local authorities.