The fine of 10 million Brazilian reais (about 6 million
dollars) was imposed, after it had become clear that the
company was responsible for a nauseating smell in several
neighbourhoods of the city of Goiânia.
Twenty-five neighbourhoods of the state capital of Goiás
were affected by the odour, which resulted from problems
at the industrial waste treatment plant at Unilever´s
factory in the north of the city. Once the company´s
responsibility had been established the municipal Department
of the Environment ordered a fine of 10 million reais.
According to information provided by experts of the
department since Tuesday, August 26 thousands of residents
had been exposed to a smell comparable to stinking eggs.
Since then the department had received at least 500
complaints by people suffering from headache and nauseas.
During an on-site inspection the odour was especially strong
in the proximity of the waste treatment plant, where high
concentrations of sulphuric gas were measured. This toxic
gas is produced as part of the decomposition process of
organic solids. It affects the mucosa of the respiratory
system, causing irritations to everyone upon contact. The
company´s operations were exceeding the factory´s and the
treatment plant´s capacity, as a result of which the gas was