Brazilian prosecutors are asking a court to force Shell and BASF to pay $500 million in compensation to workers allegedly contaminated at an agriculture chemicals plant.
Two Brazilian courts have ruled the companies must pay for polluting the site in Sao Paulo state.
But the case remains before a higher court in Brasilia.
A prosecutors' spokesman says the new request for payment was made because of the urgency of the health situation for hundreds of people who worked at the site between 1977 and 2002.
Spokesman Rafael Almeida said Wednesday the soil and water at the plant site is "totally contaminated" with toxic chemicals.
Shell Brasil SA says it has not been informed of the new legal action. BASF SA didn't respond to requests for comment.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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