Upcoming Events

International | Miscellaneous

no events match your query!

Blog Feeds

Spirit of Contradiction

offsite link On The Decline and Fall of The American Empire and Socialism Sat Jan 26, 2019 01:52 | S. Duncan

offsite link What is Dogmatism and Why Does It Matter? Wed Mar 21, 2018 08:10 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link The Case of Comrade Dallas Mon Mar 19, 2018 19:44 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh

offsite link Fake News: The Epistemology of Media Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:52 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

Spirit of Contradiction >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Alison O’Connor and professional deceit

offsite link Educating Marian Finucane Anthony

offsite link Denis O’Brien: Are the sharks closing in? Anthony

offsite link Kathy Sheridan: Afraid to speak truth to power? Anthony

offsite link Una Mullally: The youth of Ireland are on the march Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link The great fraud of National Zionism Fri Mar 22, 2019 03:16 | The Saker
[This article was written for the Unz Review] The Defining Event for the USA There is no doubt that the 9/11 false flag (now even admitted (by direct implication) by

offsite link Tulsi Gabbard vs the legacy Ziomedia Thu Mar 21, 2019 23:44 | The Saker
Thanks to the Middle-East Observer for sending me this video. Notice how the public applauds when Gabbard says that the US GWOT wars were wrong? The Saker  

offsite link The Cold War Ides of March Thu Mar 21, 2019 18:29 | The Saker
US Cold Warriors escalate toward actual war with Russia. By Stephen F. Cohen for The Nation Magazine Heedless of the consequences, or perhaps welcoming them, America?s Cold Warriors and their

offsite link March 20th Gilets jaunes SITREP Thu Mar 21, 2019 17:54 | The Saker
By Le Saker Francophone for The Saker blog The balance of power between the Gilets Jaunes (Gj) and the government/media couple is becoming tenser, while remaining, for the moment, in

offsite link Tracing The Con(Tours) Of The Inverted Narratives That Bedevil ?THE West? Thu Mar 21, 2019 17:50 | The Saker
by Denis A. Conroy for The Saker Blog Those who allow seriousness to get in the way of imagination, fail to discover what they need to free themselves from. For

The Saker >>

Italy 1976: Seveso, Italy, saw one of Europe's worst environmental disasters

category international | miscellaneous | other press author Sunday August 25, 2013 00:01author by xxx Report this post to the editors

Few industrial accidents can match the severity of the Seveso disaster of 1976. Despite the resulting long-term health problems and environmental risks, however, the accidental release of gases including TCDD -- a form of cancer-causing dioxin -- into a residential area of Italy had some positive legacies, including the creation of tighter environmental regulations and health protections throughout Europe.

A small suburban town some 10 miles north of Milan, Italy, Seveso had a population of about 17,000 in the 1970s. Other nearby cities include Desio, Cesano Maderno and Meda; together, these formed a mix of urban, residential and small farming areas. A local chemical plant, constructed many years earlier in Meda, was owned by ICMESA, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Hoffman-La Roche.

Overall, the plant was not perceived as a threat by the local population. All that changed, however, on the afternoon of Saturday, July 10, 1976, as parts of the plant were being shut down for the weekend. While residents of Seveso and the surrounding area were tending their gardens, running errands or watching their children play, one of the buildings in the chemical plant was getting dangerously hot as cooling mechanisms were turned off.

When the temperature inside one of the plant's tanks reached a critical level, a pressure release valve opened, and about six metric tons of toxic gas were emitted from the facility. The resulting gas cloud that drifted over the Seveso area contained an estimated one kilogram of TCDD, technically known as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin.

TCDD in Seveso

TCDD is one type of dioxin, a family of chemical compounds that are a by-product of industrial activities like bleaching wood pulp, incinerating garbage, metal smelting and chemical production. Dioxin is also present in small amounts in the herbicide Agent Orange, which was used throughout Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.

Dioxin is universally recognized as a carcinogen (a cancer-causing agent). It's also known to cause reproductive, immune and developmental effects in mammals, and can cause severe liver problems in people exposed to high levels of the compound. Chloracne, a serious skin condition that resembles very bad acne, can also result from high exposures to dioxin.

Within a few hours after the ICMESA facility gas release, over 37,000 people throughout the Seveso area were exposed to unprecedented levels of dioxin. Among the first to suffer, however, were the area's animals. According to Time, "One farmer saw his cat keel over, and when he went to pick up the body, the tail fell off. When authorities dug the cat up for examination two days later, said the farmer, all that was left was its skull."

Despite their exposure to high levels of dioxin, it was a few days before people began to feel the effects: nausea, blurred vision, skin lesions and the development of severe chloracne, particularly among children. As a result of the slow development of symptoms, the area around Seveso was not immediately evacuated.

Dead animals, especially chickens and rabbits kept as food, began to overwhelm the city's resources, and many were slaughtered on an emergency basis to prevent people from eating them. (Dioxin accumulates in fatty tissue, and can be ingested by eating plants or animals that have been exposed to it.) By 1978, an estimated 80,000 animals were slaughtered.

The Legacy of Seveso

The response to the Seveso accident was widely criticized as slow and bungled. Several days passed before it was announced that a gas containing dioxin had been released from the facility; evacuation of the worst-affected areas took several more days.

Research into the long-term health effects of the Seveso disaster is ongoing. One study from 2008 found that babies born to women living in the contaminated area at the time of the accident were about six times more likely to have altered thyroid function than other babies. Additionally, a 2009 report found an increase in breast and lymphatic cancers in the area. However, other research into liver, immune, neurologic and reproductive effects yielded no conclusive information.

Seveso and its residents continue to function as a kind of "living laboratory" into the effects of dioxin exposure on people and animals. Throughout Europe, the name Seveso is now associated with tough regulations that require any facilities storing, manufacturing or handling hazardous materials to inform local authorities and communities about the nature of their facility, and to create and publicize measures to prevent and respond to any accident that may occur.

The ICMESA plant is now completely closed, and the Seveso Oak Forest park was created above the buried facility. Beneath the wooded park, however, sits two tanks that hold the remains of thousands of slaughtered animals, the destroyed chemical plant and the soil that had the highest degree of dioxin contamination.

via: http://greenliving.about.com/od/greenprograms/a/Seveso-...D.htm

Related Link: http://greenliving.about.com/od/greenprograms/a/Seveso-TCDD.htm
© 2001-2019 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy