Upcoming Events

International | Miscellaneous

no events match your query!

Blog Feeds

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2019/10/15 ? Open Thread Tue Oct 15, 2019 05:00 | Herb Swanson
2019/10/15 04:00:02Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link Kurds face stark options after US pullback Mon Oct 14, 2019 20:11 | amarynth
By Pepe Escobar : Posted with Permission Forget an independent Kurdistan: They may have to do a deal with Damascus on sharing their area with Sunni Arab refugees In the

offsite link Behind Hong Kong?s black terror Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:12 | amarynth
By Pepe Escobar – Hong Kong : Posted with permission Deciphering who?s behind the violence leads to a long list of possibilities ?If we burn, you burn with us.? ?Self-destruct

offsite link Washington abandons its Kurdish proxies as Ankara and Damascus step in Sun Oct 13, 2019 21:38 | The Saker
By Aram Mirzaei Even though I have my doubts over whether Washington will actually withdraw from Syria fully, it seems as if their Kurdish proxies in northern Syria have been

offsite link The Terrorists Among US10| The IO Echo Chamber Scott Shane Joel Harding Sun Oct 13, 2019 21:35 | The Saker
by George Eliason for The Saker Blog At the beginning of October, I was contacted by the New York Times, @ScottShane for an interview about US President Donald Trump. The

The Saker >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link US Holds China To Account For Human Rights Violations Sun Oct 13, 2019 19:12 | Human Rights

offsite link UN Human Rights Council Should Address Human Rights Crisis in Cambodia Sat Aug 31, 2019 13:41 | Human Rights

offsite link Fijian women still face Human Rights violations Mon Aug 26, 2019 18:49 | Human Rights

offsite link Saudi Human Rights Violation Fri Aug 09, 2019 20:41 | Human Rights

offsite link China?s LGBT Community Mon Apr 15, 2019 19:19 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Cedar Lounge
For lefties too stubborn to quit

offsite link Pushing back against the latest ruling on citizenship in the North 11:42 Tue Oct 15, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link ?Move the Irish? 10:35 Tue Oct 15, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Election fever! For the media, at least? 09:11 Tue Oct 15, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Irish Times/MRBI Poll 07:50 Tue Oct 15, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Communities Against Low Pay Campaign 15:24 Mon Oct 14, 2019 | WorldbyStorm

Cedar Lounge >>

Dublin Opinion
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting

offsite link Some Thoughts on the Brexit Joint Report 11:50 Sat Dec 09, 2017

offsite link IRISH COMMONWEALTH: TRADE UNIONS AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE 21ST CENTURY 14:06 Sat Nov 18, 2017

offsite link Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016

offsite link The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015

offsite link Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015

Dublin Opinion >>

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

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