Local government officials in northern Italy have advised nearly 1,000 children and pregnant women to leave an area contaminated by a poison chemical leak.
Local government officials in northern Italy have advised nearly 1,000 children and pregnant women to leave an area contaminated by a poison chemical leak. On Monday (2 August), hundreds of people left the village of Seveso with their belongings to stay in Milan.
SYNOPSIS: Some areas of Seveso have been completely sealed off with barbed wire and signs posted to warn of the possible danger Officials say that 739 people have been evacuated from their homes since an explosion at a chemical factory on 10 July caused the leak. But British experts have expressed confidence that they would be able to neutralise the toxic effects of the chemical, TCDD. As a security measure though, families are still being encouraged to leave the areas likely to have been contaminated.
One major worry for the Seveso inhabitants has been that nobody is sure of the effects of the chemical on unborn children. More than 100 women from the affected area have already been medically examined. The italian government has announced that it will change the law to allow pregnant women from Seveso to have abortions if they wish. In the past, abortions have been illegal in Italy for whatever reason.
Most of the evacuees are staying in a hotel while they are in Milan. One teenage girl expressed the feelings of many when she said they didn't know if they were ill, whether they would work against or when they would return to their homes. The chemical, TCDD is a defoliant known as a Dioxin. Reuters, quoting a Vietnamese professor, said that during the Vietnamese war of every 1,000 people affected by defoliants, 300 died. But the British experts have said that in Europe no one was known to have died from Dioxin poisoning.