It is now more than two years since a reddish cloud of dust rose over a small Italian town near Milan.
GV ZOOM INTO Fenced off roads leading to Seveso.
SV Seveso road sign and PULL OUT TO nearby empty street.
SV Restricted area sign ZOOM OUT TO fenced off dwellings. (3 SHOTS)
SV ICMISA chemical factory ZOOM OUT TO armed guards in protective gear. (2 SHOTS)
GV Road leading to Seveso with barbed wire and blocked off houses. (2 SHOTS)
GV ICMISA chemical factory.
GV ZOOM PAN Deserted houses. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: It is now more than two years since a reddish cloud of dust rose over a small Italian town near Milan. It was caused by an explosion at a chemical factory, and that cloud immortalised Saveso. The name Seveso is now synonymous with the greatest ecological disaster of recent times.
SYNOPSIS: The cloud contained the dangerous dioxin TCDD. Hundreds of residents were evacuated from the area, but only after many had become ill from the effects of the poison. The part of the town most heavily contaminated still remains deserted and the former inhabitants hold little hope of being able to return. The effects of TCDD are still not fully appreciated but it is known that last year (1977), 38 malformed children were born in the area. The year before the explosion only four such cases were reported.
This is the ICMISA chemical factory where the explosion took place and it, together with the part of town most heavily contaminated, remains under military guard. The soldiers, of course, are protected by chemical and biological warfare equipment.
As well as malformed children born to parents in the area, nervous disorders are said to have increased as well as cases of cirrhosis of their liver, enlarged livers and spontaneous abortions. The government cannot take the chance of allowing the residents to return.
The only thing that is sure about the explosion and its aftermath is, that after more than two years, the damage to health cannot be calculated. Ecologists say this is evidence that industrial expansion, especially in the chemical field, has advanced without knowledge of the dangers keeping pace.