In Lombardy, northern Italy, scientists wearing protective clothing have begun trying to decontaminate the area around Seveso poisoned by a leak from a chemical factory.
In Lombardy, northern Italy, scientists wearing protective clothing have begun trying to decontaminate the area around Seveso poisoned by a leak from a chemical factory. The leak occurred after an explosion at Seveso's swiss-owned Icmesa factory on July 10 when quantities of cyanide and chlorine were being processed. More than 40 people were treated for skin burns and internal injuries and about 730 people were evacuated form the polluted area.
SYNOPSIS: Very few people have entered the poisonous area since the explosion, but this lorry was spreading the mixture of olive oil and water which it is believed may accelerate the rate at which the sun destroys the poison.
Lombardy authorities have been organising an international competition between firms who want to help decontaminate the area. This first attempt is being made by the Swiss Gevaudan company which owns the Icmesa factory. The Italian magistrate investigating the poison leak has already warned the firm's director general, Herr Guy Weldavogel that the may face criminal charges.
Pregnant women amongst those who were evacuated were warned that their children might be born deformed. At least ten of them have had abortions which are now allowed by the Italian government if the mother's physical or mental health is endangered. But the Vatican newspaper L'Osservators Romano, representing the views of the Roman Catholic church, has said that people in favour of the pregnant women of Seveso having abortions are faithful followers of German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. The swiss firm's water and olive oil experiment will take abut two weeks and if successful aeroplane will be sued to spray the entire area.
The Seveso factory itself has been closed for good. A local trade union official said the grade of pollution inside the factory was too high.