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Seveso: The Tragedy Lingers On

CLINICAL TOXICOLOGY 11(4), pp. 479-482 (1977) EDITORIAL Seveso: The Tragedy Lingers On* BARRY COMMONERt The news from Seveso is not good. L a s t July, just upwind from this s m a l l Italian town, a r e a c t o r in the ICMESA chemical plant accidentally vented (see "A Hot Wind from the North," H P , November 1976). Several kilograms of TCDD (dioxin)-the most toxic synthetic substance known-contaminated hundreds of a c r e s of heavily populated land. In March 1977, m o r e than seven months l a t e r , the situation looked like this: More than 400 residents, mostly children, are suffering from chloracne, which, although nominally a d i s e a s e of the skin, is usually indicative of an exposure to dioxin sufficient to cause s e r i o u s and longt e r m systemic effects. Among these is the occurrence of teratogenic defects in the offspring of women exposed while pregnant. Des p i t e political and religious difficulties, s o m e of the women exposed to dioxin at Seveso have had therapeutic abortions. Parts of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Clinical Toxicology Informa Healthcare

Seveso: The Tragedy Lingers On

Abstract

CLINICAL TOXICOLOGY 11(4), pp. 479-482 (1977) EDITORIAL Seveso: The Tragedy Lingers On* BARRY COMMONERt The news from Seveso is not good. L a s t July, just upwind from this s m a l l Italian town, a r e a c t o r in the ICMESA chemical plant accidentally vented (see "A Hot Wind from the North," H P , November 1976). Several kilograms of TCDD (dioxin)-the most toxic synthetic substance known-contaminated hundreds of a c r e s of heavily populated land. In March 1977, m o r e than seven months l a t e r , the situation looked like this: More than 400 residents, mostly children, are suffering from chloracne, which, although nominally a d i s e a s e of the skin, is usually indicative of an exposure to dioxin sufficient to cause s e r i o u s and longt e r m systemic effects. Among these is the occurrence of teratogenic defects in the offspring of women exposed while pregnant. Des p i t e political and religious difficulties, s o m e of the women exposed to dioxin at Seveso have had therapeutic abortions. Parts of
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