The Seveso Disaster

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Introduction (idea for quote used from the foreword of Poison[1])
Excerpt from Silent Spring by Rachel Carson [2]
“There was once a town where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings…
Then a strange blight crept over the area…Mysterious maladies swept the flocks of chickens; the cattle and sheep sicken died. Everywhere was the shadow of death. The farmers spoke of much illness in their families. In the town, the doctors had become more and more puzzled by new kinds of sicknesses…
In the gutters under the eaves and between the shingles of the roofs, a white granular powder still showed a few patches; some weeks before, it had fallen like snow upon the roofs and the lawns, the fields and the streams…
This town does not actually exist…I know of no community that has experienced all of the misfortune I describe…(Italics added)”
When Rachel Carson wrote her book in 1962, readers were very quick to note that Silent Spring was a fictional novel and the events described in the early pages of the novel were irrelevant and not actually possible. However, the events that took place in Seveso, Italy at the Industrie Chimiche Meda Società Azionaria (ICMESA) on July 10th, 1976 would prove to the world otherwise; a disaster of this nature can take place near any chemical plant.

(The series of events were adapted from The Roche Group [3])
Between the years of 1969-1970, ICMESA began the production 2,4,5-trichlorophenol (TCP), which is a intermediate product used to create many other products at the time. From 1970 to July of 1976, there were rising TCP production levels, all of which was delivered to Givaudan, its parent company. TCP productions took place in Building B of the facility where the accident took place on Jul...

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...alized. Little do they know that these neighboring families have been poisoned and will have to leave everything behind.

[1] Fuller, John G.. The Poison That Fell From The Sky. New York: Random House, 1977.
[2] Carson, Rachel, Lois Darling, and Louis Darling. Silent spring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin ;, 1962.
[3] "Seveso-30 Years After: A chronology of events Alleviating the consequences of the accident: milestones between 1976 and 2006." The Roche Group. (accessed April 21, 2014).
[4] Fara, G. M.. "The ICMESA accident. First intervention for the protection of man and environment." Chemistry, Man and Environment 1 (1999): 3-16.
[5] Axelson, O.. "The epidemiologic evidence of health effects of tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD) in human beings." Chemistry, Man and Environment 1 (1999): 29-38.

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