What happened in the Seveso disaster?

On July 10, 1976, a valve broke at the Industrie Chimiche Meda Società Azionaria (ICMESA) chemical plant in Meda, just north of Milan, Italy. This accident resulted in the release of a chemical cloud containing the highly toxic dioxin TCDD.

What is a Seveso site?

Seveso Sites are defined as Industrial sites that, because of the presence of dangerous substances in sufficient quantities, are regulated under Council Directives 96/82/ECand 2003/105/EC , commonly referred to as the Seveso II Directive.

What caused Seveso?

Abstract—The accident which occurred during the production of TCP at Seveso. Italy, was possibly caused by an unforeseeable exothermic reaction with increase of temperature, slow decomposition of the reaction mass, formation of gas and rise in pressure.

What happened after Seveso disaster?

A 1991 study, fourteen years after the accident, sought to assess the effects to the thousands of persons that had been exposed to dioxin. The most evident adverse health effect ascertained was chloracne (193 cases). Other early effects noted were peripheral neuropathy and liver enzyme induction.

How did the Seveso disaster affect people?

Three decades after an accident at a chemical factory in Seveso, Italy in 1976, which resulted in exposure of a residential population to the most dangerous type of dioxin, newborn babies born to mothers living in the contaminated area at the time of the accident are over six times more likely to have altered thyroid …

How did the Seveso disaster affect animals?

Approximately 4 percent of local farm animals died, and those that didn’t — roughly 80,000 animals — were killed to prevent contamination from filtering up the food chain. The affected areas were divided and subdivided based on soil contamination levels.

How can we prevent Seveso disaster?

This accident could have been prevented. First, with the design of the reactor and ensuring a proper containment system is present in case of an unwanted release. Proper hazard evaluation was not originally completed otherwise the hazards could have been identified and corrected before the release occurred.

What are COMAH sites?

► A COMAH site is one that stores a sufficient quantity of dangerous substances to fall into the definition of an ‘Upper Tier’ or ‘Lower Tier’ site. ► Schedule 3 of the Regulations provides the substances and stored quantities that may qualify a site as a COMAH establishment.

How many people died from the Seveso disaster?

None of the 20,000 people who lived in Seveso died, but the poison killed 3,000 farm animals and pets. Another 70,000 animals had to be killed to stop the dioxin from getting into the food chain.

Who was responsible for Seveso?

The company responsible for the Seveso disaster – ICMESA – did not admit to the leak of dioxin for a week following the incident. It also took another week before evacuation to begin. Former employees of ICMESA were sentenced to prison for periods ranging from 2.5 to 5 years in 1983.

Was the Seveso disaster avoidable?

Seveso, which was deemed a preventable disaster, led to a raft of European directives bearing its namesake. These directives are implemented in the UK under the Control Of Major Accident Hazards Regulations – also referred to as COMAH.