The Asia Pacific Smart Cities Forum is a way of building a platform where overseas and local companies converge to explore new business opportunities and take the lead in the smart cities movement.
Deadly cloud over Seveso
On July 10, we observe the 41st anniversary of an explosion at a northern Italian chemical plant on the outskirts of a town called Meda. It went down in history as the “Seveso disaster,” which lent its name to the EU industrial safety regulations now known as the Seveso II Directive.
Today, if people hear the name, they either connect it with these positive changes to industrial policies or to the horrific disaster, named Seveso after the most affected municipality. What happened?
Around midday, the explosion occurred in the reactor of the ICMESA chemical plant. It led to a release of a toxic cloud containing TCDD (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin), one of the most toxic man-made chemicals (it was a significant contaminant in Agent Orange.)
Seveso had a population of 17,000 in 1976. They did not think of this plant as a source of risk nor did they know about the kind of chemicals being produced there. All that changed on July 10, when they were exposed to the highest known exposure of humans to dioxin. First, animals began to die. Around 3,300 in the first few days! It was four days before people began to feel the effects too — including "nausea, blurred vision and, especially among children, skin sores known as chloracne" — and, shockingly, this was weeks before the town itself was evacuated.
In this aspect, Seveso resembles Bhopal. But the mobilization and reaction of officials after the event was diametrically opposed. People were compensated, workers redeployed, the site cleaned, 80,000 animals slaughtered to prevent contamination of the food chain and the soil was decontaminated. The site has been turned into a public oak forest park.
In Bhopal, people died. In the Seveso disaster, no one died, but there were victims. Many people, most of them children, were affected by chloracne.
Let's hope that the responsibility of companies, public awareness as well as rules and legislation such as the Seveso Directive will prevent disasters like this from happening and help HSE professionals to deal with them in case they occur.
Interested in this topic?
Corrosion Under Insulation MasterClass Training
This highly interactive 2-day seminar will bring together Corrosion Engineers and Managers. Join this unique event and dive into industry insights with help and guidance of our well recognised and respected trainer Dr. Stefan Winnik.
Annual Shutdown & Turnaround Technical Forum
Over the past five years the Shutdowns & Turnarounds Technical Forum has grow to become one of Europe's leading and best established platforms to address the key challenges surrounding shutdowns and turnarounds.
A Case Study on a Cogeneration Plant Utilizing Paper Residues in Çorlu,Turkey
A case study on the recycling of paper by products to process fuel at a cogeneration plant in Turkey by our associate sponsor Outotec.
Bridging the gap: Interview with Faisal Ali Rashid, Supreme Council of Energy
Faisal Ali Rashid, U.A.E national is a degree holder of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Dayton, Ohio university, U.S.A. He is currently associated with Dubai's Supreme Council of Energy as Director, Demand Side Management and handling the whole energy demand management spectrum of emirate of Dubai. Mr Rashid highlights the different ways in which the water demand- supply gap is being addressed in UAE:
Saving Food in Ramadan
An Infographic on how the Year of Giving initiatives are reducing excessive food wastage in Ramadan