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Seveso Disaster


SevesoDisaster: Prevention

SevesoDisaster is one of the most severe industrial accidents in modernhistory. It occurred on July 10, 1976, in a Milan-based chemicalmanufacturing plant. The disaster affected people, animals, andenvironment because it led to the exposure of the deadly2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Saveso is an example ofhow disastrous an industrial accident can be(Brenda, 2004).If appropriate safety measures were taken, it would have beenprevented.

Preventionof Chemical Disasters

Industrialaccidents such as are so harmful. Chemicals like TCDDare toxic and should not be exposed to the surrounding environmentand people. The following are the measures that should be taken toaddress the challenge of chemical accidents in the society:

Provisionof Regulations: One of the most important measures for the preventionof industrial accidents is the provision of laws and standards togovern the use of toxic chemicals in the plant. When strict laws areenacted to govern chemical plants, no unnecessary disaster can occur.This is because each plant will be required to strictly adhere to therequired standards lest it is punished or banned from operating. Whenthis is done, all the chemical plants will properly construct theoperating environment, control the use of toxic chemicals, and beconcerned about the safety of the environment in which they operate(Robbe, 2016).The failure of the government to have such regulations before theSeveso disaster led to the formulation of Seveso Directives whosestringent enforcement have saved many people, animals, andenvironments from getting exposed to toxic chemicals such as TCDD.

DisasterPreparedness: The use of chemicals like TCDD cannot be avoidedbecause of the significant role they play in the society. However,one major step that should be taken to prevent the occurrence of thechemical-related disaster is adequate preparation. First, thechemical plant should be constructed in compliance with theregulations. Besides, the chemical plant needs a thorough, regular,and organized assessment. This can help in identifying any risk thatmight occur in the plant(Kletz, 2001).The identification of potential risks can be a major milestone in theprevention of chemical accidents because it provides adequate andtimely information on how to deal with the situation before theactual occurrence of the disaster. If this were done at Seveso, thedisaster would have been avoided.

Adoptionof Disaster Response Strategies: Since a disaster cannot be avoided,measures should be taken to respond to them appropriately should theyoccur. Each chemical plant should have disaster response plans tohelp in the minimization of its impacts. This is what was lacking atthe Seveso Plant in which measures were not taken to reduce themagnitude of the impacts of the spillage. Therefore, any seriousorganization committed to managing a chemical disaster should takesome measures(Pesatori Consonni Rubagotti Grillo Bertazzi, 2009).Apart from providing adequate training on the disaster managementteam, all the necessary prevention resources should be availed. Atthe same time, measures should be taken to provide an effectivestrategic communication between the plant and the general public.This can help in providing information on the affected people torelocate and be evacuated within the shortest time possible(Fuller, 2009).If this were done at Seveso, the level of exposure would have beencontrolled.


Brenda,E. (2004).&quotRelationshipof Serum TCDD Concentrations and Age at Exposure of

FemaleResidents of Seveso, Italy&quot.Environmental Health Perspectives. 112(1): 22–7.


Fuller,J. (2009).Poison That Fell from the Sky. NewYork: Berkley Books.

Kletz,T.A. (2001).Learning from Accidents, 3rd edition. OxfordU.K.: Gulf Professional.

Pesatori,A. Consonni, D. Rubagotti, M. Grillo, P. &amp Bertazzi, P.(2009).&quotCancerincidence in

thepopulation exposed to dioxin after the &quotSeveso accident&quot:twenty years of follow-up&quot.Environmental health&nbsp: a global access science source. 8(1): 39. doi:10.1186/1476-069X-8-39.

Robbe,F. (2016).Seveso 1976. Oltre la diossina. CastelBolognese: Itaca Books.