ITALY: Poisoned Suburb

Two years after, the core of Seveso is dead

The streets today are still sealed behind a high fence of yellow plastic panels, like a Berlin Wall of environmental quarantine. Every 20 feet a posted sign warns: CONTAMINATED AREA. NO ADMITTANCE. Some of the telephone lines leading to the shuttered houses lie slack in lush summer growths of hydrangea that bloom unattended. But no matter, because the phones never ring any more. Two years after the disaster known as "Italy's Hiroshima," the core of Seveso is a dead community, and no one knows...

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