This week, 50 schoolchildren in two towns in central Chile are among the people who may have been poisoned by sulphur dioxide.
According to a local government statement, twelve children and four adults were sent to the hospital in the town of Quintero. There have been no reports of fatalities.
The pollution is thought to have come from a neighboring copper smelting and refining operation controlled by Codelco, a state-owned copper corporation.
According to a statement issued by the firm on Wednesday, production at their Ventanas facility was interrupted on Monday due to excessive levels of sulphur dioxide, and it is still paused.
Quintero said that on Monday, students at a nearby school experienced headaches, nausea, and dizziness as an unusual odor permeated the air.
Due to years of air and water pollution, Greenpeace Chile refers to the Quintero-Puchuncav region as the “Chilean Chernobyl.”
According to the town’s statement, Quintero Mayor Rubén Gutiérrez Cabrera stated that these communities have suffered this for decades, but it must cease.
Chile’s Environment Minister stated during a meeting to address the occurrence that it was not ethically feasible to continue exposing these populations to this type of health danger.
Source: The Independent