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Article

14 Sep 2006

Author:
Marcela Valente, IPS

A Flammable Neighbourhood [Argentina]

Three thousand people live below the smoke stacks of petroleum refineries and alongside chemical storage sites, among rubbish and debris, and foul bodies of water, in "Villa Inflamable", a slum along the banks of the Matanza-Riachuelo river, which runs across the Argentine capital...The entire 2,240-square-kilometer basin is polluted...the 3,000 companies located in the area have severely harmed the river. But the lower portion is in the most critical condition...144 people who two years ago filed a lawsuit for environmental damage against the government and the 44 companies of the nearby industrial complex, known as the Polo Petroquímico Dock Sud. The case reached the Supreme Court of Justice, which in June issued a ruling requiring the government and the firms to present a clean-up plan...There is only one study, by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, according to which 50 percent of the children ages seven to 11 in Villa Inflamable have traces of lead in their blood and 10 percent with chlorine in their urine. [refers to Union Carbide (part of Dow)]

Part of the following stories

Un asentamiento inflamable [Argentina]

Matanza Riachuelo lawsuit (re Argentina)