A disaster in the making

Feature story - 22 August, 2003
Agent Orange should be a cautionary tale from the past. Containing some of the most toxic chemicals known to man it was sprayed it over huge areas - creating a toxic legacy for those people exposed. The Spolana factory in the Czech Republic produced Agent Orange before poisoned workers forced production to be shut. However the factory still produces lethal poisons - just a different type.

A view of the plant from the River Elbe.

The factory on the banks of the Elbe River is one of the most contaminated sites in the world due to the past production of Agent Orange. Production of chlorine and PVC at the plant has also lead to contamination on surrounding land, food and in the bodies of local people. Mercury pollution, regular explosions and leaks of chemicals endanger residents of the local town.

The plant owners refuse to accept responsibility for contamination from the plant and claim the pollution must be the fault of those contaminated. We have been touring the chemical plants of the Elbe River for three weeks to highlight the risks to local people of outdated plants producing toxic chemicals.

These toxic dinosaurs have no place in a modern Czech Republic and if the Czech Government is to soon join the European Union (EU) that a big clean up is required to meet EU standards. We will be there to ensure these standard are met and polluting plants like Spolana are not allowed to get away with spreading these poisons.


Background on the Spolana Plant and Agent Orannge in English and Czech.

Full details of the Elbe tour 2003 in Czech.