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article imageToxic seaweed suspected in Brittany death

By Bob Ewing     Sep 8, 2009 in Environment
A truck driver may be the first death caused by a toxic seaweed that is covering areas along the Brittany coastline. The case is under investigation.
The BBC reports that the 48 year old driver had trucked three loads of sea lettuce away from the beaches. Apparently, the seaweed was in a state of decay and giving off poisonous gas.
The driver died in July after carrying three truckloads of sea lettuce away from the beaches where it has been decaying, releasing poisonous gas.
Officials first thought the driver's death was due to a heart attack, now, however, prosecutors want to know if the seas lettuce is the cause.
In August, the French Prime Minister issued a warning about the health risk while visiting the beaches last month and the government has assumed responsibility for paying for the cleanup.
The truck driver may have been working without a mask or gloves and died at the wheel of his vehicle as Tim Finan in Brittany for the BBC reports.
The BBC quotes, Christian Urvoy, the mayor of Binic, as saying: "'We want to know if in future we should take precautions to safeguard workers who collect or transport seaweed."
Euronews says Docteur Claude Lesne from the CNRS, France’s Centre for Scientific Research, feels some of the cases are connected, saying the doctor describes the gas released from the seaweed as poison when it comes to breathing.
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