A patch of fluorescent green water that appeared in Venice’s famed Grand Canal was caused by the chemical fluorescein, authorities revealed on Monday. In a Twitter post, Luca Zaia, governor of Italy’s Veneto region, where the city is located, said that the Regional Agency for Environmental Protection and Prevention of Veneto (ARPAV) tested the green substance in the water and identified it as fluorescein.
Mr Zaia did not disclose how the substance may have gotten into the water or if the government has any idea who may have introduced it. However, he expressed his worry that the incident could encourage copycats, who may also want to pollute the canal on purpose.
“No danger of pollution from the fluorescent green patch that appeared yesterday morning in the waters of Venice, but the risk of emulation is worrying. Unfortunately, Venice has become the stage for actions far beyond the lines: adequate and strong responses are needed,” Mr Zaia wrote in Italian.
“ARPAV technicians took the coloured water and carried out the first analyses in the late morning. The green liquid appears to be a colouring organic compound used for water inspections or in caving,” the governor added in a following tweet.
According to Sky News, fluorescein is a non-toxic chemical and it is primarily used in underwater construction to help identify leaks. The chemical can also be used in medicine – in the form of eye drops – to identify lesions and foreign bodies.
However, as per CNN, despite being non-toxic, the high concentrations of fluorescein found in the canal indicated it probably wasn’t a result of an accident. The ARPAV will be conducting further tests to determine just how much of the substance was added to the water.
Notably, the green colour blob was first noticed on Sunday morning, following which it grew slowly.
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