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Spraying operation to get rid of caterpillars

A helicopter has been spraying chemicals in the skies above Berkshire today to halt the spread of a toxic caterpillar. The Oak Processionary Moth destroys trees and causes severe itching and rashes in humans and animals.

The area affected covers acres of Sulham Woods in Pangbourne. Two areas were sprayed today - but the operation has been delayed several times this year because of the weather. Environmental groups are questioning the use of chemicals. Full report later.

Labs reopen after student poisoned

A number of science labs at Southampton University are due to reopen today after closing when a student became ill with chemical poisoning.

Tests revealed the 25-year old PhD chemistry student had arsenic and the highly toxic metal thallium in his body.

The man is being treated at a specialist toxicology unit in Cardiff following the incident more than three weeks ago,

A police investigation is underway but officers say the chemicals are not transmittable and may not be connected with the university at all.

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Poisoned student remains in hospital

The labs at Southampton University Credit: ITV Meridian

A postgraduate student from Southampton University remains in hospital after he became ill with chemical poisoning. Tests revealed the 25-year old chemistry student, who fell ill three weeks ago, had arsenic and the highly toxic metal Thallium in his body.

He is being treated in Cardiff at a specialist toxicology unit. His condition is not known. Labs at the university remain closed as a precaution and a police investigation is under way.

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Southampton University statement on chemicals

"We can confirm that a PHD student has been found with a quantity of the chemicals thallium and arsenic in his body, after feeling unwell for a few weeks. The University is working closely with all relevant agencies to establish how the student came into contact with these substances.

"As a precautionary measure the University has closed Buildings 30 and 30a on our Highfield Campus. We would like to reassure students, staff and the public that this is an isolated incident and may not be linked to the University.

We take the safety of our students and staff very seriously and those that work in the relevant areas of the University will be given the opportunity for voluntary screening.

Our student support staff are in touch with the student and their family and providing support."

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