Milan, October 13 - The third member of a family hit by thallium poisoning, 87-year-old Maria Gioia Pittana, died overnight, Monza health officials said Friday. Pittana was the wife of Giovanni Battista, 94, and the mother of Patrizia, 62, who both died on October 2 at Desio hospital, near Monza. Doctors now think the thallium may have been contained in food and water consumed at the family farm near Udine. Samples of earth, well water, animal droppings and rat poison were taken at the farm. Thallium is used in rat poison and insecticides. The woman and her father were initially thought to have breathed in vapours from the bird excrement, causing their deaths.
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