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Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni | Death metal

TARANTO, ITALY – January 2013. Smoke rising from the smokestacks of ILVA. The cemetery of Tamburi lies just beneath the plant.

Taranto, Italy. The consequences of the ILVA deadly pollution
By Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni

The factory of ILVA in Taranto is a 12.000 employees steel factory. In the recent months a police investigation discovered that the factory has been polluting, with dioxin and several others carcinogenic chemicals, the town of Taranto for decades.

The effects over the population are a dramatic boosts of cancer cases, with a percentage ranging from 100% to 400%, depending on the array of medical diagnosis. In the neighbourhood of Tamburi, which lies just beneath the smokestack, every single family is grieving at least one death for cancer. Cars, buildings, sidewalks, gardens, are all covered by a thin red dust and small coal rubbles. PM10 and benzoapyrene lethal fine dust overfill the air.

The economy of the city has been swept away by the presence of the huge steel factory. Fishermen have no job and farmers find their livestock contaminated and dangerous. Tourism in the beautiful bay of Taranto is dispersed and the municipality is in bankrupt. What will be the future of Taranto lies in the hands of the magistrature, the government and the determination of its citizens in closing the factory down.

TARANTO, ITALY – January 2013. Mario, a young boy living in the neighborhood called parking-houses, less than one mile away from the ILVA plants, is suffering from symptoms of allergy and hypersensitivity. The area is heavily polluted with PM10 dust.

TARANTO, ITALY – January 2013. The plant of ILVA with its 15 millions square meters of surface and 20 millions tons yearly of raw materials used, is the biggest steel factory in Italy and one of the biggest in Europe. In the year 2010 the plant released in the environment 4000 tons of polluting dust.

TARANTO, ITALY – January 2013. Silvia a teenage girl, is living in Tamburi since she was born. She’s now running a Facebook page (Taranto environment sold out) together with other residents to expose all the abuses of the ILVA plant. Her grandfather died of a cancer, attributable to PM10 contamination, in 2012.

TARANTO, ITALY – January 2013. A report by the Institute of Sanity stated that in the time lapse 2003-2008 the mortality previous to birth in the Taranto’s township registered a +71% boost. There’s also an alarming +35% data of deaths in the first year of age.

TARANTO, ITALY – January 2013. Many mussel breeding fields on the shore of the “Mar piccolo” (small sea) in Taranto, have been abandoned. Dioxine pollution from the ILVA plants contaminated the area, discouraged the market and consequently left fishermen unemployed.

TARANTO, ITALY – January 2013. The neighborhood of Tamburi, in Taranto, lies just few hundred meters away from the heavy polluting steel factory of ILVA. Car ports were put in place to protect vehicles and machinery from the red minerals and coal rubble that dust the area.

TARANTO, ITALY – January 2013. Antonio Epifani, a farmer living in the neighborhood of Salinella, was forced by local authorities to kill and destroy all his livestock of sheep (1200 units). Contamination of dioxine from the ILVA plant was found. He now survives with fortuitous jobs, like olive harvesting.

TARANTO, ITALY – January 2013. Vincenzo Pignatelli, for 28 years working at ILVA at for 30 living in the Tamburi neighborhood in Taranto, just beneath the plant. He was diagnosed with leukemia. He’s undergoing marrow transplants and chemotherapy. In the small building where he lives there have been 5 deaths for cancer in the latest few years.

TARANTO, ITALY – January 2013. Franco Fanelli is one of the victims of dioxin produced by ILVA. He lived for 50 years in the neighborhood of the Tamburi, in Taranto. He has been operated on for bowel cancer. He founded the association “Tamburi July 9, 1960” with other activists to fight for the closure of the plants.

TARANTO, ITALY – January 2013. Catapano family in the parking-houses lots, near the ILVA factory, shows the picture of a deceased nephew. The young boy, living in the same polluted area, died of leukemia in 2009. Francesco Catapano has three children who probably spend all their life in the neighborhood of the parking-houses.

TARANTO, ITALY – January 2013. Maria Pia and her son were born and raised in Tamburi, in a building close to the fences that separate the neighborhood from the factory. The neighborhood of Drums, in Taranto, is just a few hundred meters from the steel factory heavy polluting ILVA.

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