|Written by Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni|
The steel factory of ILVA in Taranto employs 12.000. In recent months a police investigation discovered that the factory has been polluting the town of Taranto, with dioxin and several other carcinogenic chemicals, for decades. The effects on the population have been a dramatic rise 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 smokestacks, every single family is grieving at least for a family member lost to cancer. Cars, buildings, sidewalks, gardens, are all covered by a layer of thin red dust and small coal crumbs. PM10 and benzoapyrene are present in the lethal, fine dust that fills the air.
The economy of the city has been swept away by the presence of the huge steel factory. Fishermen have lost their stock and their jobs to the pollution and farmers find their livestock contaminated and the meat too dangerous for consumption. Tourism in the beautiful bay of Taranto has disappeared and the municipality is bankrupt.
The future of Taranto lies in the hands of the magistrature, the government and the determination of its citizens in closing the factory down.
Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni - Redux Photos
Music: Ziv Jacob & Jean-Marc Caimi/Teder Music 2007 "Space To Crawl Low"
Translation of text in audio file:
Benzoapyrene is recognised by oncologist as a strong carcinogenic. It has the power to penetrate inside the human DNA
They have destroyed more than 1000 animals contaminated. And now? We have to start all over again.
We breath a fog that makes you throw up. Air is the basis for people's life. And we cannot breathe.
Benzoapyrene... there's no doubt, the cookeries (of ILVA) represent the main source of benzoapyrene.
The infirms are pissed off, the infirms.
The extent of the polluted area and the sediments make any reclaimation very difficult to be put in place.
I'm 100% convinced that the illness of my young daughter is due to the air we breath. The air of the neighbourhood of Tamburi. There's a constant contamination caused by the mineral dust.
Lung cancer, blood cancer, leukaemia, lymphomas, myelomas, in the last ten years there was 20-30% increase of these tumours.