When A Lethal Fine Dust Overfills The Air | Steel Plant Deadly Pollution | Taranto, Italy

Maria Pia and her son were bor​n and raised in Tamburi, in a ​building close to the fences t​hat separate the neighborhood ​from the factory. The neighbor​hood of Drums, in Taranto, is ​just a few hundred meters from​ the steel factory heavy pollu​ting ILVA.

 

Photographers Valentina Piccinni and Jean-Marc Caimi are the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributors of this documentary photography.  From the project ‘Death Metal’ To see Valentina’s and Jean-Marc’s body of work, click on any image.

 

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.

 

Many mussels breeding fields on the shore of the “Mar piccolo” (small sea) in Taranto, have been abandoned. Dioxin pollution from the ILVA plants contaminated the area, discouraged the market and consequently left fishermen unemployed.

 

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 machineries from the red minerals and coal rubbles that dust the area.

 

Smoke rising from the smokestacks of ILVA. The cemetery of Tamburi lies just beneath the plant. Graves and crypts are wrapped by the cinder coming from the plant. The watchman of the cemetery has precise task of preventing filming and photographing

 

Taranto, Italy. The consequences of the ILVA deadly pollution.

 

The factory of ILVA in Taranto is a 12,000 employees steel factory. 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.

 

Three fishermen on the channel​ that separates the two basins​ of the Mar Piccolo. In the background the neighborhood of T​amburi and Paolo VI, and the s​tacks of ILVA.

 

Farmers were put out of business when grazing was banned within 20km of ILVA and almost 3,​000 livestock with excessive dioxin levels were slaughtered.

 

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.

 

A fisherman in the mar piccolo with the ILVA plant smokes visible at the horizon. Fishermen of Taranto are desperately trying to revive their dying activity. Fear of contaminated fish among the consumers brought the local ichthyic industry to a total collapse.

 

 

All images and text © Valentina Piccinni and Jean-Marc Caimi

 

 

See also:

The Sound Of Refugees

By Valentina Piccinni and  Jean-Marc Caimi

 

 

Jean-Marc’s Previous Contribution To Edge Of Humanity Magazine

Hold & Hear Their Murmur

 

 

 

 

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