HEALTH

High Cancer Deaths from Mob Dumping in Italy

An Italian health survey has confirmed higher-than-normal incidents of death and cancer among residents in Naples area and it’s due to decades of toxic waste dumping by the local Camorra mob.  Rubbish is piled up on the edge of cultivated land near Caivano, in the surroundings of Naples, southern Italy.

The National Institute of Health report said it was “critical” to address the rates of babies in the provinces of Naples and Caserta who are being hospitalized their first year of life for large numbers of tumors, especially brain tumors.

The report stated it’s due to suspected exposure to a combination of environmental contaminants that can be emitted or released from illegal hazardous waste dump sites and/or the uncontrolled burning of both urban and hazardous waste.

Residents have been complaining about adverse health effects from the dumping, which has poisoned the underground wells that irrigate the farmland which provides vegetables for much of Italy’s center and south. Over the years, police have requisitioned dozens of fields because the irrigation wells contained high levels of lead, arsenic and tetrachloride.

Authorities say the contamination is due to the Camorra’s multibillion-dollar racket in disposing of toxic waste, mainly from industries in Italy’s wealthy north that ask no questions about where the garbage goes as long as it’s taken off their hands.

In 2014, parliament passed a law mandating the National Institute of Health, a public institution under the Health Ministry, to report on the rates of death, hospitalization and cancer in the 55 municipalities in the so-called “Land of Fires.”

The December 30th report confirmed what residents have long known, an area priest, the Rev. Maurizio Patriciello, wrote Saturday in Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference which has long advocated on behalf of the area’s residents.  “Can we claim victory? Absolutely not,” he wrote. “In this shameful, sad and painful story, we have lost everything. The government above all.”

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JV Jones

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