Mafia's toxic dumping 'increases cancer rates'
Saturday 09 July 2011
Widespread dumping of toxic waste by Mafia clans in the southern region of Campania is causing a dramatic increase in birth defects and cancer, according to a group of US and Italian scientists.
Their warning comes a month after The Independent reported how crime groups in southern Italy were earning €20bn a year by illegally burying heavy metals and cancer-causing organic compounds, often in agricultural areas or on land used to build homes.
Dr Antonio Giordano of The Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research at Temple University, in Philadelphia, said his team's review of the evidence showed the link between toxic dumping and higher rates of cancers, serious birth defects and death, was now "difficult to deny". The survey suggests that in areas of Campania plagued by illegal dumping, birth defects of the urogenital and central nervous systems were more than 80 per cent higher than normal. The incidence of key cancers in contaminated areas, including those of the lung, liver and alimentary canal, appears to be around 12 per cent higher. The review will appear in the journal Cancer Biology & Therapy.
Fears for the health of residents in the afflicted area of Campania, known as "the triangle of death", which includes the towns of Nola, Acerra and Marigliano, have been growing for years. Another of the researchers, Dr Maddalena Barba, of the Human Health Foundation in Terni, said: "Three decades of illegal management of waste have made this region unique in the context of waste and disease."
Last month, a report by the environmental group Legambiente revealed that authorities last year seized a record two million tonnes of dangerous waste, mostly from Northern Italy, on its way for disposal, often in the one of Italy's four southernmost regions, Sicily, Calabria, Campania and Puglia, where the country's four main Mafia groups hold sway.
It said, however, that Campania, the region around Naples, was the area worst hit by Mafia-linked environmental damage. The local crime syndicate, the Camorra, is frequently blamed for exacerbating or even causing the regional rubbish collection crisis – by encouraging the closure of official incineration plants – to fan demand for its illegal dumping services.
Dr Giordano said he had come under fire from some politicians in the region. But he has vowed to continue exposing the health effects of toxic dumping and called on the authorities to prioritise the clean-up of affected areas.
Geoffrey Macnab reviews American Hustle, also starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
news Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV
It takes a platoon of chefs, litres of brandy and rum, and almost 100kg of dried fruit
food + drink
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Lee Rigby murder: How killers Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale became ultra-violent radicals
Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
Paul Walker death caused by speed alone
Apollo Theatre collapse: Scores injured after ceiling collapses in London's West End
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 North Koreans are gasping for the truth: Let's give it to them
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
- < Previous
- Next >
£80000 - £120000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Risk - Delivery/...
£Negotiable: Citifocus: This is a new role carrying responsibility for a numbe...
£29999 - £40001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A top independent...
£90 - £130 per day + contributory pension scheme: Randstad Education Mancheste...