Venerdì, 18 Gennaio 2019
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ROME

Taranto tumors due to smoking in 60s, 70s, report shows

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© ANSA

(see related)
Rome, July 15 - A report on steel group ILVA's
troubled plant in Taranto suggests high cancer rates in the
southern Italian city are due to residents' excessive smoking as
well as their exposure to asbestos and other unsound materials
in past decades rather than the pollution the factory has been
belching into the local air.
"The mortality data related to tumours in the Sentieri
report refer to the 2003-2009," according to the report drawn up
by experts commissioned by Enrico Bondi, the
government-appointed commissioner of the plant, to examine the
local cancer rates.
"The incidence and mortality of tumours reflect conditions
that are tied to a long-gone past. Lung cancer has a
30-to-40-year latency and as a result (the data) reflect
exposure in the 1960s or 70s, if not the previous decades".
Cancer rates around the Puglia steel plant, which is
accused of causing an environmental disaster, have been shown to
be 15% above the national average, rising to 30% for lung
cancer.
The experts contend that Taranto, which is a portal town,
had in past decades much higher availability of cigarettes than
other cities in the south of Italy in the past, which had
limited access to smoking due to financial reasons until the
1970s.
Taranto, they add, also had high mortality rates in the
1980s and 90s, showing that the relatively higher cancer rate of
the town is not attributable to recent exposures, according to
the experts.
The report goes on to say that the cancer rate was high in
Taranto already in the 1980s and 90s, and this was due not only
to smoke but also to the asbestos that is generally present in
large industrial and port areas.

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