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Taranto residents protest as water runs red near Ilva steelworks

Steel News - Published on Fri, 17 Nov 2017

Image Source: thelocal.it
The Local reported that Italians living near one of the biggest steelworks in Europe have appealed to the government to protect their health after a dramatic photo showed water near the plant running red. In a picture apparently taken near the Ilva steelworks in Taranto, in the south of Italy, a pool of water appears to have been turned entirely rust red. According to the Solo, a Taranto Facebook page, which shared the image, it was taken near Taranto port, where ships load and unload raw materials destined for use at Ilva.

Iron oxide dust from the steelmaking process, combined with heavy rainfall, is believed to be the cause of the red waters.

A delegate from the Italian metalworkers’ union FIOM, Francesco Maggio, confirmed to La Repubblica that it was pretty common to see dust and red water cover the entire area around the port.

The picture prompted Genitori Tarantini “Parents of Taranto”, an activist group that accuses the Ilva plant of pollution, to write an open letter to the Italian government. They wrote in a message addressed to Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni as well as the minister of economic development and the environment “Look at these pictures, gentlemen of the government of this Italy and be ashamed. Look at what you consider strategic production for the nation.”

Residents have long complained of ill effects from the Ilva steelworks, ranging from red rain that stains buildings to toxic winds that have been blamed for an alarming rate of cancer among Taranto children. Ilva was placed under special administration in 2015 after its former owners were accused of negligence over toxic emissions. A legal case is ongoing, with prosecutors arguing that the emissions led to nearly 12,000 premature deaths over seven years.

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Posted By : Nanda Koijam on Fri, 17 Nov 2017
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