Target: Ilva Steel Plant Management
Goal: Decrease the amount of carcinogenic pollution emitted by the Ilva Steel Plant
Ilva is one of Europe’s largest steel plants. It accounts for the production of more than 30 percent of Italy’s raw steel. Yet despite the plant’s contributions to Italy’s economy, it is also contributing to the sky high rates of cancer and dangerous pollution found in the surrounding neighborhood. In light of the shocking health and environmental side affects caused by the plant’s pollution, an Italian court ordered sections of the plant closed. Fearing for Italy’s economy, however, the government passed an emergency decree that allowed Ilva to continue operating while it worked on the court’s required changes. If the plant were to shut down, it would cost the Italian economy more than 10 billion a year. Despite some steps taken to correct the problem, Ilva still creates huge amounts of carcinogenic pollution.
The court’s decision to shut down the plant was based on the overwhelming health problems that began popping up in Taranto. Children are not allowed to play on unpaved lots because of toxic substances that have seeped into the soil. In 2008, a farmer had to slaughter 2,000 sheep after it was discovered that they were contaminated with dioxin. Cancer rates in Taranto are over 30 percent higher than the national average for some cancers, and up to 190 percent higher than average for other types. Despite these overwhelming health consequences, the people of Taranto continue to work at Ilva. When asked why, many residents say that there are no other job prospects in the area. They are completely dependent of Ilva for their livelihood.
While Ilva has been ordered to make necessary changes, the deadline for these changes keeps getting pushed back because of the plant’s immense importance to Italy’s economy. Sign the petition below, and urge Ilva to make health reparations its first priority.
Dear Ilva Steel Plant Management,
The cancer rates in Taranto are significantly above the national average. Recently, thousands of farm animals had to be slaughtered due to contamination. Children can’t play on unpaved lots because of dangerous soil seepage. These staggering health consequences have been attributed to the carcinogenic pollution produced by your steel plant.
Ilva’s contributions to Italy’s economy mean that you have been given leeway in meeting health regulations. However, each day that you fail to correct these issues puts another life at risk. It is irresponsible to expose your workers and community to cancer causing agents.
I urge you to make the health of Taranto your number one priority. Doing anything less is grossly irresponsible. Billions of dollars do not justify negligence.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: _gee_ via Fotopedia