Killer industries

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

the death rate in Italy's industrial regions is higher than the less industrial ones, reveals a recent World Health Organisation (who) report. Covering the period from 1990 to 1994, the who study compared death rates in 15 heavily industrialised areas, which account for 20 per cent of Italy's population, against those in less industrialised regions. The study found a high 2.6 per cent excess death rate where industry was concentrated. No causal link had been demonstrated except in the case of Toranto, where the population was exposed to high levels of asbestos and deaths from lung cancer were four times higher than the regional deaths.

Italian environment minister Matteoli described the findings as "frightening". He termed contaminated sites as a "pressing problem" and said his ministry would take up reclamation on a war footing.

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