THE DUST UNDER THE CARPET
Afetr the law that banned the use of asbestos was introduced on 1992, it is estimated that 32 millions of tons of asbestos are still polluting the italian land and threatening the health of millions of its citizens. In regards to the human cost, it's well known that the worst is yet to come: experts have calculated that in 2030 asbestos victims will be around 30 thousands. In this ongoing project I'm focusing on the several human stories, spread all over Italy, that have suffered years of neglect by the institutions and still demand justice.
The first two stories were shot in Avellino and Rosignano Solvay. Avellino was set of the Isochimica plant, a company that was started in 1982 when 330 people, the majority of whom were 18 - 20 y.o. in seek for first job in a land that has been devastated by a massive earthquake just few months earlier, were employed to remove asbestos from the railway coaches. Between ‘82 and ‘88 (when the plant was seized and shut down) they removed 20 tons of asbestos from more than 2000 coaches, without any kind of protection. Today all the former workers who checked themselves up are affected by asbestos related pathologies. Their rights are still denied. The decontamination of the plant started only in 2008, and it has never been completed.
Rosignano Solvay is the village that takes its name by the multinational Solvay chemical plant built on the north coast of Tuscany. The site has been black listed by the United Nations Enivironment Programme as one of the 15 most polluted sites on the Mediterranean coasts, because of the production wastes dumped on the beach and into the sea. Asbestos was massively used in the plant, especially to insulate pipes and tanks. The workers ignored the toxicity of asbestos and treated it without any protections spreading the killer fibers all over the place shared by hundreds of workers.