During WWII, the pilots of the english aviation that flew over northern italy, could see a big white spot under them. By this they knew they were flying over Casale Monferrato, that they called “the white town”. The roofs of the houses, infact, were covered in white by asbestos dust spread all over by the plant - the biggest in Europe - that Eternit opened in 1907 at Casale Monferrato. Throughout its production life, an enormous quantity of asbestos dust was dispersed into the atmosphere through factory chimneys that had no protective filter. The countryside, communities and water supplies around the plants were contaminated. Within the plants, workers were given no protection and were never informed of the health risks. 1700 people, within residents and former workers, have died. Altough the factory closed in 1986 about 50 people keep dying every year. On 13 feb 2012 two Eternit former managers were convicted for having knowingly caused an environmental disaster, and of not having taken any health and safety measures to protect workers.

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