Map of Italy Showing Illegal Toxic Waste Dumping Areas

How toxic is that pizza?

After writing about Italy’s terrifying Triangle of Death, other areas of Italy in which toxic waste has been dumped have come to light. What follows is an infographic showing those areas of Italy in which toxic waste either has been dumped.

So far, there are three areas: the Triangle of Death in Italy’s Campania region, the Tollo area of the Abruzzo region and areas of the Salento area of Puglia. In both the Triangle of Death and the Tollo area of the province of Chieti in Abruzzo, incidences of cancer and other illnesses are higher than average. Foodstuff grown or produced in the areas shown on the map may not be completely safe for human consumption.

Map updated on December 4, 2013 to show the Caltanissetta area of Sicily in which incidences of cancer have increased owing to toxic wasted being dumped in local quarries by the mafia.

Here is the map. Feel free to share it.

Italy Map Showing Known Toxic Waste Dumping areas
Italy Map Showing Known Toxic Waste Dumping areas

The map will be updated when other illegal dumping zones come to light.

Information on the illegal disposal of toxic waste in the Salento area of Puglia can be found in this article, in Italian, on the website of Italian newspaper, Il Fatto Quotidiano:  Rifiuti tossici, “tombati anche in Salento” Mappe confermano le parole del pentito

Food Safety Laws Worsen the Problem

Under Italian law, the manager responsible for the processing of food is liable, not, as one would expect, the owners of the companies involved. What this means is that food production managers have little incentive to report cases of unsafe food production practices or the use of ingredients from unsafe areas of Italy.

Sadly, one suspects that the problem of illegal toxic waste dumping in Italy is more widespread than it may first seem.

Should You Stop Eating Food Grown or Produced in Italy?

No, probably not. Italian food is apparently safer than food produced in the USA according to Laurel Curren of Food Safety News who, after a visit to Italy, made this comment:

Italy suffers far fewer foodborne illness outbreaks per capita than the United States. A Letter from Italy, Food Safety News

You might, however, like to keep an eye on the origins of ingredients of food which comes from Italy, though this won’t be easy unless labelling becomes more precise. The words “Made in Italy” don’t tell you, for example, where in Italy, nor do they provide any insight into where the ingredients were grown in Italy.

Who is to blame for the dumping of toxic waste?

The full truth has yet to emerge, but it is strongly suspected that organised crime is to blame, or so mafia penitents have claimed in the cases of the Triangle of Death and Salento areas.

As well as organised crime arranging illicit dumping for Italian and other European businesses, investigators suspect collusion between politicians and even officials in local health authorities. Investigations are ongoing and the extent of Italy’s illegal toxic waste dumping is still not completely known.


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