Chrome kills!


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The Blog has spoken to occupational medicine practitioner Roberto Topino and one of his assistants, Roberto Bava, regarding the consequences of exposure to hexavalent chrome.
Roberto Topino:
"Hexavalent chrome is a metal that is used in industry due to its anti-rust properties.
As a matter of fact, lesser metals such as iron and other metals are often treated in order to brighten their surfaces and to protect them from the elements.
Unfortunately, and this is true not only of hexavalent chrome, but also of certain other substances utilised by industry, such as asbestos and nickel, these substances are cancer inducing and, therefore, unless all the necessary precautions are taken, hexavalent chrome can potentially cause tumours in the primary airways, the stomach and the lungs, and this can occur even in extremely low concentrations.
So much so that, due to its common use throughout the area and the fact that underground water resources are held as sacred, the maximum acceptable concentration of hexavalent chrome has been set internationally at 5 micrograms per litre.
Here, the levels have gone as high as 455 micrograms per litre and, even now, it has been confirmed that our levels are still above the maximum allowed, with peaks touching 30 micrograms per litre of water, in other words, 6 times the maximum permissible level.
The reason why we must not drink water containing hexavalent chrome is because the substance has certain mutagenic properties, in other words, it has the ability to modify human DNA, and poses not only a risk of developing tumours, but also of giving birth to deformed children or developing pathologies involving deformation or tumours.
Hexavalent chrome dissolves in the water and therefore, since the underground water sources are flowing rather than stagnant, the hexavalent chrome can be found some distance away from the source and some time after infiltration.
In our profession, we have seen numerous tumours caused by hexavalent chrome, including lung tumours, and furthermore, another widely acknowledged side effect of ingesting chrome is the perforation of the nasal septum, accompanied by bleeding and a whole range of ENT ailments that can also result in lung and stomach tumours.
I feel obliged to repeat what I have said as regards asbestos: it must be eliminated! As regards asbestos, nickel and hexavalent chrome, the only safe kind is the nonexistent kind.
In addition, we have also witnessed tons of both chrome and nickel being dumped in the Dora Riparia River, sometimes even with the authorisation of the Turin Provincial Authority.
We are talking here about the ThyssenKrupp Company, which is located just a few hundred metres upstream.
There are a number of interesting pictures on the Internet, taken in the vicinity of Tezze and depicting some daisies that are long and narrow instead of being round.
They are called the “pratoline di Tezze” and can be viewed on Youtube.
These daisies grew in an area that was irrigated with water drawn from wells contaminated with hexavalent chrome.
Strange things have also been found in the Susa Valley where we noticed some deformed specimens of chicory, plums and roses, which we initially believed to be caused by dioxins or the phenyl polychlorides originating from a steelworks situated in the Susa Valley.
A few months ago, I received a telephone call from a journalist working for a Turin newspaper, who told me that from the bridge over the Dora Riparia River, right in front of the steelworks, you could see a water drain spewing out a liquid that was bright green, tending to yellow.
At that moment, I was unable to give him a definite answer since I was not yet entirely aware of the issues surrounding the presence of hexavalent chrome.
We returned to the location immediately after having studied the maps that Marco Bava had given us, which showed the precise location of the drainage pipes exiting from the steelworks.
Upon conducting a personal inspection, I discovered that a liquid as yellow as this shirt I’m wearing can be seen spewing out from both the drainpipe pointed out by journalist and another drainpipe slightly further downstream, in the vicinity of Via Livorno. This shade of yellow is typical of hexavalent chrome colour and can also be found in spray painting booths where they utilise chrome-based paints and that we have also seen in other areas where chrome plating operations have occurred in the past.
The important thing now is for us to identify the employer concerned and the principal because there may very well be a certain political liability regarding possible hasty decisions to build in certain areas."
Roberto Bava:
"Finally there are certain investigations underway, and finally, on 25 May 2008, the city newspaper "La Stampa" published an article under the very clear and transparent title "Buildings built on a pile of waste and poisons, charges laid regarding the former Olympic Village situated at Spina A3". I believe that this has been useful in terms of making the population aware of what has been happening.
However, I paid a visit to the people now living in those buildings and discovered that they are well aware of the problem , but they told me that: "...all good and well, but we don’t have the money to move away from here", to which I replied that: "You have the right to live in a home built on safe ground and not to be used as a draw card to attract further construction to the area”.
According to the municipality, this area is polluted, yet they have gone ahead and proceeded to build council flats right here.
Not only, but as you can see, they intend to build yet more homes right here.
In other words, it seems to me to be much like the story of the laboratory rat: if these don’t die, then we’ll build more homes for others.
I honestly believe that it is wrong for anyone to mete out this kind of treatment to the poorest members of the community, those who don’t have the luxury of choosing where they want to live and those that are blissfully unaware of what is going on and, in this regard, I would like to offer these people, and anyone else facing similar problems, appropriate legal protection provided by the attorney working for the Judge of the Turin Court, who has offered his services.
Another important issue, as you have noted, is that, while the hexavalent chrome is concentrated in this area, if you superimpose the two areas, you will also see that it is not true that the high concentrations of hexavalent chrome are only found here because this is where the waste was dumped but, above all, they are also high in the area where the towers used for chrome plating are located.
This means that anyone living here will also be faced with the problem of residual pollution resulting from these towers.
A final comment concerns the fact that all of this is going on just a few metres from the river itself, and furthermore, in an area that is prone to river flooding.
Therefore, when the river breaks its banks, the water picks up everything along its path and carries it away.
Thus it is my belief that here in Turin, and in the rest of Italy for that matter, we must stop this continuous speculation on what were formerly industrial areas, which have already sown more than enough death and pollution problems for the urban areas. It is only right that these areas be returned to the city in the form of parks, which the residents can use for recreational purposes, and that are no longer open to exploitation by building speculators and entities linked in some or other way to the governing parties, or even the opposition parties, because here in Turin there is also a kind of buddy-buddy system when it comes down to sharing the cake out equitably, perhaps even as directed by the Freemasons Organisation and via the banks."
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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:11 PM in | Comments (0)
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