A new report published by Greenpeace, based on data provided by regional public bodies, sheds light on an alarming situation in Piedmont to say the least. A degree of pollution of drinking water (or presumed to be such) as to require immediate intervention, which in this case would be life-saving.
The degree of contamination by Pfas goes far beyond the borders of province of Alexandria. Not that this territory can be hit indiscriminately, of course. The relationship though opens eyes to the entire Region. As regards the province mentioned, the condition of pollution of drinking water was already known. However, the contamination is far from limited and striking more than 70 municipalities of the metropolitan city of Turin (including the capital).
However, it cannot be ruled out that the situation is much more serious. These are in fact some of the few areas monitored in the Region. There is no data related to Pfas contamination in drinking water for most of the Piedmontese provinces.
Pfas alarm in Piedmont
Greenpeace obtained the data in question through a request for access to documents. An alarming big picture and now totally public, for all to read. It is estimated that the 3% of the population in Piedmont, around 125 thousand people, may have drank water contaminated with PFOAor perfluorooctanoic acid (molecule from the Pfas group).
Reference is made to a molecule included in the list of carcinogenic substances according to IARC. A mass exposure due to two compounds. On the one hand, the aforementioned Pfoa, with its proven carcinogenicity. On the other hand, however, Pfos, which has been included in the list of potential carcinogens since November last year.
The report published by Greenpeace sheds light on the hypocrisies of the Italian political world. “For years it was believed that PFAS contamination only affected Veneto and the area of the province of Alessandria in Piedmont. Areas that host industrial plants dedicated to the production of these dangerous molecules. Unfortunately, however, the pollution is much more extensive.” These are the words of Joseph Hungarianresponsible for the Pollution campaign Greenpeace Italy.
Local authorities in Piedmont shared the analyzed data of 671 samples of water intended for drinking use. This concerns the period from 2019 to 2023. Found presence of Pfas in 51%, with a general greater concentration in the province of Alessandria. In detail, five municipalities highlighted traces of pollutants in all the samples taken during the years indicated. We talk about Alzano Scrivia, Castelnuovo Scrivia, Molino dei Torti, Guazzora and Tortona
A total of 24 samples, which always highlighted PFOA. The concentration was understandably variable, with a range of 19-190 nanograms per liter. A direct accusation is launched by the NGO towards the chemical hub Solvay Specialty Polymers, located in Spinetta Marengo, in the municipality of Alessandria. Only here, in our territory, does the production of these compounds continue.
“The company has been releasing large quantities of hazardous substances into the environment, through wastewater and into the atmosphere for decades.” The state of contamination of the territory could be, as mentioned, much more alarming. This is due to partial monitoring. Light is also shed on the Turin area, with more than 70 municipalities involved. Greenpeace it also denounces late and unsatisfactory interventions by the administrations.
“C604 is contaminating the water networks of the municipalities of Turin, produced only in the Solvay plant in Alessandria”. In this area, 45% of the samples tested positive for the presence of Pfas. And in the rest of the Region? The NGO collected 15 drinking water samples in the eight Piedmontese provinces. He mostly exploited public playground fountains and got a devastating response.
An independent accredited laboratory highlighted the presence of Pfas in 5 out of 15 samples. One of these was taken in municipality of Galliate. It is specifically cited for a concentration of 12 nanograms per liter of Pfoas. A figure considered unsafe for human health in other countries.