• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Turin residents most at risk of deadly pollution

The Local · 9 Dec 2013, 16:51

Published: 09 Dec 2013 16:51 GMT+01:00

The study, which involved 360,000 residents across 13 EU countries, found that the health dangers from pollution might be even greater than previously thought.

Out of the cities surveyed, Turin residents were found to have the greatest exposure to fine particles of pollution, known as PM2.5, which contribute to heart and lung disease and can lead to lung cancer.

Two surveys conducted for the report for Turin, Italy's car manufacturing capital, recorded 30.1 and 30.0 microgrammes per cubic metre of the particles - above the EU's recommended 25 microgrammes per cubic metre and four times more than those recorded in Stockholm, which is the cleanest city. 

When combined with the death rates of participants during the study, Turin’s results were alarming, the report found.

“Prolonged exposure to tiny particles of soot or dust found in traffic fumes and industrial emissions may be more deadly below current EU air quality limits than previously thought,” the study said.

SEE ALSO: Italian cities are Europe's worst ozone offenders

Scientists said that for every five-point increase, the risk of dying from natural causes rose by seven percent. Prolonged exposure to pollution was significant even when the results considered other factors such as whether the residents smoked or were overweight.

Claudia Galassi and Ennio Cadum, from the Turin-based Piedmont Environment Agency (ARPA), told The Local the city's poor air quality was combination of factors.

"The high level of traffic, the high concentration of industrial plants, the emissions from domestic heading and above all the particular climate of the area," all contributed to high levels of pollution, they said via email.

Turin sits in the Po Valley and as a result pollution becomes trapped, a phenomenon which does not often happen in other European cities, Galassi and Cadum said.

Story continues below…

Pollution levels in Turin were also found to be far higher than in Rome, which registered 19.4 microgrammes per cubic metre. Overall, countries in southern Europe performed worse than their northern neighbours.

A 2012 European Environment Agency (EEA) study said that along with ozone, fine particles were the “most problematic” pollutants to human health.

Don't miss a story about Italy - Join us on Facebook and Twitter

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Dozens missing in fresh migrant shipwreck: rescuers
Dozens more migrants are reported missing after a fishing boat sank on Friday. Photo: AFP

The Italian coastguard is searching for survivors after an overloaded fishing boat sank off the coast of Libya.

'Racist' Chinese ad causes outrage...but Italy did it first
Screengrab: Qiaobi/YouTube

A TV advert for a Chinese laundry detergent has been widely condemned, with commentators saying it’s the most racist ad to ever be screened. But hang on, a similar one was made in Italy...

Alicia Keys to sing live at Milan Champions League final
Alicia Keys will become the first person to sing live at a Champions League final. Photo: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images/AFP

The final will be held at Milan's San Siro stadium on Saturday.

Crew who sunk with WWII sub 'wanted to be found': relative
The wreck of the P311. Photo: Massimo Domenico Bondone

People were stunned by the discovery of a body-filled, Second World War-era submarine off the coast of Sardinia earlier this week, not least Paul Denison, who told The Local his great-uncle was among the 71 who perished on board.

Man can pay ex-wife's alimony with pizza, Italian court rules
A court in Padua has ruled in favour of a divorced father who pays alimony to his ex-wife in the form of pizza. Photo: Erich Ferdinand/Flickr

Every family's needs are different...

Iconic photos of Hiroshima horror go on show in Rome
Ken Domon at work. Photo: Wikimedia commons

It is the first time the works have gone on display outside Japan.

Why the average ancient Roman worker was dead by 30
The research paints a grim picture of the dangers faced by ancient Roman workers . Photo: Carla Caladarini

The average Roman worker suffered several broken bones, had arthritis at 20 and was dead by 30.

Video
Over 100 feared dead in new migrant boat tragedies in Med
An image taken of Wednesday's migrant shipwreck. Photo: Marina Miltare

Over 100 migrants were feared dead on Thursday after two crowded boats capsized off Libya in separate incidents, with one of the tragedies captured on video that shows dramatic rescues and desperate final moments.

Italian man lay dead in flat for 5 years before anyone noticed
The man's body was found at his home in Cagliari, Sardinia. Photo: Simon Frost

"Nobody questioned his disappearance, nobody went looking for him."

'20 to 30' people dead in new migrant shipwreck
The latest disaster comes two days after five people died while trying to make the crossing to Italy. Photo: Marinare Militare

Between 20 to 30 people have drowned in the latest migrant shipwreck off Libya.

Did a Nazi official save Ponte Vecchio from destruction?
National
How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily
Travel
These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
National
Why Italians are falling out of love with the EU
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Business & Money
Foreign, female and a self-made success in arduous Italy
National
How Italy's richest region is feeling the migrant strain
Culture
Rome mulls 'metro museum' after new line unearths ruin
National
Why Italy's facing a birth rate apocalypse
National
Why talk of barriers is opening up old wounds in South Tyrol
Culture
Huge Roman villa found under Amalfi church set to open
Travel
Two men kicked off plane in what captain calls 'racist act'
Meet the expats making a career out of Italian food
Society
'Staying single is why I'm the world's oldest person'
Travel
Where can you find the best beaches in Italy?
The ultimate guide to the insanity of driving in Italy
Travel
Eight of Rome's most tantalizing foreign food gems
Migrant arrivals in Italy top 30,000 for 2016: navy
Italy’s deadliest earthquakes over the last 100 years
Travel
US passports now need six months validity for Italy
Travel
Six incredible ways Italy profoundly changed my life
Society
Cheese, wine and family: the Italian way to live beyond 100
2,525
jobs available