police at toxic waste dump Italy

police at toxic waste dump Italy
toxic cloud of smoke burning waste Italy campania

toxic cloud of smoke burning waste Italy campania
department of forestry in Italy battling toxic waste

department of forestry in Italy battling toxic waste
virgin mary statue toxic waste Italy

virgin mary statue toxic waste Italy
guards for the Minister of the environment in land of fires Italy

guards for the Minister of the environment in land of fires Italy
migrant harvesting food from toxic field Casal di principe Italy

migrant harvesting food from toxic field Casal di principe Italy
toxic waste under road in Campania Italy

toxic waste under road in Campania Italy
terminal lung cancer patient in hospital naples italy

terminal lung cancer patient in hospital naples italy
saint padre pio in home in land of fires Italy

saint padre pio in home in land of fires Italy
father of girl with cancer because of toxic waste

father of girl with cancer because of toxic waste
Toxic waste near Navy base in campania italy

Toxic waste near Navy base in campania italy
sheep herder on toxic land Campania Italy

sheep herder on toxic land Campania Italy
sheep crossing road in Land of Fires Italy

sheep crossing road in Land of Fires Italy
visitors to grave of priest killed by mafia campania Italy

visitors to grave of priest killed by mafia campania Italy
kids with guns Italy

kids with guns Italy
Pulcinella ad on car in Land of Fires, Italy

Pulcinella ad on car in Land of Fires, Italy
toxic beach near Naples Italy

toxic beach near Naples Italy
car driving through street of acerra where toxic waste is

car driving through street of acerra where toxic waste is
cancer researcher looking at cells

cancer researcher looking at cells
contaminated water from toxic waste dumped in Italy

contaminated water from toxic waste dumped in Italy
anna pouti, victim of toxic waste dumping, has cancer

anna pouti, victim of toxic waste dumping, has cancer
man with cancer from toxic waste dumping

man with cancer from toxic waste dumping
Italian police at toxic waste site

Italian police at toxic waste site
woman with breast cancer from toxic waste dumping

woman with breast cancer from toxic waste dumping
woman with breast cancer from toxic waste dumping italy

woman with breast cancer from toxic waste dumping italy
women watching march against the mafia in Italy

women watching march against the mafia in Italy
peach trees on toxic land Italy

peach trees on toxic land Italy
women preparing to march against mafia Italy

women preparing to march against mafia Italy
trash along side of road in land of fires Italy

trash along side of road in land of fires Italy
new graves at cemetery in Caivano Italy

new graves at cemetery in Caivano Italy
environmental police officer fighting toxic waste dumping

environmental police officer fighting toxic waste dumping
woman with lung cancer from toxic waste at hospital Italy

woman with lung cancer from toxic waste at hospital Italy
cancer research at lab in Italy

cancer research at lab in Italy
Toxic waste fire in remote area in land of fires Italy

Toxic waste fire in remote area in land of fires Italy
farmer working near toxic incinerator in Italy

farmer working near toxic incinerator in Italy
Priest fighting against mafia and toxic waste dumping

Priest fighting against mafia and toxic waste dumping
Minister of the environment Italy visits land of fire

Minister of the environment Italy visits land of fire
Toxic waste pile covered in tarp

Toxic waste pile covered in tarp

 

The window on the high-speed train to Naples, Italy, frames an idyllic picture — rolling hills, sun-covered vineyards, and fertile farmland. But beneath the fertile soil of this region lies something insidious, an amalgam of industrial, hospital and nuclear waste that is spiking cancer rates and spreading alarm across Southern Italy.

The setting is Campania, Italy, and the Naples coastline, former playground of Roman emperors. The region’s natural beauty has been spoiled by the trash on its streets. Piles of garbage line the highways, farmland, and playgrounds. Heaps of waste under overpasses, filled with industrial by-products, are torched in large fires with billowing poisonous black smoke, a practice perfected by organized crime. Now, after decades of these practices, the consequences are emerging — reports of tumors, scientific studies suggesting links, testimony of mob turncoats pointing to millions of tons of dumping. Everyone is scared, inhabiting what feels likes a living graveyard.