Rosignano Solvay is a tourist haven. This southern Tuscany area boasts of brilliant white sand beaches that attract thousands of visitors every year. Little do they know, the glorious Caribbean-like white sands they frolic on actually hides a dark secret.
This picturesque Italian town’s main tourist attraction is its seemingly beautiful coastline of sparkling sand locals call Spiagge Bianche.
However, the stunning stretch of beach isn’t a wonder of nature at all.
Swimmers and sunbathers remain unaware the sand is pure chemical waste, byproducts of the Rosignano Solvay chemical plant.
Looming over the coastline and oblivious bathing tourists.
Rosignano Solvay began in 1912 when Belgian politician and industrialist Ernest Solvay brought his Solvay company to Italy. He established a production plant near Rosignano Marittimo, a town 25 kilometers from Livorno.
The huge factory brought in progress and development, and soon a new town sprung up around it, duly named Rosignano Solvay.
Solvay brought in jobs and literally created a town, but…
The plant specialized in chemical manufacturing, producing basic chemicals like sodium carbonate, bicarbonate, hydrogen peroxide, calcium chloride, and chlorine. Its premier product sodium carbonate, also known as soda ash, was manufactured using a chemical process Solvay himself invented.
The Solvay process, a breakthrough during its time, is currently used in almost all leading industrial plants around the world to produce sodium carbonate.
It involves bubbling carbon dioxide into a salt water solution (brine) and ammonia to precipitate the compound. The byproduct of this process includes a mixture of limestone and calcium chloride.
When the Solvay plant began its production back in the early 20th century, it dumped these by-products into the sea. These wastes eventually formed the beautiful white sand, or Spiagge Bianche, that covers the whole shore.
The ditch from the plant leads straight to the sea.
Looking very much like a tropical paradise, the calcium chloride and limestone dumpsite includes a whole host of toxic chemicals harmful to humans and animals: arsenic, ammonia, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury.
…is made of this.
In 1999, the United Nations Environment Programme submitted a report pointing out Spiagge Bianche as among the most polluted coastal areas along the Mediterranean.
Alarmingly, the town has an abnormally high mortality rate compared to the regional average. Between 2008 and 2010, it recorded a 2.2 percent higher mortality rate for men, and an 8.3 percent higher mortality rate for women.
Premature mortality and frequent tum0r are the norm for people under the age of 65.
Despite this, there hasn’t been much awareness spread about the toxic wastes. Instead, Spiagge Bianche continues to be promoted as a tourist attraction, with ads declaring the waters safe for bathing and swimming.
Rosignano Solvay’s beautiful coastline and tourist-laden beaches.
Every year, the Foundation for Environmental Education awards the white beaches of Rosignano Solvay the “Blue Flag” for stringent standards of “cleanliness and quality.”
As clean as toxic waste can be.
In the face of activists protesting against the multinational company, Solvay agreed to eliminate mercury and reduce their toxic waste discharges by 70 percent in 2003.
However, economic interests and bureaucracy play a huge role in the plant’s operations, and Solvay has been accused of going back on their promise.
This pristine white continues to kill
Meanwhile, the town’s mortality rate remains high, and unaware tourists continue to flock by the thousands to the toxic white beaches of Rosignano Solvay.
March 14th Holiday – Pi Day or Something Else?
Mystery Of Missing Pages
Bees Kill Penguins by Stinging Them in the Eyes
2000 Kilogram Sunfish Caught Off North African Coast
Man Embezzles $57K in COVID-19 Relief to Buy Pokemon Cards
Florida Man Catches and “Recycles” Alligator in Driveway
Man Shocks Reporter on How He’d Spend the Lottery Winnings
Man Joins Search Operation Not Realizing He’s the One Missing
World’s Oldest Rhino Dies in Italian Zoo at 54 Years Old
Meet Quilty – Cat Escape Artist Helping Other Cats Jailbreak
Man Iced Neighbor Who Repeatedly Asked Him “When Are You Getting Married?”
Do You Live in One of These 15 Countries With The Most Beautiful Women on Earth?
The Secret Meaning of Anklets And Why Some Wives Wear Them
Waking Up Between 3 to 5 AM Could Mean You’re Experiencing Spiritual Awakening
Divorced Man Wrote 20 Epic Marriage Advice He Wished He Could Have Had
Haunting Photos of Two Tourists Snapped Just Before They Mysteriously Disappeared
Pork Fat Is Officially One of the World’s Most Nutritious Foods
Some Stranger Padlocked This Guy’s Earlobe And Ran Away With The Key
Three-Month-Old Baby Left Blind in One Eye After Family Friend Took His Picture
Performance Artist Stood Still For 6 Hours to Let People Do What They Wanted to Her Body
Entertainment7 years ago
This Is What Happens When Adele Encounters Sound Failure
People7 years ago
College Student Earns $200 Per Day Just By Selling Positive Pregnancy Test Kits
Inspiring7 years ago
12-Year-Old Hobart Boy Sews Teddy Bears for Sick Kids in the Hospital
News7 years ago
Germany’s First Hydrogen-Powered Passenger Train Set To Run In 2017.
Interesting7 years ago
One Bite from This Tiny Tick and You’ll Become a Vegetarian for Life
Inspiring7 years ago
3-Year-Old Russian Chef Prodigy Slays in the Kitchen
Others7 years ago
Monkey Throws Tantrum When He Thinks Man On Motorcycle Will Leave Him
OMG7 years ago
Man Gets His Balls Whacked with a Sledgehammer to Set a World Record
OMG7 years ago
Guy Filming Seagulls Captures an Amazing Once-in-a-Lifetime Event Instead
LifeHacks7 years ago
Tibetan Monk Shows How to Master Meditation in Seconds to Quiet Our “Monkey” Minds
Travel7 years ago
BMW’s New Concept Motorcycle Is A Smart Ride You Won’t Need a Helmet For
History7 years ago
The Slinky is Older Than You Think, and It Was Invented by Mistake