In Salto di Quirra, the Italian Air Force’s rocket launching site, the environment and its people have been warped by depleted uranium, hazardous waste, heavy metal nanoparticles and other environmental pollutants, creating what is known as Quirra Syndrome. The effects of Quirra Syndrome include leukemia, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, deformed babies and animals.
According to a 2005 study by Massimo Zucchetti, professor of Radiation Protection at Politecnico di Torino in Italy, the rate of cancer is higher than normal but still quite small. While not denying that rocket testing could be a factor, Zucchetti writes that an “abandoned arsenic mine of Baccu Locci is located in the area close to the Perdasdefogu village” where many of the cases are being reported.
In particular, lead-arsenic-sulfide ore deposits are present in that zone, being galena and arsenopyrite the only economic minerals. Both lead and arsenic are highly toxic and carcinogenic metals: if some kind of contamination of environmental and trophic matrices by those two metals and their compounds could occur, this could also be an explanation for the Quirra Syndrome.
But in 2011 Zucchetti analyzed tissue from a deformed lamb and found that ”[i]n all probability the bones of the lamb have seen a partial contamination with depleted uranium.” (After clicking on the link above, hit translate to read in English.)
Whatever the truth may be, the street artist Blu has created a gigantic mural criticizing the effects of militarization (NATO and US launches and drills) and industrialization on the area.
[Via Art Threat]