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Uranium and radon in the Italian Western Alps

  • Luca Gentile
  • Walter Sartor
  • Giuseppe Rachino
  • Paulo Rachino
Conference paper
  • 219 Downloads
Part of the IFMBE Proceedings book series (IFMBE, volume 25/3)

Abstract

Italian uranium mineralizations in the western Alps crop out between Maira Valley and the village of Pietra Ligure on the coast. Since the 1950’s, various research has been performed around Besimauda Mount, near the village of Peveragno close the city of Cuneo Piedmont. This brought jobs and better living conditions to the area, since miners could earn three times more than farmers. Consequently, uranium was renamed “peuranium”, the gold of Peveragno. Nevertheless, during the second half of the 1950’s, the first deaths of local miners occurred and, in 1982, any further research was halted.

Beginning in the 1980’s, uranium formations and radioactive waters became a point of interest for radioprotection studies in addition to a social problem. Measures show indoor radon concentration exceeding the regional mean value and scientific papers, classifying radon a carcinogenis agent, have alarmed the population and public administrators. Thus Uranium in now referred to as “the monster of the mount”.

Epidemiologic data, however, do not reveal significant increases in the death rate for lung cancer

Keywords

western alp discovery of uranium miners epidemiology 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luca Gentile
    • 1
  • Walter Sartor
    • 2
  • Giuseppe Rachino
    • 3
  • Paulo Rachino
    • 3
  1. 1.Hekth local agency ASL CN1 CuneoItaly
  2. 2.Environmental Protection Agency Arpa CuneoItaly
  3. 3.National Hospital ASO S. Croce e Carle Cuneo 

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