Italy's Jobs-and-Pollution Showdown

Europe’s largest steel plant is a source of work and sickness
A screen erected by the Ilva steelworks in a vain attempt to filter out pollution Photograph by Guy Martin/Panos

The southern Italian city of Taranto’s most distinctive feature isn’t its picturesque coastline, its cathedral, or its castle. It’s the heavy taste of metal in the air—a tang that leaves the unaccustomed visitor with a tingle in the back of the throat, the product of the Ilva steelworks. On one side of the bay stretch manicured sidewalks and coffee shops. On the other loom giant cranes and a forest of chimneys pumping smoke.

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