Toxic Air Puts Venetians, Tourists at Risk


Cruise lines filling Venice with hazardous air pollution turn a blind eye to the issue.

The following article, written by Axel Friedrich, appears on The Guardian.

Heading to Venice? Don’t forget your pollution mask 

If you’re heading to Venice on holiday this summer, don’t forget to pack your pollution mask. Worrying about toxic air might seem strange in a city with few roads and cars, but Venice’s air carries hidden risks.

Every day five or six of the world’s largest cruise ships chug into the heart of the ancient city, which hosts the Mediterranean’s largest cruise terminal. These ships advertise luxurious restaurants, vast swimming pools and exotic entertainment – but keep quiet about the hidden fumes they pump into the city’s air.

It’s one reason locals are so enraged over the impact of tourism on their famous city. Protests against cruise ships are commonplace. In May nearly 20,000 Venetians voted in an unofficial referendum, with 99% backing a motion to keep cruise ships away.

They are right to be angry.

Ship operators claim they use low-emission fuel when they are near big cities, but measurements I have taken near the port of Venice tell a different story. The fuel they burn while at berth contains more than 100 times as much sulphur as truck diesel. Continue reading at The Guardian. 

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