Background and Aims: WHO has defined the city of Taranto (Apulia, South-Eastern Italy) as a high environmental crisis risk area with excess total and cancer mortality1. Since the late ‘60’s, heavy industries (steel & cement plants, oil refinery) have been located very near residential areas. There are no studies investigating residents’ perception of environmental pollution in Taranto 2-4. Methods: We used qualitative and quantitative methods to assess perception of environmental quality, pollution and quality of life (QOL) in a convenience sample of high-school parents (N=118). A survey questionnaire for assessing demographics, perception of environmental quality via visual analogue scales (VAS) and the Italian version of WHOQOLBREF were used 5.We also conducted qualitative interviews with 27 subjects to further illustrate residents’ perception of their environment. Results: The subjects’ (50 men, 67 women), mean age was 47.25±13.41. Majority were married (71.8%), had a highschool diploma or above (87%), lived with others (92.8%), were employed with regular (93.0%) low-to-middle income (<=2000 €, 68.6%). Subjects’ mean rating of components of the environment in Taranto (VAS) were 22.7% air, 41.94% drinking water, 44.96 % sea water, 38.37 % other water, 37.76 % soil, 47.95% meat, 44.33% poultry, 55.72 % shellfish, 58.74% fish and 45.83% produce. Mean WHOQOL-BREF scores for the physical (71.39±14.56), psychological (59.40±9.26) and environmental (52.68±13.84) domains were significantly lower than Italian population norms (tphy =5.48, , p<.001; tpsy =10.27, p<.001, tenv =5.47, p<.001; df=494) but not social relationships (70.47±16.47)6. Qualitative analysis revealed main themes of discourse as: difficulty breathing mornings and evenings, noxious air, ability to tell refinery and steel factory emissions apart by smell, reminiscence of childhood with cleaner environment, expression of helplessness regarding environmental pollution. Conclusions: The results of our study show lower QOL, grim perception of the environment in a sample of Taranto residents; indicating a need for large scale, population-based studies investigating QOL effects of environmental pollution in the region.

An exploratory study of quality of life and perception of environmental pollution in Taranto, Italy

VIGOTTI, MARIA ANGELA;
2011

Abstract

Background and Aims: WHO has defined the city of Taranto (Apulia, South-Eastern Italy) as a high environmental crisis risk area with excess total and cancer mortality1. Since the late ‘60’s, heavy industries (steel & cement plants, oil refinery) have been located very near residential areas. There are no studies investigating residents’ perception of environmental pollution in Taranto 2-4. Methods: We used qualitative and quantitative methods to assess perception of environmental quality, pollution and quality of life (QOL) in a convenience sample of high-school parents (N=118). A survey questionnaire for assessing demographics, perception of environmental quality via visual analogue scales (VAS) and the Italian version of WHOQOLBREF were used 5.We also conducted qualitative interviews with 27 subjects to further illustrate residents’ perception of their environment. Results: The subjects’ (50 men, 67 women), mean age was 47.25±13.41. Majority were married (71.8%), had a highschool diploma or above (87%), lived with others (92.8%), were employed with regular (93.0%) low-to-middle income (<=2000 €, 68.6%). Subjects’ mean rating of components of the environment in Taranto (VAS) were 22.7% air, 41.94% drinking water, 44.96 % sea water, 38.37 % other water, 37.76 % soil, 47.95% meat, 44.33% poultry, 55.72 % shellfish, 58.74% fish and 45.83% produce. Mean WHOQOL-BREF scores for the physical (71.39±14.56), psychological (59.40±9.26) and environmental (52.68±13.84) domains were significantly lower than Italian population norms (tphy =5.48, , p<.001; tpsy =10.27, p<.001, tenv =5.47, p<.001; df=494) but not social relationships (70.47±16.47)6. Qualitative analysis revealed main themes of discourse as: difficulty breathing mornings and evenings, noxious air, ability to tell refinery and steel factory emissions apart by smell, reminiscence of childhood with cleaner environment, expression of helplessness regarding environmental pollution. Conclusions: The results of our study show lower QOL, grim perception of the environment in a sample of Taranto residents; indicating a need for large scale, population-based studies investigating QOL effects of environmental pollution in the region.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/245355
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