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Mountains of uncollected trash raise health concerns with residents in Naples, Italy.

Mountains of uncollected trash raise health concerns with residents in Naples, Italy. (Lisa M. Novak / S&S)

NAPLES, Italy — Results are in from the pilot study of soil and water samples Navy environmental officials conducted recently in Naples, but don’t expect to see them anytime soon. The findings were validated this week, but are being withheld indefinitely.

A notice posted June 5 on the Naval Support Activity Naples command Web said the report would be ready the following week and "shared with everyone at that time."

Asked Wednesday for the test results, Kelly Burdick, spokeswoman for Naval Facilities Engineering Command Europe, based in Naples, said they were not ready to be released.

"This past week there were delays in the scientific process at the lab (calibration and quality assurance checks) and we have just received the validated data," Burdick said in an e-mail.

The study is part of a public health assessment the Navy began earlier this year to determine the extent of health hazards of living in Naples.

The hazards stem from the decadeslong problem of waste disposal in Naples. Illegal dumping of toxic waste, uncollected tons of trash rotting in the street, burning of uncollected garbage heaps, and the contamination and diseases associated with those conditions prompted the Navy to evaluate the risks to residents.

The purpose of the study was to make sure the testing procedures for a larger study due to begin this week were valid, Burdick said. The Navy is still trying to get enough surveys from residents to test 130 of the 1,800 homes of servicemembers, civilians and their families living on the local economy.

The command won’t release the results of the study until the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center in Virginia has assessed any risks the findings turn up.

The delay doesn’t sit well with some residents.

"If they’ve done a study and advertised when they’re going to provide the results, they should," said Manuela Lamacchia, who works on the Navy Support Site and lives in Gricignano, one of the six areas where the Navy conducted the pilot study.

"The results are of interest to people who live in these areas. Not releasing what they found leaves people wondering," Lamacchia said.

Soil and water samples also were taken from homes in Aversa, Bacoli, Casal di Pricipe, Varcaturo and Villa Literno, which are near known or suspected dumping sites, including landfills and open burning areas, officials said.


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