White Beaches

White Beaches

The “Spiagge Bianche” is a stretch of sand unrolling for about 4Km in the province of Livorno(Italy); it extends between the towns of Rosignano Solvay and Vada. The coast with its real tropical-like beach attracts, over the summer, many Italians and foreigner tourists. Although its beauty the white sand and clear water hide a huge environmental risk due to pollutions . The site in fact has been included, as described in a report published by United Nations Environment Programme, among the most polluted areas of the Mediterranean coasts. The history of Rosignano Solvay began in the early ‘900 when the Belgian entrepreneur and politician Ernest Solvay decided to build a factory for the production of soda that has became at present one of the largest in Europe. In short time with the Solvay factory driving the development, a new city was born; quite soon streets, avenues, houses, recreation and after work centers were built to accomodate the factory’s manpower and the families. Although the positive economical impact of the Solvay a consistent pollution of the coast raised over the years. The so-called “Spiagge Bianche”(White Beaches in Italian) have been formed by the deposition of industrial water discharges(to date about 100 thousand tons per year) headed out to the sea, and made of limestone(about 90% of the total), bioaccumulative heavy metals(mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium and lead), ammonia and organic solvents. The economical interests on the factory are various. The Solvay Group is among the biggest chemical companies in the world and the only site of Rosignano provides the biggest share of the italian’s soda ash requirements. Furthermore, over the years the local population has begun to exploit the pollution effect thanks to the great attraction guaranteed by the beautiful colors of the coast.

by contributor Niccolò Cozzi

The “Spiagge Bianche” is a stretch of sand unrolling for about 4Km in the province of Livorno(Italy); it extends between the towns of Rosignano Solvay and Vada. The coast with its real tropical-like beach attracts, over the summer, many Italians and foreigner tourists. Although its beauty the white sand and clear water hide a huge environmental risk due to pollutions . The site in fact has been included, as described in a report published by United Nations Environment Programme, among the most polluted areas of the Mediterranean coasts. The history of Rosignano Solvay began in the early ‘900 when the Belgian entrepreneur and politician Ernest Solvay decided to build a factory for the production of soda that has became at present one of the largest in Europe. In short time with the Solvay factory driving the development, a new city was born; quite soon streets, avenues, houses, recreation and after work centers were built to accomodate the factory’s manpower and the families. Although the positive economical impact of the Solvay a consistent pollution of the coast raised over the years. The so-called “Spiagge Bianche”(White Beaches in Italian) have been formed by the deposition of industrial water discharges(to date about 100 thousand tons per year) headed out to the sea, and made of limestone(about 90% of the total), bioaccumulative heavy metals(mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium and lead), ammonia and organic solvents. The economical interests on the factory are various. The Solvay Group is among the biggest chemical companies in the world and the only site of Rosignano provides the biggest share of the italian’s soda ash requirements. Furthermore, over the years the local population has begun to exploit the pollution effect thanks to the great attraction guaranteed by the beautiful colors of the coast.