Toxic emissions from a military test site in the territory of Sardinia, Italy

Mauro Cristaldi, Cristiano Foschi, Germana Szpunar, Carlo Brini, Fiorenzo Marinelli, Lucio Triolo

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This work assesses the environmental impact from chemical emissions due to military tests and routine activities in the area occupied by the Italian Inter-force Test Range (PISQ), located at Salto di Quirra, Sardinia, Italy. After reviewing the military activities carried out at PISQ, such as rocket launching, blasting and armament destruction, projectile and mortar fire impact, the associated pollution is evaluated. Chemical analyses were performed by means of Scanning Electronic Microscopy and Energy Dispersion Spectrometry on biotic and abiotic matrices. Residues of Rb, Tl, W, Ti and Al were found in matrices collected in the PISQ areas and environs. A review of experimental data on air, water, soil, milk, forage and animal tissues obtained by various Public Agencies of Sardinia proved that toxic element residues often exceeded the legal limits. PM10 and PM2.5 air concentrations also exceeded the legal limits after military blasting. Cd and Pb contents in the liver and kidneys of sheep living in farms at PISQ and in control farms that were located more than 20 km away from PISQ were higher than the legal limits. This work was performed to investigate concentration of xenobiotics in ecosystems emitted from PISQ activities. This assessment could be useful to focus future epidemiological studies carried out in PISQ and its neighbouring areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1631 - 1646
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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