Green Cross Switzerland and the Blacksmith Institute just released a report that details the world’s most polluted places. The report, titled The Top Ten Toxic Threats: Cleanup, Progress, and Ongoing Challenges, tracks chemicals, e-waste, radioactive contamination, lead and other pollutants that pose health risks to more than 200 million people in eight countries.
The world’s most polluted places (unranked):
+ Agbogbloshie, Ghana
At least 40,000 people are at risk from electronic waste, particularly the burning of sheathed cables which contain lead.
+ Chernobyl, Ukraine
As many as 10 million people are still at risk from radioactive dust more than 27 years after one of the worst nuclear disasters in history.
+ Citarum River, Indonesia
More than 500,000 people are directly at risk from chemicals in the Citarum River, including lead, cadmium, chromium, and pesticides.
+ Dzershinsk, Russia
300,000 people live in an area of Russia that was a chemical weapons manufacturing center during the Soviet era. Numerous chemicals and toxins such as toxic phenol has led to an average life expectancy of 47 for women and 42 for men.
+ Hazaribagh, Bangladesh
More than 160,000 people are at risk from the many tanneries that dump toxic waste every day, especially cancer-causing hexavalent chromium.
+ Kabwe, Zambia
Lead mining contamination poses health risks to more than 300,000 people.
+ Kalimantan, Indonesia
More than 225,000 people are at risk from the gold mining process that emits high levels of mercury and cadmium into the atmosphere.
+ Matanza Riachuelo, Argentina
Pollutants in the Matanza River, including toluene, zinc, lead, copper, nickel, and total chromium, threaten more than 20,000 people.
+ Niger River Delta, Nigeria
The heavily populated Niger River Delta is affected by petroleum as “an average of 240,000 barrels of crude oil are spilled in the Niger Delta every year due to mechanical failure, third party activity, and many unknown causes.”
+ Norilsk, Russia
135,000 residents of the industrial city are in danger from copper, nickel oxide, and other heavy metals.
Images via Blacksmith Institute