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Sad top ten

15 September, 2007
THE WORLD’S WORST POLLUTED PLACES.The Top Ten (of The Dirty Thirty). Blacksmith Institute,New York,September 2007.  Pollution in developing countries is often hidden away from the casual visitor. In most countries the major polluting industries are concentrated in special estates or industrial cities, usually well away from the capitals. Mining and metals processing are frequently located where the ore deposits are found, often in remote and mountainous areas. In these places people are faced with ongoing soil, air and water contamination from antiquated enterprises and the legacy of decades of uncontrolled emissions. These are locations where soils and groundwater have been poisoned, where rivers are saturated with toxins, and radioactive lakes cannot be approached safely, let alone be used for irrigation or drinking. In some towns, life expectancy approaches medieval rates and birth defects are the norm, not the exception. In others, children’s asthma rates are measured above 90 percent and mental retardation is endemic. In such places, life expectancy may be half that of the richest nations and these shortened, debilitated lives are miserable.[ See more-2007 Full report, pdf format ]
Sad top ten
Ten ‘most polluted places’ named . bbcnews. September 14, 2007.A list of the world’s most polluted places has been published by a US-based independent environmental group.

The Blacksmith Institute’s top 10 towns and cities included sites in ex-Soviet republics, Russia, China and India. Peru and Zambia were also listed.

The report said an estimated 12 million people were affected by the severe pollution, which was mainly caused by chemical, metal and mining industries.

Chronic illness and premature deaths were listed as possible side-effects.

The annual review, which debuted in 2006, is listed alphabetically, and the sites are unranked "given the wide range of location sizes, populations and pollution dynamics".
Among the new sites listed in 2007 were Tianying in China, where potentially 140,000 people were at risk from lead poisoning from a massive lead production base there.

The report also said that in the Indian town of Sukinda there were 12 mines operating without environmental controls, leaching dangerous chemicals into water supplies.

Sumgayit in Azerbaijan was also included in the report, which said the former Soviet industrial base was polluting the area with industrial chemicals and heavy metals.

According to the report, cancer rates in Sumgayit were as much as 51% higher than the national average and that genetic mutations and birth defects were commonplace.

The Blacksmith Institute’s director, Richard Fuller, said: "The fact of the matter is that children are sick and dying in these polluted places, and it’s not rocket science to fix them.

"This year, there has been more focus on pollution in the media, but there has been little action in terms of new funding or programmes. We all need to step up to the plate and get moving," he sai


1. Sumgayit, Azerbaijan; Potentially 275,000 affected
2. Linfen, China; Potentially 3m affected
3.Tianying, China; Potentially 140,000 affected
4. Sukinda, India; Potentially 2.6m affected
5. Vapi, India; Potentially 71,000 affected
6. La Oroya, Peru; Potentially 35,000 affected
7. Dzerzhinsk, Russia; Potentially 300,000 affected
8. Norilsk, Russia; Potentially 134,000 affected
9. Chernobyl, Ukraine; Potentially 5.5m affected
10. Kabwe, Zambia; Potentially 255,000 affected
Data: Blacksmith Institute


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