It’s a sad fact that there are millions of people living in the most toxic environments on Earth. They impact millions of people, leading to cancers, birth defects, mental retardation and reduced life expectancies in this desolate places. What makes it sadder is that most of the of the planet’s highly toxic places have been the result of human abuse on environment. Today we are going to tackle the 10 of planet’s most polluted places:
Uranium, plutonium, cesium-137, and other carcenogenic radioactive dust and other metals continue to plague Chernobyl. Since the catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on April 26, 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, Chernobyl hasn’t made it off the World’s Most Polluted Sites list.
According to studies by Green Cross and Blacksmith Institute, prolonged low-dose exposure in neighboring areas has significantly increased the risk of leukemia, throat cancer, and lung cancer.
Citarum River, Indonesia
It is a sad reality that the once pristine and clean Citarum River is now labeled as “the most polluted river in the world” according to the local government agencies and NGOs charged with its clean-up. Despite that, the river provides 80% of Jakarta’s water supply, irrigates farms that supply 5% of the country’s rice, and is a source of water for upwards of 2,000 factories, hence affecting millions of people.
The river is polluted with countless amount of chemicals including pesticides, lead, cadmium, and chromium.
Agbogbloshie is a community in Accra Ghana and it is the second largest electronic waste or electronic waste processing in the whole Africa. E-waste such as discarded electronics include computer parts, refrigerators, microwaves, and toxic televisions tubes, lay around in this waste dump. Every year, Ghana imports around 215,000 tons of secondhand consumer electronics primarily from Western Europe and generates another 129,000 tons of e-waste annually.
People living in Hazaribagh, Bangladesh are at very high risk of exposure to cancer-causing hexavalent chromium, nausea, rashes, acid burns and other many other health problems. This is mainly due to the fact that some hundreds of toxic manufacturing plants are shoved at one end of Central Park where 10,000 or so people treat the hides of animal skin wearing only rubber boots for protection. 22,000 cubic liters of toxic waste produced from the tannery are then dumped directly into the East River which serves as the main water supply for the city’s 185,000 people!
Niger River Delta, Nigeria
Due to incessant illegal oil drilling, there is an average of 240,000 barrels of crude oil are spilled in the Niger River Delta in Nigeria every year, according to the reports by Blacksmith Institute and Green Cross. The oil spills have not only contaminated the delta’s surface and ground water, but also the air and the crops with hydrocarbons, including known carcinogens such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
These spills seriously affect both the environment and the health of the millions of population.
Norilisk is a small city in Russia situated above the Arctic Circle and contains the world’s largest heavy metals smelting complex from 1935 until the turn of the 21st century. As a result about 150,000 Norilisk residents are exposed to air contaminated with nearly 500 tons each of copper and nickel oxides! Other than that, 2 million tons of sulfur dioxide is released annually in the air causing life expectancy for factory workers to be 10 years below the Russian average.