The Planet's Ten Most Polluted Places

US-based independent environmental group, The Blacksmith Institute, has published a list of the planet's ten most polluted places.

The (alphabetical by country) list of the top 10 is as follows...

  1. Sumgayit, Azerbaijan
  2. Linfen, China
  3. Tianying, China
  4. Sukinda, India
  5. Vapi, India
  6. La Oroya, Peru
  7. Dzerzhinsk, Russia
  8. Norilsk, Russia
  9. Chernobyl, Ukraine
  10. Kabwe, Zambia

The report, first published in 2006, includes Russia & ex-soviet republics, China and India with Peru & Zambia listed, with an estimated 12 million people adversely affected in these 10 places, mainly form chemical, metal and mining industries.
This year Tianying in Anhui Province, China, is listed for the first time. Tianying produces about half of China's total lead output. Lead pollution is extremely harmful, particularly to children, causing learning difficulties, lowering IQ, stunting growth, causing sight and hearing problems, kidney malfunction & brain damage. An estimated 140,000 people are at risk from the pollution in Tianying.

The other towns & cities listed in the report have other problems including:

  • A lack of any environmental controls
  • Mines leaking dangerous chemicals into the water supplies
  • Pollution of industrial chemicals and heavy metals.

These most polluted places cause severe health problems with higher than normal mortality rates. The solutions to environmental damage and human suffering aren't that hard to put in place, so why are these places still in operation?