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Top Ten Most Polluted Places in the World, 2012

This Top Ten list was compiled by the Technical Advisory Board of the Blacksmith Institute, an environmental NGO based in New York. The criteria used in ranking include the size of the affected population, the severity of the toxins involved, and reliable evidence of health problems associated with the pollution.

CountryProblemMain Pollutant ExposurePathway
Linfen, ChinaAir Pollution Coal dust, fly ash, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and arsenic Inhalation
Bhopal, IndiaIndustrial Chemicals Isocyanate gas, pesticide productionIngestion of contaminated groundwater
Central Kalimantan province, IndonesiaArtisanal Gold Mining Mercury Inhalation of airborne vapors
Kasargod, India Pesticide Endosulfan Inhalation, ingestion
Dzerhinsk, RussiaChemical weapons manufacture Chemical wasteIngestion of contaminated groundwater
Sumgayit, Azerbaijan Industrial and Agricultural Chemical ProductionOrganic chemicalsInhalation of airborne vapors
Tianying, ChinaContaminated Surface Water Lead Inhalation, ingestion
Sukinda, IndiaMetals Processing and MiningHexavalent chromium Inhalation, ingestion
Chernobyl, Ukraine Radiation Radioactive wasteIngestion
Arctic Canada Organic chemical accumulationPersistent organic pollutants (POPs)Ingestion
Source: the Blacksmith Institute, 2012. Web: http://www.worstpolluted.org/ .

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