Top Ten Most Polluted Places in the World
Updated April 16, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
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.
|Country||Problem||Main Pollutant Exposure||Pathway|
|Agbogbloshie, Ghana||Lead||Dumpsite containing the second largest e-waste processing area in West Africa. E-waste, or electronic waste, is a broad term referring to a range of electronics, including refrigerators, microwaves, and televisions.||Air and soil contamination|
|Chernobyl, Ukraine||Radiation||Radioactive dust including uranium, plutonium, cesium-137, strontium-90, and other metals in and around the area of one of the worst nuclear disasters in history.||Air and soil and water contamination|
|Indonesia||Citarum River contamination||Numerous chemicals including lead, cadmium, chromium, and pesticides||Ingestion of contaminated water used for drinking, irrigation, factory processes|
|Dzerhinsk, Russia||Chemical weapons manufacture||Numerous chemicals and toxic byproducts from numerous chemical-manufacturing processes||Ingestion of contaminated groundwater|
|Hazaribagh, Bangladesh||Chromium||Tanneries||Ingestion of contaminated water supply|
|Kabwe, Zambia||Lead||Lead mining||Contaminated soil|
|Kalimantan, Indonesia||Mercury, cadmium||Gold mining||Mercury vapor inhalation and water contamination|
|Matanza-Riachuelo, Argentina||Volatile organic compounds, including toluene||Chemical manufacture||Soil contamination|
|Niger River Delta, Nigeria||Petroleum||Petroleum operations causing spills||Groundwater and soil contamination|
|Norilsk, Russia||Copper, nickel oxide, other heavy metals||Mining and smelting||Ingestion of heavy metal particulates|
Source: the Blacksmith Institute, 2014.
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