Industrialization continues to increase the pollution level in many of the world’s major urban centers. Here are the most polluted cities in the world today.
1. Chernobyl, Ukraine
The April 26, 1986 reactor explosion produced radiation 100 times more lethal than the nuclear explosion in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. More than 4,000 cases of thyroid were reported between 1992 and 2002. The number of people affected since the explosion has been put at 5 million.
2. Linfen, China
According to the Chinese Environmental Protection Agency, Lifnen has the worst air in the nation. The air is so polluted hanging your laundry will turn it black. Linfen is situated in the Shanxi province. It is the center of legal and illegal coal mining operations. 3 million people are affected.
3. Sukinda, India
60% of the drinking water in the city contains hexavalent chromium, a carcinogenic chemical. The city is the biggest chromate ore mining center in the world. The level of hexavalent chromium in the water is double the allowable amount. Indian health authorities state 84% of all mining deaths and illnesses are caused by the hexavalent chromium.
4. Dzerzhinsk, Russia
Dzerzhinsk, Russia is ranked fourth among the most polluted cities on earth. Russian health agencies say 300,000 tons of waste chemicals were dumped in the city from 1930 to 1998.
The parts infected by dioxin are 1.7 million times higher than the standard safety level. In terms of chemical presence, it is the worst. The death rate is 260% higher than the birth rate.
The city has several factories that release harmful chemicals. Over 120,000 tons of dangerous chemicals are produced annually. Over 276,000 people are affected by the pollution.
6. Kabwe, Zambia
The discovery of tin deposits in Kabwe during the early 1900s is responsible for the city’s polluted state. The smelter and mines no longer run, but the effects are still being felt.
The lead concentration is 10 times higher than the safe level. In some places, the level is high enough to be fatal. Over 255,000 people are affected.
7. Tianying, China
50% of China’s tin production comes from this city, but it has led to a rise in pollution. Almost all the toxic chemicals end up in the water and food.
There are efforts to curb pollution, but politics and economic issues have hampered international agreements. Unless a compromise is reached, the situation will get worse for the most polluted cities in the world.