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Badly Polluted Places

Industrial pollution is the dark side of our modern world and while it surely has preceded what has been called the industrial revolution of the eighteen and nineteen centuries it surely took a turn for the worst that paralleled the massive production from which we have since then benefitted so much. With time the first cities that heavily suffered from the initial polluted plumes and effluents were cleaned of this massive nuisance. Some of these cities have even become tourist havens. The main reason that made this clean-up possible was that industrial centers were recreated further away because of the increasing transport abilities that were generated by industrialization. In our modern era these production/pollution centers could be anywhere on the planet.

So while we are living the globalization of our economies we are also experiencing global pollution of our planetary environment. This, by the way, does not mean that industrialized countries are now enjoying pristine environments. It simply indicates that irreparable pollution problems are spreading beyond and far from the consumer market that drives the production in the first place. Many sites of the massive industrialization that occurred in the twentieth century in North America and in Europe are now trickling toxins in the environment at a regular rate.

Blacksmith Institute works around the globe to identify dangerously polluted sites and initiate their clean up, using its Polluted Places methodology to focus efforts on the most productive interventions. For the biggest polluted areas, Blacksmith works with local partners, including environmental authorities, to identify large-scale interventions for potential funding by international agencies. The Blacksmith The World’s Most Polluted Places list was first published in 2006. The publicity generated by the report, especially the negative publicity on these countries (especially China, India, and Russia) and these companies, will hopefully help them to create and/or improve their environmental laws and policies to reduce the amount of environmental pollution that comes out of these sites.

In addition, the Blacksmith Institute also list its Dirty 30, which is a list of the thirty most polluted locations around the world. The press release from the Blacksmith Institute says that most of the places on the “Dirty 30” list are located in Asia, specifically in China, India, and Russia.

The 2007 Top 10 list and the Dirty 30 list were generated by Blacksmith Institute’s Technical Advisory Board, which includes environmental researchers, specialists, and experts from Green Cross Switzerland, The Johns Hopkins University, Hunter College, Harvard University, IIT Delhi, University of Idaho, Mt. Sinai Hospital, and leaders of major international environmental remediation companies.

Nominations

Scoring

The following is the list of the ten most polluted sites for 2007, with a brief description of the scope of the underlying problems and the major pollutants encountered:

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