The advancement in industry and technology have made life much easier but these revolutions have also created an ever growing evil i.e., pollution. It is a very serious problem faced by the entire world. There are several forms of pollution, which badly affect the environment. The main types of pollution include air pollution through the chemicals and gases released into air, noise pollution that is produced through industries, aircraft and road traffic, and water pollution by releasing chemicals into water bodies or improper sanitation practices.
Some countries are victim to more pollution than others – either because of their polluting practices or a lack of legislation. Following is a list of top ten cities where environmental pollution is higher than the other cities of the world.
In 1902, high levels of lead were discovered in Kabwe, Zambia. They did not pay much attention to how the dangerous metal might affect the Zambians. Serious health complications can occur due to high lead levels in kids. Thankfully, the World Bank has set aside $40 million to fund a clean-up project in Kabwe.
Norilsk is a Russian city with the biggest heavy metal smelting complex in the world. It releases a large amount of zinc, selenium, arsenic, nickel, lead, cadmium, and copper into the air every year. Norilsk is a massive wasteland ridiculously causing a high number of city inhabitant’s deaths from respiratory illnesses. There is not a single tree within thirty miles of the area – which goes to show the level of pollution.
In 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear plant melted down and sent 100 times more radiation into the air than is acceptable. The area is highly contaminated and polluted and it is very difficult to clean even after thousands of years. The effects of the nuclear plant have become a major cause of uninhabitable, mainly by the 19-mile prohibiting zone that surrounds the plant. A large number of Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian kids in the affected area have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Preventions are being taken to stop additional radiation that leaks from the remains of the plant.
Dzerzhinsk, Russia, was named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most chemically polluted city in the world. One of the main effects of pollution is the low average life expectancy rate. It is observed that men usually die in early age while women have a life expectancy of about 47 years. The Russian city is famous for Chemical Weapon Manufacturing. The general agreement is that the highly toxic pollutants found in the city might have something to do with low life expectancy besides other reasons.
Vapi is a city in India that has highly contaminated waters and lands with harmful chemicals and metals. It is considered as a home to the nation’s industries. Large amounts of the city’s groundwater contain mercury levels. These are much higher than the maximum recommended limits set by the World Health Organization. The frequent exposure to mercury over a long period of time has caused several medical conditions in its residents. The pollutants found in water and air have become the major reason of causing pollution in this industrial city.
La Oroya, Peru
La Oroya, a mining city in the Peruvian Andes, Oroya, is host to several processing plants and heavy metal mines. It is a well-known fact that 99% of the children in the area have lead levels above the accepted levels. On the whole, residents of the city have an average lead level that is 3 times higher than the WHO-established limit. As there is no concrete plan to clean the waste material yet, the lead is likely to stay in the soil for many centuries to follow and create more pollution all around.
Tianying is another most polluted Chinese city in the world. The major reason behind the pollution problem is lead. Tianying is a highly industrialized city and the mining and processing of lead accounts for more than 50% of the total lead production in China. A lot of lead finds its way to the city’s soil and water. The population of this city is at great risk for developing lead associated health problems.
Excessive mining and processing of chrome takes place in Sukinda, India. One of the main causes of pollution in this city is the supply of about 97 percent of chromium to the whole of India. The drinking water contains a large amount of Hexavalent chromium. It is a toxic chemical and popular as a cancer-causing substance. Chromite mines Hexavalent Chromium – a type of steel known to be carcinogenic – is used for leather tanning. The exposure of air, soil, and water to this substance has caused different types of cancer to millions of people.
The city of Linfen in China is the most polluted city in the world as it is affecting about 3 million of its residents by pollution. As the country has a large coal belt so Linfen is placed in the center of the country. The city is surrounded by hills that are covered with tons of coalmines. The pollution is found at such a great amount that it turns your laundry cloths black even before they dry. The coalmines create a lot of pollution and do the most damage to the city. As a result, by-products of burning coal constantly foul the city’s air.
The highest disregard for mother earth is observed in Sumgayit in Azerbaijan, which is also known as an industrial wasteland. It is a victim of the Soviet Union’s negligence. There was a time when a large number of factories were functioning in the city and releasing a huge amount of harmful emissions every year. Though a lot of the factories have been shut down but the pollutants they emitted are still present in the air. The main types of pollutants in the area involve organic chemicals, heavy metal and wasted oil. The city is not taking any action to control the toxic emissions that continue to taint the city.