The word ‘toxic’ doesn’t always mean its literal form. Here, we are using it as a synonym of “Harmful”. Harmful in terms of chemicals and electronic wastes. So the word ‘toxic’ fits better here.
The world is not the beautiful, colorful thing we see. It also has its dark sides which remain hidden. Actually, they are not hidden. The world sees those places, but still it remains disguised, ‘seeing and ignoring’ is what the world does for these places.
Let me give you the list of top 10 most polluted places in the world, where survival has its own battle.
10. Norilsk, Russia
Nickel oxide, copper and some other heavy metals pollute this Industrial city of Russia. Norilsk has the largest melting smelting operation in the world and the place annually releases around 500 tons each of nickel oxide, copper, etc. Not only the soil and air are getting polluted there, but it is also found that the life expectancy of the place has become 10 years less than the Russian average.
Well then, the place is really toxic!!!
9. Niger River Delta, Nigeria
Nigeria is a well known country which exports crude oil, and the Niger river delta is the major source from where crude oil is obtained. It indeed is beneficial for human society at one hand. But what is neglected is, on the other hand, the extraction of crude oil at this place causes a lot of spills which pollutes the land, and its hydrocarbons pollute the air, making the surrounding toxic.
8. Matanza-Riachuelo, Argentina
Just imagine, a total of 15,000 industries releasing its waste material into a river!!!. Well, the number is enough to describe the pollution at a place. Matanza-Riachuelo gets the waste of 15,000 industries into its river basins, which cuts through 14 towns, making it next to impossible for any living being to survive there.
7. Kalimantan, Indonesia
The Artisanal Gold mining process in which gold is mixed with quicksilver mercury by hand and then the gold is liberated by burning out the mercury. This process releases large amount of mercury into the air. Kalimantan is a place which releases more than 1,000 tons of mercury into the environment annually, through this process, making even the air really fatal.
6. Kabwe, Zambia
Mining for lead is what Kabwe is well known for. The central part of the country, where it is located is probably the most polluted places there. The ‘smelting’ process in which metal is extracted from its ore, releases heavy metals into the air. The harmful particles settle into the land and water and cause harm to a great number of livestock.
5. Hazaribagh, Bangladesh
For the production of leather products, the raw hides or animal skin goes through a process called ‘tanning’ which releases large amount of chemical waste. At less than 1 square mile in Hazaribagh, about 250 tanneries are established which uses outdated methods and release cancer causing substances in the water bodies nearby.
4. Dzerzhinsk, Russia
Dzerzhinsk has been one of the hot spots for chemical manufacturing. For more than six decades, this place has got tons of chemical waste landfill there. The place even holds a record of ‘The most chemically polluted towns’ in the Guinness World Record book. Hence, Dzerzninsk holds the fourth position in the list of top 10 most polluted places.
3. Citarum river, Indonesia
The Citarum river basin sits in the Bandung in West Java, Indonesia. Scientists have found a large amount of lead, manganese, aluminum, iron, etc. in the water mostly from around 2000 factories and industries around it.
What makes the place so grievous?
It is probably its size, that enhances its rate of being fatal. The river is 13,000 sq km and affects more than 9 million people.
2. Chernobyl, Ukraine
On April 26, 1986, a nuclear disaster has caused the place with great loss of life and property. A nuclear power station at the site was destroyed, causing fire and releasing massive amounts of radioactive chemicals into the air. 18 miles of the area around the explosion (exclusion zone) were banned.
1. Agbogbloshie Dumpsite, Ghana
Going to be ‘completely electronic’ may sound more eco-friendly than using paper and jute things, but has the world ever thought about where these electronics go after we dump the old ones to get new and latest electronic stuff?. Well, Agbogbloshie Dumpsite is a place where these kind of things go, which is located in Ghana and has the greatest stock of the electronic dumps (Toxics) in the world.
The places where one type of e-goods are converted into another or where the electronics are produced are the most toxic places, because the metals and chemicals released during these activities goes into the land, water and air, causing pollution in a great extent.
Ghana is the place which takes up 215,000 tons of e-goods and produces another 129,000 itself. And yes, it comes in the first rank of the top 10 most polluted places in the world.