It is undeniable that our planet is beautiful. The proof: we are surrounded by splendid landscapes made of beaches, waterfalls, mountains and more! However, a lack of care on our part can have devastating effects on our beautiful planet. In fact, our actions can have catastrophic consequences on our environment. What is really annoying is that every heavily polluted area can be cleaned up by implementing and maintaining simple environmental policies! In today’s article, we will review the 20 most polluted places on the planet Earth.
20. Tianying, China
Mining is the main cause of large-scale pollution, and this remains true for Tianying, China. The city’s main source of income comes from the extraction of lead and other heavy metals which, when handled carelessly, can transmit a ton of health problems for several generations. The inhabitants of Tiayig suffer from lower IQ and learning difficulties. They also have health problems with their internal organs.
19. Sukinda, India
The Sukinda Valley is home to more than 90% of the country’s chromite deposits, which unfortunately means that while chromite is still abundant, mining activities will undoubtedly continue in the coming decades. It also means that people in and around Sukinda will continue to suffer from the health consequences of exposure to contaminated water, such as tuberculosis, infertility and sudden internal bleeding.
18. La Oroya, Peru
The mining town of La Oraya, located in the Peruvian Andes, is one of the most polluted places in Central South America. Resources extracted from La Oraya include copper, zinc and lead. The inadequate disposal of lead residues has made La Oraya a death village for children, more than 99% of whom have been poisoned by heavy metal. I don’t need to tell you to avoid this part of the world…
17. Dzerzhinsk, Russia
In Soviet Russia’s time, Dzerzhinsk was the place where chemical and biological weapons were produced. For nearly 70 years, about 300,000 tonnes of chemical waste have been disposed of in the city and surrounding villages. Today, the consequences of past mistakes are still being felt in the inability of the soil to produce crops. In addition, the approximately 250,000 inhabitants have a life expectancy of only 45 years, while the Russian average is 70 years.
16. Norilsk, Russia
Norilsk is known to host the world’s largest metallurgical compounds. It is also the most polluted city in Russia. The city of about 200,000 people also has six underground mines that have continued to pump copper, nickel and cobalt since the early 20th century. Although Norilsk Nickel, the nickel mining company, has seized activities in one of its processing complexes, the damage has already been done.
15. Agra, India
Agra, where the Yamuna River flows and the Taj Mahal is located, is one of the most polluted cities in India and around the world. As you can imagine, Agra’s largest source of income comes from tourism and crafts. But this has been less and less the case since Agra was ranked the fourth most polluted city in 2016.
14. Kanpur, India
Kanpur, India, has a population of nearly 3 million. It is also the place where the most polluted air in the world is found, resulting in the daily admission of lung cancer patients to the hospital. Unlike so many other cities on our list, Kapur’s pollution problem is not caused by lenient mining policies, but rather by an abundance of motor vehicles and fossil fuel combustion.
13. Mailuu-Suu, Kyrgyzstan
This mining city is home to about 2 million unfortunate people who are exposed to radioactive materials. This strangely makes the city famous. In 2006, approximately 300,000 cubic metres of radioactive material were released into the Mailuuuuu-Suuu River as a result of one of the many landslides that occurred that year.
12. Jakarta, Indonesia
In a country of more than 250 million people, Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, has more than 9 million inhabitants. The most common modes of transport in Jakarta are fossil fuel vehicles, including more than 26 million motorcycles, 5 million cars, 1 million buses and 6 million trucks. Every day, at least one poor resident dies because of poor air quality. It is best to avoid this place if you are concerned about your health.
11. Amasya, Turkey
The whole country of Turkey is likely to experience the same poor air quality as Agra, India, and Jakarta, Indonesia, but Amasya, located in the Black Sea region, is the worst in terms of pollution. While the wealth of Turkish citizens is increasing in this urban city, the demand for fossil-fuelled vehicles is increasing, contributing to the global problem of air pollution. Residents are advised to avoid going outdoors as much as possible. We strongly suggest that you do not go to this place if you feel like travelling to Turkey.
10. Los Angeles, United States
The main source of air pollution in Los Angeles comes from hot and sunny days and insufficient rainfall. This situation, combined with the astronomical quantity of vehicles, has made this city the most ozone-polluted in the world.
9. Beijing, China
Of all the countries in the world, China consumes the most coal, and it is the main problem that causes poor air quality in Beijing. This, combined with the increase in the number of motor vehicles in the country’s capital, has forced the government to force its citizens to wear a face mask when they go outdoors. In 2013, exposure to polluted air caused nearly one million deaths worldwide.
8. Peshawar, Pakistan
Peshawar’s horrible air quality is due to a combination of fossil fuels, poor management of emissions from industrial furnaces and brickworks, and waste combustion. In addition to the obvious health risks associated with the resulting smog, this also significantly reduces visibility, and many city residents avoid using vehicles as a reliable means of transportation.
7. Yanbu, Saudi Arabia
The industrial city of Yanbu is one of the most polluted places in Saudi Arabia. Urban air pollution has become a public hazard, so much so that toxic fumes are inhaled in large quantities as soon as you go outdoors. Cities up to 60 kilometres away are exposed to almost the same concentration of toxic odours as Yanbu, which is not at all reassuring.
6. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The consumption of oil and gasoline, as well as the growth of the industrial sector in Dubai, is what drowns this tourist paradise in a cloud of smog. Much of the pollution is related to the restoration of the growing tourism sector. The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) is doing everything it can to help reduce emissions, but this is really difficult, especially with the construction of new buildings and the constant influx of tourists into the country.
5. Manama, Bahrain
Although Saudi Arabia is the largest polluter in the Gulf, Bahrain, particularly the city of Manama, is very close in the second. What is scary is that pollution smog is hidden by regular dust storms. Thus, when the dust settles, citizens are drawn into a false sense of security and end up inhaling toxic fumes from nearby smelters.
4. Kampala, Uganda
The toxicity in Kampala, Uganda, is mainly due to a drastic increase in vehicle use, open burning of garbage and a lack of effort on the part of the local government to solve environmental problems. A study in Uganda found that 14% of children aged 14 and under have asthma. The sad thing is that this upward trend is expected to continue for many generations to come.
3. Tehran, Iran
Urban areas in Iran, particularly Tehran, are suffering from increased vehicle emissions. In addition, almost all regions of the country are exposed to industrial and refinery waste. Breathing in the country’s capital is extremely difficult, so visitors are advised not to visit the country at this time. Because of pollution, but also for political reasons.
2. Bamenda, Cameroon
Like so many other countries and places on our list, Bamenda, Cameroon, is experiencing an environmental crisis due to the high number of vehicles, poor industrial waste management and lack of government management. The worst thing is that the ozone layer over Cameroon is thinning at an alarming rate. So this is extremely worrying…
1. Linfen, China
It is not surprising that Linfen, one of China’s largest mining cities, has been struggling with significant smog in recent decades. What is shocking is that the local government has many important anti-pollution laws, but private miners – that is, those who are illegal by all standards – continue to ignore all policies in order to help the country meet its ever-increasing energy needs. It would seem that the environment is not a priority for them…