The consequences of an ever expanding population, the demand for industrialized commodities, and the ignorance of how these activities asphyxiates nature and its creatures must be brought to light now more than ever. Climate change is a snowball effect; the longer humanity waits to remedy the situation, the worse the predicament gets.
Here are 5 most toxic places on Earth.
Dzerzhinsk, located in Russia along the Oka River in the Nizhy Novgorod Oblast area might be the only place on this planet where the death rate exceeds the birth rate by 260%. Guinness Book of World Records ranked it the most chemically polluted place on Earth. About 300,000 tons of chemicals were dumped on this site between 1930-1998. Dioxins, hydrogen cyanide, phenol, sulfur mustard, sarin, phosgene, lead, leeisite, and other chemicals in the air and water of the city contribute to the insanely low life expectancy – which is 42 years for men and 47 for women. Interestingly, the city administration does not seem to find any disastrous ecological conditions causing the problem, citing instead that pollution levels are moderate. Keeping EPA standards in mind, the contamination found in the water is 17 million times higher than accepted.
Agbogbloshie Dumpsite, Ghana
Most never take the time to imagine where their old used up electronics end up – the answer is Agbogbloshie Dumpsite, Ghana (it is at least one of such places found on earth). Although most of the United State’s electronic waste finds itself in Asia, Europe sends its waste to Africa. Ghana (alone) is home to ~215,000 tons of international e-waste – it also produces about 129,000 tons by itself.
Burning massive amounts of e-waste produces intense amounts of pollution which of course destroys the quality of air and soil in the surrounding populated areas. The fact that there are no strict regulations to the process leaves no room for remedy.
Matanza-Riachuelo River Basin
Filled with illegal sewage drains, 13 slums, and 42 open garbage dumps – Matanza-Riachuelo River Basins is perhaps the nastiest place inhabited by mankind. The river is so polluted that many new to the area can immediately smell the chemical residue and methane gas. Just to give an idea of how bad the place is, the word “Matanza” translates to “slaughter” in English. Unfortunately, the river is also the only source of water – the basin is sadly home to 3.5 million people. There were programs put into place for immediate cleaning of the river in the early 1990s but plans were stopped due to political scandals – only $1 million (out of $250 million) was spent on the cleaning the area while the rest was distributed unethically.
Most are aware of the Chernobyl, Ukraine – it hosted world’s most infamous nuclear disaster. Occurring 29 years ago in 1986, the area is still heavily contaminated – although, people are now allowed to enter for small periods at a time. The disaster emitted 100 times more radiation than the ones caused by the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It exposed 6 million people to radiation – the death toll estimate fluctuates between 4,000-93,000. The neighboring nation of Belarus dealt with 70% of the radiation – stories of cancer still plague the nation.
If the devastation of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami wasn’t enough, the Fukushima nuclear disaster is sure to push the boundaries of misery. Known as the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, the radioactive material from 3 of the 6 reactors traveled about 200 miles – and is still known to be travelling east – towards the US. Its environmental impacts are still unknown as the bruises are still fresh, however experts predict it to affect many future generations. How it will affect the vast the aquatic life in the Pacific Ocean is also still to be determined.
Here are various other toxic places that we encourage you to get informed about.
Fresh Kills Landfill
Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch
Niger River Delta