The world has seen dramatic technological advances over the past decades. Advances seen both in science and technology which have in good ways made life much more comfortable and easier. But on the downside, they have left and continue to leave our planet contaminated and toxic by depositing terrible and harmful pollutants around the world. All sorts of pollutants including chemical, nuclear, basic garbage, electronic junk have not only put us at risk but also have severally destroyed our surroundings. Here are some of such places that have seen the worst environmental ruins and are regarded toxic and lethal to human life.
Well, this list may not have featured all the locations in the world as we focused on the most toxic places, but it will help you catch sight of what other unknown toxic places look like.
Dzerzhinsk – Russia
Based on a study by the Blacksmith Institute (United States) on September 12, 2007, Dzerzhinsk is one of the worst-polluted cities of the world. It has a life expectancy of 42 years for men and 47 for women. In 2003, death rate overshadowed its birth rate by 260%. Such low life expectancy is said to be a result of high levels of persistent organic chemicals, especially dioxins as over 300,000 tons of chemical waste, toxic byproducts including some of the most dangerous neurotoxins known to man were inappropriately dumped in it between 1930 and 1998. Also, the Guinness Book of World Records has named Dzerzhinsk the most chemically polluted city on Earth.
Linfen – China:
This spot can make you call Los Angeles haze natural and welcoming compared to the air pollution in the two cities. Linfen, a prefecture-level city in southern Shanxi province, People’s Republic of China is known as the “most polluted city in the world and a city with one of the worst air in the country according to China’s State Environmental Protection Agency. Industrial manufacturing and automobile pollution is said to be the brain behind the severe pollution here. The air is apparently harmful and is filled with burning coal. Even to lifeless materials and how about leaving your clothes out to air dry? Well, the pollution is enough to make your laundry become black!
Vapi – India
The Great Pacific Garage Patch:
This location consists of mainly plastic waste. It is an island that is more than double the size of Texas and over thirty feet deep floats in the Pacific Ocean. Known as a gyre of marine debris particles in the central North Pacific Ocean, this place is another most toxic destination in the world harmful to both human and wildlife.
Rondonia – Brazil
Rondonia is the most deforested place in the Amazon. Though it used to house over 200,000 km2 of rainforest, but trees in vast acres of land have been cut down and allowed to go up in smokes. The once green area is now home of cattles.
Yamuna is the longest and the second biggest tributary river of the Ganges (Ganga) in northern India. The river is now one of the dirtiest and most polluted rivers on earth particularly around New Delhi, the capital of India which soils the river by dumping about 58% of its waste into it thanks to dramatic increase in population density and rapid industrialization today. Though the government has carried out serious expensive schemes to clean up the river, but it all came out unsuccessful. In fact with 3,296 MLD of sewage New Delhi contributes to it every day which is too big for the underfunded treatment facilities to handle, the river is even more toxic than it has ever been in its long history.
La Oroya – Peru:
La Oroya is a mining town in the Peruvian Andes. An American-owned smelter in this town which is operated by a North American company Doe Run has been polluting the city since 1922. The place is contaminated with enormous amount of lead from this operation that nearly all the children inhabiting the neighborhood when tested have high level of lead contained in their bloodstream well above the permissible level.
Lake Karachay – Russia:
Lake Karachay is located in the southern Ural Mountains in eastern Russia. The radioactive wasteland is highly poisoned by nuclear waste as it was a dumping ground for the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapon facilities (Mayak Production Association, one of the biggest and most leaking nuclear facilities in Russia). It was also affected by a string of accidents and disasters making the surrounding areas to be highly poisoned with radioactive waste. At its height, the lake was emitting more than 200,000 times the normal amount of radioactivity, thanks to substandard waste disposal practices. As a matter of fact, In 1990 just standing around this area for an hour can give you a dose which is sufficient to kill you.
Cancer is a big problem among the workers in the nuclear facility and also there is significant increase in the cases of childbirth defects, leukemia and other related diseases in the surrounding area. There is also a concern regarding the spread of radioactivity in distant areas air and river water. Even people who depended on nearby Techa river which provide water for nearby villages got way poisoned that up to 65 per cent of locals were stricken with radiation sickness. Since Mayak was kept secret until 1990 when its existence was officially recognized, doctors called the radiation sicknesses’ special sickness’ avoiding the use of the term ‘radiation’. This place is certainly not a place for lakeside retreat.
Man deposited a trail of pollution in space as well; over 4 million pounds of space debris and different vacant spacecraft is recently in orbit around the earth whizzing through space. This space pollution said to be caused by about 25,000 human-made objects bigger than human’s fist moving around in orbit, and about half a million pieces bigger than a dime has raised big a concern for potential accidents that enough to make satellites and communication to fail. Space waste or debris including rocket parts, old satellites and other fragments may start to collide breaking into smaller pieces, a phenomenon knows as Kessler Syndrome which is said to pose a threat to both manned and unmanned spacecraft as well as the earth’s inhabitants.