As the world continues to spin around, the dire need to supply people’s demands from food to gasoline goes on 24/7. Humans and machines create. Brand new products are introduced. But in the present state where almost everything is available, we all know that what we have right now can be easily replaced and outdated possessions can go straight to trash.
Things get old, people buy something new, factories continue to produce, produce, produce. For every product made, there’s waste in exchange that end up in pits, rivers, and air, that later turn into the biggest health risk factor.
Some people might not be convinced on how the world is affected by climate change, but one thing is for sure: pollution is present. And here are some of the places that cry for the world’s attention because of their unhealthy state.
1. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Due to urbanization and the growing population, the city of Addis Ababa struggles with their limited supply of freshwater and sanitation services. The groundwater where the city is most dependent is polluted with industrial and municipal solid and liquid wastes. Chromium levels were seen to increase downstream of rivers.
2. Mumbai, India
The world’s eighth most populated city, Mumbai, is filled with about 12.7 million people. Roads accommodate over 700,000 private vehicles daily causing not only traffic jams but also high amounts of air and noise pollution. Ever since the ban of leaded petrol started two decades ago, levels of air pollution have decreased. However, nitrogen oxides remain high in the city causing smog and acid rain.
3. New Delhi, India
Air pollution in New Delhi causes most of the serious premature deaths each year. According to the 2014 World Health Organization report, New Delhi beats the rest of the 1,600 cities around the world with its air pollution reaching 10 times higher than the acceptable standards.
4. Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City has always been known as having the worst air quality in the world, even since the 1980s. Breathing its air was even compared to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. In the 90s, the United Nations cited the city for having the worst air quality in the world that can kill birds in mid-flight.
In present day, the pollution has fortunately dropped in some categories such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. The present levels of pollutants in Mexico City are said to be comparable to Los Angeles, but the battle continues especially on the city’s ozone levels.
5. Port au Prince, Haiti
Due to the unreliable electricity grid, Port-au-Prince residents use diesel generators as an alternative as well as the use of charcoal and biomass for cooking. These factors have contributed to the increase of air pollution and the daily trash burning and congested traffic add up to worsen the condition.
6. Norilsk, Russia
Norilsk is home to the world’s largest heavy metal smelting complex where 4 million tons of cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, arsenic, selenium, and zinc are released into the air every year. The city is so polluted that residents suffer high rates of cancer, lung disease, blood and skin disorders, and even depression. Vegetation is non-existent, and berries and mushrooms are toxic since the air has a high amount of sulfur dioxide.
7. Dhaka, Bangladesh
In Dhaka, up to 95% of the registered tanneries can be found in the neighborhood of Hazaribagh. These tanneries are outdated and dump 22,000 cubic liters of toxic waste each day. One of these toxins is hexavalent chromium that causes cancer. The contaminated streams and canals have been causing high rates of skin and respiratory problems.
8. Karachi, Pakistan
Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, has its population explode from about 2 million in 1960 to its present population of 22 million. Due to the waste that came from its residents and the thousands of waste products from textile, plastic, leather, and chemical factories, it became one of the cities with the worst pollution. The 8,000 tons of solid waste is dumped into the Arabian Sea every day which caused the decrease of marine life in the sea and the diseases that affect the people living in the harbor area.
9. Mailuu, Suu, Kyrgyzstan
Mailuu Suu is a mining town in southern Kyrgyzstan known to be one of the world’s most polluted places due to the nearby Soviet-era radioactive waste dumps. The town produced radioactive uranium between 1946 and 1967 for the Soviet Union’s first nuclear weapons and atomic energy plants, and the waste was buried along the town’s river. The town is now reported to have high cancer rates and poor immune system among adolescents.
10. Linfen, China
Coal production is all over China’s Shanxi province and Linfen is one of its major producers – and also one who gets most of its effects. If the 1980s Mexico City is like smoking two packs of cigarettes, the present Linfen air is comparable to smoking three packs a day. High records of the town’s residents suffer from cancer and chronic lung problems.