Thursday, February 12, 2009

if you think your city is crappy, think again

If you think you live in a crappy city, you still have a reason to be thankful that you're not living in one of these REALLY crappy cities:

Kabwe, Zambia
Lead levels in Kabwe are astronomical. On average, lead concentrations in children are five to 10 times the permissible U.S. Environmental Protection Agency levels, and can even be high enough to kill.
People potentially affected: 255,000
Type of pollutant: Lead and cadmium

Sumgayit, Azerbaijan
Sumgayit's many factories, while they were operational, released as much as 120,000 tons of harmful emissions, including mercury, into the air every year. Most of the factories have been shut down, but the pollutants remain — and no one is stepping up to take responsibility for them.
People potentially affected: 275,000
Type of pollutant: Organic chemicals, oil and heavy metals

Chernobyl, Ukraine
When Chernobyl melted down on Apr. 26, 1986, the ruined plant released 100 times more radiation into the air than the fallout from the nuclear bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Today the 19-mi (30-km) exclusion zone around the plant remains uninhabitable, and between 1992 and 2002 more than 4,000 cases of thyroid cancer cases were diagnosed among Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian children living in the fallout zone.
People potentially affected: Initially estimated at 5.5 million, currently disputed
Type of pollutant: Radiation

Dzerzhinsk, Russia
The city's own environmental agency estimates that almost 300,000 tons of chemical waste — including some of the most dangerous neurotoxins known to man — were improperly dumped in Dzerzhinsk between 1930 and 1998. Parts of the city's water are infected with dioxins and phenol at levels that are reportedly 17 million times the safe limit. The Guinness Book of World Records named Dzerzhinsk the most chemically polluted city on Earth, and in 2003 its death rate exceeded its birth rate by 260%.
People potentially affected: 300,000
Type of pollutant: Chemicals and toxic byproducts, including sarin and VX gas

Sukinda, India
Sukinda, which contains one of the largest open cast chromite ore mines in the world, 60% of the drinking water contains hexavalent chromium at levels more than double international standards. An Indian health group estimated that 84.75% of deaths in the mining areas — where regulations are nonexistent —are due to chromite-related diseases. There has been virtually no attempt to clean up the contamination.
People potentially affected: 2,600,000
Type of pollutant: Hexavalent chromium and other metals


Blogger JoSeLLE said...

Those cities are really crappy! Made me appreciate my city even more...I may live in a Third World Country, but at least we don't have tall, ugly smokestacks spewing out toxic fumes into the air everyday.
Silver lining: at least not all cities are like that.

5:33 AM  

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Random thoughts on politics, social issues, money, finance, sex, humor, stupidity, or just about anything, of a hatemonger, an obsessive-compulsive, and a schizophrenic forced to live in a cramped and humid apartment.