Our Work Our Work The World’s Worst Toxic Pollution Problems 2011

The World’s Worst Toxic Pollution Problems 2011

Recommended reading and good reference source

This report from the Blacksmith Institute in partnership with Green Cross Switzerland is an excellent resource. Reports from NGO’s are vital because government reports are often manipulated. For example in the case of reports from FAO submitted information from government is politically orientated to account for funding need

Read the online PDF [76p.] at: http://bit.ly/vqw39O

The 2011 “top ten” and “toxic twenty” list is limited by several factors. First, and most importantly, the pollutants discussed within this report are those identified and deemed most relevant and urgent in terms of their toxicity and impacts by the Blacksmith Institute Technical Advisory Board. These pollutants include, but are not limited to, heavy metals, radionuclides, poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), fluorides, asbestos, cyanides, and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and some pesticides.

The Technical Advisory Board evaluates pollutants that are not included in the list above on a case-by-case basis. The Board reviews the available environmental health literature on the biological effects of a given pollutant and comes to a consensus.

Blacksmith and Green Cross Switzerland are aware that this classification excludes many widespread pollution problems caused by mining, industrial and agricultural activities. For example, the scope of this analysis excludes bacterial contamination of water; discharge of non-toxic particulates to the atmosphere or receiving waters and resulting respiratory or water quality impacts; emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases; SO2, NOx, and acid discharges to the atmosphere or receiving waters; biological or chemical oxygen demand; and indoor air pollution, particularly on occupational health. The analysis also excludes oil contamination related to drilling and petroleum product transport, storage …….”

Pollution and Global Health
Sources of Toxic Pollution
Quantifying the Global Burden Posed by Disease, Disability, and Death Associated with Toxic Pollution Exposure

The Top Ten Worst Toxic Pollution Problems
Artisanal Gold Mining — Mercury Pollution
Industrial Estates — Lead Pollution
Agricultural Production — Pesticide Pollution (considering only local impact)
Lead Smelting — Lead Pollution
Tannery Operations — Chromium Pollution
Mining and Ore Processing — Mercury Pollution
Mining and Ore Processing — Lead Pollution
Lead-Acid Battery Recycling — Lead Pollution
Naturally Occurring Arsenic in Ground Water — Arsenic Pollution
Pesticide Manufacturing and Storage — Pesticide Pollution

The Rest of the Toxic Twenty
Chemical Manufacturing — Chromium Pollution
Chemical Manufacturing — Mercury Pollution
Dye Industry — Chromium Pollution
Industrial Estates — Chromium Pollution
Industrial and Municipal Dump Sites — Lead Pollution
Mining and Ore Processing — Arsenic Pollution
Mining and Ore Processing — Cadmium Pollution
Mining and Ore Processing — Cyanide Pollution
Product Manufacturing — Lead Pollution
(especially from plating, electronics manufacture and battery manufacture)
Uranium Mining and Ore Processing — Radionuclide Pollution
A Note on Oil Production


Blacksmith Institute and Green Cross Switzerland’s Efforts to Identify and Address Pollution Problems
How Sites Are Assessed
The Importance of Assessing Pollution Problems
The Scope of Blacksmith’s Work
The Blacksmith Index