From the DIRTIEST Cities, to nuclear wastelands ; these are the 10 MOST TOXIC Places On Earth.
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10.La Oroya | Peru
9.Dhaka | Bangladesh
8. Norilsk | Russia
The city has been branded as the most polluted city in Russia, where the snow is black, air tastes like sulfur and rivers run red. Life expectancy of employees in the smelter is 10 years below the Russian average.
By some estimates, 1% of the world`s sulfur dioxide emission comes from the Norilsk nickel mines. Nearly 500 tons of copper and nickel as well as two million tons of sulfur dioxide are released into the air, annually.
In 2016 the nearby Daldykan River turned red and the evidence pointed to privately owned wastewater pipes. The company accepted the responsibility while claiming that the coloring was of no danger to humans or wildlife.
The smelting plant was in the process of being modernized and steps are being taken in order to reduce pollution.
7.Nevada Proving Grounds | Nevada
Nevada Proving Grounds, now known as the Nevada Test Site or Nevada National Security Site is a U. S. Department of Energy reservation in Nye County, Nevada, 65 miles northwest from Las Vegas.
The tests stopped in 1994 but the area is still extremely radioactive. Even though the radioactivity in the water is gradually declining, isotopes like plutonium and uranium could pose risks to workers or future settlers on the NNSS for tens of thousands of years.
6.Shanghai | China
In December of 2013, Shanghai suffered a great spike in air pollution when the so called “2013 Eastern China Smog” occurred. The pollution levels were between 23 and 31 times the international standard.
Nearly one-third of all government vehicles were pulled off the streets, construction work was halted, student`s outdoor activities were suspended, flights were cancelled or diverted.
And even though air pollution in Shanghai is substantial by the world standard, it is still lower than other cities in China.
Among the top 500 most polluted cities in the world, Chinese cities hold 179 spots.
Thankfully, China is taking extremely serious measures to reduce pollution, closing coal factories, smelters and mills while switching over to more eco-friendly energy sources.
5.Northwest Arctic | Alaska
Out of all the states in the union, Alaska produces the most toxins, outranking every other state by nearly 3 times.
A closer look reveals that 91% of all of Alaska`s emissions come from one county, Northwest Arctic, most of it originating from one city – Kotzebue, population 7,500.
So how is it possible that a tiny city, in the middle of nowhere Alaska is responsible for so much pollution?
Well, just 90 miles from Kotzebue is Red Dog Mine, the largest source of zinc in the world. It was established in 1987 and each year, it releases 756 million pounds of toxins into the environment.
4.Asse II mine | Germany
The Asse II mine opened between 1906, initially extracting potash (until 1925) and producing rock salt (1916-1964). But during the period between 1964 and 1995 the mine was used as a storage of radioactive waste.
Now, this mine has been abandoned, with barrels of low-level and medium-level waste in a jumbled heap, some of it not even contained properly. There`s fears that the mine could fill with water and authorities are rushing to remove the waste with remotely operated vehicles since it is unsafe for workers to go in there.
3. | New Mexico
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant’s history is relatively short, it became operational in 1999. The facility is used to store transuranic waste left over from nuclear weapons research. Transuranic waste consists of clothing, tools, rags, residues, debris, soil and other items contaminated with radioactive elements, mostly plutonium.
2.Pacific Proving Grounds | Pacific Ocean
Pacific Proving Grounds is the name given to a number of sites on the Marshall Islands and in the Pacific Ocean which were used for nuclear testing between 1946 and 1962.
The US conducted 105 atmospheric and underwater nuclear tests in the Pacific.
1.Pripyat | Ukraine
50000 People used to live here… Now it’s a ghost town.
Radiation levels were so high that Nuclear Power stations in Sweden, Finland and Norway detected the anomaly. Twenty years later, the area is still uninhabitable. Except for the 197 people living in 11 villages scattered in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The average age is 63.