World's most contaminated places
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From the highways of Los Angeles to the Citarum River of Bandung, Indonesia, earth's most polluted city of Linfen, China to the streets of London, the world is laden with man-made pollution. Chemical, air, water and oil pollution ruin the environment, cause premature deaths, spoil the world's resources and worsen climate change.
1. Linfen, China is the most polluted city on earth. According to Mother Nature Network, if one puts laundry out to dry, it will turn black before finishing drying. Located in China's coal belt, spending one day in Linfen is equivalent to smoking three packs of cigarettes. 3 million people are affected by Linfen's coal and particulates pollution, which is residue from automobile and industrial emissions.
2. According to the American Lung Association, Los Angeles is the city with the most polluted ozone. The average ozone level in Los Angeles is 138.8 and the average particulates level is 16.8. The California Air Resources Board states that 18,000 deaths a year are "premature deaths" caused by air pollution.
3. With more than 6,800 oil spills, which amounts to 300 spills a year, roughly one spill a day, and 9 to 13 million barrels of oil spilled over 50 years, the Niger Delta remains one of the most oil-polluted locations on the planet. The nine to thirteen million barrels of oil have been spilled into the third largest wetland on the planet. Due to continuously ruptured pipelines and the presence of oil contaminates, the Delta's mangroves, rivers, and wildlife are perpetually damaged. The United States imports eight percent of its oil from Nigeria, which is almost half of the country's oil spill production. Nigeria is the fifth largest supplier of oil to the United States. Shell has stated that 90% of spills are caused by militant thieves who access the pipelines to steal oil.
4. Greater London has experienced some of the worst air pollution worldwide as a result of car, factory, agriculture and house pollution. The life expectancy of Britons has been reduced by nine years due to air pollution. Britain is considered to be Europe's greatest releaser of nitrogen oxides, exposing 1.5 million people to unsafe quantities of the pollution. According to a report from Parliament, 50,000 people die prematurely each year due to man-made air pollution.
5. Between 1930 and 1998, Dzerzhinsk was the dumping site for 300,000 tons of improperly disposed of chemical waste. 300,000 people are affected by the city's chemical and toxic byproduct pollution, such as sarin and VX gas. The pollution is a result of Cold War-era manufacturing of chemical weapons. According to Mother Nature Network, in 2003, the city’s death rate surpassed its birth rate by 260 percent.
6. The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area is 2010's worst place in the United States for year round particle pollution, a mix of dust, soot and aerosols. The Arizona region experiences year-round particle pollution at all hours of the day.
7. Citarum, Indonesia hosts the most polluted river on the planet, the Citarum River. With nearly 5 million residents living near the river, Citarum is a main water source.
8. Metal mining and smelting company, Doe Run Peru* has contaminated La Oroya, Peru. Over 35,000 of La Oroya residents have been affected by lead, zinc, copper and sulfur dioxide pollution from the company's metal mining and processing. According to Time, 99 percent of the mining town's children have blood levels that surpass suitable limits of exposure.
Since 1922, the town in Peru's Andes Mountains has been polluted by mining missions.
9. Russia's Lake Karachay region is considered to be the most polluted location on Planet Earth. This Russian nuclear weapon production site turned Soviet Union nuclear dumping location has 120 million curies of radioactivity. This radiation level is equivalent to a lethal dose after merely an hour of exposure. According to the NRDC, it is also equal to dumping all of the waste tanks at Washington's Hanford Reservation into a 30-acre lake. In true environmental crime fashion, the radiation has infiltrated the region's groundwater supply.