Wednesday, November 16, 2011

[EQ] The World's Worst Toxic Pollution Problems 2011 Report

The World’s Worst Toxic Pollution Problems 2011 Report

Blacksmith Institute in partnership with Green Cross Switzerland

Available online PDF [76p.] at:

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



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