10 Lugares mais poluídos no Mundo (2013)

10 Most Polluted Places in the World
About 200 million people are directly confronted daily with the pollution of the environment. Soil contaminated by heavy metals, chemical waste into the air, toxic electronic waste ... Some examples cited by the report of the Green Cross Foundation.
The 10 most polluted places of 2013 are:

1. Chernobyl, Ukraine
Ficheiro:Улица Кирова, Чернобыль.jpg
Pollutant: Radioactive dust including uranium, plutonium, cesium-137, 
strontium-90, and other metals 
Population Affected: Up to 10 million 
Chernobyl is internationally recognized as one of the worst nuclear disasters in history. On the evening of April 25, 1986, testing in the Chernobyl power plant 62 miles north of Kiev triggered a massive meltdown of the reactor’s core releasing more than 100 times the radioactivity of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Around 150,000 square kilometers of land was affected in the accident. To this day, the 19-mile exclusion zone around the plant remains 
almost entirely uninhabited. Within seven months, the reactor was buried in a concrete casing designed to absorb radiation and contain the remaining fuel. However the structure was only intended to be a temporary solution and designed to last no more than 20-30 years. Estimates put the number of people at risk in Ukraine, Russia, Moldova and Belarus at between 5 and 10 million, and officials believe the accident was responsible for some 4,000 cases of thyroid cancer.

Radioactive contamination from the Chernobyl Power Plant spread over 40% of Europe and parts of Asia, North Africa, and North America immediately following the nuclear disaster. Nearly 400 million people resided in territories that were contaminated with radiation at a level higher than 4 kBq/m2. Today, there are over a dozen artificial radionuclides such as cesium-137 that can be detected in the surface soil around the plant. They are all documented as being well above the recommended levels. Internal exposure from radionuclides deposited on the 
ground and ingestion of contaminated foods produced in contaminated areas remain the major pathways. As a result of prolonged low-dose exposure, an article published in Environmental Health Perspectives in 2012 concluded via a nested case-control study that there has been a significant increase in the risk of leukemia.

2. Citarum River, Indonesia

Pollutant: Numerous chemicals including lead, cadmium, chromium, and 
Population Affected: 500,000+ people directly, up to 5 million people indirectly 
The Citarum River Basin in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia covers an area of approximately 13,000 square kilometers, coming into contact with a population of 9 million people. The river provides as much as 80% of surface water to Jakarta’s water supply authority, irrigates farms that supply 5% of Indonesia’s rice, and is a source of water for upwards of 2,000 factories.

A range of contaminants are present in the river, from both industrial and domestic sources. Field investigations conducted by Blacksmith Institute, for instance found levels of lead at more than 1,000 times the USEPA standard in drinking water. A 2013 APN Science bulletin found that aluminum, manganese, and iron concentrations in the river were 97 ppb, 195 ppb, and 194 ppb, respectively. These are all significantly higher than the world averages, which are 
32 ppb, 34 ppb, and 66 ppb, respectively. The concentrations are also well above the recommended level’s of heavy metals in drinking water set by the EPA. Manganese in drinking water, for example, has a standard of 50 ppb to minimize adverse health effects. Water in the Citarum River has concentrations of manganese that are nearly four times those recommended levels. 

Importantly the Indonesian Government is taking considerable action on the issue. As an illustration the government has negotiated a 500 million dollar multi-tranche loan package with the Asian Development Bank to support efforts to rehabilitate Citarum. This will be delivered in 500 million dollar installments over 15 years and is part of the governments 3.5 billion-dollar plan to restore the Citarum.

3. Industrial center in Dzerzhinsk, Russia

Pollutant: Numerous chemicals and toxic byproducts from numerous chemical manufacturing processes
Population Affected: 300,000
Throughout the Soviet period, Dzershinsk was one of Russia’s principle sites of chemical manufacturing, including chemical weapons. Today, it is still a significant center of Russian chemical industry. Between 1930 and 1998, an estimated 300,000 tons of chemical wastes were improperly land filled in Dzershinsk and the surrounding areas. From this waste, around 190 identified chemicals were released into the groundwater. In 2007, water samples taken within the city showed levels of dioxins and phenol thousands of times above recommended levels. This prompted the Guinness Book of World Records to name Dzershinsk the most polluted city in the world later that year. Over the last years, efforts have been undertaken to close down outdated facilities and restore contaminated land.

High concentrations of toxic phenol in the air has led to residents of Dzershinsk suffering from increased levels of diseases and cancers of the eyes, lungs, and kidneys. This has caused life expectancy in the city to plummet. A study from 2006 revealed that average life expectancy in Dzershinsk was 47 for women and just 42 for men. Sulfur dioxide in the air also remains a big problem. A study published in 2013 found that 35% of those residents living adjacent to an industrial or mining area had experienced a chronic cough with sputum, compared to just 18% of those residents who did not (odds ratio: 2.16). The city has a total population of nearly 245,000 people. The toxic emissions and pollutants from local industries are potentially affecting all of the local residents.

4. Agbogbloshie Dumpsite, Ghana
Pollutant: Lead
Population Affected: 40,000+
Agbogbloshie, in Accra Ghana, is the second largest e-waste processing area in West Africa. E-waste, or electronic waste, is a broad term referring to a range of electronics, including refrigerators, microwaves, and televisions. Because of the heterogeneous composition of these materials, recycling them safely is complex and can require a high level of skill.

Ghana annually imports around 215,000 tons of secondhand consumer electronics from abroad, primarily from Western Europe, and generates another 129,000 tons of e-waste every year. Assuming growth continues in a linear manner, Ghana’s e-waste imports will double by 2020. Approximately half of these imports can be immediately utilized, or reconditioned and sold. The remainder of the material is recycled and valuable parts are salvaged.A range of recovery activities take place in Agbogbloshie, each presenting unique occupational and ecological risks. The primary activity of concern from a public health perspective is the burning of sheathed cables to recover the copper material inside. Styrofoam packaging is utilized as a fuel to burn the material in open areas. Cables can contain a range of heavy metals, including lead. To some extent, these metals can migrate through particulate in the smoke, while 
significant amounts are also left behind on area soils.

Agbogbloshie is a vibrant informal settlement with considerable overlap between 
industrial, commercial, and residential zones. Heavy metals released in the burning process easily migrate into homes, food markets, and other public areas. Samples taken around the perimeter of Agbogbloshie, for instance, found a presence of lead levels as high as 18,125 ppm in soil. The US EPA standard for lead in soil is 400 ppm. Another set of samples taken from five workers on the site found aluminum, copper, iron, and lead levels above ACGIH TLV guidelines. 

For instance, it was found that one volunteer had aluminum exposure levels of 17 mg/m3 compared with the ACGIH TLV guideline of 1.0 mg/m3.A conservative estimate of the population at risk might fall in the area of 40,000 people. However, a more in-depth assessment would be required to better capture the risk, which might affect as many as 250,000 people. Since 2008, Blacksmith Institute and partner, Green Advocacy Ghana (GreenAd), have been piloting technologies to aid recyclers in replacing the burning process. Hand wire-stripping tools introduced in 2010 were met with a small-degree of success but 
burning remained the preferred method. Currently, project partners are working to mechanize the wire-stripping process through the creation of work stations outfitted with a variety of wire-stripping machines. These machines eliminate air pollution and centralize recycling to reduce wide-spread communal exposures. Comprehensive health and occupational safety trainings, implemented since 2008, have built the capacity of workers and community members for reducing the risk of heavy metal exposure.

5. Tanneries of Hazaribagh, Bangladesh

Pollutant: Mainly Chromium
Population Affected: 160,000+
There are 270 registered tanneries in Bangladesh, and around 90-95 percent are located at Hazaribagh on about 25 hectares of land. Most of these use old, outdated, and inefficient processing methods. Together, the tanneries employ anywhere between 8,000 and 12,000 people.Every day, the tanneries collectively dump 22,000 cubic liters of toxic waste, including cancer-causing hexavalent chromium, into the Buriganga, Dhaka's main river and a key water supply. The homes of tannery workers in Hazaribagh are built next to contaminated streams, ponds, and canals. Informal leather recyclers who burn scraps of leather to produce a number of consumer products also heavily pollute the air.

Aside from the fact that hexavalent chromium is a well-known carcinogen, workers and local residents also face a number of less severe yet more common health problems every day. Skin and respiratory diseases, for instance, result from repeated exposure to hazardous chemicals when measuring and mixing them as part of the tanning process. Acid burns, rashes, aches, dizziness, and nausea are also common health problems faced by local residents. The 2011 
census lists the total population of the Hazaribagh sub-district as just over 185,000, though reliable data in relation to residents residing in the informal settlements is difficult to come by.

6. Lead mines in Kabwe, Zambia

Pollutant: Lead 
Population Affected: 300,000+ 
Kabwe, the second largest city in Zambia, is located about 150 kilometers north of the nation's capital, Lusaka. A 2006 health study discovered that, on average, children’s blood lead levels in Kabwe exceeded the recommended levels by five to ten times. This was the result of contamination from lead mining in the area, which is situated around the Copperbelt. In 1902, rich deposits of lead were discovered, leading mining and smelting operations to run almost continuously for over 90 years without the government adequately addressing the potential 
dangers of lead. Smelting was largely unregulated throughout the 20th century in Kabwe, and these smelters released heavy metals in the form of dust particles, which settled on the ground in the surrounding areas. While the mine is currently closed, artisanal activity at tailings piles continues. 

The current CDC recommended level of lead in children’s blood is 5 ug/dL. Levels in excess of 120 ug/dL can potentially be fatal. In some neighborhoods in Kabwe, blood concentrations of 200 ug/dL or more were recorded in children, and records show average blood levels of children tested ranged between 50 and 100 ug/dL. Children who play in the soil and young artisanal miners in the area are most at risk. 

The Zambian government has made significant progress in dealing with the issue, particularly through a World Bank and Nordic Development Fund USD 26 million remediation program from 2003 to 2011. Despite these efforts, the site still poses an acute health risk that will require further work.

7. Gold mines in Kalimantan, Indonesia

Pollutant: Primarily mercury, cadmium
Population Affected: 225,000+
Kalimantan is the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo and is composed of five provinces. In two of those provinces, Central and South, Artisanal Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) forms the primary source of income for 43,000 people. The vast majority of ASGM miners globally utilize mercury in the gold extraction process. The mercury forms an amalgam with gold concentrate and is burned off in rudimentary smelting. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) estimates that more than 1,000 tons of mercury are released into the environment each year through this process, which constitutes about 30 percent of the anthropogenic mercury emissions. 

Mercury vapors can travel long distances in the atmosphere, and partly for this reason, have attracted considerable international attention. Importantly, however, the most acute health risks posed by ASGM sites are more local in nature. Many miners smelt within the home, releasing dangerous amounts of mercury vapor that are trapped inside. Additionally, mercury released during the amalgamation process (before smelting) is easily released into area waterways where it can accumulate in fish and water. One article published in the Journal of Water and Environment Technology in 2008 found a concentration of mercury in the Kahayan River of Central Kalimantan that was 2,260 ng/L. This is more than twice Indonesia’s standard for total mercury in drinking water (1,000 ng/L). The Indonesian government is making progress on this issue. As a signatory to the recently adopted Minamata Convention on Mercury (10 October 2013), Indonesia has taken an important step with the international community to limit anthropogenic releases of mercury. Additionally, the Ministry of Environment has long supported the work of NGOs like Blacksmith Institute and Yayasan Tambuhak Sinta (YTS) to work with miners in a collaborative fashion to mitigate their releases and exposure.

8. Matanza-Riachuelo River, Argentina
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Pollutant: Volatile organic compounds, including toluene
Population Affected: 20,000+
The Matanza-Riachuelo River Basin is more than 60 kilometers long and houses a number of SME clusters, including chemical manufacturers. It is estimated that 15,000 industries are actively releasing effluent into the river, which cuts through 14 municipalities in Buenos Aires. Chemical manufacturers are responsible for more than a third of the pollution. Pollutants in the Matanza River vary greatly. A study published in the Latin American Journal of Sedimentology and Basin Analysis in 2008 revealed that soil on the banks of the river contained levels of zinc, lead, copper, nickel, and total chromium that were all above recommended levels. Chromium, for example, had a mean value in soil of 1,141 ppm, which is significantly higher than the 
recommended level of 220 ppm.
It’s believed that 60% of the approximately 20,000 people who reside near the river basin live in territory deemed unsuitable for human habitation, with 6% living in the basin’s most unsuitable conditions. Environmental factors such as diarrheal diseases, respiratory diseases, and cancer are significant public health problems associated with the multiple industries in the basin. A 2013 article published in Salud Colectiva found that 80% of water samples taken from wells near the Matanza-Riachuelo river basin were not safe for drinking due to contamination. This issue is aggravated by inadequate infrastructure in the nearby informal settlements, where residents are left with few options for drinking water.

Several important programs are making progress on the issue. Most significantly a billion dollar World Bank funded effort will focus on sanitation and industrial pollutant abatement. Given the scale of the investment and the actors involved, considerable progress is anticipated.

9. Niger River Delta, Nigeria

Pollutant: Petroleum 
Population Affected: There is currently disagreement among experts and 
further investigation is required. 
The Niger River Delta is a densely populated region that extends over about 70,000 km2 and makes up nearly 8% of Nigeria’s land mass. It is heavily polluted by oil and hydrocarbons, as it has been the site of major petroleum operations since the late 1950s. Between 1976 and 2001 there were nearly 7,000 incidents involving oil spills where most of the oil was never recovered. As of 2012, some 2 million barrels (320,000 m3) of oil were being extracted from the delta every day. Groundwater and soil have been heavily polluted in the process, which has also devastated aquatic and agricultural communities.
An average of 240,000 barrels of crude oil are spilled in the Niger delta every year due to mechanical failure, third party activity, and many unknown causes. The spills have not only contaminated the surface and ground water of the delta but also the ambient air and locally grown crops with hydrocarbons, including known carcinogens like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). A 2011 report from UNEP concluded that soil and groundwater pollution levels exceeded national standards at two-thirds of reviewed locations in and around the Niger delta.
These spills have affected local population health in a number of ways. One article published in the Nigerian Medical Journal in 2013 estimated that the widespread pollution could lead to a 60% reduction in household food security and a 24% increase in the prevalence of childhood malnutrition. This is in addition to the fact that the crude oil is likely hemotoxic and can cause infertility and cancer.

10. Industrial City of Norilsk, Russia

Pollutant: Copper, nickel oxide, other heavy metals 
Population Affected: 135,000 
 Norilsk is an industrial city founded in 1935. Mining and smelting operations began in the 1930s and Norilsk contained the world’s largest heavy metals smelting complex as recently as the early 2000s. Nearly 500 tons each of copper and nickel oxides and 2 million tons of sulfur dioxide are released annually into the air. Life expectancy for factory workers in Norilsk is 10 years below the Russian average. 

While the exact number of people potentially affected by pollution in Norilsk is unknown, it’s estimated that over 130,000 local residents are being exposed to particulates, sulfur dioxide, heavy metals, and phenols each day from air pollution. Past studies have found elevated copper and nickel concentrations in soil nearly everywhere within a 60km radius of the city. This has led to increased levels of respiratory diseases, and cancers of the lungs and digestive system. Children are especially, vulnerable, and become ill one and a half times more frequently than children from surrounding districts. While investments have recently been aimed at reducing environmental emissions, the surrounding area remains seriously contaminated.

Source: http://www.gcint.org/


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