Even though industrialization was meant to improve standards of living, rapid and uncontrolled industrialization has resulted in pollution. Some cities have become so polluted that it is very unsafe to live due to poor air quality and exposure to potential health hazards. Even though there are various measures that can be used to determine the level of pollution in a city, this article takes a look at the most polluted cities in the world as a result of industrialization and mining.
Linfen is China’s coal capital and is often regarded as the most polluted city in the world. It pollution is caused by the continued burning of coal to produce fuel. Linfen has been surrounded by artificial hills made of coal and has the most poor air quality in the entire China. Clothes will turn into black if you hang them in the open after washing.
Even though Tianying was famous for its fertile soil suitable for farmlands, Rapid industrialization has resulted in the city becoming one of the most polluted cities in the world. The city has been polluted with heavy metals especially lead which are released as a waste by the numerous factories. People in Tianying are always at risk of developing lead associated health problems.
Sukinda in India is major chrome and heavy metals mining city. The city accounts for over 95% of all chromium mined in India and have formed mountains of mining waste which drains into nearby rivers and water sources leading to increased cancer risk. Over the years, more than 2.6 million people have been diagnosed with cancer and other health conditions whose source can be traced to the chromium.
As one of India’s most industrialized city with hundreds of industries, Vapi’s air, water, and soil have been contaminated with toxic wastes. Vapi ground water has been found to contain mercury that is 96 times more that the recommended levels. Continuous exposure to mercury leads to eye problems, muscle weakness, and many neurological deficiencies.
La Oroya, Peru
This mining city in Peru is famous its numerous heavy metal mines and processing centers. Over the years, lead waste that has been dumped all over the city has absorbed into the soil, and it will take centuries for the lead content to get back to normal. La Oroya is highly polluted that out of 100 children, 99 have lead levels that are above acceptable standards.
As the most polluted cities in the world, the cities mentioned above are becoming inhabitable due to poor air quality and potential exposure to toxins and heavy metals that lead to long-term health complications.