10 of the Most Polluted Cities in the World

10 of the Most Polluted Cities in the World

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Planning a trip somewhere around the globe? You better do your research before you book a flight. For one, you do not want to go to a place you have no idea about. Secondly, you don’t want to put yourself in danger. Ultimately, you should look out for your health when travelling. After all, you travel to have fun; not to get sick.

Your destination’s overall environmental state is a major consideration. Most polluted areas are teeming with a number of serious health concerns like cancers, birth defects, mental retardation and reduced life expectancies.

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So, heed this warning and know 10 of the most polluted cities in the world according to The Blacksmith Institute. The Blacksmith Institute is a New York-based environmental NGO focusing on unknown pollution hotspots — mostly in the developing world — where the kind of heavy-duty industrial contamination that the U.S. has largely cleaned up is still taking a devastating toll on human health.

Note: This list is not exhaustive and is not arranged according to degree of pollutant contamination in the area. This list is provided by The Blacksmith Institute.


1. Chernobyl, Ukraine

A radioactive sign hangs on barbed wire outside a café in Pripyat.
A radioactive sign hangs on barbed wire outside a café in Pripyat.

Number of people potentially affected: Initially estimated at 5.5 million, currently disputed

Type of pollutant: Radiation

Source of pollution: Nuclear meltdown

Image URL: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/16/VOA_Markosian_-_Chernobyl02.jpg

Chernobyl is known for the worst nuclear disaster in history. On April 26, 1986, a mishap in a nuclear reactor in Chernobyl caused its core to release 100 times more radiation than the atom bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki – it was a nuclear meltdown. The consequence was fatal and horrendous.

More than two decades after, the effects can still be felt and seen. The 19-mile (30.6-kilometer) exclusion zone around the plant remains uninhabitable. Local residents still suffer from the effects of the nuclear fallout (i.e. skin lesions, respiratory ailments, infertility and birth defects).

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