La Oroya, Peru
The most recent addition to our list, the small Andean town of La Oroya has been home to a metal smelter run by Missouri based Doe Run Corporation since 1922. As a result nearly all the local children suffer from lead poisoning and respiratory complications. The Peruvian government has even been taken to court for crimes against humanity by various organizations.
This Siberian city houses an even larger smelting complex than La Oroya (it’s actually the largest in the world). Not surprisingly, the pollution here is so bad that the average life expectancy is up to 10 years less than the rest of Russia.
Citarum River, Indonesia
After years of mining and processing both cadmium and lead are very common in the hills surrounding this Zambian city. In fact, the children here have been found to have 10 times the permissible EPA level of lead in their bloodstream. Moreover, the ground is barren and nothing will grow as a result of the contamination.
Riachuelo Basin, Argentina
As one of the largest dumps of radioactive waste in all of Asia, Mailuu-Suu is not only heavily contaminated but there are a series of unstable uranium tailing pits in the hills surrounding the city. Were these pits were to empty the result would be disastrous.
Mexico City, Mexico
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
With a rapidly growing population, Dar es Salaam’s already strained water supply is only going to worsen. Moreover, as solid wastes continues to empty into the Msimbazi River, the prevalence of infectious disease will continue to increase.
If you have read our list on 25 crazy facts about the universe then you know that the Earth is surrounded by nearly 4 million pounds of space debris. The image you see above was actually generated by NASA to show which ones are presently being tracked.