Do You Know That? Most Polluted Towns Of The World
Each year, Blacksmith Institute puts together a survey of all most contaminated (polluted) places of our planet, which menace, from safety point of view, excessive number of inhabitants of those localities. During past ten years, Russian metalurgical towns (and their non-flattering primacies) are changed subsequently with localities in China and India, where this industrial boom is taking its tax. These ecological limits are completely submitted to local national economy. A rest of the world is in silence inconspiciously. It is more advantageous to excavate and work poisonous metals somewhere in Siberia as the the rest of civilized or inhabitated world, which is profiting from such products. Nevertheless, the people are living there, too. But, what to do that the length of their lives would not reach 50 age of their lives?
So, let´s draw near those worst areas, gathered in a short description. Our trip starts in China…
This industrial area of North-East China belongs longdated to most polluted territories of the world. The expansion of Asian market does not acknowledge any limit, and Shanxi Province serves as an evidence. This region is rich on mineral raw materials, dominating with excavation and coal working. The atmosphere, acceptable for respiration, is possible within two weeks, in region of four millions of persons, when the operation of factories and electric power stations is regulated by state. The air is practically unbreathable all year round, and apart of this, it is evil-smelling and full of waste-matters, including coal ash, lead and many sorts of provoking chemicals. All houses, streets or motor vehicles are black, as a consequence of coal falls. The dust is penetrating everywhere, especially into lungs of more than three millions of Lin-Fen town. The length of life of local inhabitants could not exceed 50 years of age…
Similar situation dominates in Chinese town of Tianying. It is rather smaller town but with its leading position in production of lead belong to biggest „killers“ at all. As the biggest guilt, it is ancient technology, together with absence of any limits for working of toxic metals, the refusal of which have its end in water, soil and in the air. So, local wheat reaches 24 times more of lead than it is registered in Chinese standard. The town of Tianying, together with Lin-Fen, participate on the worst areas for life conditions, despite alleged supervision assistance of life environment, from part of Chinese Government. It is a fact that government closed many of illegal as well as ancient factories.
During past years, even India and its area of Sukinda is mentioned frequently. This locality is hardly threatened with excavation of chromium and other metals. The area contains more than 90% of total Indian stock. Chromium belongs to most menacing teratogen elements - stuffs, threatening into human organism on generic level, causing, first of all, extensive tumorous exuberance. This dangerous material comes to more than 2,5 millions of inhabitants of the region mostly from subterranean springs. These springs are practically the only water source, however just contaminated. Such problem is intuitively described in film (work of Mrs. Erin Brockovich, with Julia Roberts in title-role).
Regarding ecological damages, India would be on the same level, of local industrial expansion would be so quick as the Chinese one. To tell the truth, India is waiting for its catastrophical boom in ecological branch. Another menaced locality is Vapi, situated in distance of 400 kilometres of another industrial area. So, local water is 96 times more infested with mercury, as permited limit of World Health Organization (WHO), not speaking about another products in the atmosphere or in soil.
Soviet Union as well as today´s Russia was always on top of this imaginary survey. Nevertheless, it is a fact that, from point of view of population number, this country takes the second position, behind its Chinese neighbour or behind some industrial areas of South America. Russia is more characteristic (or fascinating) or, better to say, more depressing, total picture of local way of life, first of all, devastated countryside of North regions. On the other hand, it is a fact that such country has sufficient areas, so, it is not actuel to safe such problems. So, Norilsk belongs to one of most important centres of Siberian industry. This depressive capital of Krasnoyarsk Region, founded in 1935, became famous in negative way - as Gulag. Local permafrost - is put of proportion - rich on metals, such as: nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum, and, palladium, first of all. This mosaic could be added with coal, so, it is not necessary to describe, how it looks like there. Persistent inversion, smog, black muds (sediments) and endless plains of dead trees in Siberian wilderness. Smoking chimneys, cracked panel-houses, terrible (cruel) cold and poisons prevail everywhere around. Norilsk is world No. 1, as far as the working of nickel ores is concerned. During a year, the atmosphere can absorb more than four millions of materials, such as: cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, arsenic, selenium and zinc… According to the estimations, this area is producting more than 1% of world emissions of sulphur oxide. In 2001, the town got even a status of closed area for foreigners. Local small Mosque of Tartar community is most in the north located building of such type in the world. Local inhabitants even excavate nickel and the other precious metals from the air, or from the rain. When it rains, they take rain-water, cooking it consequently, and obtained metal stratta sell back to factories. The same business could be made with a dust. The dust is covering here all, and together with acid rains kills not only the nature. So, the average age of men is threatening 41 years only!
The town of Dzerzhinsk, situated in Nizhny Nowgorod industrial area,distant 400 kilometres from Moscow, belongs to another menaced localities. During USSR time period, this, for citizens´ closed region, became a main centre of production of chemical weapons, dominated with yperit, manufactured in Caprolactam work. Officially, it was a factory for production of organic glass. The arsenic, hydrocyanic acid and fosgen (colourless poisonous gas) were got as subsidiary products. It is to be estimated that nearly 300 thousands of violently poisonous and badly stored refusal materials penetrate subsequently into subterranean waters. So, limit of dioxines as well as phenols coulde be, in such case, exceeded 17 000 000 times!! However, local mortality makes, in the course of past ten years, making comparison to birth-rate, 250 % in average! The pollution is invisible, as smoking chimneys are not to be followed, the worse situation is somewhere below the eartth, in the water!
So, this was only small enumeration of terrible areas of our actual world, as the other unnumerous similar regions could be found even in Africa, South America or in Near East countries. The Tschernobyl seems to be relatively pleasant place for spending of your holidays!
Text: Jan Chaloupka
Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš
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