Anna Velas-Suarin

15 Most Toxic Places in the World

A greener future should not remain as just a dream

It’s been a while since I last wrote here. I miss writing a lot but there had been many things occupying hubby and I lately (one is on the search for a new flat/home!). We have a wonderful option and we hope we can still negotiate for a better deal. The unit is nice and big enough for a couple and in a quiet neighborhood. It’s not too far from Makati and Ortigas – yet it’s still in Quezon City! We are bent on staying in QC so we can bring our Bayantel phone+DSL subscription with us – we really just like their services. This makes me wonder again whether Bayantel will consider expanding their coverage. They really should! Anyway, I will blog again about our search for the new lovenest once we have moved in by end of the month.

I had really wanted to write more about our environmental problems (and solutions) so I hope this blog will start me ‘revved’ up again. 🙂 Here then are the 15 most toxic places in the world (lifted from the website of Mother Nature Network). This list does not want to put judgement against any location, country or nationality. I guess the MNN site only wants to remind us all again about the precarious condition of our environment, and in the process, motivate us to do more concrete and effective steps in arresting the degradation around us! Here is the list then –

1. Citarum River, INDONESIA – considered as the most polluted river in the world (I saw the photo posted with the list and I really cringed because you can no longer see any ’empty space’ on the river surface – everything is just covered with floating debris and garbage.)

2. Chernobyl, UKRAINE – of course, everyone knows that this is where the 1986 nuclear disaster happened.

3. Linfen, CHINA – the MNN site said it is considered as the place with the worst  air pollution in the whole world. The coal and soot from industries and vehicles make the air so dirty that your laundry will turn black even before it dries, if you hang it outside your window. Actually, this doesn’t seem ludicrous because even in Manila, our white shirts turn grayish-black  on the collars if we stayed outdoors the whole day.

4. North Pacific Gyre, PACIFIC OCEAN – not many of us know that we are already building an island of garbage and debris right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The waves naturally push garbage away from the shores and accumulate in the center. Experts say that the debris there is already about 30 feet below the ocean surface. Imagine?

5. Rondonia, BRAZIL – this is considered the most deforested area of the Amazon rainforest. It has reached this stage because of rampant and uncontrolled cattle ranching. Our very own forests will most likely reach the same stage if we don’t do something more urgent about the continuing forest denudation.

6. Yamuna River, INDIA – this is the largest tributary of the Ganges River and flows through Delhi. It is said that 58% of the city’s wastes are dumped here. (Sounds familiar? Our very own Pasig River may not be entirely different although it is commendable that efforts are now being done to revive it.)

7. La Oroya, PERU – this is where rampant mining operations are being done. It is described as a “soot-covered mining town.” Experts say that 99% of the children living in the area already have high lead level in their systems – levels exceeding the acceptable limit.

8. Lake Karachay, RUSSIA – it is considered as the most polluted spot on earth. It has become a nuclear dumping site where radiation level is too high that an hour of stay there (without a very modern breathing mechanism strapped to your body) will be enough to kill you.

9. HAITI – the whole country is so deforested that the recent earthquake made the place even more fragile. It used to enjoy 60% forested area but that size is now down to 2% and fast dwindling…

10. Kabwe, ZAMBIA – the soil has accumulated toxic levels of lead and cadmium due to rampant mining. The children there have lead levels in their systems 5 to 10 times higher than the permissible levels.

11. Appalachia, West Virginia, US – it is also a mining town where the prevalent system being used is called “removal mining” where whole mountaintops are removed. This system leads to soil erosion – which consequently causes run-offs of toxic chemicals and pollutants to the rivers and streams below.

12. Dzerzhinsk, RUSSIA – this is the most chemically-polluted place in the whole world. Chemical wastes are dumped here leading to death rates 200 to 250% higher than birth rates.

13. Riachuelo Basin, ARGENTINA – the river body easily became a receptacle for the garbage and dump of more than 3,500 factories and 13 slum communities around the water system. It also ‘hosts’ 42 open garbage dumps.

14. Vape, INDIA – it has become a dumping place for chemicals as it lies south of industrial estates. The level of mercury in the groundwater is 96% higher than safety levels. There is an alarming presence of heavy metals particles in the air and even in the local produce!

15. EARTH’s ORBIT (yes, you read it right) – around our home called Earth are 4 million pounds of space debris including nuts, bolts, metals, carbon and even a spacecraft! Can you imagine being thrown up there in the skies and dying NOT because of lack of ‘breathable’ oxygen but because you ran smack a floating spacecraft?

We don’t need a lengthy discourse just so we can be convinced to do something more concrete now, right? So please help us save this Earth. It is our only home.

Have a good life!


This is not a paid blog. Reference: Website of Mother Nature Network.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.