Below we list ten places you should avoid visiting. If you absolutely must go, make sure to pack a gas mask, one of those creepy yellow protective suits and gum-shield. Here are the ten currently most polluted and unfriendly places in the world. Frontpage photo by moinlucky11.
1. Karachay, Russia
Between 1949 and 19651 the little lake Karachay functioned as primary dumping site of radioactive waste. Visits longer than an hour may lead to certain death due to the high level of radiation.
2. Linfen, China
Linfen is one of the most polluted cities on Earth. Hang out laundry in Linfen and it will turn black before drying, according to Mother Nature Network. Linfen is situated in the center of China’s coal district and spending a day in the city is equivalent to smoking three packs of cigarettes. Over three million people are affected daily by pollutions.
Photo by nataliebehring.com3. Los Angeles, USA
According to American Lung Association, L.A is the most ozone contaminated city in the U.S. The stratosphere holds an natural amount of ozone, but by Earth’s surface this becomes air pollution. High levels of ozone in the air will harm your lungs significantly and The California Air Resources Board predicts that more than 18,000 L.A inhabitants suffer premature deaths every year as a result of the air pollution.
4. The Niger Delta, Nigeria
It has been calculated that between 1,2 to 1,7 million tons of oil have spilled into the delta during the past 50 years. The leaks are the result of bad maintenance of pipes as well as sabotage. The Niger Delta is the third largest wetland in the world and the oil spill has caused great damage to mangrove swamps and wildlife.
5. London, United Kingdom
Car traffic, industries and agriculture are the main sources of pollution of London and areas nearby. United Kingdom emits the most nitrogen oxide in the world, directly affecting 1,5 million people. Experts say that the inhabitants of London has lowered their life expectancy with 9 years due to the air pollutions. Every year 50,000 people die prematurely due to city pollution.
6. Dzerzhinsk, Russia
Between 1930 and 1998 over 300,000 tons of chemicals were dumped here. Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by e.g. the nerve gases Sarin and VX. The chemicals are all that is left from the Cold War when Dzerzhinsk functioned as principal production site for chemical weapons. In 2003, 260 percent more people died in Dzerzhinsk than people born.
7. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, USA
Being called out as 2010’s worst place in the United States, this region has been contaminated by diesel engines, power plants and construction sites, filling the air of year around particle pollution, a mix of dust, soot and aerosols.
8. Citarum river, Indonesia
The world’s most contaminated river runs through west Java in Indonesia. 5 million people live along the river shorelines. Asian Development Bank has contributed with $500 million to clean up the river.
9. La Oroya, Peru
In 2007, La Oroya was marked down by the Blacksmith Institute as most polluted place in the world. Since 1992 the mining and smelting plants in the area has caused severe lead, zinc, copper and sulfur dioxide contamination. According to Time Magazine, 99 percent of the children in La Oroya have blood levels that exceed acceptable limits.
10. Chernobyl, Ukraine
On August 26 1986, the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Chernobyl suffered a severe melt down, leading to the release 100 times more radiation into the atmosphere than released from both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bomb together. The 19 mile fallout area around the plant is today still inhabitable.