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The dirtiest cities in the world



People increasingly affect the environment, and over the past 50-100 years, some cities have literally turned into clusters of industrial and household waste. People who live in them get sick much more often than others. We present you the 10 most polluted cities in the world, where everything is very, very bad with the environment...

10. Accra (Ghana)

Here is the largest on the planet dump of electronic items that have served their time. In violation of the agreements signed at the Basel Convention on the conditions for the export of toxic waste to third world developing countries.

Every day here bring tons of old equipment from Europe and the United States. The local population bathes in it, trying to find something worthwhile. Partly by burning waste is used for the extraction of non-ferrous metals. Mostly it is wire and contacts.

Electronic waste dump Accra

Electronic waste dump Accra

The constant smoke from burning plastic brings many highly toxic elements into the environment. The soil around the landfill contains amounts of lead, cadmium, and mercury several hundred times higher than the permissible limits.


At the same time, recycling gives the residents of the surrounding areas a good (by local standards) to earn. Boys who are engaged in sorting trash and burning non-ferrous metals receive about $ 2.5 per day shift.

More enterprising busy bulkhead components. Basically, it is an old system unit. After culling the working parts are installed in the whole body and sold much more expensive.

9. Ranipet (India)

The reason that this small town got into the rating of the dirtiest settlements is a leather processing plant. It uses a range of carcinogenic substances to dye and tan raw materials. As a result, from a landfill consisting of 1.5 million tons of solid waste, they partially fall into groundwater.

Dirty water in Ranipet, India

Dirty water in Ranipet, India

The quality of drinking water and agricultural land suffers from this. Farmers have no choice but to farm on the poisoned land.

A few years ago, the government of India was forced to close one of the processing plants, but the situation has not changed much. The management of the enterprise was obliged to develop a project that would reduce the amount of polluting emissions by at least half.

8. Karabash (Russia)

The first Russian representative from the current list of the most polluted cities in the world is located in the Chelyabinsk region. Here is not only a difficult environmental situation. In 2014, it was included in the list of settlements belonging to the category "Multidisciplinary municipalities of the Russian Federation in the most difficult socio-economic situation."

Sewage, Karabash (Russia)

Sewage, Karabash (Russia)

For almost a century of the history of the existence of enterprises specializing in the production of copper, the technology that is used to produce has never been updated and modernized. Thus, all harmful emissions entered the environment, practically bypassing the cleaning system, which simply was not provided.

The treatment plant was launched only in 2005. This led to the fact that in 2009 the city was excluded from the list of “Ecological Disaster Zones”, where it was added three years earlier.

In 2010 there was officially recorded the fact of the onset of premature autumn. In the second half of June, the foliage on the trees turned yellow and opal. A similar situation occurred with all the vegetation of the region.

As a result, local residents and agricultural enterprises suffered huge losses.


Information based on third-party resources places Karabash among the leaders of this rating, based on information provided by UNESCO. The former head of the urban district, Vyacheslav Yagodinets, stated that Karabash is not the dirtiest city on the planet. He refuted this information with such words: “We searched for this information in the archives of this UN agency, but did not find it!”.

7. Kabwe (Zambia)

The city, located 140 km from the capital Lusaka. At the beginning of the 20th century, deposits of lead, vanadium, and zinc were discovered here. The construction of the necessary infrastructure for mining has led to the formation of a settlement.

Kabwe (Zambia)

The construction of the necessary infrastructure for mining has led to the formation of a settlement.

In particular, the mining industry functioned without restrictions and purification systems until 1994. As a result, perennial emissions into the atmosphere did their job:

  • The degree of pollution exceeds the permissible norms by more than four times.
  • Virtually the entire population suffers from symptoms of acute blood poisoning, manifested in frequent vomiting, diarrhea, chronic diseases of internal organs.
  • The maximum concentration of toxic substances and this is the worst was found in children's organisms.

The development of sewage treatment plants does not give the desired result since the terrain is already poisoned and affects people like a time bomb. Currently, residents who refuse to move to other areas are provided with information. There is no other way out of this situation.

6. Norilsk (Russia)

Russian Norilsk is annually in the top of the dirtiest cities on the planet. The only difference is that he periodically changes his position. It happens that sometimes it even surpasses the state of Chinese industrial cities.

The population of the city barely reaches 200,000 people. Half of them work at the city-forming metallurgical combine "Norilsk Nickel". More than 10 types of various metals are mined and processed here.

City-forming metallurgical combine "Norilsk Nickel"

City-forming metallurgical combine "Norilsk Nickel"

Volatile compounds produced are released into the respiratory tract of humans and can cause nauseous conditions, abdominal pain, chronic diseases of parts of the body.

In recent years, the situation is beginning to move for the better. The wastewater treatment plant is being modernized, and therefore the amount of harmful emissions into the atmosphere is reduced. But this is not enough.


Important! Statistics of childhood infection in Russia calls Norilsk a leader in the number of cases of intestinal and lung diseases.

5. Dhaka (Bangladesh)

Bangladesh is known for its overpopulation. Residents of the capital and its neighboring agglomerations know this firsthand. In total, more than 20 million people live here.


Although most of the industry is concentrated here, environmental problems did not come about because of this. The city with the dirtiest air received such status due to an excessive agglomeration of the local population.

Most public transport accounts for rickshaws. More than 400,000 carriers take to the streets daily. They are recognized as the main culprits of many kilometers of traffic jams.

The port, located on the bank of Buriganga (the Ganges delta), daily receives tens of thousands of vessels of the most different configurations. Their movement is estimated as total chaos. The water in the river is so dirty that it begins to stink a few hundred meters from the shore.


The port, located on the bank of Buriganga (the Ganges delta), daily receives tens of thousands of vessels of the most different configurations.

In most parts of the city are concentrated tons of domestic garbage and carcasses of dead animals, exuding stench and spreading a variety of infections.

4. Dzerzhinsk (Russia)

The second largest city of Nizhny Novgorod region is in a difficult position. From 2008 to 2013, the city was included in the ranking of the most unfavorable, in terms of ecology, cities in Russia. In 2014 it was excluded from it due to the fact that the concentration of harmful substances in the atmosphere was partially reduced.

However, the amount of suspended particles, nitrogen oxides, benzpyrene and phenol is exceeded many times. The following factors can be called the cause of bad ecology:

  • An impressive concentration of industry in one district.
  • The largest waste dump of industrial waste "Black Hole" near the city.
  • Several mass dumping of chemical waste. One of them is known as Simazine.
  • Slag storage "White Sea".

Slag storage tank "White Sea", Dzerzhinsk, Russia

Slag storage tank "White Sea", Dzerzhinsk, Russia


Important! The Swiss branch of the International Green Cross refers to Dzerzhinsk not only to the dirtiest city in Europe but also places him in a similar rating covering the entire planet.

3. Sukinda (India)

Almost all deposits of Indian chromium, necessary for smelting stainless steel, are mined in the valley of Sukind. Around the eponymous city 12 mines are concentrated, on which the production is carried out in an open way.

As a result, all industrial waste remains lying on the ground. At the moment it is about 35 million tons. The most toxic carcinogen is hexavalent chlorine, the concentration of which exceeds the permissible limits by three to four times.

Sukinda, India. Dirty water near the mine in Sukinda

Sukinda, India. Dirty water near the mine in Sukinda

Most fall into the groundwater or immediately washed into the waters of Brahmani. The river, in turn, is the only source of water for three million people.


Thus, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, asthma, and tuberculosis of the local population are perceived as natural things. According to the international voluntary health organizations, almost 90% of deaths in one way or another are connected with the ecological state of the region.

2. Tianying (China)

The population of this small town, by Chinese standards, is only 800,000 people. A third of them are registered with doctors with the status of "serious illness." The locality is known for its metallurgical enterprises, which produce half of all the lead mined in China.

Tianying (China)

The blue smoke with which it is constantly shrouded is far from the worst.


The blue smoke with which it is constantly shrouded is far from the worst. The main damage is concentrated in the soil, which contains a huge amount of lead. Getting from it to agricultural products and drinking water, it enters the body, causing serious consequences.

The government of the country can do practically nothing with this since the agglomeration of the republic is extremely exceeded. There is no chance to abandon poisonous products either.

At the same time, grains grown on local fields are prohibited for sale both in foreign and domestic markets. The lead content in them exceeds the permissible norms by 26 times. Thus, there is a conscious population of poisoning.

1. Linfen (China)

Leader rating, the dirtiest city in the world. In ancient times, here was the location of the capital of the Chinese Empire and the palace of the emperor. Now it is the most unfavorable point on the globe.

In the absence of natural gas, the main source of energy in the country is coal. The city is concentrated more than half of the mines, providing 2/3 of all production. There is not just dirty air, but almost no oxygen.

Linfen (China)

Linfen (China). There is not just dirty air, but almost no oxygen.

The air is saturated with the following particles:

  • Ash.
  • Carbon monoxide gas.
  • Nitric oxide.
  • Sulfur dioxide.
  • Arsenic.
  • Lead-Free

The coal mining industry is not the main culprit in Linfeng's environmental problems. The changed vector of the country's economic development demanded an increase in energy resources. The result was an increase in coal production, but also in the chemical industry.

Every day, the city’s plants and factories emit deadly compounds of exhaust gases and waste toxic waters into the atmosphere. Visibility even in sunny weather is no more than 300 m.

An official report from the Ministry of Health of China confirms that more than three million people in the region have deviations in health. In the coming years, the country's leadership plans to reduce production, closing several mines. The decision suggests itself. However, in this case, crowds of Chinese with impaired health and lung cancer will be unemployed.


Interesting! Residents of the city never dried clothes on the street. Literally, in an hour and a half, it becomes gray.

Ecological condition of European cities

In terms of ecology, European countries are far ahead in comparison with African and Asian countries. The peak of industrial development has already passed here, but there are not so many minerals. The situation is in their favor due to the fact that more and more manufacturing enterprises are being transferred to third world countries.

This is explained not so much by environmental considerations as by lowering the cost of paying workers.


To a large extent, poor environmental indicators are formed directly due to the fault of resident citizens. The presented rating applies to European countries, with the exception of Russia with its Ural and Siberian mineral deposits and a high concentration of industrial enterprises.

Where it is better not to live in Europe

Based on this, the following can be called the dirtiest cities of Europe:

6. Polotsk - The dirtiest city of Belarus. The reason lies in the large number of industrial enterprises located in the vicinity.

Polotsk. The dirtiest city of Belarus.

Polotsk. The dirtiest city of Belarus.

5. Stolipinovo, Bulgaria. The mass concentration of Roma, most of whom simply do not want to adapt to a different society. As a result, a small Bulgarian town resembles a Brazilian slum.

Stolipinovo quarter in Plovdiv

Stolipinovo quarter in Plovdiv

4. Odessa, Ukraine. The amount of carcinogens in the air of this previously resort city exceeds the permissible limits.

Beach in Odessa, Ukraine.

Beach in Odessa, Ukraine.

3. Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. In principle, the content of poisons in the ambient air is not so great. But their diversity allows us to talk about the uniqueness of this Ukrainian city.

Dnepropetrovsk steel plant

Dnepropetrovsk steel plant

2. Naples, Italy. The large Italian center is a kind of replica of unfavorable areas of other megalopolises. Heaps of household garbage, lying on its outskirts, emit much more harmful substances into the atmosphere than some industrial centers.

"Garbage Crisis" in Naples

"Garbage Crisis" in Naples

1. The leader of the rating, the dirtiest city of Ukraine and the world - Ukrainian Chernobyl.

Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 2018. Sarcophagus

Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 2018. Sarcophagus

Total pollution of the environment every year becomes more and more obvious. The rating of the 10 dirtiest cities is constantly updated, previously unknown localities and regions are added. The movement of air masses, the migration of soil, rivers, and groundwater do their work by moving toxic particles far beyond the limits of dangerous foci.


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