Report Names Top 10 for Pollution Problems

Two international environmental groups -- U.S.-based Blacksmith Institute and Green Cross Switzerland -- issued a Top Ten list of the world's worst pollution problems. The report addresses the role of pollution as a leading contributing factor to death and disability in the world and highlights the disproportionate effects on children's health.

The list includes both commonly discussed pollution problems like urban air pollution and more overlooked threats like car battery recycling. The problems included in the report have a significant impact on human health worldwide and result in death, persistent illness, and neurological impairment for millions. The report indicates that many of these deaths and related illnesses could be avoided with affordable and effective interventions.

The Top Ten appear in a larger report titled, "The World's Worst Pollution Problems: The Top Ten of The Toxic Twenty." The report is the result of an analysis of more than 600 sites in Blacksmith's database of polluted places as well as from nominations by relevant experts.

"Our goal with the 2008 report is to increase awareness of the severe toll that pollution takes on human health and inspire the international community to act," said Richard Fuller, founder of Blacksmith Institute. "Remediation is both possible and cost-effective. Clean air, water, and soil are human rights."

The Top (unranked) Ten

• Indoor air pollution
• Urban air quality
• Untreated sewage
• Groundwater contamination
• Contaminated surface water
• Artisanal gold mining
• Industrial mining activities
• Metals smelting and other processing
• Radioactive waste and uranium mining
• Used lead-acid battery recycling

A downloadable copy of the report and more information is available at

Featured Webinar