10 Most Polluted Cities in the World

6. Dzerzhinsk, Russia:

Located in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia, Dzerzhinsk is a city about 250 miles east of Moscow. The city has a population of  240,742 and is a large center of the Russian chemicals production industry. These chemical industries has been a major cause of increasing pollution in the city and was even ranked as one of the worst-polluted cities of the world by the Blacksmith Institute in 2007. The city has more than double death rate than that of the whole country because of the increasing pollution. Some common pollutants found in the city are sarin, lewisite, hydrogen cyanide, phosgene, lead, and organic chemicals which have been a major cause of health problems. The life expectancy in the city is way to less than that of the country and the pollutants have even hampered the natural ecological system of the city. Some earlier reports showed the rise of dioxins and phenol contents were more than seventeen million times the safe limit. However, at the present times, government has been making efforts to discontinue such polluting activities and according to the recent survey there has been a significant decrease in pollution reports.

Dzerzhinsk, Russia

7. Chernobyl, Ukraine:

Located in northern Kiev Oblast, Ukraine, Chernobyl is a city in the restricted Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and the administrative center of Chernobyl Raion.  The city witnessed the tragic Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Disaster in 1986 and thereafter the whole city was evacuated with more than 14,000 residents stationed away from the city. The nuclear disaster has been the main cause of pollution in the city with more than 5.5 million affected from the nuclear radiations. In the present times around 30 kilometers of area from the core plant still remains inhabited as the nuclear disaster in 86 is often regarded as the largest industrial accident in the world. Still there are more than 4,000 cases of thyroid cancer in the city and area around it. Various health surveys show skin lesions, respiratory ailments, infertility and birth defects among children and adolescents less than 14 years. Appropriate environmental impact assessment and remediation projects have been projected in order to control the exceeding pollution on the city.

Chernobyl, Ukraine

8. Norilsk, Russia:

Located between the Yenisei River and the Taymyr Peninsula, Norilsk is an industrial city in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia. According to the 2010 survey, the city has an estimated population of 175,365 and with more than 100,000 inhabitants it is the second largest city inside the Arctic Circle. The city is home to various nickel plants which have become the common source of pollution and sometimes even result on acid rains.  The city has large deposits of cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, arsenic, selenium, and zinc. The various mining and processing firms produce 1.924 million tons of carbon pollutants which make the city as the most pollutant city of Russia. The city was also named among the ten most polluted places on Earth list by Blacksmith Institute in 2007. Potentially more than 134,000 people are affected from the increasing pollution and mostly affected by the air quality in the city. Some other common health problems in the city and the area around it are throat diseases, chronic diseases of the lungs, respiratory tracts, and digestive systems. However, the national government with Global Health organizations is working together to control the exceeding pollution level in the city by the year 2015.

Norilsk, Russia

9. Sumgayit, Azerbaijan:

Located near the Caspian Sea, Sumgayit is one of the largest cities in Azerbaijan and is about 31 kilometers away from the capital, Baku. According to the 2009 survey the city had a population of 308,700 and area of 83 square kilometers. The city has become an important industrial sector in the country and was placed on their list of The World’s Most Polluted Places by Time magazine in 2007. This is mainly due to the heavy metal, oil-chemical contamination and production in the city. The present situation of the city is quite worse and the cancer rates are more than double with that of the whole country. Huge untreated dumps of industrial sludge and chemical productions in the city have made it highly polluted area with chronic disease. The health reports from various global health organizations show genetic defects ranging from mental retardation to bone diseases in countrymen and young generations.

Sumgayit, Azerbaijan

10. Kabwe, Zambia:

As one of the most important cities of southern Africa, Kabwe is the capital of ZambianCentral Provinceand is believed to be the birthplace of Zambian politics.  According to the 2010 census, Kabwa had a population of 202,914 andis an important transportation and mining center of Southern Africa. The city has large number of mining industries and is home to pharmaceuticals, milling and cotton ginning, and leather tanning industries. According to a recent survey around 255,000 people are affected from the increasing pollution and facing the potential dangers of lead contamination in the city. The various mining and other industries in the city has polluted the natural resourcesto contaminated water, dry, dusty, lead-laced soils. However, with the help of local NGO’s and global health organizations, the he clean-up strategy of widespread contamination for Kabwe city is on a quick progress and teaching people about the various pollution issues.

Kabwe, Zambia


With the modern developing times, the need for industrial raw products has certainly increased and has resulted in a rapid growth of mining and processing units. However, in order to achieve our demands we have overlooked problems like population and the various affects related to it. If we want to keep our future generations free from such major problems, we need to take steps quickly but effectively. The best way to control pollution is to educate people with hazards that this global problem can create in the future. With educating the people about pollution we need to tell them about the small yet efficient steps that they must to overcome this global threat. Just remember that the earth is a home to all of us and we need work together to make it a better place to live in.

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