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Three of the most polluted places on earth

UNITED KINGDOM | Thursday, 29 November 2018 | Views [31]

 

 

As a society, we seem to be taking slightly more responsibility of the waste that we produce. Only a few hundred years ago, city streets were littered with waste and disease, showered by the latrines from the windows above. Nowadays, the argument could be made that, although we are more hygienic, the sheer amount of waste we produce trumps that of our feces-flinging ancestors. The most important difference to note, is the type of waste we produce. Non-recycled plastics, for example, can take up to 450 years to degrade naturally. This means, assuming we continue our path towards some mass-ecological disaster, that a discarded plastic bottle could very well outlive the human race. Below is a list of three polluted places on earth and the effects that the pollution has had on, not only the environment, but the animals and humans inhabiting them.

 

  1. Chernobyl, Ukraine - In 1986 the worst nuclear disaster in history took place when the core of a nuclear power plant became unstable and released radiation into Chernobyl. To get an idea of the scale of the radiation, there was 100 times less released during the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. More than twenty years later, a 19 km area most affected by the radiation is still uninhabitable with many people still feeling the effects of the radiation; skin lesions, birth defects, infertility. From 1993 to 2002, there were over 4,000 cases of thyroid cancer reported in children and adolescents.

  1. Baltic Sea - in the Atlantic, between Sweden and Denmark lies the Baltic sea. This is one of the most damaged areas due to pollution in the world. Oil-spilling, over fishing and general waste have caused the oxygen levels in the Baltic to fall to their lowest point for over 1,500 years. Due to the position of this sea, there is only a narrow outlet to the ocean, meaning that the sea takes 25-30 years to refresh. There are currently enough plastics in the ocean to stack higher than a few empire state buildings. Although there are organisations dedicated to cleaning up the oceans, the Baltic is in urgent need to preservation and restoration.

  2. Tianying, China - so far, we have seen a nuclear and environmental example, in Tianying, China however, we find an industrial one. The production output for Tianying is over half of China’s total, meaning that the emissions from the factories are creating smog clouds over the area. The low-level technologies, illegal operation and lack of pollution regulations mean that the inhabitants of this area, most of whom will work in production in some form, have to live around this toxicity. Impacts have included lead poisoning in children, which carries symptoms such as lowered-IQ, impaired growth and learning difficulties.

Tags: environment, pollution

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