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Rediff.com  » Business » 10 most polluted places in the world

10 most polluted places in the world

July 16, 2014 11:30 IST

Image: Soldiers march past the Red Fort during a rehearsal for India's Independence Day celebrations in Delhi.
Photographs: Reuters

Pollution has become an inseparable part of modern living.

With civilization progressing by leaps and bounds, pollution is taking its toll on human lives.

A recent World Health Organization report showed that environmental factors like bad water and air pollution accounted for 20 per cent of the global burden of disease.

"People have to realise there is a critical link between the environment and health," says Dr Maria Neira, director of public health and the environment for the WHO.

A recent World Health Organization study revealed Delhi as the most polluted city in the world.

The 2014 version of the Ambient Air Pollution database contains results of outdoor air pollution monitoring from almost 1600 cities in 91 countries.

The national capital has the highest concentration of PM2.5 -- particulate matters less than 2.5 microns-- form of air pollution, which is considered most serious.

This form of concentration consists of tiny particles that puts people at additional risk of respiratory diseases and other health problems, the World Health Organisation said.

The situation is so bad in Delhi that its air has PM2.5 concentrations of 153 micrograms and PM10 concentrations of 286 micrograms -- much more than the permissible limits.

Blacksmith Institute recently came up with a list of world’s 10 most polluted places.

Please click NEXT to read about world's 10 most polluted places. . .

10 most polluted places in the world

Image: A statue of Ghana's first president Kwame Nkrumah at his memorial park in Accra.
Photographs: Sahra Abdi/Reuters

Rank 1: Agbogbloshie

Country: Ghana

Major pollutant: Lead

Population affected: 40,000

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10 most polluted places in the world

Image: A woman cries as she holds lit candle near the memorial, dedicated to firefighters and workers who died after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, during a night service near the Chernobyl plant in the city of Slavutych, Ukraine.
Photographs: Gleb Garanich/Reuters

Rank 2: Chernobyl

Country: Ukraine

Major pollutant: Radioactive dust, including uranium, plutonium, cesium-137, strontium-90, and other metals

Population affected: 10 million

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10 most polluted places in the world

Image: Residents carry their belongings on a makeshift raft at a housing area in Karawang, Indonesia's West java province, after floods caused Citarum River to overflow.
Photographs: Beawiharta/Reuters

Rank 3: Citarum River

Country: Indonesia

Major pollutant: Numerous chemicals, including lead, cadmium, chromium and pesticides

Population affected: 500,000 people directly, up to 5 million people indirectly

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10 most polluted places in the world

Image: A view of Dzerzhinsk, Russia.
Photographs: Source, Wikimedia Commons

Rank 4: Dzerzhinsk

Country: Russia

Major pollutant: Numerous chemicals and toxic byproducts from numerous chemical-manufacturing processes

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10 most polluted places in the world

Image: Children play around discarded items at the Hazaribagh area in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Photographs: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

Rank 5: Hazaribagh

Country: Bangladesh

Major pollutant: Mainly chromium

Population affected: 160,000

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10 most polluted places in the world

Image: Children swim in a river close to the town of Chikuni in the south of Zambia.
Photographs: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters

Rank 6: Kabwe

Country: Zambia

Major pollutant: Lead

Population affected: 300,000

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Tags: Kabwe , Zambia

10 most polluted places in the world

Image: Residents cycle through the haze-blanketed town of Sampit, in Indonesia's Central Kalimantan province.
Photographs: Sigit Pamungkas/Reuters

Rank 7: Kalimantan

Country: Indonesia

Major pollutant: Primarily mercury, cadmium

Population affected: 225,000

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10 most polluted places in the world

Image: A boat with Greenpeace activists makes its way across the Matanza-Riachuelo river, Argentina's most polluted basin, after it was dyed green during a demonstration.
Photographs: Marcos Brindicci/Reuters

Rank 8: Matanza-Riachuelo

Country: Argentina

Major pollutant: Volatile organic compounds, including toluene

Population affected: 20,000

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10 most polluted places in the world

Image: People travel on a locally built passenger boat loaded with oil containers through a creek on the River Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa.
Photographs: Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters

Rank 9: Niger River Delta

Country: Nigeria

Major pollutant: Petroleum

Population affected: There is currently disagreement among experts

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10 most polluted places in the world

Image: A snowstorm hits the industrial city of Norilsk, Russia.
Photographs: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters

Rank 10: Norilsk

Country: Russia

Major pollutant: Copper, nickel oxide, other heavy metals

Population affected: 135,000