Friday, 5 June 2015

The Most Polluted Places On Earth

Friday, 5 June 2015

Extraced from "Berita Harian"(Malaysian Newspaper)
Author: Zulhilmi Hat (
Published on BH: February 22nd, 2015
Original Language: Bahasa Malaysia

Reading an article related to our earth is fascinating. So, last February an article about the most polluted places in Berita Harian caught my attention. As I have not been to the places listed, I can't make any actual argument just based on the information that I gathered via internet. Anyway, I tried as much as I can by collecting the information from reliable sources as listed below and also the research that I had done regarding the nuclear issues when I had my short studies in Hiroshima, Japan.

National Geographic
The Spirit Science
The Guardian

So, here we go:

Location: China
Source of Pollution: Mining and heavy industries

Linfen used to be known as the "The Modern Fruit" and "Flower Town". Located at the heart of a 12-mile industrial belt of iron foundries, smelting plants and cement factories, fed by the 50m tonnes of coal mined every year, unregulated because of rapid development now the city grabbed the list of most polluted city.

Current Status: On February 23, 2014, Linfen has been reported from the "most polluted city" to "model city for environmental protection" on China Youth Daily. 

Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Location: North Pacific Ocean
Source of Pollution: Marine Debries

The patch is characterized by exceptionally high relative concentrations of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre.

Myth: Many believe that this area is a large and continuous patch of easily visible marine debris items such as bottles and other litter — akin to a literal island of trash that should be visible with satellite or aerial photographs and it would lead you to believe that this marine mass of plastic is bigger than Texas.
Fact: Much of the debris is actually small pieces of floating plastic that are not immediately evident to the naked eye.

p/s: I am not sure whether the photo included on Berita Harian is the picture of Great Pacific Garbage Patch, so, I prefer to used the photo take taken from the airplane view.

Location: Rondonia, Brazil
Source of Pollution: Deforestation

Rondonia was originally home to over 200,000 km2 of rainforest, but has become one of the most deforested places in the Amazon. By 2003 around 70,000 km2 of rainforest had been cleared. Every minute, vast proportions of these forests, dubbed the “Lungs of the World” for the Oxygen that they produce, are being torn down for timber, development and agriculture. When a tree is cut down, it releases the Carbon Dioxide (which it has been storing) as a greenhouse gas, which increases the risk of climate change.

Yamuna River
Location: India
Source of Pollution: Domestic Waste

The Yamuna is the largest tributary of the Ganges River. Where it flows through Delhi, it's estimated that 58 percent of the city's waste gets dumped straight into the river. Millions of Indians still rely on these murky, sewage-filled waters for washing, waste disposal and drinking water. 

La Oroya
: Peru
Source of Pollution: Heavy Metal Mining and Processing

La Oroya is a soot-covered mining town in the Peruvian Andes. About 99 percent of the children who live here have blood levels that exceed acceptable limits for lead poisoning, which can be directly attributed to an American-owned smelter that has been polluting the city since 1922. 

Lake Karachay
Source of Pollution: Nuclear Waste

It was used by the Soviet Union as a nuclear dumping site, and now the radiation level here is so high that it's sufficient to give a lethal dose after just an hour of exposure 

Location: Russia
Source of Pollution: Chemical Waste

More than 300,000 tons of chemical waste were improperly dumped here between 1930 and 1998.

Matanza River
Location: Argentina
Source of Pollution: Industrial Waste, Sewage and Domestic Waste

A study published in the Latin American Journal of Sedimentology and Basin Analysis in 2008 revealed that soil on the banks of the river contained levels of zinc, lead, copper, nickel, and total chromium that were all above recommended levels.

Location: Zambia
Source of Pollution: Lead and Zinc(Mining)

Formerly named Broken Hill, it was founded when lead and zinc deposits were discovered in 1902. Apart from lead and zinc it also produced silver, manganese and heavy metals such as cadmium, vanadium, and titanium in smaller quantities.

Location: Bangladesh
Source of Pollution: Industrial Emissions and Vehicular Emissions

Bangladesh has been ranked fourth among 91 countries with worst urban air quality in the latest air pollution monitoring report of World Health Organisation (WHO) and three Bangladeshi cities have been put among the top 25 cities with poorest air. The industrial sources include brick kilns, fertilizer factories, sugar, paper, jute and textile mills, spinning mills, tanneries, garment, bread and biscuit factories, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, cement production and processing factories, metal workshops, wooden dust from saw mills and dusts from ploughed land, and salt particles from ocean waves near the and coastal lands. 


There are many other places that I didn't mention. Just google and you will find tons of articles that discussing this topic.

Should I be grateful because Malaysia is not making into the list? Nope, in fact, I am concerned about what might happen to our country in the future. Looking at my surrounding, it seems like our community is slowly polluting themselves.

When I was in Japan, collecting some information about nuclear and radiation related topic. I am not as shocked as when I read about the places like Lake Karachay and Dzerzhinsk in Russia that were purposedly used to dump all the nuclear and chemical waste. Human behave inhumanly, then when it comes to the effects, we are the first person who act as gloriously human.

It is never too late to save our environment. Just started by separating your domestic waste and recycle them. 

There are many Recycle Center mostly in KL and Selangor. I always send my recyclable wastes at TESCO Ampang and yeah, I got some money from it. :)
So guys, do it now! Save Our Future.


  1. Singgah petang...
    Bersama kita menjaga bumi ini...

  2. Kat Malaysia agaknya kat mana yang paling tercemar

  3. patutlah dunia kini semakin panas

  4. Kononnya teknologi makin canggih, tapi kesedaran sivik makin mundur. Dunia dunia T_T


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