Independent environmental group the Blacksmith Institute has published its 2007 list of the ten worst polluted places on the planet, which now includes Sumgayit, in Azerbaijan, Tianying, in China, and Sukinda and Vapi, both in India.

Six other locations remained from last year’s top ten, which identifies the places in the world where environmental experts believe pollution is most harmful to human health.

Richard Fuller, founder and director of the Blacksmith Institute, said: “The fact of the matter is that children are sick and dying in these polluted places, and it is not rocket science to fix them.

“This year there has been more focus on pollution in the media, but there has been little action in terms of new funding or programs.

“We all need to step up to the plate and get moving.”

Mining, Cold War pollution, and unregulated industrial production are the major culprits behind the pollution, according to the institute’s report.

Following publication of last year’s list, nominations flooded in and the institute now has a database of more than 400 polluted sites they will work to clean up.

David Hanrahan, director of operations, told edie: “What we are trying to do is get the health impacts improved and the more we can get companies to do or governments to do, the better.

“We are trying to catalyse things. Sometimes there is a little bit of paralysis because the problem is so big they think ‘what do we do about it?'”

The report also names the institute’s Dirty 30 – a more comprehensive list of the world’s most polluted sites.

Haina, in the Dominican Republic, Ranipet, in India, Mailuu-Suu, in Kyrgyzstan, and Rudnaya Pristan, in Russia, which were all knocked out of this year’s top ten, remain in the Dirty 30.

The Top Ten

  • Sumgayit, Azerbaijan

  • Linfen, China

  • Tianying, China

  • Sukinda, India

  • Vapi, India

  • La Oroya , Peru

  • Dzerzhinsk, Russia

  • Norilsk, Russia

  • Chernobyl, Ukraine

  • Kabwe, Zambia

    Kate Martin

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