World’s worst pollution problems 2016: the toxics beneath our feet

The World’s Worst Pollution Problems 2016: The Toxics Beneath Our Feet updates the top ten point-source polluting industries based on each source’s global burden of disease. Pollution and the diseases that it causes have become a massive and extremely costly global problem. But at the same time as our understanding grows, so too has our capacity to develop and implement effective changes. But low- and middle-income countries are limited in their resources to adequately address the health impacts from toxic pollution, which further marginalizes those most in need. A goal of this report and the collaboration between Pure Earth and Green Cross Switzerland is to increase understanding and funding in this area of public health. The top ten industries are identified as used lead acid battery (ULAB) recycling, mining and ore processing, tanneries, dumpsites, industrial estates, smelting, artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM), product manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, and the dye industry. These industries collectively put over 32 million people at risk and account for seven to 17 million Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) in low- and middle-income countries.