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10 Most Polluted Cities In The World

Everyone hates smog. We hate the smell, hate the nasty taste it leaves in your mouth, and hate the consistency.

We’ve compiled a list of the 10 most polluted cities in the world, because no matter where you are, it’s nice to know what places to avoid.

10.) Kabwe, Zambia

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Image source: www.libertyca.net

This city is on the list due to their extremely high levels of lead deposits near the city. A $40 million project will soon begin cleaning up the lead, but it won’t save the children and villagers already affected by the historically fatal lead poisoning.

9.) Hong Kong

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Image source: www.wallpaperswide.com

You’ll see more Chinese cities on this list as you continue reading. The country is notorious for spitting out pollution due to their lax regulations. Hong Kong reached the highest level of air pollution on the ‘Air Pollution Index’ this year, so there’s that.

Their smog levels haven’t been this bad since 1995, and the people have been warned on multiple occasions to remain indoors to avoid getting sick.

8.) Chongqing, China

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Image source: www.wikipedia.org

Similar to Hong Kong with the levels of pollution in the air. 4.63% of children under the age of 14 in the city suffer from asthma and other respiratory illnesses. This is mostly due to the rising vehicle emissions in the city as the population continues to grow.

7.) Cairo, Egypt

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Image source: www.wikimedia.com

WHO recently rated Cairo the second-worst city in the world for particulate levels, right behind New Delhi, India. Cairo is known for occasionally being covered in the “Black Cloud” of smog. I don’t know about you, but that sounds terribly ominous.

6.) Mexico City, Mexico

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Image source: www.theboredninja.com

It’s no surprise to anyone that Mexico City places rather highly on this list. That’s because of their difficulty in getting industrial factories to comply with new regulations. Mexico City has dangerous levels of pretty much every harmful pollutant, and visits here should be carefully planned and researched.

5.) Santiago, Chile

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Image source: www.willtroppe.wordpress.com

As a general rule initiated by the WHO, air pollution warnings are issued when particulate matter exceeds 50 micrograms per cubic meter. Santiago, on the other hand, only issues out warnings when the levels reach 200 micrograms per cubic meter. Think about that for a second before planning your next vacation.

4.) Sukinda, India

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Image source: www.opishposh.com

Similar to Kabwe, except with chrome instead of lead. The city has dangers levels of chrome deposits in and around the city, including their drinking water. Almost 97% of India’s chrome resources lay in this city, which means literal mountains of waste build up around the city, often times leading to cancer, illnesses, and birth defects as shown below.

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Image source: www.worstpolluted.org

3.) Tianying, China

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Image source: www.curiosityaroused.com

Tianying is on this list due to their levels of lead and other heavy metals. The city uses old and dangerous extraction methods, along with almost non-existent regulatory policies, which leads to deadly poisoning of the land.

2.) New Delhi, India

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Image source: www.gidano.nl

Two of every 5 residents in this city of 13.8 million suffer from some sort of respiratory illness. Vehicle emissions and dirty streets contribute to these mind-boggling statistics. City workers and taxi drivers are the most at risk citizens for contracting an illness.

1.) Beijing, China

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Image source: www.tumblr.com

This city practically ties New Delhi with pollution levels, though it is easily the top (worst) city on this list. Many schools have ceased outdoor activities, a constant haze of pollution hangs over the city, and from 2000-2005, the city had the highest sulfur-dioxide levels in the world. In 2008, the city cleaned up their act for the olympics, but immediately returned to their destructive practices afterwards.

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