Europe’s dirtiest and cleanest cities in 2022

The world’s dirtiest cities by ecology in 2021-2022

The dirtiest city in the world in 2022 in relation to the environment is Chernobyl. The accident that happened here in 1986 made it the undisputed leader of the ranking. But in this case, the study applies to human settlements of the planet.

10th place. Accra, Agboloshi district (Ghana)

Here is the largest landfill of electronic items that have served their lives on the planet. In violation of the agreements signed at the Basel Convention, which defines the conditions for exporting toxic waste to the developing countries of the Third World.

Tons of waste equipment from Europe and the United States are brought here every day. The local population rummages through it, trying to find something worthwhile. Some of the trash is used to mine non-ferrous metals by incineration. Much of it is wires and contacts.

Accra landfill, Agboloshi district (Ghana)

Accra e-waste dump, Agboloshi district (Ghana)

The constant smoke from burning plastic delivers many highly toxic elements to the environment. The soil around the landfill contains several hundred times the amount of lead, cadmium and mercury.

At the same time, recycling gives the residents of the surrounding areas a good (by local standards) income. The boys engaged in sorting junk and incinerating non-ferrous metals earn about $2.5 for a day shift.

The more enterprising are busy reassembling components. Mostly it is an old system unit. After scrapping working parts are installed in whole cases and sold for much more.

9th place. Ranipet (India).

The reason this small town made it to the ranking of the dirtiest communities is because of a leather recycling plant. It uses a number of carcinogenic substances to dye and tan raw materials. As a result, from the landfill of 1.5 million tons of solid waste, they partially enter the groundwater.

Ranipet, India

Muddy waters in Ranipet, India

The quality of drinking water and farmland suffers from this. Farmers have no choice but to farm the poisoned land.

A few years ago, the Indian government was forced to close one of the processing plants, but the situation has hardly changed. The plant’s management was obliged to develop a project that would make it possible to reduce the amount of polluting emissions at least by half.

8th place. Karabash (Russia)

The first Russian representative of the current list of the most polluted cities in the world is in Chelyabinsk Region. Not only is the environmental situation here difficult. In 2014, it was included in the list of settlements belonging to the category “Multi-industrial municipalities of the Russian Federation, which are in the most difficult socio-economic situation”.

In the nearly century-long history of the enterprises that specialize in copper production, the technology used to produce it has never been updated or modernized. Thus, all harmful emissions were released into the environment, practically bypassing the purification system, which was simply not provided for.

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The treatment facilities were launched only in 2005. This led to the fact that in 2009 the city was removed from the list of “Environmental Disaster Areas”, where it was included three years earlier.

In 2010, a premature autumn was officially recorded here. In the second half of June, the leaves on the trees turned yellow and fell off. A similar situation occurred with all vegetation in the region.

As a result, local residents and agricultural enterprises suffered enormous losses.

Information available on third-party resources lists Karabash among the leaders of this rating, based on the information provided by UNESCO. The former head of the urban district, Vyacheslav Yagodinets, claimed that Karabash was not the dirtiest city in the world. He disproved this information with such words: “We searched for this information in the archives of this UN agency, but we did not find it!”.

7th place. Kabwe (Zambia)

The city, located 140 km from the capital Lusaka. In the early twentieth century, deposits of lead, vanadium and zinc were discovered here. Erection of infrastructure necessary for mining was the reason for foundation of the settlement.

 Kabwe, Zambia

The construction of the infrastructure necessary for mining was the reason for the formation of the settlement.

In particular, the mining industry operated without restrictions and without purification systems until 1994. As a result, years of emissions into the atmosphere have done their work:

  • The degree of pollution exceeds the permissible limits by more than four times.
  • Almost the entire population suffers from symptoms of acute blood poisoning, expressed in frequent vomiting, diarrhea, chronic diseases of internal organs.
  • The maximum concentration of poisonous substances, and this is the most terrible, was found in children’s bodies.

Development of purification facilities does not give the desired result, as the area is already poisoned and affects people like a time bomb. At the moment, the residents who refused to resettle in other areas are provided with assistance in the form of information. There is no other way out of this situation.

6th place. Norilsk (Russia)

Every year Russian Norilsk is on the top of the dirtiest cities in the world. The only difference is that from time to time it changes its position. It happens that sometimes it even surpasses the state of Chinese industrial cities.

The city’s population barely reaches 200,000 people. Half of them work at the city’s major metallurgical plant, Norilsk Nickel. More than 10 different kinds of metals are mined and processed here.

The volatile compounds produced get into people’s respiratory tracts and can cause nausea, abdominal pain, and chronic diseases of parts of the body.

In recent years, the situation has begun to shift for the better. Wastewater treatment plants are being modernized, and as a result, the amount of harmful emissions into the atmosphere is decreasing. But this is not enough.

Important! Statistics of children’s contamination in Russia calls Norilsk the leader in the number of cases of intestinal and pulmonary diseases.

5th place. Dhaka (Bangladesh)

Bangladesh is known for its overpopulation. Residents of the capital and its neighboring agglomerations know this firsthand. More than 20 million people live here.

Although most of the industry is concentrated here, this is not the reason for the environmental problems. The city with the dirtiest air got this status because of the excessive agglomeration of the local population.

Most of the public transport is by rickshaw. More than 400,000 carriers take to the streets every day. They are recognized as the main culprits of kilometer-long traffic jams.

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The port, located on the banks of the Buriganga (Ganges delta), receives tens of thousands of watercraft of various configurations every day. Their movement is estimated as complete chaos. The water in the river is so dirty that it begins to stink a few hundred meters from the shore.

Bangladesh, Dhaka

The port, located on the banks of the Buriganga (Ganges delta), receives tens of thousands of watercraft of all configurations daily.

Most of the city concentrates tons of garbage and carcasses of dead animals, exuding stench and spreading a variety of infections.

4th place. Dzerzhinsk (Russia).

The second most populous city in the Nizhny Novgorod region is in a difficult position. From 2008 to 2013, the city was listed as one of the most environmentally unfriendly cities in Russia. In 2014 it was excluded from it due to the fact that the concentration of harmful substances in the atmosphere was partially reduced.

However, the amount of suspended particles, nitrogen oxides, benzopyrene and phenol exceeded many times. The reason for the poor ecology can be attributed to the following factors:

  • An imposing concentration of industry in one area.
  • The largest industrial waste dump “Black Hole” not far from the city.
  • Several massive chemical waste dumps. One of them is known as Simazine.
  • The “White Sea” sludge dump.

Note: The Swiss branch of the International Green Cross not only considers Dzerzhinsk to be the most polluted city in Europe, but also includes it in a similar rating, covering the entire planet.

3rd place. Sukinda (India).

Almost all of India’s chromium deposits, essential for stainless steel, are mined in the Sukinda Valley. There are 12 mines concentrated around the town of the same name, which are used for open-pit production.

As a result, all the production waste remains on the ground. At the moment it is about 35 million tons. The most poisonous carcinogen is hexavalent chlorine, which concentration exceeds the permissible norms three to four times.

Muddy water near a mine in Sukinda

Sukinda, India. Muddy water near a mine in Sukinda

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Much of it ends up in groundwater or washes straight into Brahmani waters. The river, in turn, is the only source of water for three million people.

Thus, gastrointestinal diseases, asthma and tuberculosis of the local population here are perceived as natural things. According to international voluntary health organizations, almost 90% of deaths are somehow or other related to the environmental condition of the region.

2nd place. Tianying (China).

Tianying (China)

The blue smoke with which it is constantly shrouded is far from the worst.

The population of this town, small by Chinese standards, is only 800,000 people. A third of them are registered by doctors with a status of “Serious Disease”. The settlement is known for its steel works, which produce half of all lead mined in China.

The blue smoke that envelops it all the time is far from the worst of it. The main harm is concentrated in the soil, which contains huge amounts of lead. Once it gets into agricultural products and drinking water, it penetrates the body, causing the most serious consequences.

There is little the government can do about it, since the agglomeration of the country is extremely excessive. There is also no chance to give up poisonous products.

At the same time, grains grown on local fields are banned from sale on both the foreign and domestic markets. The content of lead in them exceeds the permissible norms by 26 times. Thus, there is a conscious poisoning of the population here.

1st place. Linfen (China).

Leader of the ranking, the dirtiest city in the world. In ancient times this was the location of the capital of the Chinese Empire and was the palace of the emperor. Now it is the most unfavorable point on the entire globe.

In the absence of natural gas, the main source of energy in the country is coal. More than half of the mines are concentrated in the city, providing 2/3 of all production. The air here is not just dirty, but virtually devoid of oxygen.

Linfen (China)

Linfen (China). The air here is not just dirty, but virtually devoid of oxygen.

The air is saturated with the following particles:

  • Ash.
  • Carbon monoxide.
  • Nitrogen oxide.
  • Sulfur dioxide.
  • Arsenic.
  • Lead.

The coal mining industry is not the main culprit of Linfen’s environmental problems. The changed vector of the country’s economic development demanded more energy resources. The result has been an expansion not only of coal mining, but also of the chemical industry.

Every day the city’s plants and factories emit deadly compounds of exhaust fumes and waste poisonous water. Visibility, even in sunny weather, is no more than 300 meters.

The official conclusion of the Chinese Ministry of Health confirms that more than three million people living in the region have health problems. The Chinese government plans to reduce the output by closing several mines in the next few years. The solution is self-evident. But in this case, the crowds of Chinese with compromised health and lung cancer will find themselves unemployed.

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Interesting! Residents of the city never dry their laundry outside. Literally in an hour or an hour and a half it turns gray.

The ecological condition of European cities

In terms of ecology European countries are far ahead of African and Asian countries. The peak of industrial development has passed, and there are not so many minerals. The situation is in their favor because more and more production facilities are being moved to third-world countries.

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The reason for this is not so much environmental considerations as lower labor costs.

To a greater extent, the poor environmental performance is directly attributable to the citizens who live there. This rating applies to European countries, with the exception of Russia with its Ural and Siberian mineral deposits and high concentration of industrial enterprises.

Where it is better not to live in Europe

Based on this, the dirtiest cities in Europe can be called the following:

    6th place. Polotsk. The dirtiest city in Belarus. The reason lies in the large number of industrial enterprises, located in the vicinity.

Polotsk (Belarus)

Polotsk. The dirtiest city in Belarus.

Stolipinovo quarter.

Stolipinovo quarter in Plovdiv.

The Beach, Odessa, Ukraine.

The beach in Odessa, Ukraine.

 Dnepropetrovsk Steel Works

Dnepropetrovsk steel plant

Garbage dump in a street in Naples

“Garbage crisis” in Naples

Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 2018

Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 2022. Sarcophagus

Total environmental pollution is becoming more and more evident every year. The ranking of the 10 most polluted cities is constantly updated, previously unknown settlements and regions are added.

The movement of air masses, soil migration, rivers and groundwater do their job, moving toxic particles far beyond dangerous hotspots.

Top 10 Dirtiest Cities in the World 2022

Environmental degradation is one of the most important problems of modern society, and it affects each of us, regardless of our position in this very society. It is not for nothing that eco-products and actions aimed at preserving nature are becoming more and more popular. The enormous amount of garbage and industrial waste without a well-organized recycling system aggravates the situation. We’ve compiled a list of the world’s dirtiest cities in 2022 to show you where it’s going.

  • Accra, Agboloshi District – 93 AQI
  • Dhaka, Bangladesh – 129 AQI
  • Sukinda (India) – 97 AQI
  • Kabwe (Zambia) – 57 AQI
  • Norilsk (Russia) – 46 AQI
  • Tianjin (China) – 102 AQI
  • Linfen (China) – 59 AQI
  • Ranipet (India) – 50 AQI
  • Karabash (Russia) – 53 AQI
  • Dzerzhinsk (Russia) – 21 AQI
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Here’s a complete list of the dirtiest megacities in the world in the 21st century.

Countries: Brazil, Europe, Russia, Greece, Italy, Portugal, China

City: Guangzhou, China (Guangzhou), Xi’an.

The city of Xian, traditionally considered one of the most polluted and dangerous metropolis in the world, has a very bad reputation. The city is located in northeastern China, and it is through it a section of the Great Silk Road, from China to Europe. It is here that many of China’s landmarks are located and numerous international exhibitions are held. But when it comes to the environmental condition of the city, Xi’an can be classified as one of the worst.

Currently, Xi’an is actively built up, developed, a lot of new industries and new production facilities are created, the population is growing and the accompanying tension on the roads, especially during rush hours. Unfortunately, the situation is not changing and is even getting worse every day. The city is a veritable pus in which new diseases and germs proliferate. Every day, more than hundreds of tons of polluted water enter the cities, sucked into the ground through the soil, as well as in the form of sewage and wastewater and foul water from cesspools, wells and reservoirs. Many of Xi’an’s streets are flooded, and the remaining dirty sewage goes into drainage ditches, and without them, Xi’an will soon become a huge stinking reservoir.

The city suffers greatly from air pollution, as Xi’an’s industrial enterprises emit large amounts of harmful substances into the air. Xi’an’s air contains many pollutants, including heavy metals such as lead, aluminum, cadmium and arsenic. Heavy metals are toxic and can accumulate in the human body and negatively affect the body’s metabolic processes. The air also contains petroleum products, asbestos, dioxins and other toxic substances. Xi’an is not only polluted in general, but also in particular. People living in this city inhale most of the substances from industrial factory emissions.

  1. Settana. The city of Settana is located south of the city of Bamako, Mali. Global warming has made the soil here increasingly wet. Mali’s fifth-largest capital often suffers from flooding.
  1. Beijing. Since China is the largest consumer of water, Beijing authorities believe that pollution can have serious consequences. The city absorbs 550 tons of dust every day, the equivalent of only 2.5 tons of soot every year.

Bujumbura is in the Congo, where oil is used as fuel for cars and most households. In July 2017, more than 350 cases of cholera were reported. In a ranking of 4 cities, Beijing ranks third in the anti-cholera ranking.

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