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World's nastiest places, due to air, soil, and water pollution

Late one April night in 1986, the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history occurred near Pripyat, Ukraine, in the former Soviet Union. The impact was such that even today Chernobyl – the name by which everybody thinks of the incident – is considered one of the most polluted places on Earth by the nonprofit Blacksmith Institute. The New York-based environmental group studied 300 sites, most of them in countries that lack pollution controls, to come up with a top 10. They are not ranked, however, because public health records aren't consistently available. The finalists, in alphabetical order, and why each is so heavily polluted:

Chernobyl, Ukraine (radiation from nuclear power plant)
Dzerzhinsk, Russia (former chemical-weapons site)
Haina, Dominican Republic (former lead smelter)
Kabwe, Zambia (former lead smelter)
La Oroya, Peru (former lead smelter)
Linfen, China (dust, acid runoff from coal mining)
Mailuu-Suu, Kyrgyzstan (radioactive waste from uranium mines)
Norilsk, Russia (foul air from heavy-metals smelting)
Ranipet, India (runoff from chemical-plant waste)
Rudnaya Pristan/Dalnegorsk, Russia (lead smelting sites)

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