Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Worldwide Pollution Facts

It is no surprise that every country in the world contributes to worldwide pollution. From the most populated cities, to the Sentinelese islanders of the Andaman Islands, every living organism in some way contributes to the pollution that is exerted on the world. Today I had a discussion with a colleague of mine relating to worldwide pollution and the areas, including city, state, and material, that we believe has the most significant impact. After some going back and forth on what we thought was more accurate, I decided to do some research to prove myself right (ps. I like to think I am ALWAYS right).
In relation to materials, Artisanal Gold is the highest pollutant which primarily impacts the region of Africa. Of the top 10 list of largest polluters in the world, I also found out that lead in some form or process accounted for 40%. The most impacted continent? Asia. South Asia is hands down the most impacted continent in the world with 50% of the 10 largest pollutants in the world directly affecting S. Asia.
Now when looking the 10 most polluted cities in the world and the 10 post polluted countries in the world, there is no direct correlation between the two. What I mean is, you would assume the country that is the most polluted would have at least one of the world's most polluted cities. However, this isn't the case by any means. The most polluted country in the world, Mongolia, doesn't have one city in the top 10 list of most polluted cities. In fact, the two countries that each has 2 cities in the top 10 list are Russia and China, neither of which is among the top 10 list of most polluted countries.
The final topic we discussed (bickered) about was the most air polluted cities in the United States. Now being from New Jersey and relocating to California, I am constantly plagued by this reputation that NJ has acquired. Everyone thinks New Jersey is extremely polluted and "the armpit of America". My friend is from California so naturally he was defending his state as well. Although, I definitely consider myself a California resident now since I had decided to call this my home, it is difficult to overlook or argue against the fact that California takes the cake in that area. According to a top 10 list of the most air polluted cities in the U.S., California accounts for 70% of the cities. That is 70%!!! The only 3 other states include, Pennsylvania (Pittsburg), Hawaii (Hilo), and Alaska (Fairbanks).
So regardless of our disagreements, we both learned something. Google is awesome. I'm kidding. We learned to the world's pollution isn't the blame of one single source, but rather a collective effort of all nations.