November 9, 2010--Six worst pollutants? Study says they pose global threat (USA Today)

The world's six worst pollutants threaten the health of tens of millions of people, primarily children, says a new report by two environmental groups. "The health of roughly 100 million people is at risk from pollution in developing countries," says Richard Fuller, president of Blacksmith Institute, a non-profit international group that co-authored the report with Green Cross Switzerland. "For the first time, this report identifies and quantifies the impacts of the most damaging toxic pollutants." The report says the top six toxics -- also including mercury, chromium, arsenic, pesticides, radionuclides -- can cause cancers, organ dysfunction, neurological disorders and developmental problems in unborn fetuses. It says they weaken the immune system and can be the undocumented cause of later illnesses, such as respiratory infections or tuberculosis. Past cleanup projects designed by the two groups range from the very low tech — using worms or molasses to neutralize pollution — to engineering projects that involve soil removal and groundwater remediation.

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