Environmental health organization Blacksmith has announced its 2007 top ten list of the "World's Worst Polluted Places." Topping the list is Sumgayit, Azerbaijan, followed by Linfen, China; Tianying, China; Sukinda, India; Vapi, India; La Oroya, Peru; Dzerzhinsk, Russia; Norilsk, Russia; Chernobyl, Ukraine; Kabwe, Zambia. From the description of Sumgayit's situation:
Potentially Affected People: 275,000
Type of Pollutants: Organic chemicals, oil, heavy metals including mercury.
Source of Pollution: Petrochemical and Industrial Complexes
Sumgayit was a major Soviet industrial center housing more than 40 factories manufacturing industrial and agricultural chemicals. These included synthetic rubber, chlorine, aluminium, detergents, and pesticides. While the factories remained fully operational, 70-120,000 tons of harmful emissions were released into the air annually. With the emphasis placed on maximum, low-cost production at the expense of environmental and occupational health and safety, industry has left the city heavily contaminated. Factory workers and residents of the city have been exposed to a combination of high-level occupational and environmental pollution problems for several decades.
Untreated sewage and mercury-contaminated sludge (from chlor-alkali industries) continue to be dumped haphazardly. A continuing lack of pollution controls, dated technologies and the improper disposal and treatment of accumulated industrial waste are just some of the issues that plague the city.
Sumgayit had one of the highest morbidity rates during the Soviet Era and the legacy of illness and death persist. A study jointly conducted by the UNDP, WHO, Azerbaijan Republic Ministry of Health and the University of Alberta demonstrated that residents of Sumgayit experience intensely high levels of both cancer morbidity and mortality. Cancer rates in Sumgayit are 22-51% higher than average incidence rates in the rest of Azerbaijan. Mortality rates from cancer are 8% higher. Evidence suggests that lower reported cancer rates are flawed as a result of underreporting.
A high percentage of babies are born premature, stillborn, and with genetic defects like Mongolism, anencephaly, spina bifida, hydrocephalus, bone disease, and mutations such as club feet, cleft palate, and four or six fingers or toes.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
It’s time for a power upgrade — throw out that tired-out power strip and swap in this family-size USB charger, packed with 6 high-speed ports. With a built-in control chip, Kinkoo optimizes each port to ensure the fastest charging possible for all your devices. The Kinkoo is made from high-grade and durable materials so you […]
Watching Netflix, Hulu or other streaming services can unfortunately be difficult while traveling outside the US. Rather than bypass these restrictions with the help of a complex and slow VPN, choose a faster and simpler solution with Getflix. Instead of rerouting all your Internet traffic through a different server, this handy service only routes the […]
Shake, stir, and muddle your way to delicious homemade cocktails with this must-have bar set. Expect only the finest quality tools from MakersKit — enabling you to unleash your inner mixologist.Top 12 Favorite Things of 2014, Sunset MagazineQuart-size vintage-style Mason jar shakerRetro double jigger for accurate measurementsStrainer & spouts for a mixologist-style smooth pourHardwood muddler […]