The most dangerous of the globe’s toxic waste sites is located in Ghana, topping Chernobyl in terms of its toxicity.
The biggest health threats to the world are typically thought of as malaria and tuberculosis, yet a new report is claiming toxic waste should be added to the list, citing the widespread and growing exposure throughout the globe.
The report, released by the Blacksmith Institute, claims nearly 200 million people around the globe are at risk to toxic exposure, and lead researchers claim it’s a threat that’s only beginning to be understood.
The most dangerous of the globe’s toxic waste sites is located in Ghana, cited by researchers as a site that surpasses Chernobyl in terms of its toxicity. The Agbogbloshie dump site, located in Ghana’s capital of Accra, is the site for computer and electronic disposal for the U.S. and Europe.
While the new report raises the profile of the Ghana site, and its dangers, environmental advocates have for years lobbied against the toxic waste site, inflicted upon the poor. In 2008, Greenpeace released a report detailing the serious health and environmental consequences the “e-dumping” site has had on the people and land of the area.
The Greenpeace report, “Poisoning the Poor: Electronic Waste in Ghana,” cited the Agbogbloshie dump site as one that employed children as young as 5 years old, working amid a toxic waste dump that burned the remnants of Western civilization.
“In Ghana, the Greenpeace team documented e-waste from European, Japanese, and U.S. brands, including: Philips, Sony, Microsoft, Nokia, Dell, Canon and Siemens. Labels revealed the equipment came from a range of organizations, such as Den Kongelige Livgarde — the Danish Royal Guard, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.,” the Greenpeace report states.
According to the Blacksmith Institute, Ghana imports 215,000 tons of discarded electronics from around the world. That same report says imports are expected to double by 2020.
Particularly, the Institute study looked at soil samples near the site — it discovered toxic samples capable of affecting the health of nearly 250,000 people living in the area.
“These are sites that are releasing toxic chemicals into air, water and soil.” Dr. Jack Caravanos, director of the Blacksmith Institute, told the BBC. “These are sites where children are particularly at risk and the numbers are rather high. We have not hidden this list from the respective governments and they are all aware of the issue.”