8 most polluted cities in India
Number of people affected: 2,600,000
Type of pollutant: Hexavalent chromium and other metals
Source of pollution: Chromite mines and processing
If you watched Erin Brockovich, then you know what hexavalent chromium is: a nasty heavy metal used for stainless steel production and leather tanning that is carcinogenic if inhaled or ingested.
In Sukinda, which contains one of the largest open cast chromite ore mines in the world, 60% of the drinking water contains hexavalent chromium at levels more than double international standards. An Indian health group estimated that 84.75% of deaths in the mining areas -- where regulations are nonexistent -- are due to chromite-related diseases. There has been virtually no attempt to clean up the contamination.
Sukinda has been listed in the Top 10 most polluted places in the world by the US-based Blacksmith Institute.