The world’s ten most dangerous sources of environmental toxins in 2016

The Environmental Toxin Report 2016 of the environmental organisations Green Cross Switzerland and Pure Earth, New York provides information about the world’s ten most dangerous sources of environmental toxins and quantifies the worldwide magnitude of adverse health effects caused by toxic substances in DALYs. Approximately 200 million people are suffering damage to body and brain, often irreparable, by the exposure to lead, mercury, chromium, obsolete pesticides and radionuclides in thousands of polluted places. To control the emissions of mercury, a heavy metal, 140 nations have signed the Minamata Convention (mercury convention) in October 2013. Switzerland was one of the first countries to sign and committed a total of CHF 7.5 million to put the convention into action. At its summit meeting on 25 September 2015 in New York, the Conference of the United Nations for Sustainable Development approved the “Agenda 2030” with 17 new goals for sustainable development (Sustainable Development Goals – SDG).


To reduce chemicals and toxic substances, Green Cross Switzerland and Pure Earth offer cost-effective and innovative solutions to the UN member states in order to achieve the development agenda by 2030.


Download here


Pollution Report 2016 (10.7 MB PDF file)


Photos of the world’s ten most dangerous sources of environmental toxins in 2016 can be downloaded at:

Environmental Reports


Since 2007, the yearly environmental toxin reports published by Green Cross Switzerland and the Blacksmith Institute have been instrumental in increasing public understanding of the health impacts of toxic pollutants and their sources.


The Environmental Toxin Report 2012 describes known environmental toxins and points to their industrial applications and most frequent health effects. In addition, the Report identifies the ten most important sources of environmental toxins and quantifies, for the first time, the global scale of health damage due to toxic substances. It also shows that the health impacts of industrial pollutants measured are roughly equal to those of the three major global infectious diseases AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.


The Environmental Toxin Report 2011 is based on the estimated number of people affected by the sources of pollution, as well as the number of locations, identified worldwide, where environmental toxins occur in concentrations that are detrimental to health. Reports on the ten most dangerous sources of environmental toxins and the worst pollution problems were issued in the years 2008 and 2010. The environmental report published in 2009 contains case studies concerning successful remediation projects.

Donor account Green Cross Switzerland: PC 80-576-7 IBAN CH02 0900 0000 8000 0576 7