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Blacksmith Institute
Blacksmith print rgb large.jpg
Formation 1999
Type International NGO
Location New York City, New York
President Richard Fuller
Website www.blacksmithinstitute.org

Founded in 1999, Blacksmith Institute is an international non-for-profit organization dedicated to eliminating life-threatening pollution in the developing world. Blacksmith identifies and cleans up the world's worst polluted places, focusing on communities where children are most at risk. Based in New York, Blacksmith has completed over 50 cleanup projects around the world. Blacksmith is currently engaged in over 30 projects in 15 countries.

In 2011 Blacksmith was recognized with the UN-backed Green Star Award for its work in environmental emergencies.[1] In 2010, Blacksmith's work was profiled in Time magazine's "Power of One" column[2] and in April 2012, nationally syndicated columnist Georgie Anne Geyer wrote about Blacksmith in "Heroic NGO Takes on Big Job of Global Toxic Cleanup."[3]

Blacksmith Institute has been recognized as one of the country’s top performing nonprofits, earning a 4 star charity rating,[4] the highest rating from Charity Navigator, the country’s leading independent charity evaluator.

Blacksmith is known for its annual World's Worst Polluted Places Reports,[5] for the creation of the Blacksmith Index (used around the world to rate levels of health risk from pollution), and for the Blacksmith database, the only resource of its kind, which currently documents over 600 of the world's worst polluted places. This Polluted Places Initiative identifies polluted sites throughout the world by means of an online nomination process.[6]

Blacksmith is currently expanding their database with the Global Toxic Sites Identification Program, formerly known as Global Inventory Project.[7] Blacksmith investigators are assessing polluted hotspots in over 60 countries to build the first comprehensive global inventory of the world's worst polluted places with human health impact. The sites identified in this global inventory will be targeted for cleanup under a global alliance.

Blacksmith serves as Secretariat for the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution.

The GAHP (Global Alliance on Health and Pollution)[edit]

In July 2012, Blacksmith convened a third meeting of world leaders[8] and experts on pollution at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center in Italy to develop an action plan to tackle toxic pollution in low- and middle-income countries. The newly formed Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP)[9] is the first alliance of its kind to respond to the threat of toxic pollution on a worldwide scale. Blacksmith serves as Secretariat for the GAHP, which is supported by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and UNIDO, among other agencies. Blacksmith began coordinating an international effort to create a global alliance in 2008. The effort was formerly called the Health and Pollution Fund.[10][11][12]

Blacksmith Success Stories[edit]

Below are some examples of successful interventions:[13]

  • Cleanup of the Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando River system in the Philippines, polluted with heavy metals from industrial waste.
  • Cleanup of Haina in the Dominican Republic, a city that has been referred to as the Dominican Chernobyl because of its excessive levels of lead pollution.
  • Reduction of toxic mercury emissions from artisanal gold mining in Manica, Mozambique.
  • Establishing Air Quality Plan for Cambodia.
  • Lead gasoline phase out in Senegal.
  • Lead Pollution in Kabwe, Zambia.
  • Cleanup of groundwater pollution in Kanpur, India.
  • Cleanup of an estimated 3,000 tons of hazardous industrial wastes in Muthia village, Ahmedabad City, India.
  • Removal of radioactive waste in Krasnoufimsk in the Central Urals, Russia.
  • Remediation of arsenic mines in Wenshan, China.
  • Remediation of old uranium mining sites in Romanovka Village, Russia.

World's Worst Polluted Places Reports[edit]

Since 2006, Blacksmith Institute's yearly reports have been instrumental in increasing public understanding of the health impacts posed by the world's worst polluted places, and in some cases, have compelled cleanup work at these sites. Previous reports have identified the top ten world's worst polluted places or pollution problems. The 2009 report focuses on 12 Cases of Cleanup and Success. Blacksmith reports have been issued jointly with Green Cross Switzerland since 2007.[5][14]

2013 report: Top Ten Toxic Threats in 2013: Cleanup, Progress, and Ongoing Challenges[edit]

The report presents a new list of the top ten polluted places and provides updates on sites previously published by Blacksmith and Green Cross.

The World's Worst Polluted Places in 2013 (unranked):

(*included in the original 2006 or 2007 lists)

2012 report: The Top Ten Sources by Global Burden of Disease[edit]

  • Battery Recycling
  • Lead Smelting
  • Mining and Ore Processing
  • Tanneries
  • Industrial/Municipal Dumpsites
  • Industrial Estates
  • Artisanal Gold Mining
  • Product Manufacturing
  • Chemical Manufacturing
  • Dye Industry

2011 report: The Top Ten of the Toxic Twenty[edit]

The report lists the worst toxic pollution problems according to human health impact. The evaluation is based on data collected by the Blacksmith Institute and the Swiss Green Cross.

Top Ten Worst Toxic Pollution Problems:

  • Artisanal Gold Mining - Mercury
  • Industrial Estates - Lead
  • Agricultural Production- Pesticides
  • Lead Smelting - Lead
  • Tannery Operation - Chromium
  • Mining and Ore Processing - Mercury
  • Mining and Ore Processing - Lead
  • Lead-Acid Battery Recycling - Lead
  • Naturally Occurring Arsenic in Ground Water - Arsenic
  • Pesticide Manufacturing and Storage - Pesticide

2010 report: Top Six Toxic Threats[edit]

The report identifies and quantifies the impacts of the most damaging toxic pollutants. The Top Six Toxic Threats are:[5]

  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Chromium
  • Arsenic
  • Pesticides
  • Radionuclides

2009 report: 12 Cases of Cleanup and Success[edit]

The report lists 10 programs, unranked, as examples of successful efforts to reduce the toll of pollution on human health. It also includes two initiatives with worldwide impact.[15][14][16][17]

2008 report: Top Ten World's Worst Pollution Problems[edit]

  • Artisanal Gold Mining
  • Contaminated Surface Water
  • Indoor Air Pollution
  • Industrial Mining Activities
  • Groundwater Contamination
  • Metals Smelting and Processing
  • Radioactive Waste and Uranium Mining
  • Untreated Sewage
  • Urban Air Quality
  • Used Lead Acid Battery Recycling

2006 and 2007 reports: Top Ten World's Worst Polluted Places[edit]

As of September 2007, the Institute lists the following as the world's ten most polluted places (in alphabetical order by country):[18]

Also mentioned

The Institute has operated in China since 2002.[20]

World's "Dirty 30"

In its 2007 report, The World’s Worst Polluted Places issued on September 16, the Blacksmith Institute included Meycauayan and Marilao in Bulacan, Philippines, in the list of the world’s thirty most polluted places in the developing world.[18] It stated: "Industrial waste is haphazardly dumped into the Marilao, Meycauayan, and Obando River system, a source of drinking and agricultural water supplies for the 250,000 people living in and around” the Meycauayan-Marilao area."[21]

How Blacksmith Works[edit]

Blacksmith works cooperatively around the world in partnerships that include governments, the international community, NGOs and local agencies to design and implement innovative, low-cost pollution solutions that save lives. Blacksmith provides strategic, technical, and financial support to local champions working for the betterment of their communities.[citation needed]

The priority of Blacksmith is to work in locations throughout the developing world where human health is most affected by pollution. Its programs involve a multi-step process that includes:

  • identifying polluted places in the developing world with nominations received from members of the international community and through the internet;
  • assessing the health risks at those locations;
  • and designing and implementing a remediation strategy tailored to the specifics of the site in question, using local champions to implement the project in a cooperative fashion.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Six UN-backed green awards handed out for work in disasters". UN News Centre. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Walsh, Bryan (18 October 2010). "Power of One". TIME Magazine. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Geyer, Georgie Anne (16 April 2012). "Heroic NGO Takes On Big Job of Global Toxic Cleanup". uExpress. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Charity Navigator Awards Blacksmith Institute Its Highest Rating". Blacksmith Institute. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "Worst Polluted". Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  6. ^ Harvey, Fiona (2007-09-12). "Planet’s most polluted sites unveiled". The Financial Times. 
  7. ^ "Blacksmith Institute Leads International Partnership To Build World's First Global Inventory Of Polluted Sites". Blacksmith Institute. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Incubating Ideas for Change at the Bellagio Center". Pollution Blog. Blacksmith Institute. 18 April 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "New Global Alliance Seeks To Tackle Toxic Pollution Hotspots". Blacksmith Institute. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Health and Pollution Fund". Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "Global Alliance on Health and Pollution". Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  12. ^ Dolan, David (5 May 2009). "Toxic hotspots affect 600 million in developing world". Reuters. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  13. ^ "Success Stories". Blacksmith Institute. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f Rudolf, John Collins (29 October 2009). "Report Notes Few Toxic Cleanup Successes". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Leahy, Stephen (29 October 2009). "A Dozen Countries Take on Toxic Pollution". North America Inter Press Service. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  16. ^ Biello, David (29 October 2009). "Can the World's Most Polluted Places Ever Be Cleaned?". Scientific American. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  17. ^ Frierson, Burton (28 October 2009). "Global pollution-fighters find scant success". Reuters. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "Top 10 Most Polluted Places 2007". Worst Polluted. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  19. ^ "12 Cases of Cleanup and Success 2009". Worst Polluted. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  20. ^ "NGO Directory". China Development Brief. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  21. ^ Espina, Nonoy (17 September 2007). "Meycauayan, Marilao in world’s ‘Dirty 30’-- report". Inquirer. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blacksmith_Institute — Please support Wikipedia.
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20 news items

Huffington Post Canada
Wed, 26 Mar 2014 18:41:06 -0700

#10 Dye Industry. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/24/2012-worlds-worst-pollution-problems_n_2007311.html" target="_hplink">"The World's Worst Pollution Problems"</a> list courtesy of the Blacksmith Institute.


Mon, 07 Apr 2014 06:05:55 -0700

... safe for residents. Environmental groups; the Blacksmith Institute and Green Cross Switzerland in its compiled list after surveying more than 2,000 sites in 49 countries in less than a decade, ranked Ghana among the top 10 world's largest e-waste ...

The Daily Star

The Daily Star
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:13:32 -0700

Dhaka had the honour of being awarded one of the 30 worst polluted cities in 2007 by Blacksmith Institute. Human Rights Watch estimates that the industry located in Hazaribagh produces approximately 75 metric tonnes of solid waste consisting of “salts ...
Inter Press Service
Wed, 26 Mar 2014 05:16:26 -0700

... cities, where pollution with fine particles had reached an unusually high level. In the 2009 Blacksmith Institute World's Worst Polluted Places report, indoor air pollution and urban air quality were listed as two of the world worst toxic pollution ...


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 04:00:30 -0700

Yra daug vietų, kurias privalo aplankyti kiekvienas žmogus, yra tokių, nuo kurių reikėtų laikytis atokiau, bet yra ir tokių vietų, kur nereikėtų važiuoti visai. Ekologijos fondas Blacksmith Institute sudarė kai kurių juodųjų Žemės kampelių sąrašą ...


Wed, 16 Apr 2014 05:00:00 -0700

Ekologijos fondas Blacksmith Institute sudarė kai kurių juodųjų Žemės kampelių sąrašą. Dzeržinskas (Rusija). Čia buvo palaidota 200 tonų cheminių atliekų, ... Tiltas iš stiklo (namai.lt nuotr.) Tiltas iš stiklo patiems drąsiausiems 2014.04.17 11:00 ...
FashionUnited NL
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 05:11:15 -0700

Het gebied is onlangs uitgeroepen tot een van de tien gevaarlijkste milieubedreigingen ter wereld door milieuorganisatie Blacksmith Institute, zo meldt WWD. Ter vergelijking: ook Tsjernobyl en Agbogbloshie in Ghana, een gevaarlijk stortplaats voor ...

WiWo Green

WiWo Green
Tue, 01 Apr 2014 02:05:27 -0700

agbogbloshie_kevin_mcelvaney_wiwo_wirtschaftswoche_nora2 Die Müllkippe war einst ein Feucht- und Erholungsgebiet. Inzwischen hat der Schrott das Grundwasser vergiftet. Die US-Umweltorganisation Blacksmith Institute wählte Agbogbloshie im letzten ...

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