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Blacksmith Institute for a Pure Earth
Blacksmith print rgb large.jpg
Formation 1999
Type International NGO
Richard Fuller
Website www.blacksmithinstitute.org

Blacksmith Institute has officially changed its name to Pure Earth, as of March 10, 2015.

Founded in 1999, Blacksmith Institute (also known as Pure Earth) is an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to solving life-threatening pollution in the developing world. Blacksmith identifies and cleans up the world's worst polluted places - over the last decade it has removed toxic pollution from 75 sites in 20 countries,[1] focusing on communities where children are most at risk.

In 2014, Blacksmith launched a new initiative - Blacksmith Institute for a Pure Earth - with actor Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, The Newsroom, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) as celebrity ambassador.[2] Patel worked closely with Blacksmith to suggest the new name, and will help support efforts to raise awareness about toxic pollution, an issue he says he first grew aware of after filming in India.[3] Blacksmith will slowly transition to a new name - Pure Earth - in order to broaden awareness of global toxic pollution issues to the general public.

In 2011 Blacksmith was recognized with the UN-backed Green Star Award for its dedication to solving pollution problems in low and middle income countries, where human health is at risk.[4] In 2010, Blacksmith founder Richard Fuller was profiled in Time magazine's "Power of One" column[5] In 2014, Bloomberg Businessweek chronicled Blacksmith/Pure Earth's growth and work around the world, including a dangerous cleanup of a secret Soviet arms site in the Ukraine.[1]

Blacksmith Institute has been recognized as one of the USA’s top performing nonprofits.[6]

Blacksmith is known for its annual World's Worst Polluted Places Reports, The Pollution Blog, the creation of the Blacksmith Index (used around the world to rate levels of health risk from pollution)[citation needed], 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.[7]

Blacksmith is currently expanding their database with the Toxics Sites Identification Program, formerly known as Global Inventory Project.[8]

Blacksmith serves as Secretariat for the GAHP Global Alliance on Health and Pollution.[9]

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

In July 2012, Blacksmith convened a third meeting of world leaders[10] 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)[11] 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.[12][13][14]

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.[15][16]

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:[15]

  • 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.[16][17][18][19]

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):[20]

Also mentioned

The Institute has operated in China since 2002.[22]

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.[20] 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."[23]

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. ^ a b http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-09-15/the-chemical-weapons-ukrainian-separatists-didnt-get
  2. ^ http://www.indiawest.com/entertainment/global/dev-patel-launches-pure-earth-nontoxic-campaign/article_21aeab8b-508c-502c-ac97-fbcb3ab0de64.html
  3. ^ http://www.blacksmithinstitute.org/blog/qa-with-slumdog-millionaire-dev-patel-on-his-belated-birthday-present-a-pure-earth/
  4. ^ "Six UN-backed green awards handed out for work in disasters". UN News Centre. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  5. ^ Walsh, Bryan (18 October 2010). "Power of One". TIME Magazine. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  6. ^ http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=11750#.VCG3by5dUTE
  7. ^ Harvey, Fiona (2007-09-12). "Planet’s most polluted sites unveiled". The Financial Times. 
  8. ^ "Blacksmith Institute Leads International Partnership To Build World's First Global Inventory Of Polluted Sites". Blacksmith Institute. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "A Global Alliance for a Toxics-Free World". 
  10. ^ "Incubating Ideas for Change at the Bellagio Center". Pollution Blog. Blacksmith Institute. 18 April 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "New Global Alliance Seeks To Tackle Toxic Pollution Hotspots". Blacksmith Institute. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Health and Pollution Fund". Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  13. ^ "Global Alliance on Health and Pollution". Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  14. ^ Dolan, David (5 May 2009). "Toxic hotspots affect 600 million in developing world". Reuters. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "Worst Polluted". Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  16. ^ 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. 
  17. ^ 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. 
  18. ^ Biello, David (29 October 2009). "Can the World's Most Polluted Places Ever Be Cleaned?". Scientific American. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  19. ^ Frierson, Burton (28 October 2009). "Global pollution-fighters find scant success". Reuters. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  20. ^ a b "Top 10 Most Polluted Places 2007". Worst Polluted. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  21. ^ "12 Cases of Cleanup and Success 2009". Worst Polluted. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  22. ^ "NGO Directory". China Development Brief. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  23. ^ 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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800 news items

Business Wire (press release)
Tue, 10 Mar 2015 07:26:15 -0700

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Blacksmith Institute announced today that it is changing its name to Pure Earth effective immediately. For the past 15 years, the organization has worked to identify and clean up the poorest communities throughout the world ...


Thu, 19 Mar 2015 07:59:53 -0700

This is what the Peruvian jungle looks like after years of illegal gold mining. (Image from archives). The U.S. Department of State awarded US$1 million to the Blacksmith Institute to work with Peru's Ministry of Environment (Minam) at reducing the use ...

Peru this Week

Peru this Week
Wed, 18 Mar 2015 08:34:37 -0700

The U.S. Department of State is granting US$ 1 million to the Blacksmith Institute to collaborate with the Peruvian Ministry of Environment (Minam) in the hopes of reducing the use of mercury in southern Peru. The U.S. and Minam, under the Minamata ...
Huffington Post
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 12:33:55 -0800

Pollution in the air, soil and water has become the largest cause of death in the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), but a new report has hailed 10 countries for taking steps to reduce those death rates. The report -- the Top Ten ...
Marketwired (press release)
Tue, 20 Jan 2015 02:18:45 -0800

PITTSBURGH, PA--(Marketwired - January 20, 2015) - Cardinal Resources proudly supports Barbara Jones, one of our most senior and experienced professionals, in the work she does through Blacksmith Institute (http://www.blacksmithinstitute.org/), ...


Thu, 26 Feb 2015 04:05:26 -0800

“Removing the threat of chronic exposure to high-levels of toxic pollutants can be achieved in a matter of months for a cost of $10 to $20 per person,” says Richard Fuller, president of the Blacksmith Institute. “All that is needed to scale up in many ...


Thu, 26 Mar 2015 02:00:00 -0700

El ranking fue publicado en 2014 por GAHP y Pure Earth – Blacksmith Institute, una organización con sede en Nueva York. También figuran allí experiencias desarrolladas en Ghana, Senegal, Perú, México, Indonesia, Filipinas, Vietnam, Rusia y Kyrgyzstan.

The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel
Tue, 20 Jan 2015 11:53:58 -0800

This story, about the Blacksmith Institute's 2013 list of the Most Polluted Places in the World, was originally published in November 2013 and has not since been updated. Check back soon for the newest list from the Blacksmith Institute, just released ...

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