The worst polluters in the world are generally assumed to be the oil, mining and manufacturing industries.

Industrial wastes are one of the top sources of environmental pollution.

Across the world, untreated or improperly treated industrial waste pollutes the air, water, and soil in and around the industrial sites. The pollution caused by an industry often depends on its nature with some industries generating more toxic wastes than others. Pure Earth, an international non-profit organization, has compiled a list of the 10 worst polluting industries in the world.

Pure Earth, formerly known as the Blacksmith Institute until on 10 March 2015, is a New York City-based international not-for-profit organization founded in 1999 that aims to identify and clean up pollution, focusing primarily on contaminated sites and soil in developing countries.

Over the last decade it has cleaned up 84 sites in 20 countries,focusing on communities where children are most at risk. These communities suffer disproportionately from pollution-related diseases.

Blacksmith changed to a new name – Pure Earth – with the aim of broadening awareness of global toxic pollution issues to the general public.

The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world…second only to oil, although this is often disputed.

Criticisms of fast fashion include its negative environmental impact, water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals and increasing levels of textile waste.

Vibrant colours, prints and fabric finishes are appealing features of fashion garments, but many of these are achieved with toxic chemicals. Textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of clean water globally, after agriculture.

Greenpeace’s recent Detox campaign has been instrumental in pressuring fashion brands to take action to remove toxic chemicals from their supply chains, after it tested a number of brands’ products and confirmed the presence of hazardous chemicals.

Many of these are banned or strictly regulated in various countries because they are toxic, bio-accumulative (meaning the substance builds up in an organism faster than the organism can excrete or metabolise it), disruptive to hormones and carcinogenic.

Please don’t be put off by the quality of the podcast, as I was interviewing Susan on a boat. 😁

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