Workers dump waste at Vapi, a town in western India
that marks the southern end of the country's "Golden Corridor"a 400-kilometer (245-mile) stretch of industrial sites that manufacture petrochemicals, pesticides, dyes, paints, and fertilizers. (See a map of India
A survey by the Indian government revealed that the sites lack a proper system for disposing of industrial waste, which often contains high levels of heavy metals and cyanide, among other contaminants.
A new list issued by the nonprofit Blacksmith Institute places Vapi in the top ten of the most polluted regions in the world.
Vapi's distance from sources of clean water has forced residents to consume the town's contaminated water, the institute said.
As a result, incidences of respiratory diseases, carcinoma, skin and throat cancers, birth defects, and infertility are high in Vapi, the nonprofit added.
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Photograph by Blacksmith Institute