An estimated 15,000 industries actively release effluent into the Matanza-Riachuelo river basin, which runs through the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires. A 2008 study found that soil on the banks of the river contained levels of zinc, lead, copper, nickel and chromium that were all above recommended values. About 60% of the 20,000 people who reside near the river basin live in territory that has been deemed unsuitable for human habitation, leading to higher levels of diarrheal diseases, respiratory illnesses and cancer. It doesn’t help that residents have few sources of drinking water, leaving them dependent on the polluted river. The problem is improving, however, thanks in part to a billion-dollar World Bank-funded effort.
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The site is near the center of Accra (approximately 5M population) and is primarily an automobile scrap yard. Most of the wire being burned is automobile harness wire and tire wire. Lead does not "migrate from smoke" but it is true that older electric wire sheaths have lead (electronics wire does not). There are about 25 wire burners, usually they are immigrants from Tamale region in the north (where charcoal is a major industry).
The site is frequently, and falsely, called a receiving yard for western discarded waste. Multiple studies have found that while Ghana imports used equipment, that most of the equipment is reused, and most of the equipment at the Agbogbloshie scrap yard - cars, fridges, motorcycles, tires, TVs, computers - were used for decades inside Ghana prior to being discarded.
For more information on the Agbobloshie scrap yard, read Adam Minter's article at http://digital.turn-page.com/i/520821-may-june-2015/0?
These are some of the evidence of the negative impact of industrialization, that is why environmental compliance is important. Industries should be responsible for their waste: to protect the stakeholders, the business itself, and the environment.
Perhaps it is because China has made "progress" by outsourcing pollution to other developing countries just as developed countries have outsourced it to China?
@xiaochensu surely!... it is a beautiful country....
If you'd like to see a more visual account of Agbobogbloshie, Ghana take a look at the project I started earlier this year which dives into the work and lifestyle of the children who work there.