Green Buckeye RN

Forbes: America’s Most Toxic Cities
November 4, 2009, 3:21 pm
Filed under: News

Francesca Levy, 11.02.09, 06:00 PM EST
Poor air quality, lack of clean water and a high rate of superfund sites make these metros most contaminated.
In Atlanta, Ga., you’ll find southern gentility, a world-class music scene–and 21,000 tons of environmental waste. In spite of its charms, the city’s combination of air pollution, contaminated land and atmospheric chemicals makes it the most toxic city in the country.

An urban skyline dotted with puffing smokestacks isn’t the only measure of a city’s cleanliness (or lack thereof). Most major cities suffer from a range of unseen hazards. Contaminants can seep into the ground from bygone chemical spills or shuttered steel mills. Invisible leaks at industrial complexes discharge harmful substances into the air, or the normal course of business requires factories to expel toxins that eventually find their way to the water supply.

While it may be the U.S. metro in the worst environmental shape, Atlanta isn’t the only place whose residents contend with contamination. Top spots for toxicity are distributed throughout the country, with Detroit, Houston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Los Angeles right behind it.

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