Urban Wastelands: The World’s 10 Most Polluted Places


November  04, 2013


Greenpeace activists wearing protective suits inspect toxic waste discharge from a textile factory seen in the background in Citarum river, in the Dayeuhkolot district in Bandung regency, located in West Java province. Timur Marahari / AFP / Getty Images.

Citarum River, Indonesia

A main artery of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, a city of nearly 10 million, the Citarum River is contaminated with a range of pollutants, from both industrial and domestic sources. The Blacksmith Institute has found lead levels in the river that are more than 1,000 times EPA standards, and other research has found high concentrations of toxic metals like aluminum, manganese and iron. Fortunately, the Indonesian government has begun the work of cleaning up the Citarum, thanks in part to a $500 million loan package from the Asian Development Bank.