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Introduction to Polluted Places

Since 1999, Blacksmith Institute has been addressing a critical global need, challenging dangerous (and largely unknown) polluted sites found throughout the developing world. In countries from Peru to Cambodia, legacy and contemporary pollution from industry and other sources continues to impact the health of communities, especially women and children, causing untold misery worldwide and threatening efforts to create sustainable economies, protect local environments, and improve the health and development prospects of persons living in poverty.

Sadly, the burden of these impacts continues to grow, causing injury and death across the globe. The diverse, negative consequences of pollution pose a serious and compelling challenge to our values, our compassion and our sense of fairness.

Blacksmith's central program to address these issues is Polluted Places. Polluted Places intends to work in those places where pollution is at its most severe, and implement programs to clean up the problem. Polluted Places methodology includes a process for online identification, site assessment and planning as a prelude to enacting successful remediation activities. Through Polluted Places, we find, publicize and sometimes directly support polluted sites in the developing world that demonstrate significant health impacts, strong local partners, and reasonable, cost-effective prospects for successful pollution remediation.

Our efforts also help raise the profile of dangerous pollution as a priority for concern by the international community. In this way, we can support local pollution remediation planning and activities, and help leverage the additional technical and financial resources needed to eliminate the problem of pollution wherever it might be found.