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Backyard battery recycling is biggest chemical polluter for poorer nations

October 25, 2016

Backyard battery recycling is biggest chemical polluter for poorer nations

Damian Carrington
Tuesday 25 October 2016 15.00 BST

The backyard recycling of lead-acid car batteries is the number one source of chemical pollution in the world’s poorer nations and leads to millions of years of healthy life being lost, according to a new report.

The World’s Worst Pollution Problems, published by NGOs Pure Earth and Green Cross Switzerland on Tuesday, reveals the top 10 most polluting industries in low and middle-income countries.

Mining, leather tanning, rubbish dumps and the dye industry are among the most polluting activities harming health and causing early deaths. The NGOs estimate 200 million people are at risk in the 50 nations they analysed.

Old lead acid batteries are increasingly reused as some nations lack lead deposits and the rising number of cars is driving an upsurge in demand. However, in poorer nations the batteries are often opened with axes or hammers and the melting of the recovered lead takes places in homes.

Read more at The Guardian.

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