Solving Pollution Problems, Saving Lives


May 2011


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 Blacksmith Institute works in some of the world's worst polluted places to solve pollution problems and clean up contaminated sites in order to save lives. Blacksmith is currently engaged in over 40 projects in 19 countries.


Blacksmith Institute





Health and Pollution Fund

Global Inventory Project - Database of Polluted Places

World's Worst Pollution Problems




"This is a finite problem. There are a finite number of toxic hotspots around the world. We just have to find them and clean them. We can end life-threatening pollution in our lifetime."

Richard Fuller, founder, Blacksmith Institute.

Life-threatening pollution has already been eliminated in many wealthier nations.  Now Blacksmith is leading the fight to end it in low and middle income countries.

  • Identify: Blacksmith is building the world's first comprehensive global inventory of polluted sites, where lives are at risk. Once identified, these hotspots will be ranked in order of priority for cleanup. Blacksmith investigators are crisscrossing the globe and have already identified 2100 polluted sites in more than 40 countries.
  • Implement: Blacksmith is working to create the Health and Pollution Fund - a proposed $500 million public health fund to support the cleanup of the world's worst polluted places identified by the global inventory project.


 2010 REPORT



Download Blacksmith's 2010 Pollution Report:  World's Worst Pollution Problems: Top Six Toxic Threats. 




Nominate a Polluted Site





In This Issue:

Blacksmith Wins UN-backed Green Star Award for Work in Environmental Emergencies

Green Star Award 2011Blacksmith Institute has won the prestigious Green Star Award for excellence in preventing, preparing for and responding to environmental emergencies.

A joint initiative between the United Nations Environmental Program, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Green Cross International, the award was presented to Blacksmith President Richard Fuller at a ceremony in Bern, Switzerland on May 18, 2011.

"This award is important because it shines a light on the crucial work that is being done, often under difficult conditions, in environmental emergencies, when lives depend on fast and effective intervention," says Fuller.  "It also increases awareness of global threats like toxic pollution, which often go underreported until a crisis happens."

Blacksmith was recognized for its urgent efforts following the Nigerian lead poisoning crisis, which killed over 400 children. Blacksmith collaborators TerraGraphics Environmental Engineering and Médecins Sans Frontières also received the Award for their part in the Nigerian cleanup. Other winners include a renowned academic working to make houses safer after the earthquakes in China and Haiti, and Linda Norgrove, who received a posthumous award for her work in Afghanistan.

See photos of the Nigeria cleanup and the award ceremony.
Nigeria photos:  Blacksmith Institute,
Green Star Award photos: Guillaume Mégevand

Save the Date:  Blacksmith Golf Benefit Tees Off Oct. 3

Golf Save the Date

Blacksmith's annual golf benefit is here again. The event raises thousands of dollars each year to support the cleanup of some of the world's worst polluted places, where families live in constant threat of toxic poisoning. Visit for tournament details and to reserve a foursome or sponsorship now.

Mercury Exposure Rises Dramatically in U.S.

The Pollution Blog cited two recent studies that point to a dramatic rise in chronic mercury exposure in the U.S., with an estimated 500,000 children at risk in this country alone. If toxic mercury is a growing issue here, what impact must it have in poor countries?

There is a solution.  Watch the Video:

AGM Video

Toxic mercury is one of the Top Six Toxic Threats in the world today. See photos or download the report.

Top Six Toxic Threats chart

Paradise Remade: Cleanup of One of the World´s Worst Polluted Places

Haina, DR

The Miami Herald reported on Blacksmith's successful cleanup of toxic lead in God's Paradise, a town near Haina in the Dominican Republic.  Once known as one of the world's worst polluted places, the community is now an example of what can happen when environmentalists, a university, the business sector and government work together.

Learn more about this cleanup success story, or see photos.