According to a 2007 Cornell University study
, pollution is responsible for 40 percent of deaths worldwide. In an attempt to reverse the trend, The Blacksmith Institute
, a New York City-based environmental organization, released its annual list of the top 10 pollution-related activities
that are leading to death and disability around the world.Included in the countdown of harmful problems endangering human health are: artisanal mining of precious metals, "recycling" of lead acid car batteries, nuclear waste, and metal smelting. A process makes the rankings based on how severe the pollutant is, how easily it gets to a human population, and how many people it affects globally.Hat tip to David Biello at Scientific American. Photo of car battery casings from The Blacksmith Institute.