10 Toxic Towns You Still Can’t Live In

© Philip Schubert/Shutterstock

Wittenoom, Pilbara, Australia

The company town of Wittenoom in Western Australia’s Pilbara region had a population of around 20,000 in the early 1960s, when the bustling spot was home to a cinema, two schools and a swish hotel, which is pictured here. The town owed its existence to a nearby blue asbestos mine that employed most of the adult residents.

As health concerns surrounding asbestos grew, the mine was shut down in 1966, but the closure came too late for many of the town’s residents.

To date, more than 2,000 people have died from asbestos-related diseases, according to the Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia, while the mine’s ex-workers are at risk of dying prematurely from asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma.

Despite its deadly terrain, the town’s closure wasn’t announced until the late 1970s, when the State Government started buying up and demolishing properties. During the 1980s and early 1990s, the bulk of the town’s structures were pulled down, and the hotel was finally bulldozed in 1996.

Regarded as the most contaminated site in the southern hemisphere, Wittenoom, which has been dubbed ‘Australia’s Chernobyl’, was wiped off official maps and disconnected from the power grid in 2007. Three die-hard permanent residents still live in the former town, but the Western Australian government introduced a bill in March that will allow for the compulsory purchase of their properties, forcing them out for good.

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14 Comments

  1. Grace Neff says

    Many more of towns like these will probably be seen in the future.

  2. Harold says

    our big cities are TOXIC not because of TOCIC WASTE BUT BECAUSE OF HUMAN WASTE!!!!!!!

  3. Marilyn Barkasy says

    Visited the Centralia Pa. area several years ago, it was horrible, the smell was awful from the burning mines, you still see smoke coming to the surface. Try s they may, under ground fires will not be able to be controlled. Sad.

  4. Grace Neff says

    The corona virus might be the payback for the way humans have, and continue to, destroy everything livable on this planet!!

  5. Dr. Jerry Cronin says

    We have several villages on the East side of Gallup, NM affected by the largest uranium spill in the history of the United States (Churchrock mine, 1979) and the URI company STILL hasn’t bothered to clean it up properly! Cancer anybody!

  6. Elizabeth M. Jenkins says

    So true!

  7. A Yank Chick says

    Sadly Corona virus will be the scapegoat for any illness anyone has died from in the past year. Wake up people and use your common sense. I had a horrible experience with the Hong Kong flu in 1968, I was a sophomore in college…
    I was in a near coma and not responding for several days.

    Many died from the same flu despite the access to penicillin.. I was taken home and finished my exams from home that year. NO ONE QUARANTINED. They didn’t sanitize their bodies or wear masks 24/7.

    If we don’t get it now, we will create an ongoing nightmare for our children for decades. WASH HANDS,BATHE AND WASH FROM HEAD TO TOE DAILY. WASH YOUR CLOTHING AFTER WEARING ONCE. LET SHOES AND COATS AIR ON PORCHES TO PREVENT SPREAD OF SAID. VIRUS!!!!

    Use your god given 🧠

  8. Dan says

    Probably and might are pretty bold predictions. Jesus will probably come to earth soon and he might not like what he sees.

  9. Norton says

    You are such the fool! The freaking communist party of CHINA did this to the U.S. You’re a fool to think otherwise. And in your case, a moron.

    MAGA
    screw the old man bidet.

  10. Shirley says

    Humans are very selfish..ALWAYS HAVE BEEN AND WILL PROBABLY ALWAYS BE! WE WANT EVERYTHING AND WANT IT RIGHT NOW! All These beautiful places reduced to rubble because we are selfish! We have not been kind to the earth …PEACE AN GOODWILL TO ALL OF US!!WAR HAS NEVER BEEN THE ANSWER ! MAY WE BE FORGIVEN! LOVE IS THE ANSWER!

  11. Dave Meachum says

    Have been to Centrailia Pa several times over 45 years ago, didn’t feel safe driving on the streets back then, wouldn’t go near there now.

  12. L. J. S. says

    The corona virus was made in a lab in China, wanting to kill the economies of the world so they could be the global dictators. Maybe Joe Biden made a deal to help China in exchange for the $1.5 billion he & Hunter were given & including the $3.5 million given to them by Russia, etc. 35 American companies who make their goods in China have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration to remove the sanctions from China – these include FOMOCO, Target, Tesla, WalMart just to name a few. A U. S. President doesn’t need permission to place sanctions on anyone & these companies certainly don’t have America or our citizen’s interests at heart. They’re desperate to bring their products into America & make millions just like they have been doing, letting their new communist country, China, make all the profits while bleeding America dry. All of those who turn their backs on America want this country destroyed for communism. If you elect Biden & his communist party you’ll have succeeded in destroying the only hope the world has for freedom & peace.

  13. Bob S says

    the so called corona virus is germ warfare. Plain and simple. The chicoms wanted to level the playing field financially when their country got hit by their out of control experiment.
    wake up and smell the coffee. the communists are NOT nice people

  14. Tom Tucker says

    Humans are the earth’s cancer and will eventually kill it.

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