These Disturbing Photos Of Children Playing In Garbage Show Just How Disgustingly Polluted The Earth Is

There’s no doubt about it — pollution is a big problem all over the world.

Garbage production alone is a concern, with the World Bank reporting that solid waste generation is on track to exceed 11 million metric tons per day by 2100. Smog, the result of highly polluted air, is a major public health issue in places such as Los Angeles, Mexico City, and various cities in China and Southeast Asia. And garbage and chemical dumping is a serious issue for water quality around the globe.

These images, taken by photographers around the world, bring these problems into sharp focus by showing us the ways in which our youngest generation is forced to adapt to a polluted and garbage-filled planet. From swimming in sludge-filled rivers to playing atop garbage heaps, these children show us just how big a clean-up we have ahead of us.

Water quality is a big concern in many countries around the world. Here, children wade in the garbage-filled Manila Bay in the Philippines.

This boy swims in the garbage-infested waters of the Sabarmati River in Ahmedabad, India, looking for offerings thrown in by religious worshippers.

This boy strolls through a polluted canal in Benguela, Angola.

Children play in a foaming, polluted river in Jakarta, Indonesia.

This boy swims through the sludgy Yamuna River in New Delhi, India.

This boy cannonballs into a polluted river in Jakarta, Indonesia, while piles of garbage drift by next to him.

These boys splash around in an open drainage ditch in Manila, Philippines.

These boys balance over a murky puddle in Kabul, Afghanistan.

These children play at the edge of an open sewer in Kampala, Uganda.

This boy jumps over a puddle of toxic liquid at the Ghazipur landfill in New Delhi, India.

Just getting from one place to another can be difficult. This little girl walks through a sea of garbage produced by La Terminal food market in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

These boys navigate through heaps of rubbish on the streets of Santa Fe, Argentina.

These children stand waist-deep in a garbage heap outside New Delhi, India.

Many are accustomed to going about their day-to-day activities in contaminated environments. This child eats breakfast on a sofa in the middle of the a garbage dump in Tondo, Philippines.

Sometimes useful things can be found amongst the rubbish. These children sift through garbage along the railway tracks for recyclable materials in Karachi, Pakistan.

This boy pushes a cart full of charcoal, which was made at a garbage dump in Tondo, Philippines.

Despite it all, children are surprisingly adept at finding ways to entertain themselves amidst all the rubbish. This little boy, also in a slum area of Karachi, Pakistan, makes his own toys from the garbage that surrounds him. Here, he plays with a tire while other slum residents burn garbage in the background.

These children have made a makeshift playhouse out of materials they found at this dump site, where they live, in Manila, Philippines.

A little girl and her brother play in a junkyard outside of Yangon, Myanmar.

A child swings under a bridge amidst stacks of garbage in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Children play amongst the garbage in a slum area of Karachi, Pakistan.

A girl jumps from one garbage heap to another at a tannery in Dhaka, Bangladesh. These waste products will be used to make feed for poultry, while the tannery -- which doesn't treat its waste water -- spews acids and heavy metals into the city's river.

These children ride their makeshift raft down a river of garbage in Jakarta, Indonesia.

This girl happily swings while smoke rises from the garbage dump behind her in Mumbai, India.

This boy flies his kite over a dumping site at the Bishnumati River in Kathmandu, Nepal.

These boys run through a garbage dump outside Islamabad, Pakistan.

Pollution is everyone's problem. For more disturbing photos of polluted areas, check out these images of China's contaminated water systems.

A boy swims in the algae-filled coastline of Qingdao, Shandong province July 15, 2011.

If You Think China's Air Is Bad, You Should See The Water >

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