Leather City of the World
Photo and caption by Gregor Fischer
A worker of the leather industry in Kanpur, India, is standing on a 4 ha garbage dump for leather waste. Due to the tanning-process this waste is highly contaminated with chromium. Nevertheless it will be melted and processed as animal feed and fertilizer. Kanpur, "Leather City of the World", is the center of indian leather production and is home for over 400 tanneries. For cost reasons the leather is tanned with highly toxic, carcinogenic Chromium(VI) oxide. In conjunction with water it is corrosive and if swallowed it can cause kidney damage, infertility, paralysis and genetic defects.
Location: Kanpur, Utar Pradesh, India