Here's an eye-opener for those of us (including ourselves) who wear leather while feeling removed from the industry's tenuous ethics: According to "The World's Worst Toxic Pollution Problems Report, 2011" prepared by Green Cross Switzerland and Blacksmith Institute, the 62 chrome tanneries spanning South Asia, South America, Africa, and Central America have contributed to the chromium poisoning (this can lead to eye damage, ulcers, bronchitis, and kidney and liver damage) of 1.9 million people.
A small minority of tanneries use vegetable tanning (rather than the chrome technique), the health and environmental consequences of which the WWD report doesn't cover. The findings also state that on average, toxic hot spots such as these shave approximately 12.7 years off the lifespans of people affected. For the full report, please visit here. (Blacksmith via WWD)
Photo: Via Worst Polluted