"In Atlanta, Ga., you'll find southern gentility, a world-class music scene--and 21,000 pounds of environmental waste. In spite of its charms, the city's combination of air pollution, contaminated land and atmospheric chemicals makes it the most toxic city in the country.
An urban skyline dotted with puffing smokestacks isn't the only measure of a city's cleanliness (or lack thereof). Most major cities suffer from a range of unseen hazards. Contaminants can seep into the ground from bygone chemical spills or shuttered steel mills. Invisible leaks at industrial complexes discharge harmful substances into the air, or the normal course of business requires factories to expel toxins that eventually find their way to the water supply."