Who We Are

Pure Earth is an international non-profit organization dedicated to solving pollution problems in low- and middle-income countries, where human health is at risk.

Pure Earth, formerly known as the Blacksmith Institute,  is a leader in global toxic pollution cleanup. Since its inception in 1999, Pure Earth has completed 80 environmental remediation projects in 20 countries, improving the lives of millions of people, especially children, who are most at risk from the threat of toxic pollution.

Based in New York, Pure Earth works cooperatively around the world in partnerships that include governments, the international community, NGOs and local agencies, to design and implement innovative, low-cost solutions to save lives.

In 2008, Pure Earth began efforts to create a global alliance to support the cleanup and elimination of legacy pollution in the developing world. The Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP) was formed in 2011 with Pure Earth serving as Secretariat.  The GAHP is the first effort of its kind dedicated to addressing the threat of toxic pollution on a global scale.

Pure Earth  is known for:

  • Annual worst polluted sites reports 
  • Creation of the Blacksmith Index (used around the world to rate levels of health risk from pollution). The Blacksmith Index was developed by Pure Earth’s technical experts to prioritize sites for remediation based on their risk to human health. It uses the population affected, the characteristics of the pollutant, and the severity of the pathway to provide a 1 through 6 ranking of every site assessed.
  • The Toxic Sites Identification Program, a pollution database which contains assessment data on over 3,000 polluted sites in more than 60 countries collected over the last decade.
  • In 2011, Pure Earth was awarded the UN-backed Green Star Award for its work in environmental emergencies, specifically the lead poisoning outbreak in Nigeria.
  • Pure Earth is accredited with observer status by The United Nations Environmental Programme’s Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, giving Pure Earth an entry point into policy dialogue with UNEP.