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    For all of you guys doing the Polar Plunge this Saturday, February 28, I hate to be the one to tell you that, in a shock to no one, the Ohio River has been named the most polluted body of water in the United States… For the seventh year in a row.

    According to the Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO), a whopping 23.2 million pounds of chemicals were dumped into the great Ohio River in 2013, up from 22.6 million the year before. About 16.9 million pounds of this came from just one facility, AK Steel Corp, based in Rockport, IN. View the full report here.

    Believe it or not, this is a great improvement since 2006, when 33.4 million pounds were dumped into the river.

    The amount of chemicals dumped into the Ohio this year is greater than the amount dumped into the next two highest-contaminated rivers on the list – one of which is the mighty Mississippi. This all sounds super scary, but take comfort in the idea that there is a lot of water that runs through the Ohio River, diluting a lot of the chemicals so they will not instantly turn you into a mutated monster.

    The organization is still trying to determine whether all of the chemical dump is going to be detrimental to wildlife, but if you hop into the river anytime soon, don’t be surprised if you start to glow.

    Photo: Elliott Carter/

    Michelle Eigenheer's picture

    About Michelle Eigenheer

    A Louisville transplant beginning to appreciate all the city's small things.

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