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Pure Earth

Company Overview


Pure Earth, formerly known as the Blacksmith Institute, is a leader in global toxic pollution cleanup. Although renamed Pure Earth in 2015 to better reflect its broad mission, the organization has maintained the same core goals since its inception.

Founded in 1999, Pure Earth has remained dedicated to reducing public health risks from toxic pollution in low- and middle-income countries. Pollution is responsible for one in six deaths worldwide and has huge economic costs. However, the effects of pollution are not distributed equally as 92% of deaths from pollution are in low- and middle-income countries.

Pure Earth identifies toxic hot spots and teaches communities how to improve soil, water, and air quality with cost-effective solutions. To date, Pure Earth has cleaned up toxins in over 120 locations that were affecting almost five million people — 20% of whom were children under six years of age.

As a result of Pure Earth’s work to remediate contaminated sites and reduce public exposures to chemicals and heavy metals, people living in these affected areas will live longer and have reduced likelihoods of intellectual impairment, cancer, and other diseases. More than 3,100 locations in 50 emerging market countries have been identified where people are exposed to toxins at dangerous levels. Pure Earth’s central online database coordinates information on each and creates a platform for it, in collaboration with governments and international agencies, to prioritize interventions.

Projects are often chosen with the intent of allowing for scaling up by national or international agencies. As a matter of practice, Pure Earth does not conduct projects without the approval and collaboration of a relevant government authority and as such, in each of its projects, Pure Earth works with municipal, provincial, or national governments.

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