MNN Galleries

America's 10 worst man-made environmental disasters

By: Laura Moss on June 14, 2010, 12:50 p.m.
Hands covered in oil from BP spill

Photo: Gerald Herbert/AP

1 of 12

The planet is in our hands

As millions of gallons of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico last year — killing wildlife, contaminating waters and threatening the fragile ecosystem — it was hard to determine the worst part of the disaster. But perhaps it was the fact that it was preventable.

Most environmental disasters — earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and wildfires — lie outside human control, but some of the world’s most devastating catastrophes were caused by people. As mankind continues to pursue fuel, food and building materials, we’re polluting ecosystems and destroying the planet we depend on for survival. Here’s a look at the 10 worst man-made environmental disasters in U.S. history. When it comes to environmental destruction, the blood — or oil — is often on our hands. (Text: Laura Moss)