Toxic tourism

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As niche markets go, this one begs more contemplation than most. It may be tough to attract the kind of ecologically committed customer who wants to visit the world's toxic waste dumping grounds.

Still, there is a market for viewing polluted lakes and carcinogen-producing factories. Just take a look at the Greenpeace Web site if you want some ideas. There's plenty of muck to see and even more muck-producing factories for toxic tourists to shake their fists at.

Recently, Greenpeace has been conducting tours of the Venice Lagoon, pointing out polluters just as a Los Angeles tour bus driver might show passengers movie stars' houses.

You might want to check into this thing. Just find a few dirty places that used to be clean (you may want to invest in a really serious-looking boat), follow the sewage pipes or smokestacks to the factories that do the dumping and, bingo, you've got yourself a tour. Just don't dump your Disney bookings quite yet.

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