FOUR of the world's 10 most polluted places are in Russia and two former Soviet republics, an independent environmental group says in a report.
Encompassing seven countries, the top 10 sites may cause some 12 million people to suffer health problems,the New York-based Blacksmith Institute said.
"These places are sapping the strength of the populations around them, and it's not rocket science to fix them," Richard Fuller, the non-profit group's founder and director told reporters.
He said simple engineering projects could make many of the places safe, but that funds, political will and technical ability were often lacking.
The polluted sites in Russia and the former Soviet republics include Dzerzhinsk, Russia, which until the end of the Cold War was one of the country's major chemical weapons centres, and Chernobyl, Ukraine, where the world's worst nuclear accident occurred in 1986.
China and India each has two sites in the top 10. Linfen is at the heart of China's expanding coal industry, while Tianjin is one of the country's largest lead production bases. In Tianjin, residents, particularly children, suffer lead poisoning symptoms such as learning disabilities, brain damage and kidney malfunction.
The polluted sites are often in remote mountain areas, especially those linked to mining.
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