Poisonous Emissions Envelop Russian TownAugust 1, 2007 By Julie DohertyAs reported in Russia Today, a toxic cloud from a metallurgical plant in the northwestern Russian town of
has been covering a neighboring town in smoke and dust. A surge of patients have sought treatment for breathing problems, and the effect on local ecology is obvious, as leaves fall from the trees out of season. Nikel
Local prosecutors have launched an inquiry into the case, but the factory has already accepted full responsibility and has promised to install new equipment to lower emissions. However, the equipment will take several years to install, and local residents do not want the plant to be closed in the interim, as it is the main source of employment in the area.
As objectionable as Nikel’s pollution and health problems seem, this is not the first time we’ve heard about them. In 1992, Wilson Center Senior Scholar Murray Feshbach and co-author Alfred Friendly wrote about this same issue in their book Ecocide in the USSR: Health and Nature Under Siege.