A doctor holds a newborn in Dzerzhinsk, Russia
, in 1997. (See a map of Russia
The city, once the country's Cold War headquarters for producing chemical weapons, was recently added to the Blacksmith Institute's list of the world's ten most polluted places.
Dzerzhinsk remains an important hub of chemical manufacturing.
Babies born here have birth defects at three times the national rate, the institute said on its Web site. A quarter of these babies will likely grow up and work in factories that still spew toxic chemicals, it added.
Dzerzhinsk's average life expectancy is 42 years for men, well below the national average of about 58.
No major initiative to combat the pollution and health problems is underway, according to the New York-based institute.
More Photos in the News
Today's 15 Most Read Stories
Free Email Newsletter: Focus on Photography
Photograph by Sergei Karpukhin/AP