Russia's northernmost major city, Noril'sk pumps out more than two million tons of pollutants a yearmaking it one of the ten most polluted spots in the world, according to the New York-based nonprofit Blacksmith Institute. (See a map of Russia.)
Mining and smelting began in Noril'sk in the 1930s, and the city now houses the world's largest smelting complex for heavy metals.
Snow is often blackened with pollution, the air tastes of sulfur, and the life expectancy is up to ten years lower than the Russian average, the institute reported.
Noril'sk Nickel, the major firm operating in the town, says it has invested millions in its dust and gas recovery and removal systems, according to the institute.