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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Study Finds Russia to Be Top Polluter

APA local resident walking among rusting barrels near a lake in Dzerzhinsk.
NEW YORK -- Three Russian cities are among the 10 most-polluted places on Earth, a U.S. environmental group said.

More than 10 million people are at risk of lung infection, cancer and shortened life expectancy because they live in those cities, the Blacksmith Institute said in a study released Wednesday.

In Dzerzhinsk, a former Cold War-era center for making chemical weapons, including sarin and mustard gas, the average life expectancy is 42 for men and 47 for women, the study said. Chemicals from the weapons-manufacturing center were dumped into an aquifer that also provides the local community with drinking water, it said. Dzerzhinsk is located in the Nizhny Novgorod region.

The other two Russian cities are Norilsk in the Krasnoyarsk region and Rudnaya Pristan in the Primorye region.

"Norilsk in Russia is also just a horror story," Blacksmith director Richard Fuller said. "Smelters with no pollution control; nickel, copper, lead, cadmium. No pollution control."

The other cities are Chernobyl, Ukraine; Mayluu-Suu, Kyrgyzstan; Linfen, China; Haina, Dominican Republic; Ranipet, India; La Oroya, Peru; and Kabwe, Zambia.

(Reuters, AP)