Karabash, Russian Federation
FOR RELEASE WITH FEATURE BC-ENVIRONMENT-RUSSIA.
Five-year-old Maxim plays in grit-speckled snow near a copper smelter
in the town of Karabash in Russia's Urals. Children in Karabash, named
by ecologists as one of the most heavily polluted places on the planet,
suffer from asthma, severe skin diseases and lead poisoning. The plant
was closed in 1987 over ecological concerns but reopened in 1998. The
town, where forest-covered plains have been replaced by heaps of slag,
has been named an ecological disaster area by the Russian government.
Picture taken March 18, 2003. FOR RELEASE WITH FEATURE
BC-ENVIRONMENT-RUSSIA. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin