Environmental pollution takes a toll of 20,000 Russian lives annually

Every year diseases caused by environmental pollution kill 20,000 Russians, said Yuri Tsaturov, first deputy chief of the Russian federal service for hydrometeorology and environmental monitoring, at a RIA Novosti press conference on Wednesday.

Results of an on-going monitoring show that the quality of air in 30 Russian cities cause apprehensions, Tsaturov noted. Large steel-making enterprises, electricity-making and oil-refining complexes are concentrated in them.

They are -- Kemerovo, Magnitogorsk, Novokuznetsk, Omsk, Yekaterinburg, Khabarovsk in Siberia and the Ural, Far Eastern regions, as well as Cherepovetsk in the North of European Russia. In them, the content of formaldehyde, benzopyrene and weighted particles is five to ten times more than the limit, said Tsaturov.

He stressed that the current environmental situation directly depends on the work of industrial enterprises. Most of the nonferrous-metallurgical plants operate old technologies and have old purification facilities. If a plant closes and emits no more, the environment improves, he noted.

Tsaturov also said that air in Moscow and St.Petersburg is polluted mostly by automobiles. They emit 750,000 tonnes of carbon monoxide into the Moscow air annually.

Talking of results of monitoring Russia's seas, Tsaturov reported that the worst polluted are the Azov, Baltic and Caspian seas. The Black, Barents, White, Okhotsk and Japan seas are "moderately polluted". The offshore zones of the Northern seas -- East-Siberian, Bering, Chukchi and Laptev are the cleanest.

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