We all know about Chernobyl, huge territory became uninhabitable due to technological disaster. But many Russians do not know they are living near cities just a little less toxic than Chernobyl.
It is true: there are populated areas within Russia that pose a deadly threat to their residents. What are these cities are? Who is guilty of turning them into mini-Chernobyls? And what should we do to save people living there?
I live in such contaminated city since my very childhood. The city is named Shelehov. Now I’m 27 and I remember well the 24th of December 1992. That was the day when local cable plant caught fire. Back then, nobody told us to shut our windows and doors tight, nobody preserved us from breathing in poisoned air. I was only 9 and I did not know the word “dioxine”, I learned it several years later.
Several years later I learned that out of 670 firemen who took part in fire extinguishing on that cable plant, more than 200 died soon after and the rest are now physically disabled persons.
I learned that during that fire the wind was blowing straight on the city and highly toxic clouds had been slowly descending on the city during a few days. Only after a year or two I learned that my aunt-cousin suddenly got allergy reactions on almost every medicine known to man.
One in two people here get chronic disease in very childhood, as the percent of healthy kids are very small and our adults seldom live up to 70.
Land after rain smells like chemicals and snow is gray instead of white. And as if it wasn’t enough, recently we witnessed in our city another one technological disaster. On the 2th of February 2010 our local powder metallurgy plant suddenly exploded, emitting huge amounts of aluminium powder in the air.
Like the last time, plant owners told us that there was nothing to worry about. But for several months now we’ve been constantly discovering strange black powder on our windowsills. Many of Shelehov residents suddenly became coughing.
Just recently I learned that if the fire back then spread from the powder metallurgy plant to the final production warehouse, the whole city would be destroyed in one huge explosion.
I know well how to live on a powder keg, but I don’t know what to do to change that situation.