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Green snow falls on Russian city, sparking protests over pollution

Chemical emissions from chrome factory blamed for phenomenon

Chris Baynes
Monday 25 February 2019 13:05 GMT
Green snow falls on Russian city

Green snow has fallen on a Russian city, sparking an outcry over pollution.

Chemicals pumped out by a chrome factory in Pervouralsk have been blamed for the phenomenon, the latest in a string of environmental concerns thought to be damaging Vladimir Putin’s popularity.

Protests have also been held over a Siberian coal processing plant blamed for turning turned snow black, while residents of Sibai have launched legal action over smog which has blanketed the Southern Urals town since November.

Parents in Pervouralsk, a city in the central Russian Sverdlovsk region, told local media their children had fallen ill after green snow fell near their nursery.

“They had a cough and their skin turned red, rashes on their face,” Natalya Solovey told ND News.

Pictures show acid green icicles hanging from buildings in the city, which has a population of about 125,000.

The chrome factory has denied the chemical poses a health risk.

Spokesman Vsevolod Oreshkin said: “It’s a routine situation for residents that should not cause alarm. Does not threaten lives or health of adults and children. It’s Pervouralsk. There are a whole variety of industrial enterprises here. If we take samples of snow in any place we will see a multitude of dangerous substances.”

It is not the first time pollution from the factory turned snow green in the city. In 2016, the phenomenon was caused by an overflowing pipe spilled chromium-contaminated water on to streets.

The latest pollution scare comes after mass protests in dozens of towns and cities over plans to dump Moscow’s waste in surrounding regions.

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