General, Research, Technology

The dirtiest cities in Russia according to environmentalists

Today, those who want to breathe fresh air every dayit is better to live far from cities. And all because because of the abundance of factories and cars, the air in cities cannot be called clean. It is saturated with poisonous gases and microparticles of harmful substances that easily penetrate into the human bloodstream and provoke the development of dangerous diseases. Almost every year, scientists from around the world make ratings of the dirtiest cities. The leading positions in these lists are usually occupied by Chinese and Indian cities, but there are plenty of them in Russia as well. Moreover, we are talking not only about air pollution, but also about the amount of discarded garbage that has not decomposed for thousands of years. Within the framework of this article, I propose to figure out which cities in Russia are the dirtiest and why they were given such a status.

Krasnoyarsk is considered one of the dirtiest cities in Russia


  • 1 City pollution
  • 2 The dirtiest cities in Russia
    • 2.1 Krasnoyarsk
    • 2.2 Magnitogorsk
    • 2.3 Norilsk
    • 2.4 Gelendzhik
    • 2.5 Vladivostok

Pollution of cities

When it comes to air pollution, the so-called fine particles PM2.5... This term is usually understood as tinyparticles of any harmful substances with a diameter of 10 micrometers. This is a very small size, considering that even a human hair is 100 micrometers thick. But this means that about 40 particles are placed on the cross section of one hair! They easily enter the lungs and from there enter the bloodstream. Gradually accumulating in the body, they can lead to the development of dangerous diseases such as cancer. But do not forget that inhaling dirty air significantly increases the risk of problems with the work of the cardiovascular system. But they are one of the main causes of high mortality in the modern world.

PM2.5 particles pose a great danger to the human body

Modern cities not only suffer fromair pollution, but also a lot of debris. Particularly dangerous are plastic waste, which has not decomposed for thousands of years. And under the windows of most houses, cigarette butts accumulate, which also poison the earth for a long time. These piles of garbage also release substances harmful to the human body into the air. It is unlikely that this harm can be compared with the harmfulness of polluted air, but it does exist. But this garbage is harmful to nature as much as possible and ultimately leads to the development of global warming.

See also: The city with the dirtiest air became cleaner

The dirtiest cities in Russia

Recently, the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian FederationThe report "On Environmental Protection" listed Russian cities with the dirtiest air. Krasnoyarsk, Magnitogorsk and Norilsk were named the most dangerous cities for long-term living. According to ecologists, it is in these cities that the air is most polluted with harmful substances. Yes, and the usual garbage that poison the nature, there is in bulk. A similar list was published by the Swiss manufacturer of air purification systems IQAir, which also included Gelendzhik and Vladivostok. But why did these cities fail to please ecologists?


Krasnoyarsk is considered the dirtiest city andversions of the Ministry of Natural Resources, in the IQAir rating. This is one of the largest cities in Russia. As of 2020, it is home to over one million people. It is considered the largest industrial and transport city, because numerous industrial facilities are actively operating in it. And there are also a lot of cars there. According to ecologists, the ecological situation in this city is in such poor condition that local residents are literally suffocating from harmful emissions. And every year the pollution of the million-plus city is growing, as evidenced by the results of numerous studies.

It is believed that Krasnoyarsk lives in the "black sky" mode

One of the studies of the ecological situation inthe city was carried out within the framework of the "Practical Ecology" program. Like many other studies of this kind, it involved the collection of air samples. In 2014, only 0.7% of the air samples taken had an excess in the amount of harmful substances. In 2017, this figure reached 2.1%, which is three times more. It may seem that this is a completely insignificant growth. But even this rate of air pollution leads to an increase in cancer patients by 2.5%. This could end up with more than 400 patients per 100,000 inhabitants someday.

News like "Krasnoyarsk is covered with dirty air" appears very often

The bad environmental situation is also reported bythe residents themselves. In 2019, the Superjob portal conducted a survey, during which 70% of respondents complained about dirty air. Approximately 18% of the city's residents declared that the situation is quite “normal” for them. To everyone's surprise, about 4% of survey respondents called the city air clean.

In 2018, it was reported that one of the Krasnoyarsk oil depots pollutes the air with cumene, which damages the liver.

The most important air pollutants aremetallurgical and chemical plants. According to environmentalists, almost every weekend the city is covered with a cloud of hydrochloride, formaldehyde and other hazardous substances. Swimming is prohibited in many waters of Krasnoyarsk, because they are also considered dangerous for people.

See also: Where is the cleanest air on Earth?


The list of the dirtiest cities in Russia is alreadyFor several years in a row, the second largest city of the Chelyabinsk region, Magnitogorsk, has been included. The main source of harmful substances is the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works. It is here that various metals are produced from ores and other types of raw materials. In the course of these processes, a huge amount of substances harmful to the human body is emitted. According to the calculations of ecologists, the permissible concentration of harmful substances in the air exceeded 30 times.

When nitrogen oxide is released into the air, the so-called "Fox tail" is formed

The inhabitants of this city are forced to breatheformaldehyde, benzopyrene and nitrogen dioxide. Formaldehyde is a colorless gas that can cause headaches and respiratory problems. Benzapirene is considered to be an extremely toxic chemical that causes cancer. And nitrogen dioxide is a poisonous gas of red-brown color, which in high concentrations strongly irritates the respiratory tract.


Norilsk is almost always in the top threedirty Russian cities. It is also listed in the top ten dirtiest cities in the world according to Greenpeace. This city was built by GULAG prisoners in the 1930s. Subsequently, it became one of the main places for the extraction of precious metals. Until 2016, the Nickel Plant was considered one of the main air pollutants. But even after its closure and the reduction of harmful emissions by a third, the city of Norilsk did not become a more favorable place for living.

In 2020, thanks to self-isolation, the air in Norilsk has become much cleaner. They say that people from their apartments were able to see the windows of neighboring houses for the first time.

According to the calculations of ecologists, the factories located in the city are annually thrown into the air up to 400,000 tons of sulfur dioxide... This colorless gas with thematches "at high concentrations causes poisoning. Symptoms include a runny nose, hoarseness, and difficulty speaking. It is unlikely that the inhabitants of the city inhale it in large quantities at a time, but long-term exposure clearly has a negative effect on people's health. And in Norilsk it is not very easy for them anyway, because in winter the air temperature drops to -50 degrees Celsius.

Do you know how many years polluted air shortens people's lives?


Gelendzhik is considered one of the most popularresorts of the country. It is located on the Black Sea coast and attracts many tourists. Unfortunately, at the moment, many environmentalists are concerned about the level of pollution in the city. In June 2018, an unpleasant incident occurred in the city - a sewer burst. Dirty water hit the sea and tourists were forbidden to swim in it. Such cases can occur in any locality. But ecologists believe that Gelendzhik prone to it the most.

In 2019, there was a massive death of birds in Gelendzhik

Another source of pollution in the resortvineyards are considered. They literally flooded the city and with heavy precipitation mud flows from them into the sea. Also in the city, forests are being actively cut down and construction work is underway. This entire list of potentially dangerous factors forces environmentalists to include a well-known resort in the list of the dirtiest places in Russia.

See also: There are many fungal cells in the air we breathe. Why are they dangerous?


Vladivostok was included in this list becausethe main environmental problem in it is far from being caused by factories. According to environmentalists, there are so many cars in Vladivostok that they pollute the air to the maximum. A particularly high level of air pollution was observed in 2014. Then the maximum permissible nitrogen dioxide concentration was doubled... I mentioned above that this red-brown gas is very irritating to the respiratory tract.

Gray snow in Vladivostok

Also in Vladivostok, seriouswater pollution. The reasons are industrial and sewage effluents, as well as polluted waters of rivers that flow into the sea. Fortunately, recently, the city authorities have been actively monitoring wastewater treatment and environmental problems have been resolved in time.

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It is important to note that in Russia there are otherdirty cities, the environmental situation in which is even more deplorable. These cities include Lipetsk, Cherepovets, Novokuznetsk, Chelyabinsk and several other large cities. The aforementioned settlements were chosen in part because they are unusual and unexpected. As you can see, Moscow and St. Petersburg are not among them, because these are far from the most polluted places in our country.

Moscow and St. Petersburg are far from the dirtiest cities in Russia

Our site also has a great article about the most poisonous city in Russia. It is located in Chelyabinsk and is called Karabash. Enjoy reading!