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Residential property sits near ArcelorMittal steelworks in Zenica.

Residential property sits near ArcelorMittal steelworks in Zenica.

Photographer: Giles Clarke/Getty Images
Business
Climate changed

Pollution Is Choking Europe’s Poorest Region

The air in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo can be worse than Beijing on some winter days.

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Ruzica Simic spends her spring mornings sweeping coal dust off her garden path. It’s almost a daily chore, but preferable to the black snow that falls in winter. That’s when even breathing becomes laborious, she says.

Such is life in the dirtiest corner of Europe, a continent still cleaved along its old Cold War fault line when it comes to the environment. While the campaign against climate change is now firmly part of the political mainstream in the west, next door a toxic souvenir from communism continues to blight lives.