Romania The Blackest Town In the World

For miles and miles, every thing and creature in his once green valley is veiled in soot

"It took several hours for me to realize that I was still standing on the planet earth," says photographer Anthony Suau, recalling his trip last month to Copsa Mica. "It was as if a gigantic bottle of ink had spilled on the town." Copsa Mica's chief industry is tire production, and 24 hours a day its smokestacks heave out noxious, coal-based clouds that cake faces and fingers, cars and houses, grass and trees with endless soot.

Babies are born with malformed hearts, children suffer from bronchial asthma, and adults struggle with lead poisoning. Suau's stark photographs are but one glimpse of...

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