In my virtual exploration I found on the map another city which was iconic for communist industrialism and is considered one of the most polluted towns in Europe, Copşa Mică. The polluted area was marked on the map in shades of strident neon colors, like a deadly poisoning plant which attracts attention by using such a visual trap. Suddenly I was experiencing the digital version of the place, a sensation of colored territory which I could never have in reality. The more I zoomed into the space the more colored it became.
The town is best known for its status (in the 1990s) as one of the most polluted in Europe. This was due to the emissions of two factories in the area:
One, open from 1935 to 1993, produced carbon black for dyes; its emissions permeated the area for nearly sixty years, leaving soot on homes, trees, animals, and everything else in the area. The stain from these decades of deposits are still visible.
The other source of the pollution, less visible but with even more serious effects to the health of the town's residents, was Sometra, a smelter whose emissions have contributed to significantly higher incidence of lung disease and impotence, along with a life expectancy nine years below Romania's average.