• Short Summary


    INTRODUCTION: Polish industry has suffered a decline as part of the general deterioration in the country's economic situation.

  • Description

    1. SV/CUs Patients in hospital beds (5 shots) 0.17
    2. GV Katowice low cloud and smoke (3 shots) 0.34
    3. CU LV Trains pulling away and making smoke 0.49
    4. GV closed steel works 0.53
    5. LV/CU People milling about (6 shots) 1.17
    6. CU/GVs Pithead wheel with workers' flats in foreground (2 shots) 1.28
    7. SV/CU Miners families queueing at food shops (4 shots) 1.44
    8. LV ZOOM IN Railway yards TO miners' apartments 1.49
    9. SV/CUs INTERIOR A miner's family seated at meal time looking at his certificates (5 shots) 2.17
    10. SV Same miner working in mine (4 shots) 2.36
    SEBASTIAN: "The burden on the hospitals here is enormous, for the level of serious disease is way up on the national average: cancer up thirty per cent, respiratory diseases up fifty per cent. Damage to the central nervous system is unusually common.
    "That's the quality of life in Katowice where on bad days an acid taste clings to the skin. They tell you that pollution is so great it even gets darker here earlier than elsewhere in the country.
    "For years pollution has gone on rolling through the area unchecked even unmonitored. Industry and transport have poured out sulphur and nitrogen into the atmosphere. It's even got to the stage where local officials want to declare a state of natural disaster.
    "Already one large and badly-needed steelworks has been forced to close. It's a city with a crisis of its own, separate from all the politics. The people are resentful. They say those outside the region don't realise what it's like. There isn't any relief from the food problems but here the pollution has struck as well. Official figures show a quarter of Poland's food polluted above mandatory levels.
    "Worst of all perhaps, there isn't any escape from the mines. The people here work inside them and sleep on top of them. It's a marriage now showing severe strain.
    "They all complain about the shortages for they used to be thought of as the industrial elite. They used to be pampered in Polish terms, now the state has little left to give them, not even hope. Doctors here often tell parents to get their children away from the city, but the dream seldom becomes a reality.
    "The Kosler (phonetic) family gets a couple of weeks by the seaside but it isn't enough and they expected more. Stefan has been a miner for twenty-five years. He can't afford to leave now. He says his daughter suffers a constant stream of gastric ailments in and out of hospital. He's got his prizes for long service, but they haven't brought him what he wanted. The future for him and his family is not something he enjoys thinking about.
    "Stefan does permanent night-shifts to help the family. It gives him more time at home during the day. What he produces used to make the country richer. Now, ironically, all that labour, organised without safeguards, may be doing more damage than he ever knew."

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: KATOWICE, POLAND

    INTRODUCTION: Polish industry has suffered a decline as part of the general deterioration in the country's economic situation. But there are still enough heavy and chemical industries producing industrial waste to affect the health of Poland's urban populations. Tim Sebastian of the BBC reports on the hazard of industrial pollution in Katowice.


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    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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