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April 11, 2015 11:38 AM

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The Polish city of Krakow is known for its rich history and culture - and also its air pollution. Health officials say Krakow has some of the most polluted air in all of Poland. That country has the most polluted air of any country in the entire European Union, so that's quite a distinction. A smog hangs over Krakow during the colder months of the year. That's because its residents are burning coal in their homes to stay warm. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson traveled to Krakow and found that few who live there are willing to stop.

SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, BYLINE: Arleta Wolek shows off her coal-burning stove in her basement in this hillside Krakow neighborhood. The furnace is four years old, and she feeds it from a nearby pile of coal that's almost as tall as she is.

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