The paper presents some indices that characterize morbidity in the Moscow population, which suggest positive trends in the health status in all population groups. These include stabilization of overall morbidity rates; a down-increase in the incidence of respiratory diseases and bronchial asthma; a reduction in overall morbidity in infants of the first year of life, including a reduction in the incidence of life-threatening diseases (perinatal pathology and congenital malformations; a decrease in the incidence of alimentary diseases associated with social factors. The found positive changes reflect the efficiency of introduction of the sociohygienic monitoring (AHM) system. One of the mechanisms of introduction of AHM results is to submit data to the Moscow Government in the annual reports "On the Moscow population's health status" which cover demography, morbidity, female health, and the regional features of the population's health in relation to environmental factors. Based on information, managerial decisions and measures to improve the sanitary-and-epidemiological situation in Moscow are taken and implemented.
The Government of Moscow allocates substantial funds for the development of a sociohygienic monitoring (SGM) system and for the guidance of the population's health status monitoring in relation to environmental factors. The risk-assessing studies made jointly with the investigators of the A. N. Sysin Research Institute of Human Ecology and Environmental Hygiene, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, make it possible to determine priorities in risk control and to introduce new technologies for controlling the public health associated with the influence of social and environmental factors.
Environmental pollution has a negative impact on the health status of the population, on that of children in particular. In-depth developments of primary morbidity of childhood diseases of respiratory organs as a system that is mostly exposed to ambient air pollution have indicated that respiratory diseases, including their chronic forms, are more frequently notified in the children residing in the areas characterized by high levels of air pollution. Formaldehyde and nitric dioxide, i.e. the chemical compounds the concentrations of which exceed the hygienic normal values, make the greatest contribution to risk formation. In-depth analysis of morbidity rates in the children living in the areas along which the heavy-traffic motorways pass has demonstrated that chronic respiratory diseases are more frequently registered in these children than in those residing in the areas remote from the motorways. A role of social factors influencing the increase of the so-called alimentary-dependent diseases is shown.
Ambient air pollution by suspended matter is an environmental factor that has the greatest influence on the health status of the majority of the Russian Federation's population. There is extensive epidemiological and clinical evidence suggesting that ambient air pollution by suspended matter and its fine-dispersed fractions PM10 and PM2.5 in particular, poses a serious threat to human health. The existing Russian single and average daily maximum permissible concentrations of suspended matter are not a high risk from this type of ambient air pollution and fail to assess human health damage in full measure. To reduce the concentrations of suspended matter and their action on man is currently the worldwide priority task whose performance will save much money. There is a need to change an air pollution monitoring system (continuous monitoring of fine suspended matter of PM10 and PM2.5), as well as to substantiate and introduce Russian hygienic standards for fine suspended matter (PM10 and PM2.5).
As of 2006, the city's motor transport fleet amounted to as many as 3 million units that annually consume about 5 million tons of petrol. The use rate of all kinds of vehicles has increased, resulting in the growth of the proportion of ambient air pollutants discharged by motor transport, which surpasses the increase of the absolute size of the fleet. The contribution of traveling sources to ambient air pollution is growing steadily and it has been recently about 90% (1 million tons). Implementation of measures and developed managerial decisions, and ecological programs, improvement of Moscow town-planning measures, and environment-improving measures against motor vehicles have contributed to a reduction in chemical and physical burdens on the population. The characteristics of the capital's ambient air pollution have been recently observed to become stable and improve. There is stabilization in morbidity due to respiratory diseases in all population groups. The prevalence of chronic respiratory diseases in children is on the decrease, the increase rate was 1.4% versus 33.5% in the preceding period. Assessment of carcinogenic risk showed that ambient air pollution and drinking water contamination had a negative impact on the Moscow population.