One of the largest environmental polluters in Chapaevsk (Samara Region, Russia) is the Middle Volga chemical plant. From 1967 to 1987, it produced hexachlorocyclohexane (lindane) and its derivatives. Currently, it produces crop protection chemicals (liquid chlorine acids, methyl chloroform, vinyl chloride, and some other chemicals). Dioxins were detected in air (0.116 pg/m3), in soil (8.9-298 ng/kg), in the town's drinking water (28.4-74.1 pg/liter), and in the cow's milk (the content of 2,3,7,8-TCDD was 17.32 pg TEQ/g fat). The mean content of dioxins in seven pooled samples of human milk (40 individual trials) was 42.26 pg TEQ/g fat, in four female workers' blood samples -412.4 pg TEQ/g fat, in six residents blood samples (those who lived 1-3 km from the chemical plant) -75.2 pg TEQ/g fat, in four residents' blood samples (5-8 km from the plant) -24.5 pg TEQ/g fat. To assess cancer risk and reproductive health status, official medical statistical information was used. In general, the male cancer mortality observed rate in Chapaevsk is higher than expected. The SMR is higher for lung cancer 3.1(C.I. 2.6-3.8), urinary organs 2.6(C.I. 1.7-3.6). Chapaevsk women have a higher risk overall due to breast cancer 2.1(C.I. 1.6-2.7) and cervix cancer 1.8(C.I. 1.0-3.1). The incidence rates were higher for lung cancer in males and for female breast cancer in all age groups compared to Russia and Samara Region in 1998. Significant disruptions in reproductive function were detected. The mean frequency of spontaneous abortions in the last seven years was statistically higher 24.4% in Chapaevsk (compared to other of the towns region). The average rate of premature labor was 45.7 per 1000 women in Chapaevsk that is significantly higher than in most Samara Region towns. The frequency of newborns with low birth weight was 7.4%. In Russia and in most of the Samara Region towns, this rate is lower (6.2-5.1%) but not statistically different. For the determination of congenital morphogenetic conditions (CMGC), 369 children born between 1990 and 1995 were examined. The average number of CMGC per child was significantly higher, 4.5 for boys and 4.4 for girls. The first results indicated serious disruptions associated with high dioxin levels in human milk and blood in Chapaevsk. We suggest that Chapaevsk is an incredibly interesting site for further environmental-epidemiological research to assess the impact of dioxins on human health.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Environmental Health, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, Health Studies Branch, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. CRubin@cdc.gov
Developed nations share similar challenges to human health from commercial and agricultural chemicals that are released into the environment. Although Russia and the United States are historically distinct and unique, both countries are geographically large and economically dependent on emission-producing surface transportation. This paper describes U.S.-Russian collaborative activities that grew from a 1995 conference in Moscow that brought together environmental health investigators from both countries to discuss common concerns about the human health impact of environmental pollutants. Lead, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, and mercury were identified as contaminants of greatest concern. Collaborative studies were initiated that included collecting blood and hair samples and splitting samples for analyses in both countries, and introducing and sharing new portable blood and environmental sample analyses instruments. The findings demonstrated that hair analysis was not a good predictor of BLL and that Russian children in the first city sampled had a mean BLL of 7.7 microg/dl. Although higher than the U.S. mean, this level was below the 10.0 microg/dl CDC level of concern. This manuscript summarizes additional study results and describes their impacts on Russian policy. On-going collaborative environmental investigations are described.
The causes of the recent rise of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) incidence in Europe are discussed. Our objective was to estimate the impact of air temperature change on TBE incidence in the European part of the Russian Arctic.
We analysed the TBE incidence in the Komi Republic (RK) over a 42-year period in relation to changes in local annual average air temperature, air temperature during the season of tick activity, tick abundance, TBE-prevalence in ticks, tick-bite incidence rate, and normalised difference vegetation index within the area under study.
In 1998-2011 in RK a substantial growth of TBE virus (TBEV) prevalence both in questing and feeding ticks was observed. In 1992-2011 there was 23-fold growth of the tick-bite incidence rate in humans, a northward shift of the reported tick bites, and the season of tick bites increased from 4 to 6?months. In 1998-2011 there was more than 6-fold growth of average annual TBE incidence compared with 1970-1983 and 1984-1997 periods. This resulted both from the northward shift of TBE, and its growth in the south. In our view it was related to local climate change as both the average annual air temperature, and the air temperature during the tick activity season grew substantially. We revealed in RK a strong correlation between the change in the air temperature and that in TBE incidence. The satellite data showed NDVI growth within RK, i.e. alteration of the local ecosystem under the influence of climate change.
The rise in TBE incidence in RK is related considerably to the expansion of the range of Ixodes persulcatus. The territory with reported TBE cases also expanded northward. Climate change is an important driver of TBE incidence rate growth.
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