Problems related to food security in Russian Arctic (dietary imbalance, predominance of carbohydrates, shortage of milk products, vegetables and fruits, deficit of vitamins and microelements, chemical, infectious and parasitic food contamination) have been defined in the literature. But no standard protocol of food security assessment has been used in the majority of studies.
Our aim was to obtain food security indicators, identified within an Arctic collaboration, for selected regions of the Russian Arctic, Siberia and the Far East, and to compare food safety in these territories.
In 18 regions of the Russian Arctic, Siberia and the Far East, the following indicators of food security were analyzed: food costs, food consumption, and chemical and biological food contamination for the period 2000-2011.
Food costs in the regions are high, comprising 23-43% of household income. Only 4 out of 10 food groups (fish products, cereals, sugar, plant oil) are consumed in sufficient amounts. The consumption of milk products, eggs, vegetables, potatoes, fruits (and berries) is severely low in a majority of the selected regions. There are high levels of biological contamination of food in many regions. The biological and chemical contamination situation is alarming, especially in Chukotka. Only 7 food pollutants are under regular control; among pesticides, only DDT. Evenki AO and Magadan Oblast have reached peak values in food contaminants compared with other regions. Mercury in local fish has not been analyzed in the majority of the regions. In 3 regions, no monitoring of DDT occurs. Aflatoxins have not been analyzed in 5 regions. Nitrates had the highest percentage in excess of the hygienic threshold in all regions. Excesses of other pollutants in different regions were episodic and as a rule not high.
Improvement of the food supply and food accessibility in the regions of the Russian Arctic, Siberia and the Far East is of utmost importance. Both quantitative and qualitative control of chemical and biological contaminants in food is insufficient and demands radical enhancement aimed at improving food security.
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The food- and waterborne disease situation in Russia requires special attention. Poor quality of centralized water supplies and sewage systems, biological and chemical contamination of drinking water, as well as contamination of food products, promote widespread infectious diseases, significantly exceeding nationwide rates in the population living in the two-thirds of Russian northern territories.
The general aim was to assess the levels of food- and waterborne diseases in selected regions of Russian Arctic, Siberia and the Far East (for the period 2000-2011), and to compare disease levels among regions and with national levels in Russia.
This study is the first comparative assessment of the morbidity in these fields of the population of 18 selected regions of Russian Arctic, Siberia and the Far East, using official statistical sources. The incidences of infectious and parasitic food- and waterborne diseases among the general population (including indigenous peoples) have been analyzed in selected regions (per 100,000 of population, averaged for 2000-2011).
Among compulsory registered infectious and parasitic diseases, there were high rates and widespread incidences in selected regions of shigellosis, yersiniosis, hepatitis A, tularaemia, giardiasis, enterobiasis, ascariasis, diphyllobothriasis, opistorchiasis, echinococcosis and trichinellosis.
Incidences of infectious and parasitic food- and waterborne diseases in the general population of selected regions of the Russian Arctic, Siberia and the Far East (2000-2011) are alarmingly high. Parallel solutions must be on the agenda, including improvement of sanitary conditions of cities and settlements in the regions, modernization of the water supply and of the sewage system. Provision and monitoring of the quality of the drinking water, a reform of the general healthcare system and the epidemiological surveillance (including gender-divided statistics), enhancement of laboratory diagnostics and the introduction of preventive actions are urgently needed.
Cites: Int J Circumpolar Health. 2013;72. doi: 10.3402/ijch.v72i0.2153023940840
Poor state of water supply systems, shortage of water purification facilities and disinfection systems, low quality of drinking water generally in Russia and particularly in the regions of the Russian Arctic, Siberia and Far East have been defined in the literature. However, no standard protocol of water security assessment has been used in the majority of studies.
Uniform water security indicators collected from Russian official statistical sources for the period 2000-2011 were used for comparison for 18 selected regions in the Russian Arctic, Siberia and Far East. The following indicators of water security were analyzed: water consumption, chemical and biological contamination of water reservoirs of Categories I and II of water sources (centralized--underground and surface, and non-centralized) and of drinking water.
Water consumption in selected regions fluctuated from 125 to 340 L/person/day. Centralized water sources (both underground and surface sources) are highly contaminated by chemicals (up to 40-80%) and biological agents (up to 55% in some regions), mainly due to surface water sources. Underground water sources show relatively low levels of biological contamination, while chemical contamination is high due to additional water contamination during water treatment and transportation in pipelines. Non-centralized water sources are highly contaminated (both chemically and biologically) in 32-90% of samples analyzed. Very high levels of chemical contamination of drinking water (up to 51%) were detected in many regions, mainly in the north-western part of the Russian Arctic. Biological contamination of drinking water was generally much lower (2.5-12%) everywhere except Evenki AO (27%), and general and thermotolerant coliform bacteria predominated in drinking water samples from all regions (up to 17.5 and 12.5%, correspondingly). The presence of other agents was much lower: Coliphages--0.2-2.7%, Clostridia spores, Giardia cysts, pathogenic bacteria, Rotavirus--up to 0.8%. Of a total of 56 chemical pollutants analyzed in water samples from centralized water supply systems, 32 pollutants were found to be in excess of hygienic limits, with the predominant pollutants being Fe (up to 55%), Cl (up to 57%), Al (up to 43%) and Mn (up to 45%).
In 18 selected regions of the Russian Arctic, Siberia and Far East Category I and II water reservoirs, water sources (centralized--underground, surface; non-centralized) and drinking water are highly contaminated by chemical and biological agents. Full-scale reform of the Russian water industry and water security system is urgently needed, especially in selected regions.
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Toxic elements emitted from the Pechenganickel complex on the Kola Peninsula have caused concern about potential effects on local wild food in the border regions between Norway, Finland and Russia. The aim of this study was to assess Ni, Cu, Co, As, Pb, Cd, and Hg concentrations in local wild foods from these border regions. During 2013-2014, we collected samples of different berry, mushroom, fish, and game species from sites at varying distances from the Ni-Cu smelter in all three border regions. Our results indicate that the Ni-Cu smelter is the main source of Ni, Co, and As in local wild foods, whereas the sources of Pb and Cd are more complex. We observed no consistent trends for Cu, one of the main toxic elements emitted by the Ni-Cu smelter; nor did we find any trend for Hg in wild food. Concentrations of all investigated toxic elements were highest in mushrooms, except for Hg, which was highest in fish. EU maximum levels of Pb, Cd, and Hg were exceeded in some samples, but most had levels considered safe for human consumption. No international thresholds exist for the other elements under study.