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.
In the article there are considered the main problems of assessing public health risks of the combined effects of high temperatures and air pollution with the account taken of the consequences of abnormally hot weather observed in summer 2010 in Moscow and without equals in the history of meteorological measurements in the city. The daily average concentrations of fine suspended particles matter (PM10) in the city during peatland fires from 4 to 9 August are emphasized to be within the range of 431-906 µ/m3, being 7.2-15.1 times the Russian maximum permissible concentration (MPCs) (60 µ/m3). The anomalous heat and high levels of air pollution in this period were shown to cause a significant increase in excess mortality among the population of Moscow. There was established the relative gain in mortality from all natural causes per 10 µg/m3 increase in daily average concentrations of PM10 and ozone, which was respectively: 0.47% (95%; CI: 0.31-0.63) and 0.41% (95%; CI: 0.31-1.13). On the base of the statistical analysis of daily mortality rates, meteorological indices, the concentrations of PM10 and ozone there was developed marking scale for the risk assessment of these indices accordingly to 4 gradings--low (permissible), warning, alert, and a hazard level. There has been substantiated the importance of the introduction of the system for the early alert for hazard weather events and the unified rating scale for the hazard of high air temperatures and high levels of air pollution with PM10 and ozone, which allows to take timely measures for the protection of the public health.
A method for measuring nitrogen dioxide (ND) individual exposure was developed. Levels of ND in lodgings and outside air were measured. On the whole these levels were different: in lodging air lower than outside; but if there were gas sources in lodgings it was vice versa.
In the article the perspective directions of development of methodology of the analysis of risk in Russia with taking into account the last world achievements in this area and requirements to harmonization of a system for control of environment quality are considered. Main problem questions of the analysis of risk in relation to regulation of nature protection activity were emphasized to be related as well with insufficiency of legislative, standard and executive support for this direction of administrative activity as with the need of the solution of the methodical questions concerning new tendencies of justification and use of reference levels of chemicals, development of modern approaches to the specification of cancerogenic and not cancerogenic risks, including cumulative ones.
The lack of adequate legislative and regulatory framework for ensuring minimization of the health risks in the field of environmental protection is the obstacle for the application of the risk analysis methodology as a leading tool for administrative activity in Russia. "Principles of the state policy in the sphere of ensuring chemical and biological safety of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2025 and beyond", approved by the President of the Russian Federation on 01 November 2013, No PR-25 73, are aimed at the legal support for the health risk analysis methodology. In the article there have been supposed the main stages of the operative control of the environmental quality, which lead to the reduction of the health risk to the acceptable level. The further improvement of the health risk analysis methodology in Russia should contribute to the implementation of the state policy in the sphere of chemical and biological safety through the introduction of complex measures on neutralization of chemical and biological threats to the human health and the environment, as well as evaluation of the economic effectiveness of these measures. The primary step should be the legislative securing of the quantitative value for the term: "acceptable risk".