Acute intestinal infections were clinically and epidemiologically studied in children residing in the towns with different quantitative and qualitative composition of ambient air pollutants and in the districts of a town, which differ in the level of technogenic ambient air pollution. Six hundred and eighty patients with different types of shigellosis and 421 patients with salmonellosis admitted to the infection hospitals of the towns of Angarsk (an intensively polluted locality) and Irkutsk (a better ecological area) were examined in 1995 to 2000. The technogenic ambient air pollution was found to exert a noticeable impact on the incidence with S. sonnei dysentery. In poor environmental areas, all the infections under study are characterized by a great burden, duration, more severe clinical symptoms, and poor laboratory changes in the presence of a decreased responsiveness.
The impact of agriculture on water ecosystems is considered. The negative effects of entry of pesticides and biogens into the aquatic environment, which lead to its pollution and eutrophication and biota change and degradation, are shown. The author discusses whether it is necessary to meticulously monitor the aquatic environment in the intensively agricultural areas.
A statistically significant direct strong correlation was found between the annual average daily concentrations of air benz[a]pyrene and the lung and the gastric cancer morbidity rates in males and females, skin, thyroid, and ovarian cancer in females. The certain interval of the measured concentration of benz[a]pyrene and the recorded morbidity rate was shown to be characteristic of each of the above-mentioned tumors.
Increased contamination of the environment by toxic chemicals has resulted in the need for sensitive assays to be used in risk assessment of polluted sites. Traditional tests are useful to detect and measure concentrations of chemicals in the environment and in tissues. However, physicochemical assays possess deficiencies that impair their use in evaluating complex environmental contamination. We have developed cytogenetic procedures, including chromosomal, micronucleus, and flow cytometric assays, to assess the mutagenic damage of petrochemicals and low-level radioactivity on indigenous terrestrial and aquatic wildlife populations. These procedures are sensitive to the perturbation of DNA that results from exposure to mutagenic contaminants in both field and laboratory studies. The use of natural populations of animals in biomonitoring, combined with traditional chemical assays, will ultimately provide sufficient information to estimate the risk to human health and environmental quality from anthropogenic pollution.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies specific polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) as probable carcinogens. This study compares two PAH biomarkers and their relationship with geographic information system (GIS) based traffic density (a proxy of PAH exposure), and explores the determinants of the PAH biomarkers.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in Montreal with 200 volunteers (107 females and 93 males) ages 20 to 53 years. Data were collected by questionnaire, urine samples were used for biomarker analysis, and innovative GIS-based time- and distance-weighted traffic densities (TDWTD) were calculated for all locations of participants during the 48 h prior to urine collection.
Detection rates of the two biomarkers were greater than 95%. Female participants had higher 1-OHP and 1-OHPG levels than males, and no relationship was detected between TDWTD in 48 h and the two PAH biomarkers. Biomarker levels were related to smoking more than one pack of cigarettes in the previous 48 h, and among non-smokers, barbecued meat consumption increased the level of urinary 1-OHP (exp ß: 1.45, 95% CI: 1.07 to 1.98).
Both 1-OHP and 1-OHPG can be used to assess the relatively low PAH levels to which the general population is exposed. With the exception of smoking, the impact of PAH exposure factors on the biomarkers is relatively small in this study population.
The Arctic zone is full of controversies, unknowns, contrasts, and challenges. The following example is enlightening. Saudi Arabia is a country that has been considered to have almost unlimited possibilities because of its enormous oil earnings. The country has US$60 thousand million purchasing power parity oil income each year for its mere 22 million inhabitants. Astonishingly, the Arctic zone's income from oil, gas, and minerals is at least as large as that of Saudi Arabia, modestly estimated, but the Arctic has less than 4 million people. Most money, however, flows away from the tundra, yet social and environmental problems remain there. A part of the side effect of consuming these resources-largely fossil fuels-returns to the Arctic in the form of greenhouse warming and all its consequences. The Arctic zone now warms at approximately double the rate of the world average.
The study has established that only purple willow and cedar out of 23 species of the plants being examined are the most sensitive representatives of northern phytocenosis to the pollutants (heavy metals). Minimization of the air levels of pollutants and urbanized environmental sanitation require the re-orientation town-planning measures to a new scheme of creating a green plantation system, the expansion of whose area should be made in accordance with selection of plants of various species, by proceeding from the major tasks of the planting of trees and gardens and by taking into account the natural and climatic conditions for formation of ambient air pollution in this area, from the pattern of the placing and operation of structural-and-planning constructions of a town, from the morphofunctional features of representatives of northern phytocenosis to the action of man-caused impurities and environmental toxic substances. At the same time, while forming the environmental infrastructure the most important function of green plantations in the towns should be not only recreational and decorative, but also hygienic and sanitary ones that are to clear the environment from hazardous substances, to absorb gases, and to adsorb dust, which will undoubtedly promote environmental sanitation and therefore health maintenance and promotion in urban dwellers.
Complex analysis proves environmental pollution with lead and its compounds to be a serious problem for urban territories of Russian Federation, so immediate activities of authorities in charge are required. Recent decrease of lead releases into atmosphere is caused mainly by production decline, but considerable part of children in urban Russia is still under risk of lead intoxication.
The aim of the study was the qualitative recognition of the existing roadside pollutants deposited in topsoils located close to roads with high traffic volume. So far, the studies have helped to determine the content of pollutants that accumulated over a long period of time. Traditionally, it has been difficult to distinguish between roadside pollution and pollution from other industrial sources. In order to avoid such problems and to accurately recognize present threats originating from road traffic, test-monitoring plots were installed in Poland (Gliwice and Opole), Germany (Tübingen, Ulm and Böblingen), Finland (Helsinki), Tajikistan (Dushanbe) and China (Lanzhou). To install the monitoring plots, the upper 7 cm of topsoil was removed and replaced with boxes filled with clean quartz sand. The sand, with a known chemical composition and neutral magnetic (diamagnetic) properties, was considered as a neutral matrix for the accumulation of traffic pollutants. Within 24 months of exposure, both the magnetic susceptibility values and heavy metal content increased, but with highly diverse differences. The highest values were observed in Germany, Tajikistan and China. Correlation coefficients between the magnetic susceptibility values and investigated elements, as well as PAHs indicate that magnetic susceptibility is a geophysical parameter that can be used, under defined conditions, as an indicator of soil pollution caused by traffic emissions.