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Chemical and Radiation Effects on Children in Aral Region


Estimation of Chemical and Radiation Loading on Children’s Organism in Region of Aral Sea Ecological Catastrophe and Elaboration of Rehabilitation’s Strategy

Tech Area / Field

  • MED-OTH/Other/Medicine
  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment
  • BIO-RAD/Radiobiology/Biotechnology
  • BIO-CGM/Cytology, Genetics and Molecular Biology/Biotechnology

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Visser H

Leading Institute
Kazakh State University of Medicine, Kazakstan, Almaty

Supporting institutes

  • Institute of General Genetics and Cytology, Kazakstan, Almaty\nNational Nuclear Center of the Republic of Kazakstan / Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kazakstan, Almaty


  • The Edelson Center for Environmental and Preventive Medicine, USA, GA, Atlanta\nJuntendo University School of Medicine, Japan, Tokyo\nGoettingen University / Department of Paediatrics, Germany, Göttingen\nDépartement d'immunologie / Laboratoire National de Santé, Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Project summary

Tragedy of dying Aral Sea caused the nature’s ecological catastrophe of great region of Central Asia and population living on this territory. High concentration of chemical toxic substances is observed in Aral Sea region, powerful spring which one is part of dried-up bottom of Aral Sea. The quantity of dusty days had increased till 180 in year for last 15 years. Frequency of dust-salt storms had increased in 10 times furthering formation of lead-acid rains. Every year till 150 millions tons of saline dust rise in atmosphere (V.R.Kuchma,1992, A.V.Vervihvost, 1993). Around 100 milliards tons of salts lie on the Aral’s bottom. If sea’s bottom will be bared completely, that offset of salt will increase in 100 times (U.I.Lihachev, 1990). As a result it cause of mineralization of precipitation, frequent of lead-acid rains, salting of soil and reservoirs. This had the negative affect on quality of drinking water and agriculture production and characteristics of air basin. Nature of region is polluted by products of combustion of rocket fuel on launch of rockets from «Baikonur» cosmodrome, and so by waste of Uranium industry and polymetallical centres. It is known, that in February, 1956, in region of Aralsk the ground-level atomic explosion was held with aim of staggering factors of atomic arms investigation. Middle part of radioactive cloud went over Aral Sea region after test of first thermonuclear charge («Nuclear testes of USSR», Moscow, 1997).

Unfavourable environment factors of Aral Sea region influence on health of children living in Aral Sea region. On anxious information of Committee of Public Health is stated, that the healthy children are not in Aral Sea region, and 89% from them have simultaneous defeat of different organs and systems which proceed on background the harsh delay of physical and sexual ripening. Investigations which were relieved earlier put the high level of children’s sick rate and mortality in Aral Sea region, oncologic diseases’ increase, prenatal mortality, gravidity’s non-carry, frequency of children’s birth with multitude stigmas of embriogenesis, defect of development.

With position of human health the extremely relevant is detection the level of chemical and toxic substances and radionuclides in environment’s components and children’s organism living in region of Aral Sea catastrophe for danger’s establishment of origin the heavy combined chronic pathology of systems and organs, oncologic diseases, inborn defects of development.

Alongside with learning of Aral Sea environment factors’ influence on physical and mental development of child, study the influence of chemical and radiation factors on genetic human apparatus. This will allow to learn origin, course and prognosis of new diseases at the children from Aral Sea region, which one were not described in clinical paediatrics earlier. In result of conduct of these investigations on an example of Aral Sea strategy of saving of population‘s health in regions of ecological catastrophes will be elaborated, which one can take place at any time and in any place of Planet.

The confirmations about availability of chemical toxic substances and radionuclides in ecosystem’s components of Aral Sea region and children’s organism will be received by physicochemical analysis which fulfilled by «weapon scientists».

The competence of project’s participants (Doctors of Sciences - 7, Candidates of Sciences - 10) will allow to conduct the objective appraisal to real chemical and radiation loading on children’s organism in region of Aral Sea ecological catastrophe for elaboration of rehabilitation’s strategy.

The present project is in full accord with the ISTC objectives:

– realisation of the project will allow to develop strategy of rehabilitation health a children, living in regions of ecological catastrophes;
– the present project outcome is in conformity with civil needs;
– it encourages involving the Kazakstan weapons scientists and engineers into the international scientific community.

The aim of this project: Estimation of Chemical and Radiation Loading on Children’s Organism in Region of Aral Sea Ecological Catastrophe and Elaboration of Rehabilitation’s Strategy.

The tasks of this project:

1. To receive quantitative data which characterise quality of Aral Sea region’s environment;
2. To definite macro- and microelemental composition of biological substrates of children living in Aral Sea region;
3. To establish pathogenetic peculiarities of «new diseases’» forming (lung’s fibrosis, chronic gastroduodenitis, nephrourolitias, colitis, toxic hepatitis) which cause by environment factors at the children;
4. To learn condition of cell’s genetic apparatus at the children in conditions of high availability of mutagenes in Aral Sea region’s environment;
5. To learn relationships of cause and effect between condition of children’s health and quality of Aral Sea region’s environment.

Expected outcomes:

– the quantitative data describing an environmental quality in Aral Sea catastrophe will be obtained;
– the mechanisms of new diseases forming at the children living in ecological unfavourable regions which were not described in clinical paediatrics earlier will be studied;
– correlation between qualitative characteristics of air basis and frequency of lung pathology forming in coastal regions of Aral Sea will be studied;
– correlation between quality of drinking water and frequency of alimentary tract and kidney system pathology forming will be studied;
– frequency of chromosome and chromatide aberrations at the children living in regions with different degree of unfavourable environment factors influence will be determined;
– main rehabilitation’s methods of children living in Aral Sea region, and main measures and methods of prophylactic will be elaborated.

Volume of activity:

The work will be from next stages:

– estimation of environment’s quality (definition of concentrations of toxic substances and radionuclides in environment’s components - water, air, food);
– clinical researches - full clinical and laboratory inspections of children living in region of Aral Sea catastrophe;
– investigation of biological objects - definition of level of chemical toxic substances and radionuclides in blood, urine, dents, liver tissue, brain tissue, kidney tissue, bones by postmortal investigation at the children before living in Aral Sea region and lost from different causes;
– cytogenetic analysis grounded on calculation of chromosome aberrations by means of study from 100 till 200 cells from every child with following composition of results data with inpidual peculiarities of clinical diagnosis;
– molecular genetic examination of children living in Aral Sea region by Fish- method;
– comparative analysis all data by statistic analysis methods;
– elaboration of rehabilitation strategy on the base of result data.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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