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Pollution by Pesticides


Evaluation of Soil and Water Pollution Level Around the Territory of Pesticide Burial and Storage Sites

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment
  • CHE-OTH/Other/Chemistry
  • ENV-SPC/Solid Waste Pollution and Control/Environment
  • ENV-WPC/Water Pollution and Control/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Valentine M

Leading Institute
Research and Production Center for Environmental Monitoring "RACEM", Russia, Kirov reg., Kirov

Supporting institutes

  • Russian Academy of Sciences / Center for Ecological Safety, Russia, St Petersburg


  • Public Health Agency of Canada, Canada, ON, Ottawa

Project summary

One of the most significant ecological problems in many regions of Russia nowadays is the consequences of longstanding storage and burial of pesticides. In the Kirov region there is a large pesticide burial and storage site – the Kilmezsky burial site for agricultural poisonous chemicals. More than 600 tons of pesticides such as chlorine, phosphorus, arsenic, and mercury containing chemicals, with the expired serviceable life, are buried there. According to environmental monitoring data, such pesticides as sodium trichloracetate (STCA), hexachloran, and mercury containing pesticides (from units to hundreds of m.p.c) can be found in water sources and soil there. It is not clear how big the polluted area is or how great the danger of environmental contamination in the future. Besides, to date the issues on content of chemical and biological transformation products in soil and water sources of the buried pesticides have not been studied.

The main purposes of this project are: 1) to evaluate the extent of soil pollution, by xenobiotics, around the areas of the pesticide burial sites; 2) to identify, in the laboratory, the indigenous strains of microorganisms that are capable of destroying the xenobiotics for the purpose of bioremediation of impacted areas; 3) to extend the obtained results to the decontamination of other objects (building materials, fabrics, etc.) polluted with organophosphorous pesticides.

In support of this project, the analytical studies of the extent of pollution in the soil and water surrounding the pesticide burial sites will be performed at RACEM.

In order to organize these investigations, it will be necessary to:

  • develop a work program,
  • identify a list of controlled substances (underlining their degree of danger),
  • choose possible deposition sites of soil and local water sources as potential indicators of pollution,
  • generate detailed descriptions of sample-cutting sites and hydraulic stations, and map them taking into consideration geomorphologic characteristic of land surface.
  • establish a “Laboratory Quality Maintaining Plan” (LQMP)
  • establish a “Sample Analysis Plan” (SAP),
  • establish “Standard Operational Procedures” (SOP).

In an effort to comply with International Quality Standards (GLP, LAB-17025, ISO-9000, ISO-14000), analytical laboratories (microbiological and chemical) will be fitted with state-of-the-art equipment on which staff will be trained and certified.

Complex chemical and microbiological investigation of soil samples will be performed at the pesticide burial and storage sites. Geochemical halos of pesticide pollution and species structure of microbiocenoses will also be studied.

Indigenous microbial species, destructive to pesticide active components, will be isolated, and their further selection will be carried out. Clean strains possessing maximal effectiveness will be obtained.

Techniques for generating biomass of destructive microorganisms, in laboratory quantity, are to be developed in order to ensure bioremediation of soil at polluted sites. For this purpose state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, including laboratory bioreactors (to study the processes of biomass cultivation and scale the processes) will be used. A work station will be constructed to evaluate the potential for microbiological decontamination of organophosphorous pesticides in the polluted samples taken from building materials, fabrics, etc The final stage of this work presupposes development of ways for the in laboratory cultivation of destructive microbial biomass. Study strains will be identified based on their possible applications to carry out decontamination in natural environment.

As a result of project implementation it will be possible to forecast further potential development of the situtation around the identified burial sites. This will be based on generated experimental data and methods of mathematical modeling of environmental pollution processes. As such it will be possible to give out recommendations on soil bioremediation to local authorities, aimed at improving the situation around the pesticide burial and storages sites.


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