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Heavy Metals Influence Risk in Tian-Shan Mining


Heavy Metals in Mining Objects of Tian-Shan: Migration, Risk Assessment

Tech Area / Field

  • MED-OTH/Other/Medicine
  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment
  • ENV-MRA/Modelling and Risk Assessment/Environment
  • ENV-RED/Remediation and Decontamination/Environment

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Kyrgyz-Russian Slavonic University, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek

Supporting institutes

  • National Academy of Sciences of Kyrgyzstan / Institute of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek

Project summary

Idea of the project. Assessment of the present risks from ecologically harmful natural and technogenic sources of heavy metals, radioactive metals, on human health and ecosystems in mountainous landscapes of Kyrghyzstan by picking out from the mass flow of pollutants the element received by human organism.

To realize this idea, it is planned to apply physico-chemical, geo-chemical and medico-biological techniques, worked out by the authors of the project for determining and assessing the impact of pollutants’ mobile forms, to selected objects of an ecosystem.

The participants of the project. Head organization is the Kyrgyz-Russian (Slavic) University; other participants - Institute of chemistry and chemical technology of the National Academy of sciences of Kyrgyz Republic.

State of the problem. Mining and processing activities create a permanent source of environmental pollution by heavy metals and matrix elements of the mountainous rocks.

Traditional practices of ecological monitoring are limited to mere evaluation of heavy metals’ gross concentration in the environment’s objects without taking into account the metals’ migrating capacity in that physico-chemical environment.

Thus occurs a serious methodological error that limits monitoring informational capacities and leads to incorrect evaluation of the risks.

There is need of determining heavy metals’ mobile forms for every type of geo-chemical landscapes. As the mountainous landscape of Kyrghyzstan is the cause for the wide range of existing geo-chemical landscapes and their anomalies that interact in most various structural forms, we have a rare opportunity to comprehensively analyse this problem.

Aim of the Project. To reveal the forms of discovering heavy and radioactive metals in soils in many soil types of natural and natural-techno genetic landscapes of the Kyrgyzstan, to define the mobile component in common balance. To work out methodology of estimating health risks for the population.

Objectives.The objects of researches are zones of ecological influence of Ak-tuz – Orlov’s mining complex (Pb, TR), Каrа-Balta’s mountain-metallurgical Plant (U, Mo, W), Haydarkan-Kadamjay’s antimonies-mercury complex.

Tasks of the project. Tasks are formulated as geo-chemical and medico-biological blocks.

The geo-chemical block. All ecological geo-chemical landscapes in the areas of active and preserved mining enterprises will be investigated, also checking profile, where all ecological geo-chemical landscapes of the Republic are represented but there were no and there are no mining enterprises.

Tasks of the geo-chemical block:

1. To carry out zoning of constant residence of the population in the mining areas by main types of geo-chemical landscapes.

2. To reveal physical and chemical properties of main soil types in various geo-chemical landscapes and correlation of most common heavy metal’s gross and mobile forms.

3. To carry out an experimental study of heavy metal’s migration capacity for different geo-chemical landscapes.

Medico-biological block. Bio-chemical monitoring and population health examination will be carried out in experimental and control groups.

Tasks of the medical–biological block:

4. To conduct medical and biological research and to estimate migration capacity of heavy metals in a trophic chains.

4.1. To create experimental and check (control) groups.
4.2. To carry out monitoring of heavy metals content in human bio- substrates at the experimental and control groups.
4.3. To carry out monitoring of polluted foods by heavy metals in experimental and control cohorts and to monitor the state of health of these groups.
4.4. To estimate migration capacity of heavy metals in a trophic chain: soil – food – human.
4.5. To evaluate the health state of the population.
4.6. To evaluate cell- and humoral immunity of population living in polluted and non-polluted areas.
4.7. To draw up a sicknesses and mortality rate scheme for the population of the regions examined.

5. To work out methodology of determining ecologically dangerous levels of heavy metals’ concentration in soil.

5.1. To work out methodology of determining ecologically dangerous levels of heavy metals’ concentration in soils of different geo-chemical landscapes.
5.2. To develop risk estimation methods for the population’s health from soil pollution by heavy metals.

Planned experimental methods. It is planned to use methods of chemical spectrums, radio-chemical, IR-spectroscopy, X-rays and differential thermo analyses.

Expected results. The results of common scientific practical importance on the real evaluation of ecological risks from environment pollution by heavy metals will be received, to be exact:

- An overview of the current state system of gathering information on state of soils and population health will be worked out.

- Data on physical conditions of studied regions and on concentration of mobile heavy metals in food chains in the basic types of soils of the natural and technogenic landscapes of Kyrghyzstan will be gathered, classified and analyzed.

- Heavy metals’ migration capacity in the food chain: soils--alimentary products--human organism will be evaluated.

- Appraisal methodology of ecologically dangerous concentrations of heavy metals in soils will be elaborated.

- A scheme of heavy metals’ diffusion in the environment that takes into account the multiplicity of forms of influence on humans will be worked out using the existing physical models.

- Integral indexes of heavy metals’ impact on health of different social layers of population of given local territories will be estimated.

- Recommendations on preference and succession of financing health care measures will be made to the local communities’ administration.


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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