A conference ”Arctic biomonitoring” opened at NarFU
The main topics of the First International Conference “Arctic Biomonitoring ”, which takes place at the university from 26 to 27 November, were the impact of industrial exploration of the northern latitudes on the environment, medical and ecological well-being of people and legal regulation in these areas. Among the speakers of the event are leading scientists from Russia and the world.
As the head of the NArFU Arctic biomonitoring laboratory, Tatyana Sorokina, said, the conference is reporting to NArFU researchers who are involved in the project of a megaprant of the Government of the Russian Federation aimed at identifying pollutants that adversely affect health in the human body.
“During the two years of our existence, we made 13 expedition trips to the Nenets Autonomous Region, began work on the territory of the Chukotka Autonomous Region, carried out analytical work with a huge amount of selected material, concluded cooperation agreements with research centers in Russia and abroad. Now we have received the first data on the content of pollutants in fish, which are consumed by the inhabitants of the NAR. Excess tolerances were not detected there. Selected blood samples of the local population. Before the end of the year, we plan to complete the analysis of these samples in order to find the relationship between the food consumed and the health of the northerners. We also developed several proposals for amending the legislation, in particular, for conducting environmental monitoring in the Russian Federation, sent advising proposals to the Government and received an answer that our proposals had been submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology for consideration. Now we are waiting for the final decision of the authorities on the introduction of relevant amendments to the legislation, ”said Tatyana Sorokina.
The researcher said that the conference is expected to establish a productive dialogue and build a system of interaction in the implementation of biomonitoring in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation. Tatyana Sorokina noted that the NArFU is aimed at cooperation with the Northern UGMS, with Rospotrebnadzor, with institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences and other organizations.
At the opening of the conference, the project manager of the megagrant, the leading scientist of the Arctic biomonitoring laboratory, Ingvar Tomassen, emphasized that NArFU is currently the main center of biomonitoring in the Arctic. The researcher noted that a large number of chemical elements accumulate in the Arctic, which may pose a risk to the health of northerners.
“We need to focus on the biomonitoring of the Arctic environment and understand how various chemical elements affect nature and humans. We have well-studied reagents and chemical elements, but there are less studied compounds. There are persistent organic pollutants that are released by plants and accumulate in the natural environment. Their concentration increases. This is both organic and inorganic compounds, in the Arctic they are becoming more and more. During the conference, we will consider the sources of these pollutants, the effect of their impact on public health, we will find out where these pollutants come from, ”said Ingvar Thomassen.
The Norwegian researcher also stressed that special attention will be paid to the study of the health of pregnant women, since this group of the population is most sensitive to the influence of various pollutants in the environment.
The conference is chaired by a professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Technical Sciences, and the chairman of the Arctic Health Monitoring and Assessment Program Health Assessment Group, Jon Oivind Odland, spoke about global health issues. He noted that many environmental problems remain in the world, that women began to give birth less, the tendency of increasing human population slowed down. The main problems of the Arctic Jon Oivind Odland called climate change, environmental change and lifestyle, which not only suffer from infectious diseases, but often poorly monitor their health.
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