Health is the most important integral indicator, which reflects impact of socio-economic, environmental, medical, biological and demographic processes in society. The study of health state of population is of particular relevance to deteriorating environmental situation. Environment studies and its interaction with a person is complex environmental problem.
Environmental degradation is associated with increase in environmental impact which is significantly greater than possibility of human recovery and adaptation abilities.
Global production of chemicals, according to Commission of European Community (2001), has grown from 1 million tons in 1930 to 400 mln. tons at present time. Very urgent is problem of toxic substances impact on human body in daily life due to poor conditions.
Anthropogenic pollution is especially pronounced in industrial towns and agricultural settlements in zone of industrial facilities influence. It is proved and accepted by international community statement according to which health state is determined by four major factors:
- ecological (up to 20%);
- social and economical (up to 50%);
- genetic (up to 20%);
- medical assistance condition (up to 10%).
According to WHO, an average 30-80% of environmental change determines contribution of human health change.
Anthropogenic environmental changes pose threat to child population’s health in the first place. Health status is relevant to eco pathologic problem because in recent decades there is tendency to increase frequency and severity of disease in childhood. Consequence of poor ecological lands’ state were environmentally – caused diseases. Ecopathology develops, usually under influence of threshold and subthreshold ecotoxins concentrations and is characterized by various forms of the weakest in morphological and functional systems of human body and the most vulnerable parts of population (infants, pregnant women).
Nowadays growth of non-specific diseases with prolonged exposure to environmental pollutants is observed. Older people are exposed to chemicals over a long period of time. In this connection, cumulative effect of this influence may cause diseases’ manifestation.
In children, incidence rates are mainly subject to respiratory diseases such as bronchial asthma, bronchitis, emphysema. In adults – diseases of cardiovascular diseases and tumors. The most sensitive to adverse environmental and social factors are children whose health is considered as overall performance. Children’s health is traditionally viewed as quality ecosystem indicator.
The body of children is in process of growth and development therefore they are more susceptible to influence of various environmental factors and factors of low intensity, moreover influence of external factors on child’s body is not limited to moment of impact, and impact on its future development and formation. Children due to age-related vulnerability and adaptive mechanisms and other anatomical features are the most sensitive to external influences.
One of the most accurate indicators of population in places of residence is newborns’ health.
In close connection with action of toxicants there are such medical and demographic indicators as indicators of physical development of infants, newborns pathology structure, frequency of children born with multiple stigmas of embryonic development. Environmental factors play an increasingly important role as one of leading causes of morbidity and mortality in child population. Over the past 10 years there has been increase in incidence of children’s morbidity by 42.5%. It registered an increase in respiratory diseases by 34% including bronchial asthma, digestive – 77.4%, nervous system – 15%.
It is defined increase in incidence of cancer in structure where leading place is occupied by malignant neoplasms of blood. Children are more vulnerable to influence of anthropogens due to immaturity of age defense mechanisms, metabolic rate, more active utilization of organs and tissues coming from environment harmful substances.
It proves connection between chronic exposure to different concentrations of harmful substances, followed by appearance of functional disorders, chronic diseases, tumors, congenital abnormalities and other health and development features.
Scientists’ research showed that contribution of environmental factors in spread of respiratory diseases (bronchial asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis) in children is 37-43%. Environmental degradation leads to increase in overall incidence of child population and number of pathological forms which are marker of ecological trouble.
Environment pollution, being a major factor affecting population’s health has negative impact and natural population reproduction on morbidity, mortality, especially for socially disadvantaged groups (children, elderly people, women).
The scale of human-induced disturbance on environment is considerable and has gained in terms of changes in human environment and ecological consequences, not only for the large industrial centers, but also for medium and small cities (100-150000 people).
In terms of concentration of industrial enterprises in small areas and non-compliance of environmental factors, issues of environmental factors influence are of particular importance. According to research share of significant effect on disease was:
- lead – 11,6-42,3%;
- benzopyrene – 19,4-33,6%;
- carbon monoxide – 5,8-35,85%;
- nitrogen dioxide – 6,25-26%;
- ammonia – 17,6-38,4%;
- phenol – 9,6-16,8%;
- sulfur dioxide – 5,3-12,3%;
- dust – 5,8-9,6%.
When there is content of hydrogen sulfide, carbon, ammonia in atmosphere of city average adult morbidity increases several times.
According to many researchers, primary disease is largely influenced by environmental factors.
There is increasing number of patients with circulatory blood system diseases are:
- sensitive indicator of aggressive external factors;
- consequence of factors impact including total use of chemicals in all spheres of life.
This phenomenon is explained by direct and indirect effect of toxicants.
European Regional Bureau of the World Health Organization believes that the most important air pollutants are:
The more the children are affected by formaldehyde, the higher the incidence of respiratory diseases is. Xenobiotics penetration in human body come into initial act of interactions adsorption at surface cells, by interactions and transport across cell membranes, and then accumulated in various organs and tissues.
The level of accumulation of xenobiotics in body can be significantly different from individual groups of population as a result of differences in their metabolism and excretion of foreign substances. It is explained by heterogeneity of human population in sensitivity to toxic compounds. It is believed that changes in health status are reflections of changes in body’s mechanisms of adaptation to environmental conditions.
A healthy person can not always adapt to any changes in environment. More than 2/3 of population lives in air pollution conditions. More than 50 000 people are exposed to poly – toxins’ concentrations above occupational exposure limit (OEL).
The most significant factor in population health is atmospheric air state, and air is necessary to recognize the most unmanageable environment with which there is personal contact during all life long.
Human respiratory system is most closely associated with environment, air pollution affects its condition directly. Human lungs are organ that absorbs without any selection any contaminants present in air. Lung pathology is essentially symptomatic to ecological air environment disbalance. In ecologically unfavorable areas, level of respiratory tract disease including asthma in children is higher than in clean areas.
Antropogenic factor on children’s health priority is as follows:
- air pollution by nitrogen oxide;
- pollution by carbon disulfide;
- pollution by sulfur dioxide;
- noise level in city;
- air pollution by formaldehyde;
- intensity level of electromagnetic fields;
- air pollution by suspended solids;
- air pollution by carbon monoxide.
The general rule says, the younger the child is, the more sensitive his body to environmental factors is.
- Eco-pathogenic exposure led to emergence of new, previously unknown diseases: chemical asthma (sulphate, nitrate, isorhodanate);
- common immune depression;
- itai-itai diseases;
Allergic reactions are observed in up to 30% of child population, prevalence of allergies has increased by 3-5 times, 10-15% of children suffer from bronchial asthma.
Lung pathology, including childhood, is symptomatic indicator of ecological environmental disbalance.
In structure of allergic diseases children polynosis occupies a leading position. Domestic dermatologists have noted a tendency to increase in number of children with allergic dermatoses.
Children living in areas with unfavorable atmospheric air pollution, level of environmental situation is observed deviations functioning of cardiovascular system. The natural environment is given 15-20% effect on neuro-mental health.
High levels of air pollution may play a role in formation of malignant tumors – 70% of cancer cases due to presence of carcinogens in environment.
More urgent research is conducted to establish quantitative dependence on health status of environmental factors. The study of diseases in children is revealed strong association with air pollution by sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and other compounds.
Using multivariate correlation analysis it has been established strong correlation between air pollution and infant pneumonia (r = 0,95), allergic diseases (r = 0,66).
When carrying out correlation analysis it was revealed causal relationship between frequency of respiratory diseases and concentration of nitrogen dioxide in air (r = 0,87), carbon monoxide (r = 0,87); number of tumors and concentration of nitrogen dioxide (r = 0,85), carbon monoxide (r = 0,83); frequency of toxic disorders correlated with environmental pollution by nitrogen dioxide (r = 0,89).
According to Kasperczyk and Steplevski (2002), prolonged exposure to sulfur oxide (r = 0.95; p <0.05), nitrogen dioxide (r = 0.98; p <0.05), carbon monoxide (r = 0 92, p <0.01) cause a sharp increase in number of bronchial asthma disease in children.