Scand J Work Environ Health 1999;25 suppl 3:65-71    pdf

Environmental health in the east Baltic region -- pesticides and persistent organic compounds

by Tuomisto J, Hagmar L

Exposure to, and the potential effects of, pesticides and persistent organic pollutants in the East Baltic region are reviewed. Exposure of the average population to chlorinated compounds seems lower than in most of western Europe, and current pesticide use is very low. However, due to infrastructure failures and poor management controls, industrial hot spots and inadequate storage sites exist that cause high risks to small population fractions. The low exposure of the general population is indicated by low concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans and biphenyls in milk fat. Chlorophenol concentrations are also generally lower than in Scandinavia. Some organic pesticides have been found at higher concentrations in Baltic countries and the St Petersburg area than in Norway, but the range is roughly similar to that in central Europe. Thus the overall risk caused by pesticide residues and persistent organic compounds in the Baltic countries and northwestern Russia is low, but local sites of concern exist.