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Czech experts present shocking findings into Karaganda ecology

© Karandashov P. © Karandashov P.

Ecologists from the Czech Republic made public their shocking findings into the environmental situation in Karaganda Oblast of Kazakhstan. Before making the conclusions, the experts had been taking samples of water and air in various parts of the region for two years, Tengrinews reports citing  31 Channel.

Receiving funding form the EU, in these two years, the Czech environmentalists drove 6000 kilometers and took 150 samples in 14 "hottest" spots. The environmentalists believe that the most contaminated sites in Kazakhstan are the town of Balkhash, where the oldest iron and steel enterprise of Kazakhstan is located, as well as Lake Balkhash, Temirtau town and the surrounding villages, Intumak water reservoir, Ekibastuz town, Glubokoe village in East Kazakhstan Oblast, Stepnogorsk town, the Irtysh and Nura rivers, Shabanbai bi village in Kyzylorda Oblast.

Everyone knows that Balkhash and Temirtau are polluted towns. But the statement of the Czech experts are quite shocking. And expert in the field of persistent organic pollutants Jindrich Petrlich said that the results of the findings suggested it was not advisable to eat chicken eggs in the villages near Temirtau and on the downstream of Nura, eat fish from the water reservoir of Intumak. He also advised against swimming in the Nura river. He said that the concentration of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) was very high in eggs, even in remote villages, where one would not expect any contamination.

Polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, are among the strongest poisons in the world. They can stay in the environment for a long time and accumulate in the body, thereby causing hormonal, cancer and other diseases.

However, the Oblast officials doubted the results of the research. Zulfukhar Zholdas, head of Karaganda Oblast of the Department of Ecology, said: “As far as we know, the samples were taken and sent to the Czech Republic, were compared to the PCB standards of the Czech Republic, not those of Kazakhstan. Whether that organization is even accredited we don’t know.”

The Department of Environment of Karaganda Oblast assured, the country's industrial giants allocated billions of dollars for clean-up. Nevertheless, they thanked the foreign environmentalists and promised to conduct an investigation of their own.

By Dinara Urazova



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