Assessment of environmental risks from atmospheric air pollution in industrially developed regions of Ukraine

Keywords: environmental safety, population health, heavy metals, atmospheric air, carcinogenic risk, non-carcinogenic risk


Currently, atmospheric pollution is one of the main causes of premature mortality in the world. The problem is especially relevant for economically underdeveloped countries, in particular Ukraine, the economy of which has been developing for a long time in an extensive way. The complicated socio-ecological situation in the territory of the country is due, first of all, to insufficient financing of the medical industry and environmental protection, outdated technologies in industries, etc. The purpose of the study is to assess the environmental risks of atmospheric air pollution in industrialized regions of Ukraine. Kharkiv and Dnipro regions, which are part of the Donetsk-Prydnistrovsky economic macro-district, a powerful center of metallurgy and machine-building of the national level, were selected for the study. As part of the study, the ambient air condition was assessed from the point of view of sanitary-hygienic norms in compliance with state environmental standards as well as the risks of carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic effects from atmospheric pollution.Regional monitoring data on average annual concentrations of common pollutants and heavy metals in the atmospheric air of the cities of Kharkiv and Dnipro regions were used in calculations, averaged over the period from 2014 to 2016. The results of calculations have shown that the total non-carcinogenic risk from atmospheric air pollution in all studied cities exceeds the permissible level: Dnipro – 19.8 HQ; Kamianske– 23.3 HQ; Kryviy Rig – 19.3 HQ; Kharkiv – 11.9 HQ. The pollutants: PM2.5, copper, formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, manganese and phenol mostly contribute to the greatest non-carcinogenic risk.  The dominance of these chemicals and elements in the structure of pollution in the studied cities leads to high probability of development of harmful effects in the respiratory organs – 11.1 to 22.3 HQ; cardiovascular system – 2.9 to 12.3 HQ; immune system – 1.7 to 4.7 HQ; eyes – 0.8 to 4 HQ; central nervous system – 1,4 to 4,6 HQ.  The risk of carcinogenic effects is calculated  for substances with proven carcinogenic effects: formaldehyde, nickel, cadmium, lead and chromium. The obtained carcinogenic risk from atmospheric air pollution within the studied cities falls into two categories: conventionally acceptable level of risk and acceptable level of risk. The greatest carcinogenic danger is from pollution of atmospheric air by chromium. Contribution of chromium to total carcinogenic risk ranges from 53.6 to 90.6%. Taking into account the obtained results, it is expedient to include the assessment of the risks to the population’s health in the system of monitoring and control of the environment in Ukraine.

Author Biographies

A. N. Nekos
V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University
Yu. V. Medvedeva
V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University
N. I. Cherkashyna
V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University


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