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Pesticides in the South of Russia

S. Lukjanchikova 08.05.2006
Источник: Source – “Juzhny Reporter”

Horrors of our village

On the chemical warehouses of the South Federal Districta lot of overdue and out of usage pesticides accumulated. Recently special attention in the struggle with “delayed-action mines” has been paid by the deputies of Legislative Assembly in Krasnodarterritory. Possibly because in Kubana way out from the crisis situation with deposits of useless pesticides was found: the scientists of the Kuban State University worked out mobile device which makes it possible to utilize on the place. The only thing that is left – to find the owners of the half-ruined warehouses and demand following of laws from their side.  

Attention! Mines!   

Pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, fungicide) were earlier called by their own name – pest-killers. Their main quality is to eliminate different forms of life (weeds, fungus, bacterium, insects, rodents). Later another not so horrified name was spread: “means of plants protection”. The change of the name didn’t change the essence – the most part of the pesticides remained to be synthetic chemicals with toxic qualities which are capable of breaking vital functions of organism and converting to poisoning. On the other hand in mass consciousness the fear before “peaceful” chemistry became dull. The slogan "Chemistry should serve to the harvest!" had led to that agricultural sectors were everywhere and unconditionally supplied with necessary (and not so) cheap for those times chemicals.     

Soviet battles for the harvests turned out to be chemical "delayed-action mines". Overdue and out of usage pesticides accumulated is All-Russian problem, - the vice-president of Legislative Assembly Committee dealing with questions of natural resources use and ecological safety of Krasnodar territory - Oleg Mihajlov - approves. - Since 1985 nobody prosecuted this subject. There was no time for it. Proprietors of farmland were changing one another, farmsteads appeared and went to nothingness while warehouses with chemicals were gradually collapsing, coming to desolation. Nevertheless nobody cancelled Federal law "About safe handling of pesticides and agrochemicals" issued on the 19th of July, 1997, on the contrary, to the year 2003 some changes and additions had been made in it. It is stated strictly there who, what for and precisely what responsibility bears.

However, high cost of recycling (from 33 up to 40 thousand roubles for ton) has led to such situation that it is easier to put this matter off. Basically work with the overdue pesticides was conducted in the following way – they were re-packed and continued to store in new package or were transported for recycling to special test sites (in Leningradskaya and Volgogradskaya regions). All those works required a lot of money, the result didn’t change by transportation of pesticides from one place to another: pest-killers continued to be kept – not here but there.    

Poisoning business

Not only pesticides getting from corrade tanks into the soil and atmosphere made threat to ecological system but also the business was started to be done on the overdue pesticides, - Oleg Mihajlov shares with us his fears, - now everyone who wants can sell agricultural chemistry. Such "businessmen" find ownerless warehouse, out of use or overdue products, pack them up in new packages and sell. In case of full “diseconomy” the duty on execution of the Federal Legislation in the field of safe handling of pesticides and agrochemicals falls on shoulders of Chapters of municipal formations. However not everyone understands the importance of the problem. During the work of the commission infringements were revealed in Armavir, in the city-resort - Anapa, in Temryuksky, Caucasian, Novopokrovsky, Seversky, Yeysky and Mostovsky districts. Materials are transferred to the Office of Public Prosecutor of Krasnodar territory. We have been conducting this work for two years".

Experts have inspected maintenance of safe storage, recycling and destruction of pesticides and agrochemicals on 1582 enterprises of all patterns of ownership. Reports are made, instructions are handed over and penalties are written out for the sum more than 877 thousand roubles.

“We understand that repackage and export of pesticides is not the decision of a problem, - head of NPO "Progress" Sergey Asauljuk joins the conversation. The mobile device for utilization developed by us is a way out. We have already shown its pilot sample in operation. Such device is not present anywhere in the world, it is ecologically harmless: toxic elements turn into low-toxic ones under the high temperature of 1200-1300 degrees, further plasma processing destructs them totally. Combinations which do not influence people’s health are thrown out into the environment. The main thing is that utilization of overdue pest-killers will cost for the owner twice cheaper (there are no charges for transportation and container). If power engineering specialists will provide favourable rates than the destruction of one kg of pesticides will cost approximately 20 roubles.

In all Ministries of Agriculture of constituents of South Federal District is spoken about an absolute must of taking the decision on a problem of pesticides lain for so long. Nobody can give exact figures of unnecessary pesticides but they assure that the official data cited in various reports does not reflect the up-today situation. In fact nobody calculated how many bags with pest-killers simply lay in woods, on roadsides and is dug into the soil.


Information:According to inventory in the Krasnodararea there are 435 chemical warehouses with capacity of 70482 tons. It is revealed after the checking that 64 chemical warehouses are in unsatisfactory condition (safe storage is impossible), 307 - in satisfactory, 64 - in good one. To the beginning of 2006 inchemical warehouses of the area 2245 tons of pesticides overdue or with expired limitation period were stored. More than one thousand tons of them are repacked, 856 tons (owing to measures taken in time) are stored in appropriate order, 74 tons are transported out of the area borders and utilized.

Full inventory of the pesticides which have become overdue, forbidden and lost their properties the number of which kept in Russia is over one million tons as well as warehouses and bases for their storage hasn’t been carried out till now.

  The following information is preliminary known: more than 24 thousand tons of pesticides, many of which are proof, highly toxic combinations are stored with infringements of operating rules. The greatest quantity of "delayed-action bombs" has accumulated in the SFD - more than 4,6 thousand tons.

   68 warehouses in the Rostovarea represent the adapted premises, 18 are destroyed entirely or to the half. Pesticides are stored here in paper and polyethylene bags or the rusted containers. The most ecologically dangerous burial place of pesticides is situated on the territory of joint-stock company "Vershinnoe" of Semikarakorsky district (more than 50 tons). In the surface layer of the earth near to a burial place the maximum permissible level of their maintenance is 20 times exceeded, on the adjoining farmland - 7 times. In sources of potable water high toxicity, significant concentration of sulfur is noted. In the territory of country Ozersky of the Verkhne-Donskoj district as a result of destruction of an interdistrict warehouse of chemicalization the test-control of artesian chinks and wells also revealed high toxicity.

  Inthe Astrakhanregion great work on gathering and transportation of the out-of-date pesticides to specials landfills of the Samara and Leningradareas was led, however there are 11 more warehouses, the majority of which are in the destroyed condition or are not passported.

Preliminarydata on inventory of the unfit for use, out-of-date and not identified pesticides (in tons):

     Volgograd area 244,5                                                          Dagestan Republic 248,2     Krasnodar territory 2497     Rostov area 1068     Stavropolsky territory 164,6     Kabardino-Balkarian Republic 55,3     Karachayevo-Cherkessian Republic 17,1     North Osetia – Alania Republic 123     (there is no information about other regions)

   Data of parliamentary hearings of the State Duma and materials of consideration of questions about pesticides in Security Council of the Russian Federation(2002-2004)

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