PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTS: ASIA
Turkmenistan – a new independent state located in western part of Central
Asia. The country’s climate is acutely continental. Arid climate fosters
accumulation of various pollutants, including persistent toxic substances.
Currently Turkmenistan experiences a period of dynamic industrial and
agricultural development, particularly, in such spheres as extraction and
processing of hydrocarbons, power generation and chemical industry. Potential
sources of persistent toxic substances include several enterprises working as
units of Turkmendokunchemistry concern (Turkmen agricultural chemistry), such as
fertilizers production complexes in Turkmenabat and Mari, chemical plants in
Balkanabat and Khazar.
At the same time significant amounts of persistent toxic substances, such as
dioxins result from burning household wastes at urban garbage collection
facilities. These assumptions are purely hypothetical since there is no
established system ensuring constant monitoring of persistent toxic substances,
except for chlorine-based organic pesticides (DDT and its metabolites).
Application of the vast majority of persistent chlorine-based pollutants is
prohibited in Turkmenistan. At the same time residual DDT accumulations have
been identified in all agricultural regions.
As a result of inadequate monitoring of persistent toxic substances there are no
programs ensuring control over emissions of above mentioned pollutants. Within
next several years development of dioxins monitoring system should be among our
top priorities, which will require across the board upgrades of technical and
Currently one of the major issues is represented by the need to store large
quantities of pesticides and other outdated chemical substances, as well as
substances banned from further application. Storage of highly toxic substances
is a major toxicological, hygiene and ecological issue, which has to be
addressed at the national government level.
Currently more than 1,350 tones of above mentioned substances are stored in
specialized facilities located in four regions of the country.
Unfortunately, inadequate attention is devoted to the outdated pesticides
recycling issues. As a result of the lack of economically justified effective
recycling methodologies almost all pesticides are utilized by means of
By V. Glazovskii
Chief, Department of Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Nature