Monday, May 16, 2011

[Comunicable diseases, mental health and exposure to environmental pollutants in population living near Las Bambas mining project before exploitation phase, Peru 2006]. [Article in Spanish]

Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica. 2010 Oct-Dec;27(4):512-9.
Astete J, Gastañaga Mdel C, Fiestas V, Oblitas T, Sabastizagal I, Lucero M, Abadíe Jdel M, Muñoz ME, Valverde A, Suarez M.
Centro Nacional de Salud Ocupacional y Protección del Ambiente para la Salud, Instituto Nacional de Salud, Lima, Perú.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of communicable diseases, mental health and environmental pollutants exposure in population living near Las Bambas mining project before exploitation phase. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Cross sectional study performed in 453 subjects (children and adults) living in three Apurimac region districts: Haquira, Chalhuahuacho and Progreso. Psychomotor development, intelligence quotient, anxiety and depression levels and the presence of communicable diseases (viral hepatitis B, C and delta, syphilis and HIV) were evaluated, as well as heavy metals (lead in blood, and cadmium, arsenic and mercury in urine samples) and serum cholinesterase levels. RESULTS: Mean age was 29 ± 17.25 years, 59.2% were female and a range of 6 to 15 years of living in the area was found. No cases of HIV, hepatitis C and delta were found, 1.4% were positive for syphilis and in relation to hepatitis B, we found 1,7% of subjects positive to total anti HBc and 0.5% positive for HBsAg. Heavy metal testing identified people with exceeding limits of mercury in 1.8% arsenic in 4.6%, lead in 24.3% and cadmium in 43.9%. Besides, 29.1% of the population had cholinesterase levels below normal range. Among children, 12.5% were at psychomotor development levels of risk; 2.1% and 3.1% suffered from mild and borderline intellectual disability (mental retardation), respectively. 34.3% of subjects older than 12 had anxiety and 17.5% depression. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence of heavy metal environmental pollution and presence of communicable diseases in this population were already found. Future careless mining activity could worsen the current health situation.

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