There are a number of issues related to environmental pollution and its impact on human health in Kyrgyzstan. In the early 2000s there were over 680 million cubic meters of dumps (mechanically fractured rocks) in the country. These dumps occupied an area of 1500 hectares. The dumps contain heavy metal compounds and other toxic substances which were used to extract valuable components from ore (such as cyanides, various acids, sulfates, nitrates, etc.). Additionally, one of the greatest threats to human health and the environment in Kyrgyzstan is the disposed waste from uranium mining, which is located in the northern and southern regions of Kyrgyzstan. All uranium mines in Kyrgyzstan were closed at the end of the 1960s, but a large amount of environmentally hazardous waste remains in the republic. At present, most of the tailings and dumps in the republic are not looked after, are exposed to water and wind erosion, are located in zones which have a high risk of seismic activity and are prone to landslides and mudslides. Territories of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan, where about 5 million people live, are under high risk of possible contamination.
To determine the number of people at risk from toxic pollutants, as well as their locations, Pure Earth has been working to identify and evaluate toxic sites in Kyrgyzstan since 2007. To date, researchers have already evaluated and described 47 toxic sites located in different regions of the country. The total population at risk from environmental pollutants is estimated to be 100,846 people. Beyond site identification, Pure Earth has done several toxic site cleanups in Kyrgyzstan in order to improve the health and well-being of local communities.
Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health- Kyrgyzstan Summary
Pollution is responsible for 14.7% of deaths in Kyrgyzstan. Learn more about how pollution affects health and the economy in Kyrgyzstan by reading the Kyrgyzstan Summary Report, based on the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health.
Country and Project Reports
- Kyrgyzstan Country Report 2018
- Mailuu-Suu Legacy Uranium Dumps Report
- Naiman Mercury Cleanup Report
- Sovetskoe Lead Cleanup Report
Read more about our work in Kyrgyzstan in The Pollution Blog: