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International collaboration in prevention of lead intoxication

Lead and its compounds are considered one of the most dangerous risk factors for occupational health, and because of their global distribution in the environment — for the health of the population as a whole, especially for the most vulnerable part of it — pregnant women and children.

It is known that close international scientific cooperation is the key to success in solving current problems on chemical safety.

Kundiiev Institute of Occupational Health of the NAMS of Ukraine has been cooperating fruitfully with authoritative international health organizations (WHO) and (ILO) for almost half a century, participating in projects under the UN International Program on Chemical Safety (UNEP Chemicals).

Many year experience has been accumulated not only in the comprehensive assessment of working conditions in various fields of production, but, also, in prevention of negative effects of hazardous chemical factors on the health of workers and the population.

As a result of the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant there is a problem on radiation safety. In order to protect the liquidators of the accident and the population, the use of pectin, an enterosorbent of natural origin (Academician Trakhtenberg IM, 1986), has been proposed.

As it is known, the situation was complicated by the extremely high environmental pollution with lead compounds, used to extinguish the reactor fire.

For the first time for removal of radionuclides and lead from the human body pectin preparations have been developed in collaboration with the Kiev Shevchenko National University and “Summa Technologies” Ltd. (now — “Technologica”, Scientific-Production Enterprise, Ltd.).

Lately, pectin for individual prophylaxis was used to protect workers in various productions (accumulators, etc.), where the limiting chemical factor is lead compounds and other heavy metals.

The possibility of using pectin for prophylaxis is proved in experiments on animals in vitro (fig.2) and in vivo (fig.3), in clinical conditions (fig.4), for elimination of persistent organochlorine global pollutants from the body.

According to the results of pectin usage for reducing the impact of the pollution of the environment with heavy metals and persistent organochlorine compounds on the health of women and children there has been developed:

Methodical recommendations

  • “A system of preventive measures on preservation of the reproductive health of rural youth” (2009);
  • “Diagnosis, prevention and treatment of obstetric complications in somatically healthy pregnant women” (together with the Institute of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology (PAG) of the NAMS of Ukraine”, 2002;
  • “Bioprophylaxis in development of eco-dependent pathology for critical groups of the population in industrial cities” (together with Dnipropetrovsk Medical University, 2009).


“A method of prevention and treatment of anthropogenically induced obstetric complications in practically healthy pregnant women” (№2001117872) (together with the “PAG of the NAMN”, 2002).

As it is known, international scientific cooperation is the key to success in solving pressing problems of chemical safety. On the appeal to Kundiiev Institute of Occupational Health of the NAMS by Vietnamese colleagues, who are concerned about the risk of lead intoxications in workers and the population, especially children, an Agreement on scientific and technical cooperation in the field of individual pectin prophylaxis with the “National Institute of Occupational and Environment Health of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam “(Director General — Dr. Doan Ngok Hai) has been signed.

For the first time, according to the Agreement, a medical technology has been introduced, using pectin compositions (“PECTIN COMPLEX”, produced by “Technologica” SPE Ltd., Ukraine) for bioprophylaxis of adverse effects of lead on the body of children, and workers engaged in lead battery recycling.

The first stage in implementation of individual pectin prophylaxis in Vietnam is going on under the Joint Program of Actions by the Agreement. A discussion on the results and on important collaboration in prevention of occupational and ecology-related lead poisonings is ahead.