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Russian scientists to study health of Arctic indigenous peoples

  • Published in Society
© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

The Lomonosov Northern Arctic Federal University is the only university located in the Russian Arctic zone

MOSCOW, March 6. /TASS/. Scientists of the Lomonosov Northern Arctic Federal University will organize an expedition to collect biological samples from the Arctic’s indigenous peoples to see changes over recent teen years, the University’s press service said on Tuesday.

"We have blood samples taken from people, who live in the Yamalo-Nenets Region, and by summer we shall see whether they contain heavy metals," the press service said. "This year, scientists will go to a big expedition in the Chukotka and Nenets regions, where they will take samples of blood, milk teeth and hair, and first results may be ready by end of the year."

According to the press service, some individual tests were taken from the Arctic’s residents about ten years earlier, and this year’s research will show how health of the Arctic’s indigenous people has changed over the past ten years, and what changes could be seen in the local ecology systems.

Besides, the University’s researchers will analyze Arctic fish and birds’ eggs, which the locals eat, to see whether the food contains hazardous and toxic substances. Scientists say eggs and eggshells have tested positive of poisonous substances, which birds eat at areas, polluted with heavy metals and pesticides, and then as they migrate those pollutants get to the Arctic areas, where the birds make nests and lay eggs.

The Lomonosov Northern Arctic Federal University is one of Russia’s ten federal universities. It is the only university located in the Russian Arctic zone.