A preliminary survey of a remote mining and smelting region of the Russian Far East (RFE) indicates significant soil lead contamination and a high probability of childhood lead poisoning. Lead concentrations in residential gardens (476-4310 mg/kg, Gmean=1626 mg/kg) and in roadside soils (2020-22900 mg/kg, Gmean=4420 mg/kg) exceed USEPA guidance for remediation. Preliminary biokinetic estimates of mean blood levels suggest that preschool children are at significant risk of lead poisoning from soil/dust ingestion with levels predicted to average 13-27 microg/dl. Samples of other pathways, such as air, water, paint, interior dust, and garden produce, and pediatric and occupational blood lead levels are needed. An assessment of the industry's ability to improve emissions controls and materials handling should also be undertaken. Global lessons in remediating contamination problems and preventing childhood lead poisoning must be applied in innovative ways to meet the logistical, social, and economic challenges in the RFE.
(c) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).