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Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1726-4634

Abstract

ASTETE, Jonh et al. Comunicable diseases, mental health and exposure to environmental pollutants in population living near Las Bambas mining project before exploitation phase, Peru 2006. Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica [online]. 2010, vol.27, n.4, pp. 512-519. ISSN 1726-4634.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1726-46342010000400004.

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.

Keywords : Health profile; Mining; Communicable diseases; Pesticides; Environmental pollutants; Mental health; Rural settlements; Peru.

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