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Toxic Site Identification Program in Azerbaijan

Abstract

The need to protect communities from hazardous waste is an important agenda for any nation. Although pollutant management and policy development are attempted in many developing countries, it is not always successful due to limited funds, project resources, and access to trained experts to conduct toxic site identification projects. For this reason, Pure Earth created the Toxic Site Identification Program (TSIP). The goal of the TSIP program is to provide reliable information and data that identifies location of toxic sites and the level of toxic severity. TSIP is significant because it provides developing countries a database of ranked toxic sites identified as hazardous risk to human health. For example, Azerbaijan is one of the most polluted post-Soviet nations, but has limited resources to address and manage its polluted sites. The Azerbaijani TSIP database is the first reliable data source that identifies hazardous pollutants in the country. Our study is significant because it discusses how the TSIP labels and ranks the level of toxic severity to human health. It is also the first data source in Azerbaijan that identifies which Soviet legacy toxic sites are affecting local communities. Although our study is specific to Azerbaijan, the TSIP method can be applied to nations with similar data limitations and the need for a database that identifies country specific environmental and hazardous locations. The data sampling method and results are mapped and accompanied by tables of the collected pollutant types to identify communities at greatest health-risk to legacy toxic sites.

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Acknowledgements

The TSIP program in Azerbaijan was supported by European Commission. Authors express much gratitude to Andrew McCartor, Bret Ericsson, Richard Fuller and the Pure Earth Team who greatly contributed to the Toxic Site Identification Program (TSIP) in Azerbaijan. Authors also thank two anonymous reviewers for constructive comments, which substantially improved quality of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Rovshan Abbasov.

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Abbasov, R., Cervantes de Blois, C.L., Sharov, P. et al. Toxic Site Identification Program in Azerbaijan. Environmental Management 64, 794–808 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-019-01215-1

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Keywords

  • Toxic sites
  • Pollution
  • Pesticides
  • Benzene
  • Metals
  • Health impacts