"In total, we visited five so-called 'hot spots' where we expected contamination by toxic substances and potential threat to human health and the environment. The samples will be analysed for heavy metals, such as mercury, and, further, for polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins. All of these substances have considerably adverse effects on human health. The Arnika Association has implemented the whole project in cooperation with the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague. The places for sampling were selected with assistance of representatives of local organisations EkoMuzeum and CINEST. Without their work, the expedition could not take place at all," said RNDr. Jindřich Petrlík, head of the Toxics and Waste Programme of the Arnika Association, about the circumstances of the expedition.
In the selected 'hot spots,' toxic substances may also endanger sources of drinking water which is very valuable in Kazakhstan, a country of steppes and deserts. The samples were taken in cities and villages, as well as near industrial plants, both in operation and closed down.