EGU2020-20726, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Toxicity as a biogeochemical problem

Sergey Romanov1 and Elena Korobova2
Sergey Romanov and Elena Korobova
  • 1UE "Geoinformation Systems", Belarus (
  • 2Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russian Federation

Most part of the existing encyclopedic dictionaries and reference books define the notion of “toxic substances” as a certain group of elements and compounds capable of significantly worsening the physiological state of organism. With development of civilization the amount and variety of such substances is steadily increasing. The process is accompanied by a growing list of diseases of geochemical origin. Now the main efforts are focused on minimizing the consumption of the so-called toxicants although almost the whole world population is practically subjected to their impact. The prevailing inductive-empirical approach towards solution of the problem of toxicity, of course, gives useful results, but leads to an economically unacceptable increase in costs of its realization and, moreover, due to a specific spatial and temporal variability of the controlled objects the effective application of MPC (TLV) standards is significantly reduced.

The mentioned approach dominates but it does not exclude a deductive decision capable of providing the general solution of the problems of this class without a significant loss of accuracy and address capacity of the results. Such a solution can be found on the basis of theoretical biogeochemistry. Performed analysis enabled to draw to the following important inferences.

  1. Objectively “toxic” elements or compounds existed neither in the initial biosphere nor in modern noosphere, there existed only toxic concentrations.
  2. Diseases of a geochemical nature can be caused not only by toxic excess concentration of elements or substances but may also result from an artificial deficiency due to strict following of MPC prescriptions.
  3. The final result of the ecological and geochemical impact on living organisms is determined by specificity of spatial interference of the geochemical fields of natural and technogenic genesis.
  4. The problem of creating a universal algorithm for assessing the ecological and geochemical quality of the territory can be reduced to fixation of the difference between the ideal and the observed state of the environment.

The proposed approach does not have obvious contraindications, and the achieved level of development in measuring elements and compounds as well as that of computer technology makes it possible to practically implement the creation of a specialized technique.

A unique opportunity to test the hypothesis presented has appeared after the Chernobyl disaster, when the geochemical field of stable 127I has been shortly overlain by the field of the technogenic radioactive 131I.

Application of this approach opens up a new path to eliminating diseases of a geochemical nature and in the future will allow the creation of specialized decision-making systems for the safe organization of territories, the formation of the strategy an environmental-geochemical regulation and the prevention of microelementoses.

How to cite: Romanov, S. and Korobova, E.: Toxicity as a biogeochemical problem, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20726,, 2020


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