1067-4136/02/3301- $27.00 © 2002
Russian Journal of Ecology, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2002, pp. 19–22. Translated from Ekologiya, No. 1, 2002, pp. 23–26.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2002 by Yudakhin, Levit, Chistova, Popova.
A basis for solving the key problems of ecology lies
not only in studying the types and degrees of pollution
and setting formal no effect concentrations of pollut-
ants but in analyzing and predicting spatiotemporal
trends in changes of the properties of the environment.
Only these changes eventually result in ecological
disasters, and only knowledge of their trends makes it
possible to prevent a disaster or to efﬁciently eliminate
Humankind is an essential component of the biota,
which is exposed to the effects of natural and techno-
genic factors. As all life processes largely depend on
solar activity, the predicted increase of this activity in
the 25th cycle of this century (in 2024) is a matter of
concern. This is why research in this ﬁeld is important.
Malignant skin tumors present a major problem to
specialists in cancer research. They account for approx-
imately 20% of all malignant tumors and are third in
importance in the structure of oncological diseases. The
continuous growth of skin cancer morbidity in the
world is often referred to as a silent epidemic of the
20th century (Holman and Armstrong, 1984).
Today, exposure to solar radiation in the UV spec-
trum is among the most important exogenous factors
promoting the formation of malignant skin tumors.
Solar radiation is becoming increasingly carcinogenic
because of continuous depletion of the ozone layer in
the stratosphere. According to some data, even single
cases of exposure to high-intensity solar radiation are
of greater signiﬁcance for the development of skin mel-
anoma than chronic skin damage by UV rays, which is
largely responsible for squamous and basal cell skin
, 1995; Fradkin and
Ozone—triatomic oxygen found in the atmosphere
in a small amount—protects living nature from the
deadly effect of UV radiation by actively absorbing the
latter, so that the solar spectrum ends sharply at a wave-
length of 0.295–0.390
m. The total ozone content
(TOC) has distinct seasonal dynamics and geographic
distribution (Khrgian, 1973).
MATERIAL AND METHODS
TOC in the atmosphere is measured in atmosanti-
meters. The corresponding methods are based on the
ability of ozone to absorb UV radiation in the 280- to
330-nm range. For making measurements, specialists
use sunlight, moonlight, or diffuse light from a zenithal
portion of the sky in the daytime. Atmospheric aerosols
also attenuate UV radiation. To exclude their effect,
measurements are made in two spectral regions: one in
the ozone absorption band and the other at the periph-
ery of this band. Solar radiation is measured in relative
units with an M-124 instrument designed by G.P. Gush-
chin. Depending on the weather and astronomical con-
ditions, measurements are made using direct sunlight
(at an altitude of the Sun more than 10
) or the light
from a clear or cloudy zenithal sky, on the hour (
, 1981). According to the data
supplied by the Arkhangelsk State Hydrometeorologi-
cal Center, which has been monitoring TOC since the
1970s, this parameter has been steadily decreasing over
the past decade.
As reported by the Arkhangelsk Regional Oncolog-
ical Dispensary, malignant skin tumors account for
12.3% of oncological morbidity in the region and rank
third among oncological diseases in this respect.
The method proposed by Gamburtsev
was used as the standard for processing the data on skin
cancer morbidity (including squamous and basal cell
skin carcinomas and melanoma) over 15 years (from
1983 to 1998) and on TOC in the atmosphere over
Ecological Consequences of Atmospheric Ozone Depletion
in Northern Regions (Arkhangelsk Oblast)
F. N. Yudakhin
, M. L. Levit
, Z. B. Chistova
, and L. N. Popova
Institute of Ecological Problems of the North, Ural Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, nab. Severnoi Dviny 23,
Arkhangelsk, 163061 Russia
Northern State Medical University, Troitskii pr. 51, Arkhangelsk, 163061 Russia
Arkhangelsk State Hydrometeorological Center, ul. Mayakovskogo 22, Arkhangelsk, 163020 Russia
Received February 23, 2001
—Data on skin cancer morbidity and the total ozone concentration in the atmosphere over Arkhan-
gelsk were processed using a standard method. The results showed that ozone depletion contributes to the
increase of morbidity accounted for by this nosological form.
: total ozone concentration, malignant skin tumors.