Introduction

Ecological risk (ER) from water pollution may be considered from several viewpoints: scientific, engineering, economic and social. The social aspect is expressed in a form of possible consequences for the health of the population (Tal and Linkov, 2004; Kondratjeva, 2005).

For a long time, ecological risk in the Amu River was associated with phenol pollution (1995-2002). For many indigenous people, fish is the main food and the fish smell was called "phenol smell". Studies of natural substrates (water, bottom sediments and fish) and human samples (blood, urine, human milk, placenta) revealed various toxic substances. Benzene and its derivatives were found in fish and human milk and placenta (Ryabkova, 2002).

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