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Public health problems in the Aral Sea region

After irrigation projects diverted water from the Aral Sea it began to dry up and left behind salts, other minerals and toxins in the soil. These not only contaminated the soil but also were picked up by winds and storms, and traveled to other areas, including over crop lands. This has led to increased health problems like respiratory diseases and cancers, among others. The change in the size of the Aral has also affected the local climate and resulted in increased occurrence and worsening of storms.