Category Archives: Eastern Europe/Central Asia

A Mother’s Story: Mongolian “Gold Ninja” Goes Mercury-Free For Her Children

This is Mrs. Mungun (not her real name), a single mother with two children living in Central Mongolia.  When times got tough for her, she became a “gold ninja” to feed her children. About 20% of the rural Mongolian workforce are “gold … Continue reading

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Project Highlights 2015: A String Of Firsts

Over the past year, we have started to finally see a shift connecting the silos that have kept efforts on the environment, health and development in separate disciplines. The catalyst for much of this progress has come from the creation … Continue reading

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A Toxic Beach in Azerbaijan Gets Cleaned Up, Solar Baths Become Safer

Read the story on Medium. This summer, when families return to stake out their spot in the sun along the coast of the Caspian sea in Sumgait, Azerbaijan, there will be one crucial difference. The beach will no longer be toxic, and … Continue reading

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The Mystery of Mining Waste Dumped In An Armenian School

Beyond Akhtala, the site of our very first cleanup project in Armenia (read more in Armenia’s Toxic 10th-Century Monastery), our team came across various other polluted sites including a school, which apparently had been used as an informal dumping ground by a … Continue reading

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Armenia’s Toxic 10th-Century Monastery (PHOTOS)

The modern world has finally caught up with Akhtala, a historic town with a 10th-century monastery and church in Armenia. Years of mining and metals processing have provided jobs to the community, but at a grave cost.  The grounds of the historic … Continue reading

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Businessweek Chronicles Dangerous Cleanup, Blacksmith/Pure Earth’s Global Successes

                  “Fuller and Pure Earth (Blacksmith) have amassed an impressive record of success. But nothing could have prepared them for a situation like the decrepit Soviet dynamite* factory.”  [*Note:  We want to … Continue reading

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A Deadly Secret: The Story Behind The Cleanup of a Former Soviet Arms Site

Just how hard is it to clean up a toxic polluted site sitting on top of a “bomb,” at a secret site? This month’s TCE magazine features the story behind our work dealing with one of the most dangerous examples … Continue reading

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Mercury, Mining and Mongolian Ninjas

This week’s post comes from Andrew McCartor, Blacksmith’s program director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, who was recently in Mongolia.   There is no preparing for the Mongolian winter. When I stepped onto the tarmac in the capital city … Continue reading

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At the Roof of the World in Tajikistan

This week’s post comes from Andrew McCartor, Blacksmith’s program director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, who is currently in Tajikistan. The small, mountainous country of Tajikistan is a former Soviet republic that borders Afghanistan to the south and China … Continue reading

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Eliminating Obsolete Pesticides in the Former Soviet Union

Over 40% of the world’s stockpiles of obsolete pesticides, around 200,000 tons, are estimated to be still present in the former Soviet Union Republics including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Moldova and Russian Federation. Blacksmith has been invited to join … Continue reading

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