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Armenia – Assessment of Heavy Metal Pollution

the details…
Key pollutant
Arsenic, chromium, lead, and cadmium
Mining tailings

Soil, water, direct contact

Population affected
Children Under 6 Affected
DALYs averted
Cost of project
American University of Armenia
Project Partners



In 2012, Pure Earth partnered with the American University of Armenia (AUA) to lead the first independent, comprehensive assessment of toxic pollution in Armenia. This program looked for contaminated sites that threaten the health of Armenians.

After two years of field research, we identified 29 sites where toxic pollutants such as heavy metals and banned pesticides jeopardize the health of local residents. Now we are working with local partners to solve these problems.
The town of Akhtala has large mine tailings piles in residential areas within the town and is contaminated with arsenic, chromium, lead, and cadmium. Partners will conduct an in-depth assessment of the town, lead a blood lead monitoring campaign, and conduct community training programs.

In 2014, Pure Earth and AUA completed a unique project to conduct the first detailed environmental health assessment of a mining town in Armenia. Using advanced environmental and medical monitoring equipment, we discovered extremely high levels of toxins in gardens and playground in mining and metal processing towns.

Pure Earth and AUA conducted community education programs to help residents reduce their exposure to dangerous toxins and public information campaigns to raise awareness of the problem.

As of January 2014, partners had begun the process of reviewing the project with local and national leaders. Hundreds of soil samples have also been collected from all over the town.

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From The Pollution Blog: