Greatest Risks for Human Health in Alaverdi and Akhtala - Pollution with Arsenic, Cadmium and Dioxin

Greatest Risks for Human Health in Alaverdi and Akhtala - Pollution with Arsenic, Cadmium and Dioxin


According to the research he Czech “Arnika” organization, arsenic, cadmium and dioxins are at greatest risk to human health in Alaverdi and Akhtala communities, Lori Region.
Soil, food and human hair samples were analyzed. Samples were analyzed in the laboratories of Prague Chemical and Technological University and National Institute of Public Health. New research has confirmed the high levels of dioxins in freely-moving chicken eggs.

The research results show that agricultural areas are polluted with heavy metals. Alaverdi copper smelter, as well as Shamlugh copper mine and tailing dumps operated by Akhtala OPC, located directly next to the Debed River, are a source of heavy metal contamination for adjacent and further areas.

In some soil samples, the arsenic concentration exceeded the standard by 21 times. The concentration of dioxin in the freely-moving hen eggs exceeded the standard by 150-318 times. Experts see such an increase as a critical effect, given that eggs are used by children who are much more sensitive to toxins.

These findings were presented at the conference on "Impact of Polluted Environment on the Health of Lori Region Residents" held on December 6.

The participants of the conference were welcomed by the Deputy Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Armenia Jan Plešinger, representatives of the Ministries of Environment, Health, Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, Emergency Situations of the Republic of Armenia, MPs of RA National Assembly, NGOs, residents of Alaverdi and Akhtala communities participated in the conference.

"Further research is needed to determine the possible accumulation of cadmium and arsenic in the human body," said Jindrich Petrlik, director of Arnika organization.

 “Most of the sampled areas can be considered as contaminated. The content of chemicals in some cases poses a threat to the environment and human health,” Oleg Dulgaryan said, President of the Center for Community Mobilization and Support.

A resident of Mets Ayrum said he lives about 50 meters from nahatak tailing dump. She has three children who are permanently ill. A representative of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia stated that they have applied to the World Health Organization for methodological support, which will help to assess the impact of environmental factors on human health.

The event was organized within the framework “Strengthening Civil Society Impact on Solutions to Industrial Pollution Problems in Alaverdi and Akhtala” project implemented by “Arnika” Czech organization, Community Mobilization and Support Center NGO and EcoLur Information NGO with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.

December 09, 2019 at 12:59