Experts from the Czech non-governmental organization "Arnika" arrive in Armenia to present research results on chemical pollution of industrial areas

Experts from the Czech non-governmental organization "Arnika" arrive in Armenia to present research results on chemical pollution of industrial areas

On 14 December a conference on chemical safety of Armenian communities affected by mining industry will be held in Yerevan. In the framework of the conference, experts from the "Arnika" Czech NGO will sum up the results of the program "Civil Society Participation in Advocacy for Chemical Safety in Armenia" and present the results of the two-year research, implemented with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. The programme is implemented jointly with NGOs from Armenia - Centre for Community Mobilization and Support and the “EcoLur” information NGO.

The main results of two years of research in Armenia's industrially polluted areas will be presented on 14 December in Yerevan at a conference on the chemical safety of Armenia's mining-impacted communities. Valeria Grechko, program coordinator from Arnika, will present the report "Biomonitoring and mapping of heavy metal distribution in four mining communities in Armenia". "For two years we sampled water, land and biological materials in the Ararat, Lori, Kotayk and Aragatsotn regions. We studied the pathways of toxic heavy metals contained in pollution sources such as the Karaberd open-pit gold mine, the Meghradzor open-pit gold mine, the Ararat gold processing plant and the adjacent Ararat cyanide tailings dam, the Tukhmanuk gold mine and the adjacent three tailings dams. In total, we collected and analysed 55 samples taken from soil and bottom sediments in the rivers, as well as examined 83 biological samples taken from local residents,"- said Valeria Grechko.

Oleg Dulgaryan, the Chairman of the “Center for Community Mobilization and Support” NGO, will organize the discussion on the impact of mining activities on the health of residents living in impact communities and the necessary reforms.

Local residents, who were directly involved in the sampling, were particularly interested in the results of the research. From 11-13 December, Arnika experts and partner teams from the Centre for Community Mobilization and Support and EcoLur Information NGO will visit Karaberd village of Pambak Extended Community, Melikgyukh village of Aparan Extended Community, Meghradzor village of Tsakhkadzor Extended Community and Ararat village of Ararat Extended Community to present information on the content of heavy metals and toxic elements in the samples taken. Discussions will also be held on minimizing the identified environmental and health risks.

The study's results showed a high load and widespread presence of toxic elements such as arsenic and lead in the environment.

Amounts of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, lead, vanadium, and zinc amounts in the samples were analyzed in laboratories in Usti nad Labem and Prague (Czech Republic).  

December 08, 2023 at 11:31