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AWHHE - Through Toxic-Free Products to Healthy Generation

Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE) have actively been involved in the 2013-2015 Project “Through Toxic-Free Products to Healthy Generation”, designed to promote civic engagement in the national policy targets aimed at reducing harm caused by toxic metals by targeting relevant national policies, increasing stake-holder awareness on exposure to hazardous metals.

Environmental pollution due to heavy metals is a serious problem in Armenia, where relatively little has been done to accurately assess this concern. There are several investigations around heavy metal pollution in Armenia, showing the noticeable level of heavy metal pollution in soil, atmosphere and watersheds and also the influence of heavy metals on human health, in particular children. Laws designed to protect the environment in Armenia do exist, but have largely been ignored both before and after Armenian independence.

Limited data means an accurate inventory assessment is hard and it does not provide reliable environmental data sets that are necessary for determining the environmental impact.

Trace metals are known to cause a wide range of adverse health effects because metals do not break down, are excreted very slowly, and accumulate in the body. Exposure to pollutant trace metals can cause many ailments including dermatitis, cardiovascular diseases, central nervous system disorders, lung, kidney and liver damage, birth defects, and cancer. Mercury, lead and cadmium are dangerous neurotoxins, interfering with the brain and nervous system. Exposure can be particularly hazardous for pregnant women and small children. Even in low doses, trace metals may affect a child’s development, delaying walking and talking, shortening attention span and causing learning disabilities.

This report summarises the results of the two year project

Last updated on 10 June 2015

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