Objective: Contribute to the global Youth for a Toxics-Free Future Campaign
A group of 20 volunteers among students is set up to implement the following activities:
- An open Facebook group is created: https://m.facebook.com/groups/865974701166533/?ref=share&mibextid=NSMWBT
- A webinar will be organized to discuss the role of youth in solving the problem of lead in paint.
- A flyer is created: (https://www.facebook.com/groups/865974701166533/permalink/927414381689231/?mibextid=Nif5oz); https://www.facebook.com/groups/865974701166533/permalink/881442322953104/?mibextid=Nif5oz.
- A short video on lead in paint is created: https://www.facebook.com/groups/865974701166533/permalink/927414051689264/?mibextid=Nif5oz; https://www.facebook.com/groups/865974701166533/permalink/892269698537033/?mibextid=Nif5oz.
- The materials created by Armenian youth are disseminated via the social media (AWHHE Youth Group): (https://www.facebook.com/groups/771372976317865/permalink/5891875367600908/?mibextid=Nif5oz;
- Armenia joined the call voiced in the petition to call for prioritizing the chemicals safety agenda worldwide, it is open for signatures. The text is below.
The text of the petition:
The project objective: to ensure the effective implementation of obligations under Basel, PIC, Stockholm Conventions and the Minamata Convention as well as SAICM
The awareness – raising campaign will contribute to the successful implementation of national plans related to chemical conventions as well as to SAICM and SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) Goal 3 “Ensure healthy lives and promote well being for all at all ages”, in target 3.9, “by 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination”. Goal 12 “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”, target 12.4, which is aligned with the overall SAICM objectives. “by 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals….. and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment”.
- Stockholm Convention
- POPs listed in the Stockholm Convention
- Endocrine disrupting chemicals
- No to lead poisoning
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Types of Household Light Bulbs (reprint)
- Broken fluorescent lamps are dangerous to health (reprint)
Objective: Information about the import and utilization of chlorpyrifos in Armenia
- The main crops that use chlorpyrifos for pest management
- The annual import of chlorpyrifos in the country for 2021
- Human health and environmental impacts caused by chlorpyrifos in the country; from scientific literature, health reports or studies conducted in the country
- Government initiatives to minimize the use of chlorpyrifos, replacing with other alternatives or ban chlorpyrifos
- Policy framework that is in place or intended to be in place with regards to chlorpyrifos
- Reports and fact sheets in Armenian language and communicate to government officials, the media and the public
In the period from December 2019 to February 2020, AWHHE prepared a country report on HHPs (in Russian language), including information on their management and promotion of HHPs phasing, available alternatives, non-chemical approaches in agriculture, such as agroecology in Armenia. The study was conducted with technical and financial support from International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN). The study was conducted by the head of AWHHE, Ph.D. Elena Manvelyan. The information was collected through personal consultations with representatives of departments responsible for the regulation of pesticides in the country and other interested parties, such as the Armenian National Agrarian University (ANAU), as well as through a literature review. The identification of severely hazardous pesticides in Armenia was based on the International List of Highly Hazardous Pesticides, compiled in March 2019 by the Pesticide Action Network (PAN).
AWHHE submitted information on its report on HHPs to the first regional bulletin of NGOs in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) working on chemical safety issues in the region. It is produced in Russian language and is available on the IPEN website at: https://ipen.org/news/ngos-eecca-solve-chemical-safety-problems and on the website of EcoAccord, EECCA IPEN Hub, bulletin in Russian language
- Strengthen women’s capacity and entry points for rural entrepreneurship in chemical safety area in 10 target communities of Armenia’s Kotayk and Vayots Dzor provinces
- Raise awareness of women and their families engaged in or living around the 10 targeted rural entrepreneurship areas focusing on safe alternatives in agriculture and agro-ecology.
In 2020, AWHHE joined the global campaign by International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN, www.ipen.org ) to contribute to removal of talc cosmetic products from sale through awareness raising and lobbying campaign. The main activities included:
1. Monitoring of baby powder in pharmacies of the city of Yerevan.
2. Webinars for the residents of 18 communities of 3 provinces of Armenia
3. Information dissemination through social platforms among the residents of 9 communities of 6 provinces of Armenia reaching our to more than 20,000 consumers.
4. A letter of appeal to the Ministry of Economy of Armenia expressing a deep concern over the risks to human health from the exposure of Johnson & Johnson’s talc-containing products.
Workshops on the impact of POPs (Pesticides, PCBs) and mercury on human health and the environment and prevention of their harmful effects in the frame of the implementation of the Stockholm and Minamata conventions
From March 2 to June 30, 2020, the “Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment” (AWHHE) NGO conducted online workshops on the impact of POPs (particularly pesticides and PCBs) and mercury on human health and the environment and prevention of their harmful effects in the frame of the implementation of the Stockholm and Minamata conventions. The workshops were organized with the support of the Environmental Monitoring and Information Center of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Armenia.
The online workshops were held using such platforms like Zoom, Facebook Messenger or Viber, which were attended by 170 people of different professions and occupations concerned with environmental issues. Among the participants were teachers, lecturers, representatives of various NGOs, doctors, farmers, housewives, young parents, university and high school students. Sometimes more than one person took part in the discussion using the same computer.
The workshops were held with the residents of Baghramyan and Taperakan communities of Ararat Province, the city of Gyumri of Shirak Province, Solak community of Kotayk Province, the city of Armavir and Apaga community of Armavir Province and the city of Yerevan.
Eight workshops were held online, supported by the coordinators of the Public Environmental Information Centers in Gyumri, Armavir and Yerevan, and by the teachers of the communities who were knowledgeable on the online platforms.
Two workshops were conducted in Yerevan. The first online discussion was held together with the lecturers of the Armenian National Agrarian University (ANAU) and the National Polytechnic University of Armenia (NPUA) with participation of the students of ANAU and the lecturers and students of NPUA.
The second workshop was held in cooperation with the Yerevan Aarhus Center with the participation of the Head of Research Center of the Crisis Management State Academy (CMSA), CMSA lecturers of the Faculty of Training, Faculty of Rescue Operations, and the discipline of Ecology, President of the “For Human Sustainable Development Association” NGO, President of the “Aquamarine” NGO, Head of the Environmental Education Program of the ATP Charitable Foundation, President of the “Public Awareness and Monitoring Center” NGO, Head of the “Syrian-Armenian Union” NGO, Head of the “Colors of Life” NGO, employee of the “Hydrometeorological and Monitoring Center” SNCO, coordinator of the Yerevan Aarhus Center and others.
The workshops were conducted by three employees of the AWHHE NGO.
- The impact of POPs (particularly pesticides) on human health and the environment and prevention of their harmful effects in the frame of the implementation of the Stockholm Convention
During the workshop, information was provided about the signing of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (2001) and its ratification (October 22, 2003) by Armenia and entry into force (May 17, 2004).
Then, it was presented which chemical compounds should be discarded, what categories of POPs belong to by the purpose of use or by origin.
The participants were provided with information on how the POPs accumulate in the human body and cause serious health problems noting that they affect the digestive, immune, respiratory, urogenital and endocrine systems.
It was also mentioned that they are dangerous for both people who work and live where POPs have been produced or used, and for people who have been directly exposed to these substances through inhalation, skin contact and food intake.
With regard to the residual quantities of POPs, it was noted that they contaminate crops and those who use them. Due to their ability to spread over long distances, POPs accumulate even in the bodies of fish, birds, and mammals that live far from where POPs are used or produced.
It was mentioned that the long-term use of the same pesticide reduces its effects on the pest, as the pest becomes resistant to the given substance.
Reference was also made to the fact that the use of POPs destroys not only the organisms for which these substances are intended, but also beneficial insects, birds, fish and other organisms.
An interesting discussion was held on environmental issues, and exhaustive answers were given to the questions raised during the workshop.
The participants were provided with links to a number of brochures related to the topic posted on the website of the AWHHE NGO:
- Minimizing the impact of pesticides remains a priority;
- Endocrine disruptors and their danger to human health;
- NO to pesticides, YES to integrated pest management;
- Our friend COMPOST;
- Alternative to pesticides.
- The impact of POPs (particularly polychlorinated biphenyls /PCBs/) on human health and the environment and prevention of their harmful effects in the frame of the implementation of the Stockholm Convention
During the workshop, the speaker introduced the topic on PCBs that are oils and solids having no taste, odor and color and having the following properties: fire resistance, low electrical conductivity, high resistance to thermal arc, high chemical stability and resistance to many oxidants and other chemicals.
Information was provided on PCB containing equipment and materials found in closed, partially closed and open systems.
The speaker also spoke about the impact of PCBs on the environment and human health, and on how to deal with unfit for use PCB containing equipment.
The actions to be taken in case of detection of unusable devices containing PCBs were presented. These are as follows:
- examination of unfit for use PCB-containing equipment;
- installation of PCB-containing equipment not suitable for operation in containers; labeling; registration; and in case of equipment damage and leakage of PCB-containing oils emptying of oils in the appropriate container and sealing; hermetically closing the opening of the device; packaging and labelling of both the oil container and equipment;
- transportation of packaged and labeled devices and containers;
- their storage in a temporary storage facility of hazardous substances, registration in the register;
It was noted, that the land contaminated by leakage of oils containing PCBs from unusable equipment is subject to PCBs testing. If the soils are contaminated, the contaminated layer must be removed and neutralized.
The methods of final removal of PCBs were also presented. These include:
In case of liquid waste:
- evaporation: high temperature combustion (> 1100°C);
In case of solid waste:
- underground burial (warehouses with permanent sealing system);
- chemical dechlorination (sodium vapor process);
- electrochemical processing using silver nitrate;
- pyrolysis in plasma arc: combustion.
- The impact of mercury on human health and the environment and prevention of its harmful effects in the frame of the implementation of the Minamata Convention
During the workshop, the speaker presented the widely used mercury – containing products.
Then she introduced the symptoms of acute and chronic mercury poisoning.
She also spoke about the Minamata Convention indicating the dates of its signing (October 10, 2013), ratification (December 13, 2017) and entry into force (March 13, 2018) by Armenia.
Afterwards, information was briefly presented on the research of the lamps made by the AWHHE NGO and on the disadvantages and advantages of incandescent, fluorescent and LED lamps. The speaker also presented in detail the necessary actions to be taken during the preparation, mechanical cleaning, chemical neutralization and removal stages in case the fluorescent lamp is broken.
The speaker explained the participants how to prepare solutions for chemical neutralization:
- Solution 1: 2% potassium permanganate solution (dissolve 2 g or half a teaspoon of potassium permanganate in 1 liter of water);
- Solution 2: prepare a mixture by taking 400 g or a pack of soda, 400 g of household soap and 10 liters of hot water;
- Solution 3: Dissolve one small bottle or 100 ml of iodine in 1 liter of water.
The speaker presented in detail the actions that each of us should avoid in case of lamp breakage:
- Do not switch on the air conditioner, as mercury vapors spread rapidly, poisoning the air. For the same reason it is forbidden to use a vacuum cleaner.
- Do not sweep the glass fragments with a broom, as toxic compounds will rise into the air along with the dust, and the broom will become contaminated.
- Do not throw glass and metal parts of fluorescent lamps in the trash, as this will be a source of secondary contamination.
- Do not touch the broken parts of the lamp with bare hands.
- Do not spill small fragments of the lamp in the toilet seat.
The speaker also highlighted the health risks posed by a broken fluorescent lamp. Then, she demonstrated the alternative products containing mercury-free products and their work.
The participants of the workshops were provided with links to a number of brochures related to the topic posted on the website of the AWHHE NGO:
- Advantages and disadvantages of different types of household lamps
- Broken fluorescent lamps are dangerous to health
Analysis of fluorescent lamp survey results implemented in the provinces of the Republic of Armenia
From December 25, 2019 to April 30, 2020 the “Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment” (AWHHE) NGO carried out a survey of fluorescent lamps in Armenia, including the city of Yerevan and the following towns of 8 provinces: Masis and Artashat (Ararat province), Armavir and Echmiadzin (Armavir province), Aparan and Ashtarak (Aragatsotn province), Gyumri (Shirak province), Sevan (Gegharkunik province), Abovyan and Hrazdan (Kotayk province), Dilijan (Tavush province) and Yeghegnadzor (Vayots Dzor province). The survey was supported by the “Environmental Monitoring and Information Center” SNCO of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Armenia
A total of 1112 lamps were surveyed. The survey showed that light emitting diode (LED) lamps were predominant in the stores of the city of Yerevan, whereas the incandescent lamps (IL) were available in small quantities. As for mercury–containing fluorescent lamps (FL), they were on sale in much smaller quantities.
|Mercury free LED lamps
|Mercury–containing compact fluorescent lamps (CFL)
In the shops of the target cities of the selected provinces, the LED and incandescent lamps were available almost in the same quantity. The number of mercury-containing fluorescent lamps decreased in a number of points of sale. There was a large quantity of such lamps only in 4 points of sale. This was mainly due to a wide range of lamps.
Thus, 36 (88%) out of 41 stores surveyed had mercury-free LED lamps on sale, 31 stores (76%) had mercury-free incandescent lamps and 22 stores (54%) had mercury-containing fluorescent lamps.
It should be noted that there were shops where the fluorescent lamps were available in small quantities. This is because the import of such lamps was stopped and the sale was carried out at discounted prices.
More fluorescent lamps were available in specialized lamp stores in the “Shinarar Market” building material store in Masis, in “LED lamps” store in Armavir, and in the building material store of Gyumri.
During the survey of lamp brands, it turned out that different types of lamps from about 137 brands are imported to Armenia: mercury-containing fluorescent lamps, mercury-free light emitting diode lamps, and mercury-free incandescent lamps.
The survey showed, that mercury-containing fluorescent lamps were produced under 40 brands accounting for about 29% of the lamps surveyed; mercury-free LED lamps were produced under 86 brands accounting for about 63% of the lamps surveyed. There were fewer brands of incandescent lamps. This shows that it is easy to switch to the sale of lamps that are produced using new and safe technologies.
In the stores, you can see different types of lamps under the same brand. It should be noted that only fluorescent lamps are banned to be imported.
For example, three types of lamps: fluorescent, LED and incandescent were available under the brands KOSMOS, Opouqi Lighting, OSRAM, PHILIPS.
|PHILIPS GENIE CFL-11W-3U-E14
|PHILIPS LED 5W G45 E27
|PHILIPS INC 40W C35 E14
|PHILIPS INC 40W
|PHILIPS INC 60W Reflector E14
|PHILIPS LED 7W A60 E27
Fluorescent and LED lamps were available under the brands CTORCH, EGLO, General Lighting, Supra and Tersen.
11W Spiral E14
|CTORCH LED Bulb-Polaris
12W A60 E27
|CTORCH LED T-Bulb
60 W E27
Fluorescent and incandescent lamps were available under the brands Borsan, Camelion, Emkay.
There were LED and incandescent lamps under the brands KlAUS, LEUCI, Lisma, LUCIO, NAVIGATOR, START and Zenit.
The most common brands of mercury-containing fluorescent lamps were CTORCH, Economic CTORCH, TORCH Energoeconomic, Energy saving lamp and OSRAM.
The fluorescent lamps under the CTORCH, Economic CTORCH, TORCH Energoeconomic, Economic Energy Saving, Energy Saving Lamp and Energy Saving System brands are the lamps of different generations produced by the same company, which have undergone many changes or received new technological solutions in a certain period.
In the past, linear tubular fluorescent lamps, such as the Tinko brand lamps were used to illuminate large halls and classrooms, but now mercury-free LED lamps are available: LED Diffuser Fixture, AD NEXT for classroom, T5 LED Lighting Fixture, T8, IN HOME:
Examining the origin of the lamps, it turned out that almost all three types of lamps were made in China.
The country of origin of fluorescent lamps is China. It is worth noting that LED fluorescent lamps under the OSRAM brand are made in China, and incandescent lamps of that brand are produced in France. The fluorescent lamps of the LEXPLUS Energy Saving brand are made in Poland, the manufacturer of the General Electric Green lamps is a Hungarian company, but the lamps are made in China, and the manufacturer of the Radium Ralux Rapid lamps is a German company, but they are also made in China.
While studying the prices of fluorescent lamps, it turned out that the prices of fluorescent lamps for household use range from 470 AMD to 4200 AMD, and those for the hall – from 4500 AMD to 9000 AMD.
Pricing is influenced by the design, the wattage of the lamp, the type of a bulb, the costs of production by the manufacturer, the costs of import incurred by the importer and the costs incurred by the selling organization.
Mercury-containing fluorescent lamps for street lighting were available in stores in a small quantity of ellipsoidal lamps with a glass bulb under the following brands: SiRaium (250 Watts – 1400 AMD), Emkay (250 Watts – 1350 AMD), and Alite (250 Watts – 1800 AMD).
Elipsodial, E27, 1400 AMD
Elipsodial, E27, 1350 AMD
The reduction of the price of these fluorescent lamps was conditioned by the fact that they were taken off the Armenian market. Therefore, discounts were applied to the remaining lamps.
The survey of the fluorescent lamps showed that the manufacturer has provided a warranty for fluorescent lamps from 1 to 3 years.
The survey showed that information on a warranty was available on the batch of the same brand purchased earlier, whereas it was not available on the other batch (for example, in case of CTORCH compact fluorescent lamps). Although the labels of some fluorescent lamps contain a warranty provided by the manufacturer, currently this type of lamps are mainly not provided with a warranty by the points of sale.
The survey of fluorescent lamps showed that the information on the lifespan is indicated on the package by hours or years.
For example, the lamps under the Global, LEXPLUS Energy Saving brands have a lifespan of 6000 hours; the lamps under the Borsan, CTORCH, Economic CTORCH, TORCH Energoeconomic, Energy saving lamp, OSRAM spiral, ouqi Lighting, Tersen brands – 8000 hours; the lamps under the Camelion, EGLO, General Electric Green / GE, OSRAM Reflector, Panasonic, Radium RaluxR Rapid, Supra brands – 10000 hours; the lamps under the PHILIPS brand – 15000 hours; and under the IDEAL LUX brand – 25000 hours.
It should be taken into account that although the import of fluorescent lamps is banned, some importing companies have already transferred money to the manufacturing companies and are waiting for the delivery of products. There are companies that still have some quantity of fluorescent lamps in warehouses and outlets. Some consumers have bought and kept the fluorescent lamps at home, which, if properly used, will serve within the warranted service life indicated on the lamp package. This should be taken into account when calculating the elimination period of fluorescent lamps after the ban.
As for the control of the quantity of lamps in the shops or in the warehouses of the importing company, it is necessary to register the number of fluorescent lamps, to find out with current control whether new quantities are going to be purchased or not. Such a function is authorized to be performed by the Market Surveillance Inspection Body of the RA Ministry of Economy.
The survey showed that the energy efficiency class of fluorescent lamps was indicated on the packages of lamps.
The modern energy saving or fluorescent lamps fall into the energy efficiency classes “A” and “B”.
Hazards of fluorescent lamps
Fluorescent lamps contain mercury vapors, which harm the human health in case the lamp is broken and neutralization measures are not taken in a timely manner.
Another danger is due to the spectrum of ultraviolet rays emitted by fluorescent lamps, which can cause skin inflammation (dermatitis), inflammation of the mucous membrane of the eye (cataract), tumor formation.
The table below shows the mercury content in the lamps. Information was taken from the labels of the lamps.
One of the reasons for the release of mercury vapor is the crack occurring between the tube and the base of the lamp when you hold the glass bulb and exert force to twist the lamp to replace it with a new one.
Another reason is that the residents do not hand over the lamps that have become unfit for use to the relevant bodies for neutralization, but keep them in their basements. Sometimes people accidentally touch them, causing cracks on the bulb, due to which mercury is released in a closed area.
The AWHHE NGO has previously reported accumulations of such lamps in some hospitals and educational institutions. The employees of these institutions, realizing the potential risks of lamps, did not remove them with the municipal garbage. However, as the lamps were kept in humid conditions, and the employees had to move the containers with lamps several times, small cracks appeared on the bulbs, which led to the release of mercury vapor into an enclosed space.
In case a lamp is broken indoors, the concentration level of mercury vapor after some time becomes higher the maximum allowable concentration, which is dangerous for human health. When inhaled, mercury vapors easily pass into the lungs through the respiratory system, and then they penetrate into the brain through blood and cause poisoning.
The immediate symptoms of poisoning include headache, weakness, tiredness, memory loss, and dizziness.
In case someone accidentally hits the glass bulb of the lamp, the luminophore can be detached from the wall of the glass bulb, because of which UV rays can penetrate the room. Their long-term effect will lead to inflammation of the skin (dermatitis), inflammation of the mucous membrane of the eye (cataract) and tumor formation.
Compact fluorescent lamps contain from 1 mg to 5 mg of mercury, and tubular fluorescent lamps contain 5 mg of mercury.
You can get more detailed information about fluorescent lamps from the following sources:
- Broken fluorescent lamps are dangerous to health: https://awhhe.am/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/fl-lamps-j5.pdf
- Advantages and disadvantages of different types of household lamps: https://awhhe.am/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/lamps-book_compressed_mariam.pdf
What to do when the fluorescent lamp has become unfit for use
With the help of the relevant bodies operating in the Republic of Armenia, for example, through the chemical safety officers of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, it is necessary to organize the collection of unusable lamps from the residents, transport them in special containers to the neutralization facility of hazardous substances and utilize the luminophore, the damaged glass of the lamp, keep the fragments in hermetically sealed containers (mercury should be kept in lead containers). The components of the lamp should be stored in separate storage units, taking into account the hazard level.
How to utilize and neutralize the lamps that are unfit for use
There are devices working under special technology, such as “Ecotrom-2U”, which can utilize mercury-containing fluorescent lamps. The instructions for use of a fluorescent lamp state that such lamps must be used in accordance with the law of the country of sale.
The International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action is an initiative of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint (the Lead Paint Alliance), which is jointly led by UNEP and WHO. The primary goal of the Alliance is to promote the global phase-out of lead paint through the establishment of appropriate legally binding measures to stop the manufacture, import, export, distribution, sale and use of lead paints in every country. International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is an opportunity to draw attention to the need for action on lead paint and other sources of lead exposure.
Objectives of International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week
- raise awareness about health effects of lead exposure;
- highlight the efforts of countries and partners to prevent lead exposure, particularly in children; and
- urge further action to eliminate lead paint through regulatory action at country level.
Title of Project: Extending the Awareness Campaign on Health Hazards of Lead in Paint and influencing procurement policies in education sector
“Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment” (AWHHE) NGO, a member of the International Pollutants Elimination Network, participates in the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. AWHHE will urge the Procurement Department of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Republic of Armenia to ban the use of lead-based paints during construction or renovation of the education, culture and recreation facilities for children and youth. AWHHE will advocate for strict lead limits of 90ppm in decorative paints through advocacy work with the Department of Eurasian Economic Commission and Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Economy of Armenia. AWHHE will translate the campaign information materials creating a leaflet about the danger of lead-based paints and disseminate it via social media platforms among 7 communities of 4 provinces of Armenia, websites of AWHHE and “Ecolur” information NGOs. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, AWHHE will add social distancing, hygiene and handwashing messages in its communication work.
- Raise awareness of community school management and parents’ groups on health hazards of lead in paint in the target communities.
- Influence the paint related procurement policies of the Procurement Department of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Republic of Armenia.
- Advocate for strict lead paint limits of 90 ppm with the Department of Eurasian Economic Commission and Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Economy of Armenia.
AWHHE joined The International lead poisoning prevention week of action in 2016 contributing to IPEN global survey of brands of household paints on sale. (Report on LEAD IN SOLVENT-BASED PAINTS FOR HOME USE IN THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA)
In 2017, AWHHE made a presentation at the national «Green rights, violations, defense» workshop.
In 2018, AWHHE launched awareness raising campaign on Lead in Paints in Yerevan’s schools and policlinics
- Poster on health hazards and available alternatives
- Radio broadcast on National Radio channel
In 2019, AWHHE extended the awareness raising campaign on Lead in Paints to Ararat and Armavir provinces. AWHHE experts are frequently invited to give interviews and participate in various events.
In 2020, an information campaign was carried out for the inhabitants of 16 communities in 6 provinces of Shirak, Gegharkunik, Aragatsotn, Kotayk, Ararat and Armavir. Campaign materials were posted on the websites/ Facebook pages of the secondary schools of the communities.
|Dzithankov, Shirakavan, Isahakyan, Jrarat, Gusanagyugh, Jrapi
|Baghramyan, Dalar, Taperakan
Given the situation with the COVID-19, AWHHE used its remote communication strategy. Campaign materials including a special article were prepared and disseminated via posting on the Facebook pages of the participating schools and AWHHE website and Facebook page. The Facebook platform allowed for feedback via comments, questions and answers, this approach also helped disseminate the campaign messages via personal Facebook pages of parents, teachers and children.
AWHHE participation in 2021
The International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week took place on October 24-31, 2021.
Title of Project: Extending the Awareness Campaign on Health Hazards of Lead in Paint and influencing procurement policies in education sector
AWHHE urged the Procurement Department of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Republic of Armenia to ban the use of lead-based paints during construction or renovation of the education, culture and recreation facilities for children and youth. AWHHE advocated for strict lead limits of 90ppm in decorative paints through advocacy work with the Department of Eurasian Economic Commission and Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Economy of Armenia. AWHHE translated the campaign information materials creating a leaflet about the danger of lead-based paints and disseminate it via social media platforms among 7 communities of 4 provinces of Armenia, websites of AWHHE and “Ecolur” information NGOs. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, AWHHE added social distancing, hygiene and handwashing messages in its communication work.
AWHHE participation in 2022
Title of Activity: Raising public awareness for contributing to control of the trade in lead chromates in Armenia
Description of planned activity:
Organization of a Round Table Discussion on Raising public awareness for contributing to control of the trade in lead chromates in Armenia jointly with the Aarhus Center of Yerevan to promote the adoption of stricter lead paint regulations by the Eurasian Commission, with an active participation of NGOs-members of IPEN EECCA in Armenia; dissemination of results (public awareness and capacity building plan for NGOs in Armenia) through the networks of the NGOs – members of IPEN network in Armenia and the EECCA region.
|Lead in Paint interview for Mariam Radio
On October 22-28, 2023, “Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment” NGO participated in the activities of the annual international week for the prevention of lead poisoning cases. Conducted online information dissemination titled “Promoting Lead Paint Removal to End Lead Poisoning in Children.” Coverage: 7 provinces, 7 websites, and 12 Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram, Viber social media platforms.
Information on the city of Yerevan was posted: on the website and Facebook page of the Hydrometeorology and Monitoring Center” State non-profit organization, in 3 languages: Armenian, English and Russian, on the website of “Ecolur” information NGO in 3 languages, on the website of “Hetq” electronic newspaper; on the Yerevan Scientific group’s Armenian Facebook page;
Lori province: on the website of Alaverdi “City Community Integration and Support Center” on the website of “Citizen’s Voice” e-newspaper cvmedia.am in 2 languages.
Ararat province: Ditak community Facebook page
Syunik province: On the Facebook page of the Goris Information Center of the enlarged community of Goris and the “Goris Youth Center” NGO. Information is available for 12 more settlements: Akner, Aghbulagh, Barthavan, Khndzoresk, Hartashen, Dzorak, Nerkin Khndzoresk, Shurnukh, Vorotan, Vanand, Verishen, Karahunj. The information was also posted on the Facebook page of Bnunis settlement of Syunik region
Vayots Dzor province: On the Facebook page of the enlarged community of Areni. The information is available for the following 8 settlements included in the enlarged community of Areni: Agarakadzor, Aghavnadzor, Arpi, Gnishik, Yelpin, Khachik, Chiva, Rind
Tavush province: On the Facebook pages of the “Armenian Relief Fund” and the employee of the fund located in the Berd enlarged community. Information is available for 16 settlements of the Berd enlarged community: Aygepar, Artsvaberd, Mosesgegh, Chinchin, Tsaghkavan /Tavush region/, Inner Karmiraghbyur, Norashen, Choratan, Chinari, Varagavan, Aygedzor, Itsakar, Navur, Paravakar, Verin Karmiraghbyur, Tavush. On the Facebook, Mastedon platforms of the Achajur settlement of the enlarged Ijevan community of the Tavush region, links to the e-mail addresses of the employees.
This information is available to 18 more settlements of Ijevan community:
Azatamut, Aygehovit, Kayanavan, Aknaghbyur, Berkaber, Gandzakar, Getahovit, Yenokavan, Lusadzor, Ditavan, Khashtarak, Lusahovit, Sarigiugh, N. Tsaghkavan, Sevkar, Kirants, Acharkut, Vazashen.
Armavir province: The information was posted on the Facebook page of Parakar enlarged community of Armavir marz. Information is available for 8 settlements: Aygek, Arevashat, Baghramyan, Tairov, Merdzavan, Musaler, Norakert, Ptghunk.
On October 17-18, 2023, during the event titled “Inventory of New POPs – Part I: Brominated POPs and POP Pesticides” held in Montenegro, the AWHHE representative presented the results of the lead in paint campaing since 2016.
WEBINAR/Zoom by AWHHE
On October 24, 2023, information was disseminated on the Zoom platform, and 20 participants from Goris community of Syunik marz, Bnunis of Sisian enlarged community of Syunik marz, and Aigavan community of Ararat marz joined the Zoom platform and took an active part in the discussion.
Participation in webinars by partners: On October 30th, AWHHE representative participated at the webinar discussion organized by NGO “Green Forum”, entitled “Worldwide Voices: perspectives in tackling lead”.
In addition, from April to November 30, 2023, a campaign funded by the Center for Hydrometeorology and Monitoring was held on the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and the UNFCCC. During this campaign, the dangers of lead paints and the actions carried out by the Global Alliance, the Government of the Republic of Armenia, and AWHHE were presented.
The event is registered on the WHO website: https://www.who.int/campaigns/international-lead-poisoning-prevention-week/2023/list-of-registered-events
- Raise awareness of decision-makers and pesticide users in safe agro-ecological alternatives to Glyphosate
- Strengthen CSO capacities in campaigning for global ban of Glyphosate.
Supported by: Global Greengrants Fund
Duration: July 2018- June 2019
There is sufficient scientific evidence regarding Glyphosate’s significant threat to agrarian societies. Some countries including EU, have already banned its use. In Armenia, Glyphosate is widely used in agriculture. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the annual amount of import is steadily increasing (12,000 liters in 2012, 60,000 liters in 2013; 149,280 kg in 2016, 161,800 kg in 2017, and 250,000 kg in 2018). World Health Organization (WHO) and International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.
The project raised awareness of the government decision-makers in the negative impact of highly hazardous pesticides such as Glyphosate, on human health and the environment. At the same time, the project targeted the farmers as most vulnerable population groups by raising awareness on the harms of Glyphosate and informing about existing agro-ecological alternatives.
On June 5, 2019, AWHHE organized a seminar on pesticide management, in particular, on the International Code of Conduct on Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs). The seminar was organized by the ”Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment” (AWHHE) NGO within the framework of the Green Grants Fund project. Representatives of relevant NGOs and the RA Ministry of Agriculture and the RA Ministry of Health attended the seminar.
Independent expert on agriculture Vahan Amirkhanyan presented the International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management, focusing on the issues of pesticide management and control in Armenia. The presented information caused a heated debate among the participants.
Among the issues discussed were the health and environmental risks caused by the inadequate use of pesticides, as well as the acute shortage of specialists such as agronomists, agro–technicians, zootechnicians, veterinarians, etc.
The President of AWHHE NGO Elena Manvelyan expressed her concern about the lack of control over the residual amounts of pesticides, particularly HHPs in the environment and agricultural products.
Taking into account the high toxicity of glyphosate, which is classified by the World Health Organization and the International Agency for Research on Cancer as probable cancerogen, as well as considering the high health risks, the lack of research on the connections between the use of pesticides, particularly HHPs and various health effects and diseases, the increase in the import of glyphosate-containing preparations and the prevalence of cancer in our country, Ms. Manvelyan encouraged participants to organize a forum to discuss widely the issues related to the pesticide use and management. The participants unanimously supported her proposal. (https://www.ecolur.org/en/news/biodiversity/–/11212/)
- Elena Manvelyan presentation
- Vahan Amirkhanyan presentation
- International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management