Our Contacts:

24/2, Baghramyan Ave.,
Yerevan 0019, Armenia
tel. / fax. (+374 10) 523604
E-mail: officeawhhe@awhhe.am


Environmental Health

Project duration: 6 months
Financial and other support: OSCE office in Yerevan 
Project objectives:

  • Investigate agricultural plots (soil and grown products) in rural communities on the matter of contamination by pesticides;
  • Contribute to health risk reduction related to pesticide usage by strengthening the capacity of rural communities.

Target villages: 
Odzun and Gargar in Lori marz, Partizak in Aragatsotn marz, Achajur in Tavush marz and Vardenik in Gegharkunik marz. These villages have a range of different agricultural activities starting from potato growing to small family plots for various crops, vegetables and fruit. The important common characteristic of the five villages is proximity to a current or ex-storage of banned and obsolete pesticides. 

The project activities:

  • sampling of water, soil and selected products in the villages and laboratory analysis;
  • survey on predominant practices and knowledge to identify the level of exposure to pesticides and related health and environmental risks;
  • and awareness raising of health and environmental risks of pesticides.

The survey was conducted among the population of Partizak, Achajur, Vardenik, Odzun and Gargar communities (180 people) with the help of a pre-designed questionnaire. AWHHE also conducted monitoring of former pesticide storage areas. Soil sampling was taken from the obsolete pesticide stores, as well of crops grown in the vicinity of these storage sites (a total of 30 samples). To analyze for the content of residues of organochlorine substances, the samples were sent to the Analytical Laboratory of the Waste Research Center SNCO of the Ministry of Nature Protection. Laboratory studies have shown that the samples taken from the former pesticide storage area of Vardenik and its surroundings present the highest risk to human health and the environment among all the samples taken from other storage areas.

Meeting with administration of Achajur village, Tavush marz and sampling 

achajur-village achajur-village2


Odzun village, Lori marz: old pesticide storage building

odzun-village odzun-village2

Gargar village, Lori marz: sampling and awareness raising among farmers

gagar-village gagar-village2

Partizak village, Aragatsotn marz: sampling  and meeting with village mayor

partizak-village partizak-village2


Vardenik village, Gegharkunik marz: sampling next to the old demolished storage of pesticides

vardennik-village3 vardennik-village2



Mercury Fact Sheets

Mercury fact sheets (PDF format, 150 KB each):

To download PDF files: right click on the link and choose “Save target as”.

Duration: September 2005 – May 2006
Investigation activities were financed by the Aposhian family in memory of Mr and Mrs Levon Aposhian.

Goal : Increased awareness and knowledge on environmental pollution exposure on children’s health in Yerevan by 2006


  • Determine the possible association between occurrence of congenital defects and some pollutants exposure.
  • Educate parents, teachers and communities about types and routs of exposure and how to recognize and avoid unsafe exposure, e.g. safe chemical use and distribution, disposal, and appropriate alternatives.
  • Educate environmental actors, media, policy-makers and other professionals about chemical risks and risk communication.
  • Raise the awareness of decision makers about the risks to children’s health and development associated with chemical use and encourage policies that take into account a child’s special vulnerability to chemicals
  • Train health professionals about children’s unique vulnerability to certain chemicals and the risks of chemical exposures in Yerevan


On the photo (from left to right): Elena Manvelyan, the leader of AWHHE,
Professor of Arisona University USA V.Aposhyan with his wife
and Alla Hambartsumyan, the leader of HAZER, on CEHCA, Almaty, 2004

Funded by GGF

Location: Kotayk and Ararat regions
Duration: 10 months (2004-2005)



  • The problem of POPs in particular pesticides was brought to the focus of decision makers, public, NGOs, through wide raising awareness campaign, cooperation and collaboration with governmental structures and rural communities in Kotayk and Ararat marzes (June, 2004 – June, 2005).
  • 2 seminars were organized in Kotayk and Ararat marzes (regions).
  • Meeting with women, environmental and medical NGOs on the problem of pesticides and reproductive health was organized in Ararat marz.
  • Six leaflets were created and published for dissemination in rural areas.
  • Poster was created and published for dissemination.
  • Two Info bulletins were created and distributed through environmental NGOs.
  • 4 Publications in newspapers
  • TV presentation
  • 42 probes of breast milk were investigated in order to detect pesticide contamination on the base of National Institute of Standards and Quality” (testing laboratory).
  • In order to advocate PURE policy in Armenia the translation of “Moving towards Pesticide Reduction” was done and distributed through interested stakeholders, e.g. governmental, NGOs. 2 volunteers of AWHHE carried out the survey in Hayanist Village Ararat Marz and the results were included in the Project Report, done by WECF and German University of Hamburg . See website www.awhhe.am /projects/.
  • Website of AWHHE was updated.
  • Capacity building of AWHHE was strengthened.
  • Participation in several international events such PAN annual meeting in Barcelona connected with Pesticides issue.
  • Electron discussion on pesticide issue was made through interested environmental 9 NGOs in Armenia.

Seminar in Kotayk marz with NGOs, governmentals and decision makers

Seminar in Kotayk marz with NGOs, governmentals and decision makers

Seminar in Ararat marz with women and local authorities

Pesticide burial. Taking samples.

Lessons learned

  • There is no clear understanding about PURE and sound alternatives and strategy even among decision makers in Armenia .
  • There is a great necessity of wide PURE advocacy and raising awareness campaigns among rural population.
  • Rural people need trainings on Integrated Pest Management with conversion to alternative agriculture.
  • Even though that DDT was banned in 1972, in all samples of breast milk of rural women DDT and its metabolites (DDD and DDE) were found what is the evidence of DDT continuous usage.
  • There is a big necessity to unify environmental NGOs for networking around POPs issue in particular of environmentally sound agriculture.


The entire staff of the NGO AWHHE is deeply grateful to GGF funded the project Alarm of Pesticides in Armenia by their invaluable support made it possible to implement all proposed objectives.

Supported by: JMF Jinishian Memorial Foundation Armenia
Duration: September 2004 – May 2005

The lack of information on secondary smoking exposure and impact to human health is the main problem for Armenian community. Considering very high percentage of smoking drivers-males in Armenia and traditional acceptance of independent behaviour of man, it is very likely that driver’s smoking in minibuses in Armenia has become a real disaster having a great impact on everybody, especially on children and women of reproductive age.

The most exploitable transport in Yerevan is minibus where most of drivers are smoking during work time. Although different programs and policies to reduce ETS exposure in public places and workplaces have been implemented, little attention has been directed to minimizing ETS exposure in public conveyance.

The urgency of the ETS problem is explained by the absence of the appropriate law restricted the smoking at working places. The fact that the draft of the Tobacco Law has been failed currently is an evidence of apathy and reluctance of both the citizens and policy makers to change the behaviour mainly due to the lack of information on the problem.


Risk exposure of ETS in public transport (minibuses) in two districts of Yerevan decreased by 2005


  • Awareness about ETS risk exposure among 100 drivers and 100 women of reproductive age and 300 schoolchildren in Avan and Avan-Arindg districts increased by 50% by 2005
  • Smoking behaviour of 100 drivers of minibuses from Avan and Avan-Arindg was determined during the project implementation.
  • The risk exposure of ETS in public transport of Avan and Avan-Arindg decreased due to reducing of percentage of smoking drivers inside minibuses on 20% by 2005.



Project was implemented with the support of HCWH Europe

Duration: 6 months, July 2004- December 2004
Location: Kotayk


The project “Maintenance of Safety and Health in Hospitals in Armenia ” is aimed on promotion the reducing of the volume and toxicity of infectious medical waste and unused pharmaceuticals.
The goal of the project was determined according the existing high risk both for persons handling medical waste in health care facilities and the environment.
The ways chosen for studying the problem were: pilot sites, qualitative& quantitative assessment, the inventory.


  • The project estimated the quantity and composition of generated infectious medical waste in one of Hospital;
  • obtained the objective and precise information on existing stockpiles and the substances stored in Kotayk Hospital on the example of inventory of unused drugs;
  • trained 85 medical personnel on the alternative non incineration methods of treatment and disposal of IMW such as steam sterilization, autoclaving, micro waving were introduced through trainings and seminars;
  • developed recommendations to health care facilities and MOH of RA.



  • Hospitals generate large amounts of diverse waste that require safe treatment and disposal (infectious waste, pharmaceuticals).
  • MW including expired pharmaceuticals which are biologically active could pose a significant health, safety and environmental hazard when improperly stored or disposed to the environment.
  • There is no safe way of treatment and disposal of medical waste in health care facilities in Armenia
  • Expired pharmaceuticals are accumulated in health care facilities in large amounts.
  • The existing system of medical waste handling in TB Dispensary does not allow to reach full safety in terms of environmental health effects. The potential danger remains since the complete disinfection (full contact with waste) in the TB Dispensary not always is carried out.
  • The acquisition of enough medical package, containers, marking of IMW will allow to reduce potential risk of IMW for environment and medical personnel health.
  • The acquisition of equipment for treatment and disinfection of MW will allow to reduce the total amount of IMW and transfer infectious waste into safe household waste category.
  • The education of medical personnel will allow correctly realize segregation, use safe methods of waste gathering and transportation.
  • The findings prompt the necessity of very urgent measures to be taken on official level in terms of creation of system of MWM and appropriate legislative documents as well as creation plants for recycling and recovering


The entire staff of the NGO AWHHE is deeply grateful to HCWH Europe funded the project Maintenance of Safety and Health in Hospitals in Armenia by their invaluable support made it possible to implement all proposed objectives. We want to express our profound appreciation to HCWH USA supported AWHHE in creation and publishing Posters and booklets used in project implementation.