Heavy metal mining is making parts of the Republic of Armenia uninhabitable due to acid drainage, metal contamination and particulate emissions. Mother Earth News reported that two organizations are working together to improve monitoring capabilities in the tiny nation.
The American University of Armenia, Center for Responsible Mining and ONEArmenia launched a crowdfunding campaign to finance environmental lab equipment that scientists and local authorities can use to monitor conditions near the country’s 400-plus mines. Heavy metal pollution has led to fertility and digestive issues, nervous system ailments and poor brain development in children.
Both organizations assert that they are not anti-mining, as mineral acquisition has helped support Armenia’s impoverished rural communities since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Top image: Heavy metal pollution from mining. (Credit: ONEArmenia)