Mercury Exposure And Health Impacts Of The Artisanal And Small Scale Gold Mining Community

1013 Words Jul 2nd, 2016 5 Pages
Published in the Environmental Health Perspectives in 2014,“Mercury Exposure and Health Impacts among Individuals in the Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Community: A Comprehensive Review” was written by Hermann Gibb and Keri Grace O’Leary. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the available literature that identified the health effects caused by Mercury (Hg) exposure among those individuals who lived or worked in the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) communities worldwide.
Gibb and O’Leary begin by providing a clear synopsis to the research, and an introduction structured to familiarize readers with the increasing demand and process of gold mining and utilization of Hg, process of contamination of food chain and how it affects entire ASGM community and not only the miners. To extract gold, first the Hg is mixed with gold forming “amalgam”. Then, this amalgm is heated leading Hg to evaporate and Gold to remain. This process is considered as a cheap option to gold mining because it is usually done by one person and is quick and easy process. It is also prevalent predominantly in low income, poverty stricken communities where gold mining is source of livelihood. Approximately 15 million people which includes 3 million women and children are involved in ASGM across 70 countries, primarily throughout Asia, South America, Africa and even in North America and Australia. With the cost of gold skyrocketing globally, the demand for gold mining in ASGM has…

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