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Sample records for historic mercury mining

  1. Below a Historic Mercury Mine: Non-linear Patterns of Mercury Bioaccumulation in Aquatic Organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, J.; Ichikawa, G.; Ode, P.; Salsbery, D.; Abel, J.

    2001-12-01

    Unlike most heavy metals, mercury is capable of bioaccumulating in aquatic food-chains, primarily because it is methylated by bacteria in sediment to the more toxic methylmercury form. Mercury concentrations in a number of riparian systems in California are highly elevated as a result of historic mining activities. These activities included both the mining of cinnabar in the coastal ranges to recover elemental mercury and the use of elemental mercury in the gold fields of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The most productive mercury mining area was the New Almaden District, now a county park, located in the Guadalupe River drainage of Santa Clara County, where cinnabar was mined and retorted for over 100 years. As a consequence, riparian systems in several subwatersheds of the Guadalupe River drainage are contaminated with total mercury concentrations that exceed state hazardous waste criteria. Mercury concentrations in fish tissue frequently exceed human health guidelines. However, the potential ecological effects of these elevated mercury concentrations have not been thoroughly evaluated. One difficulty is in extrapolating sediment concentrations to fish tissue concentrations without accounting for physical and biological processes that determine bioaccumulation patterns. Many processes, such as methylation and demethylation of mercury by bacteria, assimilation efficiency in invertebrates, and metabolic rates in fish, are nonlinear, a factor that often confounds attempts to evaluate the effects of mercury contamination on aquatic food webs. Sediment, benthic macroinvertebrate, and fish tissue samples were collected in 1998 from the Guadalupe River drainage in Santa Clara County at 13 sites upstream and downstream from the historic mining district. Sediment and macroinvertebrate samples were analyzed for total mercury and methylmercury. Fish samples were analyzed for total mercury as whole bodies, composited by species and size. While linear correlations of sediment

  2. Mining, metallurgy and the historical origin of mercury pollution in lakes and watercourses in Central Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindler, Richard; Yu, Ruilian; Hansson, Sophia; Classen, Neele; Karlsson, Jon

    2012-08-07

    In Central Sweden an estimated 80% of the lakes contain fish exceeding health guidelines for mercury. This area overlaps extensively with the Bergslagen ore region, where intensive mining of iron ores and massive sulfide ores occurred over the past millennium. Although only a few mines still operate today, thousands of mineral occurrences and mining sites are documented in the region. Here, we present data on long-term mercury pollution in 16 sediment records from 15 lakes, which indicate that direct release of mercury to lakes and watercourses was already significant prior to industrialization (mines. Although the timing and magnitude of the historical increases in mercury are heterogeneous among lakes, the data provide unambiguous evidence for an incidental release of mercury along with other mining metals to lakes and watercourses, which suggests that the present-day problem of elevated mercury concentrations in the Bergslagen region can trace its roots back to historical mining.

  3. Mercury contamination of soils in vicinity of historical mining area

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hojdová, Maria; Navrátil, Tomáš; Rohovec, Jan; Penížek, V.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 34, 4/6 (2008), s. 1340257-1340257 ISSN 0161-6951. [International Geological Congress /33./. 06.08.2008-14.08.2008, Oslo ] R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) KJB300130615 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : mercury * speciation * thermo-desorption analysis * mining * soils Subject RIV: DD - Geochemistry

  4. Mercury distribution and speciation in soils affected by historic mercury mining

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hojdová, Maria; Navrátil, Tomáš; Rohovec, Jan; Penížek, V.; Grygar, Tomáš

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 200, 1/4 (2009), s. 89-99 ISSN 0049-6979 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) KJB300130615 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516; CEZ:AV0Z40320502 Keywords : mercury speciation * thermo-desorption analysis * forest soil * contamination * mining * contamination (Czech Republic ) Subject RIV: DD - Geochemistry Impact factor: 1.676, year: 2009

  5. Mercury and Methylmercury Related to Historical Mercury Mining in Three Major Tributaries to Lake Berryessa, Upper Putah Creek Watershed, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, G. C.; Alpers, C. N.; Horner, T. C.; Cornwell, K.; Izzo, V.

    2016-12-01

    The relative contributions of total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) from upstream historical mercury (Hg) mining districts were examined in the three largest tributaries to Lake Berryessa, a reservoir with water quality impaired by Hg. A fish consumption advisory has been issued for the reservoir; also, in a study of piscivorous birds at 25 California reservoirs, blood samples from Lake Berryessa grebes had the highest THg concentration state-wide. The third and fourth largest historical Hg-producing mining districts in California are within the study area. These mining districts are located within the Pope Creek, Upper Putah Creek, and Knoxville-Eticuera Creeks watersheds. Downstream of the reservoir, Lower Putah Creek drains into the Yolo Bypass, a major source of THg and MeHg to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Study objectives included: (1) determining if tributaries downstream of historical Hg mining districts and draining to the reservoir are continuing sources of THg and MeHg; (2) characterizing variability of water and streambed sediment parameters in upstream and downstream reaches of each creek; and (3) estimating loads of suspended sediment, THg, and MeHg entering the reservoir from each tributary. Water samples were collected from October 2012 to September 2014 during non-storm and storm events along each tributary and analyzed for general water quality field parameters; unfiltered THg and MeHg; total suspended solids; and total particulate matter. Discharge measurements were made at the time of sample collection; flow and concentration data were combined to compute daily loads. To determine spatial variability, 135 streambed sediment samples were analyzed for THg, organic content (loss on ignition), and grain-size distribution. All three tributaries contribute THg and MeHg to the reservoir. Some consistent spatial trends in THg (water) concentrations were observed over multiple sampling events; THg (water) decreased from upstream to downstream

  6. Methods for Investigating Mercury Speciation, Transport, Methylation, and Bioaccumulation in Watersheds Affected by Historical Mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alpers, C. N.; Marvin-DiPasquale, M. C.; Fleck, J.; Ackerman, J. T.; Eagles-Smith, C.; Stewart, A. R.; Windham-Myers, L.

    2016-12-01

    Many watersheds in the western U.S. have mercury (Hg) contamination from historical mining of Hg and precious metals (gold and silver), which were concentrated using Hg amalgamation (mid 1800's to early 1900's). Today, specialized sampling and analytical protocols for characterizing Hg and methylmercury (MeHg) in water, sediment, and biota generate high-quality data to inform management of land, water, and biological resources. Collection of vertically and horizontally integrated water samples in flowing streams and use of a Teflon churn splitter or cone splitter ensure that samples and subsamples are representative. Both dissolved and particulate components of Hg species in water are quantified because each responds to different hydrobiogeochemical processes. Suspended particles trapped on pre-combusted (Hg-free) glass- or quartz-fiber filters are analyzed for total mercury (THg), MeHg, and reactive divalent mercury. Filtrates are analyzed for THg and MeHg to approximate the dissolved fraction. The sum of concentrations in particulate and filtrate fractions represents whole water, equivalent to an unfiltered sample. This approach improves upon analysis of filtered and unfiltered samples and computation of particulate concentration by difference; volume filtered is adjusted based on suspended-sediment concentration to minimize particulate non-detects. Information from bed-sediment sampling is enhanced by sieving into multiple size fractions and determining detailed grain-size distribution. Wet sieving ensures particle disaggregation; sieve water is retained and fines are recovered by centrifugation. Speciation analysis by sequential extraction and examination of heavy mineral concentrates by scanning electron microscopy provide additional information regarding Hg mineralogy and geochemistry. Biomagnification of MeHg in food webs is tracked using phytoplankton, zooplankton, aquatic and emergent vegetation, invertebrates, fish, and birds. Analysis of zooplankton in

  7. Effects of historical and modern mining on mercury deposition in southeastern Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beal, Samuel A; Jackson, Brian P; Kelly, Meredith A; Stroup, Justin S; Landis, Joshua D

    2013-11-19

    Both modern anthropogenic emissions of mercury (Hg), primarily from artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM), and preindustrial anthropogenic emissions from mining are thought to have a large impact on present-day atmospheric Hg deposition. We study the spatial distribution of Hg and its depositional history over the past ∼400 years in sediment cores from lakes located regionally proximal (∼90-150 km) to the largest ASGM in Peru and distal (>400 km) to major preindustrial mining centers. Total Hg concentrations in surface sediments from fourteen lakes are typical of remote regions (10-115 ng g(-1)). Hg fluxes in cores from four lakes demonstrate preindustrial Hg deposition in southeastern Peru was spatially variable and at least an order of magnitude lower than previously reported fluxes in lakes located closer to mining centers. Average modern (A.D. 2000-2011) Hg fluxes in these cores are 3.4-6.9 μg m(-2) a(-1), compared to average preindustrial (A.D. 1800-1850) fluxes of 0.8-2.5 μg m(-2) a(-1). Modern Hg fluxes determined from the four lakes are on average 3.3 (±1.5) times greater than their preindustrial fluxes, similar to those determined in other remote lakes around the world. This agreement suggests that Hg emissions from ASGM are likely not significantly deposited in nearby down-wind regions.

  8. MERCURY IN EDIBLE WILD-GROWN MUSHROOMS FROM HISTORICAL MINING AREA – SLOVAKIA: BIOACCUMULATION AND RISK ASSESSMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Július Árvay

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In the present paper, we focused on assessment of the contamination levels of five species (n = 33 of edible wild mushrooms (Macrolepiota procera, Boletus reticulatus, Suillus grevillei, Russula xerampelina and Xerocomellus chrysenteron. We collected samples of above-ground parts of the macroscopic fungi species in historical mining and processing area surrounding Banská Bystrica (Central Slovakia in 2014. Within 2 m radius of the samples, we also took samples of underlying substrate. On the basis of the substrate, along with the monitored contaminant – mercury, we calculated bioaccumulation factors for individual species and their anatomical parts (cap and stipe. From the obtained results of the mercury content in the edible mushrooms, we then determined provisionally tolerable weekly intake (PTWI. The limit value for mercury (0.350 mg Hg kg-1 for an individual with average weight of 70 kg is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO. Our results suggest that despite the relatively low level of Hg in the underlying substrate, the species Macrolepiota procera (1.98 mg kg-1 ± 68.2 (0.41 - 3.20 mg kg-1 DW is characterized by extremely high bioaccumulation ability, as confirmed by the bioaccumulation factors (BAFc = 15.3; BAFs = 8.02. PTWI value was exceeded by almost 20%. In case of the other studied edible wild mushroom species, we did not record any increased risk of mercury intake by consumers. Generally it can be stated that consumption of wild mushrooms represents a relatively small but significant risk of negative impact on the consumer´s health.

  9. Mercury Contamination and Biogeochemical Cycling Associated with the Historic Idrija Mining Area of Slovenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hines, M. E.; Bonzongo, J. J.; Barkay, T.; Horvat, M.; Faganeli, J.

    2001-12-01

    The Idrija Mine is the second largest Hg mine in the world, which operated for 500 years before recently closing. More than five million tons of ore were mined with only 73% recovered. Hg-laden tailings still line the banks. Exhausts from stacks and mineshafts caused elevated levels of airborne Hg, most of which was deposited in the Idrija basin leading to elevated Hg levels in surficial soils. Hg is continually being transported downstream with approximately 1,500 kg per year entering the northern Adriatic Sea 100 km away. Multidisciplinary studies were conducted on samples collected throughout the Idrija and Soca River systems and waters and sediments in the Gulf of Trieste including Hg speciation, Hg transformation activities in sediments and soils, and the presence and expression of bacterial Hg resistance (mer) genes. Total Hg in the Idrija River increased from 300 ng/L with MeHg accounting for about 0.5%. Concentrations decreased downstream, but increased again in the Soca River and in the estuary with MeHg accounting for nearly 1.5% of the total. However, while bacteria upstream of the mine did not contain mer genes, such genes were detected in bacteria collected downstream for nearly 40 km, and these genes were transcribed. Total Hg levels decreased offshore, but values over 30 ng/L were noted in bottom waters. MeHg concentrations in the Gulf were highest in bottom waters. Sediments near the river mouth contained 40 micro-g/g total Hg with MeHg concentrations of about 3 ng/g. Sediments several km into the Gulf contained 50-fold less total Hg but only 10-fold less MeHg that decreased with depth in the sediment. Hg in sediment pore waters varied between 1 and 8 ng/L, with MeHg accounting for about 30%. Hg methylation and MeHg demethylation were active in Gulf sediments with highest activities near the surface. MeHg was degraded by an oxidative pathway with >97% of the C released from MeHg as carbon dioxide. Hg methylation depth profiles resembled profiles of

  10. Mercury pollution in Wuchuan mercury mining area, Guizhou, Southwestern China: the impacts from large scale and artisanal mercury mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ping; Feng, Xinbin; Qiu, Guangle; Shang, Lihai; Wang, Shaofeng

    2012-07-01

    To evaluate the environmental impacts from large scale mercury mining (LSMM) and artisanal mercury mining (AMM), total mercury (THg) and methyl mercury (MeHg) were determined in mine waste, ambient air, stream water and soil samples collected from Wuchuan mercury (Hg) mining area, Guizhou, Southwestern China. Mine wastes from both LSMM and AMM contained high THg concentrations, which are important Hg contamination sources to the local environment. Total gaseous mercury (TGM) concentrations in the ambient air near AMM furnaces were highly elevated, which indicated that AMM retorting is a major source of Hg emission. THg concentrations in the stream water varied from 43 to 2100 ng/L, where the elevated values were mainly found in the vicinity of AMM and mine waste heaps of LSMM. Surface soils were seriously contaminated with Hg, and land using types and organic matter played an important role in accumulation and transportation of Hg in soil. The results indicated heavy Hg contaminations in the study area, which were resulted from both LSMM and AMM. The areas impacted by LSMM were concentrated in the historical mining and smelting facilities, while Hg pollution resulted from AMM can be distributed anywhere in the Hg mining area. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Geochemical characterization of water, sediment, and biota affected by mercury contamination and acidic drainage from historical gold mining, Greenhorn Creek, Nevada County, California, 1999-2001

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alpers, Charles N.; Hunerlach, Michael P.; May, Jason T.; Hothem, Roger L.; Taylor, Howard E.; Antweiler, Ronald C.; De Wild, John F.; Lawler, David A.

    2005-01-01

    In 1999, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) initiated studies of mercury and methylmercury occurrence, transformation, and transport in the Bear River and Yuba River watersheds of the northwestern Sierra Nevada. Because these watersheds were affected by large-scale, historical gold extraction using mercury amalgamation beginning in the 1850s, they were selected for a pilot study of mercury transport by the USGS and other cooperating agencies. This report presents data on methylmercury (MeHg) and total mercury (THg) concentrations in water, bed sediment, invertebrates, and frogs collected at 40 stations during 1999-2001 in the Greenhorn Creek drainage, a major tributary to Bear River. Results document several mercury contamination ?hot spots? that represent potential targets for ongoing and future remediation efforts at abandoned mine sites in the study area. Water-quality samples were collected one or more times at each of 29 stations. The concentrations of total mercury in 45 unfiltered water samples ranged from 0.80 to 153,000 nanograms per liter (ng/L); the median was 9.6 ng/L. Total mercury concentrations in filtered water (41 samples) ranged from less than 0.3 to 8,000 ng/L; the median was 2.7 ng/L. Concentrations of methylmercury in the unfiltered water (40 samples) ranged from less than 0.04 to 9.1 ng/L; the median was 0.07 ng/L. Methylmercury in filtered water (13 samples) ranged from less than 0.04 to 0.27 ng/L; the median was 0.04 ng/L. Acidic drainage with pH values as low as 3.4 was encountered in some of the mined areas. Elevated concentrations of aluminum, cadmium, copper, iron, manganese, nickel, and zinc were found at several stations, especially in the more acidic water samples. Total mercury concentrations in sediment were determined by laboratory and field methods. Total mercury concentrations (determined by laboratory methods) in ten samples from eight stations ranged from about 0.0044 to 12 ?g/g (microgram per gram, equivalent to parts per

  12. Mercury bioaccumulation in fish in a region affected by historic gold mining; the South Yuba River, Deer Creek, and Bear River watersheds, California, 1999

    Science.gov (United States)

    May, Jason T.; Hothem, Roger L.; Alpers, Charles N.; Law, Matthew A.

    2000-01-01

    Mercury that was used historically for gold recovery in mining areas of the Sierra Nevada continues to enter local and downstream water bodies, including the Sacramento Delta and the San Francisco Bay of northern California. Methylmercury is of particular concern because it is the most prevalent form of mercury in fish and is a potent neurotoxin that bioaccumulates at successive trophic levels within food webs. In April 1999, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with several other agencies the Forest Service (U.S. Department of Agriculture), the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California State Water Resources Control Board, and the Nevada County Resource Conservation District began a pilot investigation to characterize the occurrence and distribution of mercury in water, sediment, and biota in the South Yuba River, Deer Creek, and Bear River watersheds of California. Biological samples consisted of semi-aquatic and aquatic insects, amphibians, bird eggs, and fish. Fish were collected from 5 reservoirs and 14 stream sites during August through October 1999 to assess the distribution of mercury in these watersheds. Fish that were collected from reservoirs included top trophic level predators (black basses, Micropterus spp.) intermediate trophic level predators [sunfish (blue gill, Lepomis macrochirus; green sunfish, Lepomis cyanellus; and black crappie, Poxomis nigromaculatus)] and benthic omnivores (channel catfish, Ictularus punctatus). At stream sites, the species collected were upper trophic level salmonids (brown trout, Salmo trutta) and upper-to-intermediate trophic level salmonids (rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss). Boneless and skinless fillet portions from 161 fish were analyzed for total mercury; 131 samples were individual fish, and the remaining 30 fish were combined into 10 composite samples of three fish each of the same species and size class. Mercury concentrations in samples of black basses

  13. Mercury Concentrations in Fish and Sediment within Streams are Influenced by Watershed and Landscape Variables including Historical Gold Mining in the Sierra Nevada, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alpers, C. N.; Yee, J. L.; Ackerman, J. T.; Orlando, J. L.; Slotton, D. G.; Marvin-DiPasquale, M. C.

    2015-12-01

    We compiled available data on total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in fish tissue and streambed sediment from stream sites in the Sierra Nevada, California, to assess whether spatial data, including information on historical mining, can be used to make robust predictions of fish fillet tissue THg concentrations. A total of 1,271 fish from five species collected at 103 sites during 1980-2012 were used for the modeling effort: 210 brown trout, 710 rainbow trout, 79 Sacramento pikeminnow, 93 Sacramento sucker, and 179 smallmouth bass. Sediment data were used from 73 sites, including 106 analyses of THg and 77 analyses of MeHg. The dataset included 391 fish (mostly rainbow trout) and 28 sediment samples collected explicitly for this study during 2011-12. Spatial data on historical mining included the USGS Mineral Resources Data System and publicly available maps and satellite photos showing the areas of hydraulic mine pits and other placer mines. Modeling was done using multivariate linear regression and multi-model inference using Akaike Information Criteria. Results indicate that fish THg, accounting for species and length, can be predicted using geospatial data on mining history together with other landscape characteristics including land use/land cover. A model requiring only geospatial data, with an R2 value of 0.61, predicted fish THg correctly with respect to over-or-under 0.2 μg/g wet weight (a California regulatory threshold) for 108 of 121 (89 %) size-species combinations tested. Data for THg in streambed sediment did not improve the geospatial-only model. However, data for sediment MeHg, loss on ignition (organic content), and percent of sediment less than 0.063 mm resulted in a slightly improved model, with an R2 value of 0.63. It is anticipated that these models will be useful to the State of California and others to predict areas where mercury concentrations in fish are likely to exceed regulatory criteria.

  14. Huerta del Rey: Edafic Characterization of a Historic Area of the Mercury Mining and Study of the Transfer of Mercury from the Soil to Plantago Major

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suarez, C.; Manero, L.; Sierra, M. J.; Rodriguez-Alonso, M.; Millan, R.

    2013-01-01

    The main objective of this scientific-technical report is to carry out a characterization of study plot called Huerta del Rey in the mercury (Hg) mining district of Almaden. For this goal, an edaphic characterization has been performed and the Hg behavior in the soil study has been evaluated. Then, total Hg concentration and easily available Hg for plants have been determined and the absorption and distribution of Hg in Plantago major L (typical specie from the study area) have been studied. The results showed that the total Hg concentrations in the soil ranged from 530 ± 32 mg kg - 1 to 4300 ± 339 mg kg - 1 even to 12378 ± 1051mg kg - 1. It is in accordance with the normal values measured in a Hg mining area. Otherwise, the percentage of soluble Hg in soil with respect to the total Hg concentration is low ( - 1 that could mean a potential risk of pollution of groundwater by leaching process. Finally a brief description about different technologies for decreasing Hg concentration in the study soil, including phytoremediation, has been performed. (Author) 96 refs.

  15. Influence of Reservoir Water Level Fluctuations on Sediment Methylmercury Concentrations Downstream of the Historical Black Butte Mercury Mine, OR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercury (Hg) is a pollutant of global concern due to its ability to accumulate as methylmercury (MeHg) in biota. Mercury is methylated by anaerobic microorganisms such as sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) in water and sediment. Throughout North America, reservoirs tend to have e...

  16. Long-term trends of surface-water mercury and methylmercury concentrations downstream of historic mining within the Carson River watershed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morway, Eric D; Thodal, Carl E; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark

    2017-10-01

    The Carson River is a vital water resource for local municipalities and migratory birds travelling the Pacific Flyway. Historic mining practices that used mercury (Hg) to extract gold from Comstock Lode ore has left much of the river system heavily contaminated with Hg, a practice that continues in many parts of the world today. Between 1998 and 2013, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) collected and analyzed Carson River water for Hg and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations resulting in a sixteen year record of unfiltered total mercury (uf.THg), filtered (dissolved) Hg (f.THg), total methylmercury (uf.MeHg), filtered MeHg (f.MeHg), and particulate-bound THg (p.THg) and MeHg (p.MeHg) concentrations. This represents one of the longest continuous records of Hg speciation data for any riverine system, thereby providing a unique opportunity to evaluate long-term trends in concentrations and annual loads. During the period of analysis, uf.THg concentration and load trended downward at rates of -0.85% and -1.8% per year, respectively. Conversely, the f.THg concentration increased at a rate of 1.7% per year between 1998 and 2005, and 4.9% per year between 2005 and 2013. Trends in flow-normalized partition coefficients for both Hg and MeHg suggest a statistically significant shift from the particulate to the filtered phase. The upwardly accelerating f.THg concentration and observed shift from the solid phase to the aqueous phase among the pools of Hg and MeHg within the river water column signals an increased risk of deteriorating ecological conditions in the lower basin with respect to Hg contamination. More broadly, the 16-year trend analysis, completed 140 years after the commencement of major Hg releases to the Carson River, provides a poignant example of the ongoing legacy left behind by gold and silver mining techniques that relied on Hg amalgamation, and a cautionary tale for regions still pursuing the practice in other countries. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  17. Mercury risk in poultry in the Wanshan Mercury Mine, China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yin, Runsheng; Zhang, Wei; Sun, Guangyi; Feng, Zhaohui; Hurley, James P.; Yang, Liyuan; Shang, Lihai; Feng, Xinbin

    2017-01-01

    In this study, total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in muscles (leg and breast), organs (intestine, heart, stomach, liver) and blood were investigated for backyard chickens, ducks and geese of the Wanshan Mercury Mine, China. THg in poultry meat products range from 7.9 to 3917.1 ng/g, most of which exceeded the Chinese national standard limit for THg in meat (50 ng/g). Elevated MeHg concentrations (0.4–62.8 ng/g) were also observed in meat products, suggesting that poultry meat can be an important human MeHg exposure source. Ducks and geese showed higher Hg levels than chickens. For all poultry species, the highest Hg concentrations were observed in liver (THg: 23.2–3917.1 ng/g; MeHg: 7.1–62.8 ng/g) and blood (THg: 12.3–338.0 ng/g; MeHg: 1.4–17.6 ng/g). We estimated the Hg burdens in chickens (THg: 15.3–238.1 μg; MeHg: 2.2–15.6 μg), ducks (THg: 15.3–238.1 μg; MeHg: 3.5–14.7 μg) and geese (THg: 83.8–93.4 μg; MeHg: 15.4–29.7 μg). To not exceed the daily intake limit for THg (34.2 μg/day) and MeHg (6 μg/day), we suggested that the maximum amount (g) for chicken leg, breast, heart, stomach, intestine, liver, and blood should be 1384, 1498, 2315, 1214, 1081, 257, and 717, respectively; the maximum amount (g) for duck leg, breast, heart, stomach, intestine, liver, and blood should be 750, 1041, 986, 858, 752, 134, and 573, respectively; and the maximum amount (g) for goose leg, breast, heart, stomach, intestine, liver, and blood should be 941, 1051, 1040, 1131, 964, 137, and 562, respectively. - Highlights: • Elevated mercury levels were observed in poultry from Wanshan Mercury Mine, China. • Ducks and geese showed higher mercury levels than chickens. • Liver and blood showed the highest mercury levels. • Poultry can be an important dietary Hg exposure source for local residents. - High levels of Hg associated with poultry surrounding the Wanshan Mercury Mine pose a great risk of Hg exposure to

  18. Mercury content in electrum from artisanal mining site of Mongolia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murao, Satoshi; Naito, Kazuki; Dejidmaa, Gunchin; Sie, Soey H.

    2006-01-01

    In Mongolia, artisanal gold mining, modern gold rush, in which people use mercury to extract gold, is being proliferated rapidly and the mercury contamination of mining site is becoming a serious social issue. For the risk assessment of mercury, it is necessary to understand how much mercury is introduced to the environment from what kind of materials during mining activity. It is already known that major contribution of the contamination comes from mercury that was bought at shops and brought to mining sites by miners. However, no information is available on how much mercury is removed from electrum (natural gold grain) to the environment. Since gold deposit is always accompanied by mercury anomaly, it is anticipated that electrum grains contain some amount of mercury of natural origin, and this mercury (primary mercury) contributes to some extent to the contamination. In order to clarify how much mercury is incorporated in electrum grains, micro-PIXE at CSIRO was used for grain-by-grain analysis. The result showed that electrum from study area contains mercury up to 8260 ppm. It is concluded that for the risk management of mercury contamination, release of natural mercury from electrum grains during smelting must not be ignored

  19. Thiosulphate assisted phytoextraction of mercury contaminated soils at the Wanshan Mercury Mining District, Southwest China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Wang

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Wanshan, known as the “Mercury Capital” of China, is located in the Southwest of China. Due to the extensive mining and smelting works in the Wanshan area, the local ecosystem has been serious contaminated with mercury. In the present study, a number of soil samples were taken from the Wanshan mercury mining area and the mercury fractionations in soils were analyzed using sequential extraction procedure technique. The obtained results showed that the dominate mercury fractions (represent 95% of total mercury were residual and organic bound mercury. A field trial was conducted in a mercury polluted farmland at the Wanshan mercury mine. Four plant species Brassica juncea Czern. et Coss.var. ASKYC (ASKYC, Brassica juncea Czern. et Coss.var.DPDH (DPDH, Brassica juncea Czern. et Coss.var.CHBD(CHBD, Brassica juncea Czern. et Coss.var.LDZY (LDZY were tested their ability to extract mercury from soil with thiosulphate amendment. The results indicated that the mercury concentration in the roots and shoots of the four plants were significantly increased with thiosulphate treatment. The mercury phytoextraction yield of ASKYC, DPDH, CHBD and LDZY were 92, 526, 294 and 129 g/ha, respectively

  20. Thiosulphate assisted phytoextraction of mercury contaminated soils at the Wanshan Mercury Mining District, Southwest China

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    J Wang

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Wanshan, known as the “Mercury Capital” of China, is located in the Southwest of China. Due to the extensive mining and smelting works in the Wanshan area, the local ecosystem has been serious contaminated with mercury. In the present study, a number of soil samples were taken from the Wanshan mercury mining area and the mercury fractionations in soils were analyzed using sequential extraction procedure technique. The obtained results showed that the dominate mercury fractions (represent 95% of total mercury were residual and organic bound mercury. A field trial was conducted in a mercury polluted farmland at the Wanshan mercury mine. Four plant species Brassica juncea Czern. et Coss.var. ASKYC (ASKYC, Brassica juncea Czern. et Coss.var.DPDH (DPDH, Brassica juncea Czern. et Coss.var.CHBD(CHBD, Brassica juncea Czern. et Coss.var.LDZY (LDZY were tested their ability to extract mercury from soil with thiosulphate amendment. The results indicated that the mercury concentration in the roots and shoots of the four plants were significantly increased with thiosulphate treatment. The mercury phytoextraction yield of ASKYC, DPDH, CHBD and LDZY were 92, 526, 294 and 129 g/ha, respectively.

  1. Mercury Bioaccumulation in Fish in a Region Affected by Historic Gold Morning: The South Yuba River, Deer Creek, and Bear River Watersheds, California, 1999

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    May, Jason T; Hothem, Roger L; Alpers, Charles N; Law, Matthew A

    2000-01-01

    Mercury that was used historically for gold recovery in mining areas of the Sierra Nevada continues to enter local and downstream water bodies, including the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the San...

  2. Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Without Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercury-free techniques are safer for miners, their families and local communities. They can also help miners qualify for certification under fair-mined standards, potentially allowing them to market their gold at higher prices.

  3. Assessment of the mercury emissions from burning mining waste dumps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Białecka

    2016-04-01

    occur and to which the environment and local inhabitants can be exposed, it is important to define the size of the emission of mercury compounds from these objects. Despite the potential threats so far no measurements of mercury concentration which would a llow quantifying this phenomenon have been done. The analyses presented in this article fill this gap. Additionally, initial calculation of annual mercury emissions from burning coal mining waste dumps in Poland is presented.

  4. Distribution and Speciation of Mercury in Mine Waste Dumps

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hojdová, Maria; Navrátil, Tomáš; Rohovec, Jan

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 80, č. 3 (2008), s. 237-241 ISSN 0007-4861 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR(CZ) KJB300130615 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : mercury * mine waste * mercury speciation * thermo-desorption analysis Subject RIV: DD - Geochemistry Impact factor: 0.609, year: 2008

  5. Mercury risk in poultry in the Wanshan Mercury Mine, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Runsheng; Zhang, Wei; Sun, Guangyi; Feng, Zhaohui; Hurley, James P; Yang, Liyuan; Shang, Lihai; Feng, Xinbin

    2017-11-01

    In this study, total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in muscles (leg and breast), organs (intestine, heart, stomach, liver) and blood were investigated for backyard chickens, ducks and geese of the Wanshan Mercury Mine, China. THg in poultry meat products range from 7.9 to 3917.1 ng/g, most of which exceeded the Chinese national standard limit for THg in meat (50 ng/g). Elevated MeHg concentrations (0.4-62.8 ng/g) were also observed in meat products, suggesting that poultry meat can be an important human MeHg exposure source. Ducks and geese showed higher Hg levels than chickens. For all poultry species, the highest Hg concentrations were observed in liver (THg: 23.2-3917.1 ng/g; MeHg: 7.1-62.8 ng/g) and blood (THg: 12.3-338.0 ng/g; MeHg: 1.4-17.6 ng/g). We estimated the Hg burdens in chickens (THg: 15.3-238.1 μg; MeHg: 2.2-15.6 μg), ducks (THg: 15.3-238.1 μg; MeHg: 3.5-14.7 μg) and geese (THg: 83.8-93.4 μg; MeHg: 15.4-29.7 μg). To not exceed the daily intake limit for THg (34.2 μg/day) and MeHg (6 μg/day), we suggested that the maximum amount (g) for chicken leg, breast, heart, stomach, intestine, liver, and blood should be 1384, 1498, 2315, 1214, 1081, 257, and 717, respectively; the maximum amount (g) for duck leg, breast, heart, stomach, intestine, liver, and blood should be 750, 1041, 986, 858, 752, 134, and 573, respectively; and the maximum amount (g) for goose leg, breast, heart, stomach, intestine, liver, and blood should be 941, 1051, 1040, 1131, 964, 137, and 562, respectively. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Mercury pollution by mining activities in Rayo Rojo mining district, Apolobamba (Bolivia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teran-Mita, T.; Faz Cano, A.; Muñoz, M.; Millán, R.; Salvador, F.

    2009-04-01

    In Bolivia, metal mining activities since historical times have been one of the most important causes of the environmental degradation. This is the case of the Natural Integrated Management Area of Apolobamba (Department of La Paz, Bolivia), where intense gold mining activities have been carried out from former times to present days, with very little gold extraction and very scarce mineral processing technology. In Apolobamba mercury is still being used in the amalgam processes and this might conduct to high Hg contents. Inhabitants of this area consume fish from lakes and rivers, and use the waters for the livestock, domestic use, and irrigation. The aim of this work was to evaluate mercury impact into the soil-plant-water system. The Technical University of Cartagena, Spain, through the Research Group "Sustainable Use, Management and Reclamation of Soil and Water", carried out a research, in the most intense affected gold extraction zones in Apolobamba, among them Rayo Rojo, where mining activity is mainly gold extraction, although the extracted mineral volume and technology used is low. Rayo Rojo is located in the central part of ANMI - Apolobamba (in the andean region), inside of Pelechuco municipality; the area belongs biogeographically to the Altoandina and Puna. This district, located in Apolobamba mountain-range, where altitudes above 5.000 m.a.s.l are reached. Water, soil, sediment and plant samples were taken around the operations mining sites and total mercury analysed. Mercury content was determined by AMA-254 model, based on the thermal decomposition of the sample and collection of the Hg vapour on a gold amalgamator. The analysis is performed from solid samples without any further preparation. Samples are initially dried at 125°C and then thermally decomposed at the temperature of 550°C. Mercury vapour is then trapped on the gold amalgamator. AMA-254 method certificated standards were BCR 62-BCR 281. Preliminary results show high Hg concentrations

  7. Historical Bibliography of Sea Mine Warfare

    Science.gov (United States)

    1976-01-01

    Naval Studies Board. At the termination of the Committee there remained a single piece of unfinished business --the compilation of "a "Historical...Submarine; New Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia, Vol. XXIII, Unicorn Publishing Co., 19521 New York. pp. 8492-8493. 6. Mine, Submarine; New International

  8. Proactive mining system in potosi silver mines : new information from re-evaluation of historical materials regarding the fifth viceroy toledo’s various policies on environment

    OpenAIRE

    Miyoshi, Emako; Anezaki, Shoji

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, the proactive mining system introduced by the fifth viceroy, Francisco de Toledo (1569–1581) to the Potosi Silver Mine is clarified on the facts found in the historical documents. Main policies in Toledo’s mining business are followings, the application of mercury-amalgamation to extract silver from ores, the construction of the hydraulic-powered system for silver-ore crashing with cascading uses, the recycle system included the extraction of silver from waste ores and collecti...

  9. Arsenic associated with historical gold mining in the Sierra Nevada foothills: Case study and field trip guide for Empire Mine State Historic Park, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alpers, Charles N.; Myers, Perry A; Millsap, Daniel; Regnier, Tamsen B; Bowell, Robert J.; Alpers, Charles N.; Jamieson, Heather E.; Nordstrom, D. Kirk; Majzlan, Juraj

    2014-01-01

    The Empire Mine, together with other mines in the Grass Valley mining district, produced at least 21.3 million troy ounces (663 tonnes) of gold (Au) during the 1850s through the 1950s, making it the most productive hardrock Au mining district in California history (Clark 1970). The Empire Mine State Historic Park (Empire Mine SHP or EMSHP), established in 1975, provides the public with an opportunity to see many well-preserved features of the historic mining and mineral processing operations (CDPR 2014a).A legacy of Au mining at Empire Mine and elsewhere is contamination of mine wastes and associated soils, surface waters, and groundwaters with arsenic (As), mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), and other metals. At EMSHP, As has been the principal contaminant of concern and the focus of extensive remediation efforts over the past several years by the State of California, Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and Newmont USA, Ltd. In addition, the site is the main focus of a multidisciplinary research project on As bioavailability and bioaccessibility led by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA’s) Brownfields Program.This chapter was prepared as a guide for a field trip to EMSHP held on June 14, 2014, in conjunction with a short course on “Environmental Geochemistry, Mineralogy, and Microbiology of Arsenic” held in Nevada City, California on June 15–16, 2014. This guide contains background information on geological setting, mining history, and environmental history at EMSHP and other historical Au mining districts in the Sierra Nevada, followed by descriptions of the field trip stops.

  10. Artisanal Mining of Gold with Mercury in Ghana

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    USER

    ³Department of Chemistry, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, P.O. Box LG 80, Legon, Ghana ... The paper examines the environmental impact of artisanal mining of gold ... numerous deaths resulting from the eating of Hg-contaminated fish or .... The improper use and handling of mercury can also lead to potential health.

  11. Methods to reduce mercury pollution in small gold mining operations

    OpenAIRE

    Pantoja-Timarán, F.; Álvarez-Rodríguez, R.; Rodríguez-Avelló, A. S.

    2005-01-01

    The use of mercury for gold beneficiation is still a current practice in small mining operations, mainly in underdeveloped countries, due to the low investment required and necessity of easy to operate systems. But the lack of basic protections makes unavoidable the high pollution of water streams, soils, and in fact, human bodies. Some improvements have been done at site like that related to the removal of the mercury from the amalgam, that usually was done in the open air and now have been ...

  12. Mercury use in small scale gold mining in Ghana: an assessment of its impact on miners

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biagya, Robert Yakubu

    2002-12-01

    Small scale gold mining is responsible for about 5% of Ghana’s annual gold production. It is estimated that between 80,000 and 100,000 people are engaged in small scale gold mining either on part-time or permanent basis. Amalgamation is the preferred method used by small scale gold miners for extracting free gold from its ores. The rate at which mercury, an important input in this method, is discharged into the atmosphere and water bodies is alarming. This research describes the various mining and processing methods in small scale gold mining and the extent of mercury use and releases to the environment. It discusses mercury and its human and environmental effects. It defines the various forms of mercury, routes of exposure, toxic effects. The levels of exposure to mercury by all groups of small scale gold miners are determined, and the impacts on the miners and the environment are assessed. It concludes that: • Mercury is mainly released into the environment as a result of small scale gold mining through spillage of elemental mercury and evaporation of mercury from the amalgam and sponge gold when they are heated on open fire. • Mercury in environmental samples from small scale gold mining areas is well above standard limit values. • Mercury released into the environment through small scale gold mining impacts negatively on the miners themselves and the general environment. Finally, it recommends the need for the adoption of mercury emission reduction strategies for dealing with the mercury problem. (au)

  13. Mercury contamination from artisanal gold mining in Antioquia, Colombia: The world's highest per capita mercury pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordy, Paul; Veiga, Marcello M; Salih, Ibrahim; Al-Saadi, Sari; Console, Stephanie; Garcia, Oseas; Mesa, Luis Alberto; Velásquez-López, Patricio C; Roeser, Monika

    2011-12-01

    The artisanal gold mining sector in Colombia has 200,000 miners officially producing 30tonnes Au/a. In the Northeast of the Department of Antioquia, there are 17 mining towns and between 15,000 and 30,000 artisanal gold miners. Guerrillas and paramilitary activities in the rural areas of Antioquia pushed miners to bring their gold ores to the towns to be processed in Processing Centers or entables. These Centers operate in the urban areas amalgamating the whole ore, i.e. without previous concentration, and later burn gold amalgam without any filtering/condensing system. Based on mercury mass balance in 15 entables, 50% of the mercury added to small ball mills (cocos) is lost: 46% with tailings and 4% when amalgam is burned. In just 5 cities of Antioquia, with a total of 150,000 inhabitants: Segovia, Remedios, Zaragoza, El Bagre, and Nechí, there are 323 entables producing 10-20tonnes Au/a. Considering the average levels of mercury consumption estimated by mass balance and interviews of entables owners, the mercury consumed (and lost) in these 5 municipalities must be around 93tonnes/a. Urban air mercury levels range from 300ng Hg/m(3) (background) to 1million ng Hg/m(3) (inside gold shops) with 10,000ng Hg/m(3) being common in residential areas. The WHO limit for public exposure is 1000ng/m(3). The total mercury release/emissions to the Colombian environment can be as high as 150tonnes/a giving this country the shameful first position as the world's largest mercury polluter per capita from artisanal gold mining. One necessary government intervention is to cut the supply of mercury to the entables. In 2009, eleven companies in Colombia legally imported 130tonnes of metallic mercury, much of it flowing to artisanal gold mines. Entables must be removed from urban centers and technical assistance is badly needed to improve their technology and reduce emissions. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Mercury-contaminated hydraulic mining debris in San Francisco Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouse, Robin M.; Fuller, Christopher C.; Luoma, Samuel N.; Hornberger, Michelle I.; Jaffe, Bruce E.; Smith, Richard E.

    2010-01-01

    The hydraulic gold-mining process used during the California Gold Rush and in many developing countries today contributes enormous amounts of sediment to rivers and streams. Commonly, accompanying this sediment are contaminants such as elemental mercury and cyanide used in the gold extraction process. We show that some of the mercurycontaminated sediment created by hydraulic gold mining in the Sierra Nevada, between 1852 and 1884, ended up over 250 kilometers (km) away in San Francisco Bay; an example of the far-reaching extent of contamination from such activities.

  15. Natural and mining-related mercury in an orogenic greywacke terrane, South Island, New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holley, E.A.; Craw, D.; Kim, J.P.

    2010-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is naturally present in warm springs and mesothermal (orogenic) gold-bearing quartz vein systems in the South Island of New Zealand. Mercury amalgamation was used historically in ore processing at gold (Au) mines, resulting in composite natural and anthropogenic Hg signatures at these sites. This study compares natural Hg enrichment of the Au vein systems, residual anthropogenic Hg added for amalgamation, and enrichment of naturally present Hg during ore processing. Mercury concentration data are presented for solids and water at historic mine sites, the modern Macraes mine, fault-related warm springs, and zones of naturally occurring cinnabar and Hg-bearing Au. Arsenic (As) concentrations are also presented, as As is the most environmentally significant element in this tectonic setting. Tailings and processing residues at historic mine sites (Blackwater mine, West Coast; Golden Point and Golden Bar, Hyde-Macraes shear zone) contain up to 1000 mg/kg Hg, and in adjacent surface waters Hg is at or slightly above background from 0.6 to 0.8 ng/L. Relative to South Island Hg, As is more environmentally significant: solid wastes at some historic mine and mineral processing sites contain up to 30.5 wt% As due to enrichment of natural As in mineralised rocks. Shallow groundwater and processing waters at the modern Macraes mine are up to 0.01 mg/L Hg due to natural Hg in mineralised rocks, and no significant Hg elevation is evident in nearby surface waters, which are 3 to 10 4 times higher than primary ore, and Hg is disproportionally increased relative to As, indicating that much of the Hg was added during the amalgamation process. Natural cinnabar deposition from warm springs results in localised, strongly elevated Hg, equal to or less than the Hg contents in historic mine processing residues. Warm spring precipitates are up to 111 mg/kg Hg and waters are 0.3 μg/L Hg, comparable to data reported for active North Island geothermal (epithermal-style) systems

  16. Pollution by Arsenic, Mercury and other Heavy Metals in Sunchulli mining district of Apolobamba (Bolivia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terán Mita, Tania; Faz Cano, Angel; Muñoz, Maria Angeles; Millán Gómez, Rocio; Chincheros Paniagua, Jaime

    2010-05-01

    In Bolivia, metal mining activities since historical times have been one of the most important sources of environmental pollution. This is the case of the National Area of Apolobamba Integrated Management (ANMIN of Apolobamba) in La Paz, Bolivia, where intense gold mining activities have been carried out from former times to the present, with very little gold extraction and very primitive mineral processing technology; in fact, mercury is still being used in the amalgam processes of the gold concentration, which is burned outdoors to recover the gold. Sunchullí is a representative mining district in ANMIN of Apolobamba where mining activity is mainly gold extraction and its water effluents go to the Amazonian basin; in this mining district the productivity of extracted mineral is very low but the processes can result in heavy-metal contamination of the air, water, soils and plants. Due to its high toxicity, the contamination by arsenic and mercury create the most critical environmental problems. In addition, some other heavy metals may also be present such as lead, copper, zinc and cadmium. These heavy metals could be incorporated in the trophic chain, through the flora and the fauna, in their bio-available and soluble forms. Inhabitants of this area consume foodcrops, fish from lakes and rivers and use the waters for the livestock, domestic use, and irrigation. The aim of this work was to evaluate the heavy metals pollution by gold mining activities in Sunchullí area. In Sunchullí two representative zones were distinguished and sampled. Zone near the mining operation site was considered as affected by mineral extraction processes, while far away zones represented the non affected ones by the mining operation. In each zone, 3 plots were established; in each plot, 3 soil sampling points were selected in a random manner and analysed separately. In each sampling point, two samples were taken, one at the surface, from 0-5 cm depth (topsoil), and the other between 5

  17. Mercury speciation on three European mining districts by XANES techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esbri, J. M.; Garcia-Noguero, E. M.; Guerrero, B.; Kocman, D.; Bernaus, A.; Gaona, X.; Higueras, P.; Alvarez, R.; Loredo, J.; Horvat, M.; Ávila, M.

    2009-04-01

    The mobility, bioavailability and toxicity of mercury in the environment depend on the chemical species in which is present in soil, sediments, water or air. In this work we used synchrotron radiation to determine mercury species in geological samples of three mercury mining districts: Almadén (Spain), Idria (Slovenia) and Asturias (Spain). The aim of this study was to find differences on mobility and bioavailability of mercury on three mining districts with different type of mineralization. For this porpoises we selected samples of ore, calcines, soils and stream sediments from the three sites, completely characterized by the Almadén School of Mines, Josef Stefan Institute of Ljubljana and Oviedo School of Mines. Speciation of mercury was carried out on Synchrotron Laboratories of Hamburg (HASYLAB) by XANES techniques. Spectra of pure compounds [HgCl2, HgSO4, HgO, CH3HgCl, Hg2Cl2 (calomel), HgSred (cinnabar), HgSblack (metacinnabar), Hg2NCl0.5(SO4)0.3(MoO4)0.1(CO3)0.1(H2O) (mosesite), Hg3S2Cl2 (corderoite), Hg3(SO4)O2 (schuetteite) y Hg2ClO (terlinguaite)] were obtained on transmittance mode. The number and type of the compounds required to reconstruct experimental spectra for each sample was obtained by PCA analysis and linear fitting of minimum quadratics of the pure compounds spectra. This offers a semiquantitative approach to the mineralogical constitution of each analyzed sample. The results put forward differences on the efficiency of roasting furnaces from the three studied sites, evidenced by the presence of metacinnabar on the less efficient (Almadén and Asturias) and absence on the most efficient (Idria). For the three studied sites, sulfide species (cinnabar and metacinnabar) were largely more abundant than soluble species (chlorides and sulfates). On the other hand, recent results on the mobility of both Hg and As on the target sites will be presented. These results correlate with the related chemical species found by XANES techniques.

  18. Methods to reduce mercury pollution is small gold mining operations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pantoja-Timaran, F.; Alvarez-Rodriguez, R.; Rodriguez-Avello, A. S.

    2005-01-01

    The use of mercury for gold beneficiation is still a current practice in small mining operations, mainly in underdeveloped countries, due to the low investment required and necessity of easy to operate systems. But the lack of basic protections makes unavoidable the high pollution of water streams, soils, and in fact, human bodies. some improvements have been done at site like that related to the removal of the mercury from the amalgam, that usually was done in the open air, and now have been changed to the utilization of artisan iron retorts which considerable reduce the emissions of mercury vapors to the atmosphere, but there are still high losses of mercury into the waste solids or tailings coming from the amalgamation process (nearly most of the total weight of the ore treated). In order to reduce the mercury losses into the tailings from the process, this research work has been based in the use of cheap systems, available to the isolated miners, to proof that it is feasible to get an important reduction of the losses and the pollution. the procedure has been accomplished by means of washing the ores with alkaline or detergent agents, together with the use of activated mercury purified by electrowinning in a simple device, easily manufactured in site by the own workers. It is also proven herewith that controlling the time of amalgamation and the total amount of mercury used could reduce the total pollution, and in addition, the gold recovery would be improved. This investigation reports the possibility of a reduction of mercury losses down to 2.4 g per 100 of gold produced (case of rich ores like LaBruja), with gold recovery up to 94%; and 8,6 g per 100 g of gold produced (from ores with average grades like La Gruesa), and gold recoveries in the range of 92%. All that is about 20 to 100 times lower than data reported in current bibliography. The introduction of a previous step of the ore concentration in shaking tables, decreases the total amount of solids for

  19. Mercury volatilisation and phytoextraction from base-metal mine tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Fabio N; Anderson, Chris W N; Stewart, Robert B; Robinson, Brett H

    2005-07-01

    Experiments were carried out in plant growth chambers and in the field to investigate plant-mercury accumulation and volatilisation in the presence of thiosulphate (S2O3)-containing solutions. Brassica juncea (Indian mustard) plants grown in Hg-contaminated Tui mine tailings (New Zealand) were enclosed in gastight volatilisation chambers to investigate the effect of ammonium thiosulphate ([NH4]2 S2O3) on the plant-Hg volatilisation process. Application of (NH4)2 S2O3 to substrates increased up to 6 times the Hg concentration in shoots and roots of B. juncea relative to controls. Volatilisation rates were significantly higher in plants irrigated only with water (control) when compared to plants treated with (NH4)2 S2O3. Volatilisation from barren pots (without plants) indicated that Hg in tailings is subject to biological and photochemical reactions. Addition of sodium thiosulphate (Na2S2O3) at 5 g/kg of substrate to B. juncea plants grown at the Tui mine site confirmed the plant growth chambers studies showing the effectiveness of thio-solutions at enhancing shoot Hg concentrations. Mercury extraction from the field plots yielded a maximum value of 25 g/ha. Mass balance studies revealed that volatilisation is a dominant pathway for Hg removal from the Tui mine site. A preliminary assessment of the risks of volatilisation indicated that enhanced Hg emissions by plants would not harm the local population and the regional environment.

  20. Women, mercury and artisanal gold mining : Risk communication and mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinton, J. J.; Veiga, M. M.; Beinhoff, C.

    2003-05-01

    Artisanal miners employ rudimentary techniques for minéral extraction and often operate under hazardous, labour intensive, highly disorganized and illegal conditions. Gold is the main mineral extracted by artisanal miners, and the ecological and human health impacts resulting from mercury (Hg) use in gold extraction warrant special consideration. More than 30% of world's 13 million artisanal miners are women and, as they are often perceived to be less suited for labour intensive mining methods, the majority of women work in the processing aspect of artisanal mining, including amalgamation with Hg. As women are also predominantly responsible for food preparation, they are in an excellent position to respond to health risks associated with consumption of Hg-contaminated foods in impacted areas. In addition to their influence on consumption habits, women in artisanal mining communities may be in a position to effect positive change with respect to the technologies employed. Thus, gender sensitive approaches are necessary to reduce exposure risks to women and their families, promote clean technologies and support the development of stronger, healthier artisanal mining communities. This paper describes the roles of women in artisanal gold mining, highlights their importance in reducing the Hg exposure in these communities, and provides insight into how risks from Hg pollution can effectively be communicated and mitigated.

  1. Mercury volatilisation and phytoextraction from base-metal mine tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moreno, Fabio N.; Anderson, Chris W.N.; Stewart, Robert B.; Robinson, Brett H.

    2005-01-01

    Experiments were carried out in plant growth chambers and in the field to investigate plant-mercury accumulation and volatilisation in the presence of thiosulphate (S 2 O 3 )-containing solutions. Brassica juncea (Indian mustard) plants grown in Hg-contaminated Tui mine tailings (New Zealand) were enclosed in gastight volatilisation chambers to investigate the effect of ammonium thiosulphate ([NH 4 ] 2 S 2 O 3 ) on the plant-Hg volatilisation process. Application of (NH 4 ) 2 S 2 O 3 to substrates increased up to 6 times the Hg concentration in shoots and roots of B. juncea relative to controls. Volatilisation rates were significantly higher in plants irrigated only with water (control) when compared to plants treated with (NH 4 ) 2 S 2 O 3 . Volatilisation from barren pots (without plants) indicated that Hg in tailings is subject to biological and photochemical reactions. Addition of sodium thiosulphate (Na 2 S 2 O 3 ) at 5 g/kg of substrate to B. juncea plants grown at the Tui mine site confirmed the plant growth chambers studies showing the effectiveness of thio-solutions at enhancing shoot Hg concentrations. Mercury extraction from the field plots yielded a maximum value of 25 g/ha. Mass balance studies revealed that volatilisation is a dominant pathway for Hg removal from the Tui mine site. A preliminary assessment of the risks of volatilisation indicated that enhanced Hg emissions by plants would not harm the local population and the regional environment. - Mass balance studies indicated that volatilisation was a dominant pathway for mercury removal

  2. Investigating respirable particulates (PM10) around the world's largest mercury mine, Almaden, Spain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gibbons, W.; Jones, T. [Cardiff Univ., Cardiff, Wales (United Kingdom). Dept. of Earth Sciences; Moreno, T.; Richards, R. [Cardiff Univ., Cardiff, Wales (United Kingdom). School of Biosciences; Higueras, P. [Almaden Univ. of Castilla-La Mancha, Almaden (Spain). Dept. of Geological Engineering

    2003-07-01

    The Almaden area in Spain has been mined for mercury since pre-Roman days. There is no evidence for significant contamination of the groundwater supply, since the lack of pyrite in the mercury deposits has prevented the formation of acid mine drainage. However, the main recognized environmental problem related to mercury mining has been the progressive poisoning of workers who are in direct contact with mercury vapours. This paper presents results of a study in which dust samples were collected from former mining and urban locations around Almaden. The samples were processed to extract their fine, respirable fraction. Mining activities have left contaminated ground, which under semi-arid conditions has created respirable mercury-bearing dusts. In some places the ground is severely contaminated with mercury as cinnabar and as schuetteite. Some of the contaminated areas are used for livestock grazing and growing plants for human consumption. A higher incidence of mercury-bearing particles is found in the finer fraction. The sizes of the mercury-bearing resuspended particles at all sites varies from inhalable dust, through respirable dust, to fine and ultrafine size capable of reaching the deepest levels of the lung alveoli. The most significant contamination is associated with old processing plants. Dust samples collected from Almaden, a town of 6,500 inhabitants, were found to contain significant amounts of respirable mercury-bearing aerosols.

  3. Mercury Pollution Studies of Some Rivers Draining the Bibiani-Anwiaso-Bekwai Mining Community of South Western Ghana

    OpenAIRE

    V.K. Nartey; L.K. Doamekpor; S. Sarpong-Kumankuma; T. Akabzaa; F.K. Nyame; J.K. Kutor; D. Adotey

    2011-01-01

    The project assessed the extent of mercury pollution of some rivers that drain the Bibiani-Anwiaso- Bekwai district which is a typical mining community in the south western part of Ghana. In the study, surfacewater and sediment samples were collected from seven streams that drain this mining community and analyzed for total mercury, organic mercury and elemental mercury. Mercury concentrations of non-filtered water was determined using the ICP-OES after reduction with stannous chloride (SnCl2...

  4. Mercury Pollution from Small-Scale Gold Mining Can Be Stopped by Implementing the Gravity-Borax Method

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Køster-Rasmussen, Rasmus; Westergaard, Maria L; Brasholt, Marie

    2016-01-01

    Mercury is used globally to extract gold in artisanal and small-scale gold mining. The mercury-free gravity-borax method for gold extraction was introduced in two mining communities using mercury in the provinces Kalinga and Camarines Norte. This article describes project activities...... organization facilitated the shift in Kalinga. In conclusion, the gravity-borax method is a doable alternative to mercury use in artisanal and small-scale gold mining, but support from the civil society is needed....

  5. Huerta del Rey: Edafic Characterization of a Historic Area of the Mercury Mining and Study of the Transfer of Mercury from the Soil to Plantago Major; Huerta del Rey: Caracterizacion Edafica de una Zona Historica de la Mineria del Mercurio y Estudio de la Transferencia del Mercurio a Plantago Major

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suarez, C; Manero, L; Sierra, M J; Rodriguez-Alonso, M; Millan, R

    2013-02-01

    The main objective of this scientific-technical report is to carry out a characterization of study plot called Huerta del Rey in the mercury (Hg) mining district of Almaden. For this goal, an edaphic characterization has been performed and the Hg behavior in the soil study has been evaluated. Then, total Hg concentration and easily available Hg for plants have been determined and the absorption and distribution of Hg in Plantago major L (typical specie from the study area) have been studied. The results showed that the total Hg concentrations in the soil ranged from 530 {+-} 32 mg kg{sup -}1 to 4300 {+-} 339 mg kg{sup -}1 even to 12378 {+-} 1051mg kg{sup -}1. It is in accordance with the normal values measured in a Hg mining area. Otherwise, the percentage of soluble Hg in soil with respect to the total Hg concentration is low (< 0.3 %) although if concentration instead of percentage is taking into account, the soluble Hg reached values up to 1.33 {+-}0.14 mg kg{sup -}1 that could mean a potential risk of pollution of groundwater by leaching process. Finally a brief description about different technologies for decreasing Hg concentration in the study soil, including phytoremediation, has been performed. (Author) 96 refs.

  6. Review of samples of water, sediment, tailings, and biota at the Little Bonanza mercury mine, San Luis Obispo County, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rytuba, James J.; Hothem, Roger L.; Goldstein, Daniel N.; Brussee, Brianne E.; May, Jason T.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Objectives The Little Bonanza mercury (Hg) mine, located in San Luis Obispo County, California, is a relatively small mine with, a historical total Hg production of about 1,000 flasks. The mine workings and tailings are located in the headwaters of the previously unnamed west fork of Las Tablas Creek (WF Las Tablas Creek), which flows into the Nacimiento Reservoir. Wasterock and tailings eroded from the Little Bonanza Hg Mine have contributed Hg-enriched mine wastes to the headwaters of WF Las Tablas Creek. The mine is located on Federal land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which requested that the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) measure and characterize Hg and other geochemical constituents in tailings, sediment, water, and biota at and downstream from the minesite. This report is in response that request, from the lead agency which is mandated to conduct a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) - Removal Site Investigation (RSI). The RSI applies to removal of Hg-contaminated mine waste from the Little Bonanza minesite as a means of reducing Hg transport to WF Las Tablas Creek. This report summarizes data obtained from field sampling of mine tailings, wasterock, sediment, water, and biota at the Little Bonanza Mine that was completed on April 6, 2010. Conditions during sampling were dry and no rain had occurred in the watershed for several weeks. Our results permit a preliminary assessment of the mining sources of Hg and associated chemical constituents that could produce elevated levels of monomethyl mercury (MMeHg) in WF Las Tablas Creek and in biota.

  7. Mercury in breast milk - a health hazard for infants in gold mining areas?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bose-O'Reilly, Stephan; Lettmeier, Beate; Roider, Gabriele; Siebert, Uwe; Drasch, Gustav

    2008-10-01

    Breast-feeding can be a source of mercury exposure for infants. The main concern up to now is methyl-mercury exposure of women at child-bearing age. Certain fish species have high levels of methyl-mercury leading to consumer's advisory guidelines in regard of fish consumption to protect infants from mercury exposure passing through breast milk. Little is known about the transfer of inorganic mercury passing through breast milk to infants. Epidemiological studies showed negative health effects of inorganic mercury in gold mining areas. Small-scale gold miners use mercury to extract the gold from the ore. Environmental and health assessments of gold mining areas in Indonesia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe showed a high exposure with inorganic mercury in these gold mining areas, and a negative health impact of the exposure to the miners and the communities. This paper reports about the analysis and the results of 46 breast milk samples collected from mercury-exposed mothers. The median level of 1.87mug/l is fairly high compared to other results from literature. Some breast milk samples showed very high levels of mercury (up to 149mug/l). Fourteen of the 46 breast milk samples exceed 4mug/l which is considered to be a "high" level. US EPA recommends a "Reference Dose" of 0.3mug inorganic mercury/kg body weight/day [United States Environmental Protection Agency, 1997. Volume V: Health Effects of Mercury and Mercury Compounds. Study Report EPA-452/R-97-007: US EPA]. Twenty-two of the 46 children from these gold mining areas had a higher calculated total mercury uptake. The highest calculated daily mercury uptake of 127mug exceeds by far the recommended maximum uptake of inorganic mercury. Further systematic research of mercury in breast milk from small-scale gold mining areas is needed to increase the knowledge about the bio-transfer of mercury from mercury vapour-exposed mothers passing through breast milk to the breast-fed infant.

  8. Risk factors for mercury exposure of children in a rural mining town in northern Chile.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johan Ohlander

    Full Text Available Traditional gold mining is associated with mercury exposure. Especially vulnerable to its neurotoxic effects is the developing nervous system of a child. We aimed to investigate risk factors of mercury exposure among children in a rural mining town in Chile.Using a validated questionnaire distributed to the parents of the children, a priori mercury risk factors, potential exposure pathways and demographics of the children were obtained. Mercury levels were measured through analyzing fingernail samples. Logistic regression modeling the effect of risk factors on mercury levels above the 75(th percentile were made, adjusted for potential confounders.The 288 children had a mean age of 9.6 years (SD = 1.9. The mean mercury level in the study population was 0.13 µg/g (SD 0.11, median 0.10, range 0.001-0.86 µg/g. The strongest risk factor for children's odds of high mercury levels (>75(th percentile, 0.165 µg/g was to play inside a house where a family member worked with mercury (OR adjusted 3.49 95% CI 1.23-9.89. Additionally, children whose parents worked in industrial gold mining had higher odds of high mercury levels than children whose parents worked in industrial copper mining or outside mining activities.Mercury exposure through small-scale gold mining might affect children in their home environments. These results may further help to convince the local population of banning mercury burning inside the households.

  9. Distribution and assessment of residual mercury from gold mining in Changbai Mountain Range Northeastern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, D.; Wang, N.; Ai, J. C.; Zhang, G.; Liu, X. J.

    2016-08-01

    Gold mining was first initiated in Jiapigou area, Huadian city of Northeastern China about 200 years ago. Before 2006, the mercury amalgamation technique was used in the gold mining process, which led to severe mercury contamination. The aim of this paper is to explore the influences of residual mercury on the environment media after eliminating the amalgamation process to extract gold. The mercury concentrations of the atmosphere and the soil were determined in autumn of 2011 and spring of 2012. The soil environmental quality was assessed by the index of geoaccumulation. The results indicated that the maximum value of gaseous mercury was 25ng•m-3 in autumn and 19.5ng•m-3 in spring; the maximum value of mercury in the soil was 2.06mg•kg-1 in autumn and 2.51mg•kg-1in spring. It can be seen that the peak concentrations of the gaseous mercury happened at the gold mine area and tailings, while the peak mercury concentrations in the soil were located at the places near the mining sites and the residential area in the valley. Furthermore, the regression analysis of the total mercury contents between the atmosphere and the soil showed a significant correlation, which indicated that there was certain circulation of the mercury between the regional atmosphere and soil. In general, after the elimination of the amalgamation technique in gold extraction, the distance to the mercury source, the special conditions of hilly weather and landforms and the mercury exchange flux are the main factors of mercury contamination.

  10. Assessing mercury exposure and effects to American dippers in headwater streams near mining sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henny, Charles J; Kaiser, James L; Packard, Heidi A; Grove, Robert A; Taft, Michael R

    2005-10-01

    To evaluate mercury (Hg) exposure and possible adverse effects of Hg on American dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) reproduction, we collected eggs and nestling feathers and the larval/nymph form of three Orders of aquatic macroinvertebrates (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera = EPT) important in their diet from three major headwater tributaries of the upper Willamette River, Oregon in 2002. The Coast Fork Willamette River is contaminated with Hg due to historical cinnabar (HgS) mining at the Black Butte Mine; the Row River is affected by past gold-mining operations located within the Bohemia Mining District, where Hg was used in the amalgamation process to recover gold; and the Middle Fork Willamette River is the reference area with no known mining. Methyl mercury (MeHg) concentrations (geometric mean) in composite EPT larvae (111.9 ng/g dry weight [dw] or 19.8 ng/g wet weight [ww]), dipper eggs (38.5 ng/g ww) and nestling feathers (1158 ng/g ww) collected from the Coast Fork Willamette were significantly higher than MeHg concentrations in EPT and dipper samples from other streams. Total mercury (THg) concentrations in surface sediments along the same Hg-impacted streams were investigated by others in 1999 (Row River tributaries) and 2002 (Coast Fork). The reported sediment THg concentrations paralleled our biological findings. Dipper breeding territories at higher elevations had fewer second clutches; however, dipper reproductive success along all streams (including the lower elevation and most Hg-contaminated Coast Fork), was judged excellent compared to other studies reviewed. Furthermore, MeHg concentrations in EPT samples from this study were well below dietary concentrations in other aquatic bird species, such as loons and ducks, reported to cause Hg-related reproductive problems. Our data suggest that either dipper feathers or EPT composites used to project MeHg concentrations in dipper feathers (with biomagnification factor of 10-20x) may be used, but with

  11. Oral bioaccessibility and human exposure to anthropogenic and geogenic mercury in urban, industrial and mining areas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodrigues, S.M.; Coelho, C.; Cruz, N.; Monteiro, R.J.R.; Henriques, B.; Duarte, A.C.; Romkens, P.F.A.M.; Pereira, E.

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to characterize the link between bioaccessibility and fractionation of mercury (Hg) in soils and to provide insight into human exposure to Hg due to inhalation of airborne soil particles and hand-to-mouth ingestion of Hg-bearing soil. Mercury in soils from mining,

  12. The Mercury Problem in Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esdaile, Louisa J; Chalker, Justin M

    2018-05-11

    Mercury-dependent artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the largest source of mercury pollution on Earth. In this practice, elemental mercury is used to extract gold from ore as an amalgam. The amalgam is typically isolated by hand and then heated-often with a torch or over a stove-to distill the mercury and isolate the gold. Mercury release from tailings and vaporized mercury exceed 1000 tonnes each year from ASGM. The health effects on the miners are dire, with inhaled mercury leading to neurological damage and other health issues. The communities near these mines are also affected due to mercury contamination of water and soil and subsequent accumulation in food staples, such as fish-a major source of dietary protein in many ASGM regions. The risks to children are also substantial, with mercury emissions from ASGM resulting in both physical and mental disabilities and compromised development. Between 10 and 19 million people use mercury to mine for gold in more than 70 countries, making mercury pollution from ASGM a global issue. With the Minamata Convention on Mercury entering force this year, there is political motivation to help overcome the problem of mercury in ASGM. In this effort, chemists can play a central role. Here, the problem of mercury in ASGM is reviewed with a discussion on how the chemistry community can contribute solutions. Introducing portable and low-cost mercury sensors, inexpensive and scalable remediation technologies, novel methods to prevent mercury uptake in fish and food crops, and efficient and easy-to-use mercury-free mining techniques are all ways in which the chemistry community can help. To meet these challenges, it is critical that new technologies or techniques are low-cost and adaptable to the remote and under-resourced areas in which ASGM is most common. The problem of mercury pollution in ASGM is inherently a chemistry problem. We therefore encourage the chemistry community to consider and address this issue that

  13. Impact of gold mining associated with mercury contamination in soil, biota sediments and tailings in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odumo, Benjamin Okang'; Carbonell, Gregoria; Angeyo, Hudson Kalambuka; Patel, Jayanti Purshottam; Torrijos, Manuel; Rodríguez Martín, José Antonio

    2014-11-01

    This work considered the environmental impact of artisanal mining gold activity in the Migori-Transmara area (Kenya). From artisanal gold mining, mercury is released to the environment, thus contributing to degradation of soil and water bodies. High mercury contents have been quantified in soil (140 μg kg(-1)), sediment (430 μg kg(-1)) and tailings (8,900 μg kg(-1)), as expected. The results reveal that the mechanism for transporting mercury to the terrestrial ecosystem is associated with wet and dry depositions. Lichens and mosses, used as bioindicators of pollution, are related to the proximity to mining areas. The further the distance from mining areas, the lower the mercury levels. This study also provides risk maps to evaluate potential negative repercussions. We conclude that the Migori-Transmara region can be considered a strongly polluted area with high mercury contents. The technology used to extract gold throughout amalgamation processes causes a high degree of mercury pollution around this gold mining area. Thus, alternative gold extraction methods should be considered to reduce mercury levels that can be released to the environment.

  14. Aurora Mine project - historical resources baseline study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reeves, B.

    1996-01-01

    This volume contains the results of a base line archaeological study of the Aurora Mine Project local study area. It was compiled in support of Syncrude Canada's application to the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (AEUB) and Alberta Environmental Protection to construct and operate it new Aurora Mine, located northeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta. The objective of this study was to compile, consolidate, review and analyze the reports for the area compiled over the past 22 years in and adjacent to the local study area (LSA), particularly those of now existing and Syncrude projects, and previously proposed Alsands and OSLO projects. The report is a summary of the human history in the area including pre-contact native archaeological sites, past archaeological studies, the Hinterland site pattern, post-contact native traditional sites, oil sands exploration/development related sites and paleontological sites in the subject area, and areas adjacent to it. 150 refs., 5 tabs., 43 figs

  15. [Environment spatial distribution of mercury pollution in Songhua River upstream gold mining areas].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Ting-Ting; Wang, Ning; Zhang, Gang; Zhao, Dan-Dan

    2010-09-01

    Using Zeeman mercury spectrometer RA915+ monitoring the total gaseous mercury concentration were collected from gold mining area in Huadian, in the upper reaches of the Songhua River, during summer and autumn of 2008, where we simultaneously collected samples of air, water, sediment and soil. The research is focused on analyzing of the spatial and temporal distribution characteristics of atmospheric mercury pollution and the correlation with other environmental factors. The results show that: the concentration of atmospheric mercury in summer is higher than that in autumn and in the evening is higher than at noon, and it present a gradual decay with the distance to the gold mining area as the center point increasing. The distribution rule of mercury pollution of environmental factors in the gold mining area is: in sediment > in soil > in plant > in water, the characteristics of mercury pollution distribution in plant is: root > stem and leaf, and the content of mercury in plant in autumn is commonly higher than that in summer. This is thought due to the accumulation of pollutant element from soil during the growth of plant. The atmospheric mercury has a significant correlation with the root of plant, respectively 0.83 in summer and 0.97 in autumn.

  16. Solid-phase partitioning of mercury in artisanal gold mine tailings from selected key areas in Mindanao, Philippines, and its implications for mercury detoxification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opiso, Einstine M; Aseneiro, John Paul J; Banda, Marybeth Hope T; Tabelin, Carlito B

    2018-03-01

    The solid-phase partitioning of mercury could provide necessary data in the identification of remediation techniques in contaminated artisanal gold mine tailings. This study was conducted to determine the total mercury content of mine wastes and identify its solid-phase partitioning through selective sequential extraction coupled with cold vapour atomic absorption spectroscopy. Samples from mine tailings and the carbon-in-pulp (CIP) process were obtained from selected key areas in Mindanao, Philippines. The results showed that mercury use is still prevalent among small-scale gold miners in the Philippines. Tailings after ball mill-gravity concentration (W-BM and Li-BM samples) from Mt Diwata and Libona contained high levels of mercury amounting to 25.024 and 6.5 mg kg -1 , respectively. The most prevalent form of mercury in the mine tailings was elemental/amalgamated mercury, followed by water soluble, exchangeable, organic and strongly bound phases, respectively. In contrast, mercury content of carbon-in-pulp residues were significantly lower at only 0.3 and 0.06 mg kg -1 for P-CIP (Del Pilar) and W-CIP (Mt Diwata), respectively. The bulk of mercury in P-CIP samples was partitioned in residual fraction while in W-CIP samples, water soluble mercury predominated. Overall, this study has several important implications with regards to mercury detoxification of contaminated mine tailings from Mindanao, Philippines.

  17. A mass balance mercury budget for a mine-dominated lake: Clear Lake, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suchanek, T.H.; Cooke, J.; Keller, K.; Jorgensen, S.; Richerson, P.J.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Harner, E.J.; Adam, D.P.

    2009-01-01

    The Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine (SBMM), active intermittently from 1873–1957 and now a USEPA Superfund site, was previously estimated to have contributed at least 100 metric tons (105 kg) of mercury (Hg) into the Clear Lake aquatic ecosystem. We have confirmed this minimum estimate. To better quantify the contribution of the mine in relation to other sources of Hg loading into Clear Lake and provide data that might help reduce that loading, we analyzed Inputs and Outputs of Hg to Clear Lake and Storage of Hg in lakebed sediments using a mass balance approach. We evaluated Inputs from (1) wet and dry atmospheric deposition from both global/regional and local sources, (2) watershed tributaries, (3) groundwater inflows, (4) lakebed springs and (5) the mine. Outputs were quantified from (1) efflux (volatilization) of Hg from the lake surface to the atmosphere, (2) municipal and agricultural water diversions, (3) losses from out-flowing drainage of Cache Creek that feeds into the California Central Valley and (4) biotic Hg removal by humans and wildlife. Storage estimates include (1) sediment burial from historic and prehistoric periods (over the past 150–3,000 years) from sediment cores to ca. 2.5m depth dated using dichloro diphenyl dichloroethane (DDD), 210Pb and 14C and (2) recent Hg deposition in surficial sediments. Surficial sediments collected in October 2003 (11 years after mine site remediation) indicate no reduction (but a possible increase) in sediment Hg concentrations over that time and suggest that remediation has not significantly reduced overall Hg loading to the lake. Currently, the mine is believed to contribute ca. 322–331 kg of Hg annually to Clear Lake, which represents ca. 86–99% of the total Hg loading to the lake. We estimate that natural sedimentation would cover the existing contaminated sediments within ca. 150–300 years.

  18. Regulatory challenges of historic uranium mines in Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clement, C.H.; Stenson, R.E.

    2002-01-01

    The radium and uranium mining industry began in Canada in 1930 with the discovery of the Port Radium deposit in the Northwest Territories. During the 1950s more uranium mines opened across Canada. Most of these mines ceased operation by the end of the 1960s. Some were remediated by their owners, while others were abandoned. The Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB), predecessor to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), was created in 1946. However, it was not until the mid-1970s that the AECB took an active role in regulating health, safety and environmental aspects of uranium mining; so many of the older mines have never been licensed. With the coming into force of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA) in May 2000, this situation has been reviewed. The NSCA requires a licence for the possession of nuclear substances (including uranium mine tailings), or the decommissioning of nuclear facilities (including uranium mines and mills). Furthermore, governments (federal and provincial) are also subject to the NSCA, a change from the previous legislation. The CNSC has an obligation to assess these sites, regardless of ownership, and to proceed with licensing or other appropriate regulatory action. The CNSC has reviewed the status of the twenty sites in Canada where uranium milling took place historically. Eight are already licensed. Licensing actions are being pursued at the other sites. A review of nearly 100 small uranium mining or exploration sites is also underway to determine the most appropriate regulatory approach. This paper focuses on regulatory issues surrounding the historic mining and milling sites, and the regulatory approach being taken, including licensing provincial and federal government bodies who own some of the sites, and ensuring the safe management of sites that were abandoned. (author)

  19. Human mercury exposure associated with small-scale gold mining in Burkina Faso.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomicic, Catherine; Vernez, David; Belem, Tounaba; Berode, Michèle

    2011-06-01

    In Burkina Faso, gold ore is one of the main sources of income for an important part of the active population. Artisan gold miners use mercury in the extraction, a toxic metal whose human health risks are well known. The aim of the present study was to assess mercury exposure as well as to understand the exposure determinants of gold miners in Burkinabe small-scale mines. The examined gold miners' population on the different selected gold mining sites was composed by persons who were directly and indirectly related to gold mining activities. But measurement of urinary mercury was performed on workers most susceptible to be exposed to mercury. Thus, occupational exposure to mercury was evaluated among ninety-three workers belonging to eight different gold mining sites spread in six regions of Burkina Faso. Among others, work-related exposure determinants were taken into account for each person during urine sampling as for example amalgamating or heating mercury. All participants were medically examined by a local medical team in order to identify possible symptoms related to the toxic effect of mercury. Mercury levels were high, showing that 69% of the measurements exceeded the ACGIH (American Conference of Industrial Hygienists) biological exposure indice (BEI) of 35 μg per g of creatinine (μg/g-Cr) (prior to shift) while 16% even exceeded 350 μg/g-Cr. Basically, unspecific but also specific symptoms related to mercury toxicity could be underlined among the persons who were directly related to gold mining activities. Only one-third among the studied subpopulation reported about less than three symptoms possibly associated to mercury exposure and nearly half of them suffered from at least five of these symptoms. Ore washers were more involved in the direct handling of mercury while gold dealers in the final gold recovery activities. These differences may explain the overexposure observed in gold dealers and indicate that the refining process is the major source

  20. Process mining on databases: Unearthing historical data from redo logs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    González-López de Murillas, E.; van der Aalst, W.M.P.; Reijers, H.A.

    2015-01-01

    Process Mining techniques rely on the existence of event data. However, in many cases it is far from trivial to obtain such event data. Considerable efforts may need to be spent on making IT systems record historic data at all. But even if such records are available, it may not be possible to derive

  1. [Genotoxic damage among artisanal and small-scale mining workers exposed to mercury].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosales-Rimache, Jaime A; Elizabeth Malca, Nancy; Alarcón, Jhonatan J; Chávez, Manuel; Gonzáles, Marco Antonio

    2013-01-01

    To determine the genotoxic damage among artisanal and small-scale mining workers exposed to mercury. Observational cross-sectional study which evaluated mercury-exposed workers (n=83), whose cells were collected by mouth swab for further staining, microscopic observance, micronuclei count, and other nuclear alterations. 24-hour urine was also collected for the determination of inorganic mercury. 68.7% of participants were male, the mean age being 43 ± 12,4 years (range: 16-76). The average time of occupational exposure to mercury was 12,1 ± 6,7 years, and the contact with mercury was 4,1 ± 3,6 kg per person per day. 93% of participants failed to wear personal protection gear while handling mercury. Results of biological monitoring showed that 17% of participants had concentrations of mercury in urine higher than 2,5 µg/L, this value being the detection limit of the measurement technique used. Results of the genotoxic evaluation evidenced that 15% of people with labor exposure to mercury presented micronuclei in mouth epithelial cells, and other indicators of nuclear alteration such as nucleoplasmic bridges, gemmation and binucleation were found, which are also considered genotoxic events associated to the exposure of physical or chemical risk agents. The finding of micronuclei in mouth epithelial cells reflects genotoxic damage associated to the labor exposure of mercury used in artisanal and small-scale mining activities.

  2. Assessment of mercury erosion by surface water in Wanshan mercury mining area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, ZhiHui; Feng, Xinbin; Zhang, Chao; Shang, Lihai; Qiu, Guangle

    2013-08-01

    Soil erosion is a main cause of land degradation, and in its accelerated form is also one of the most serious ecological environmental problems. Moreover, there are few studies on migration of mercury (Hg) induced by soil erosion in seriously Hg-polluted districts. This paper selected Wanshan Hg mining area, SW China as the study area. Revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) and Geographic information system (GIS) methods were applied to calculate soil and Hg erosion and to classify soil erosion intensity. Our results show that the soil erosion rate can reach up to 600,884tkm(-2)yr(-1). Surfaces associated with very slight and extremely severe erosion include 76.6% of the entire land in Wanshan. Furthermore, the cumulative erosion rates in the area impacted by extremely severe erosion make up 90.5% of the total. On an annual basis, Hg surface erosion load was predicted to be 505kgyr(-1) and the corresponding mean migration flux of Hg was estimated to be 3.02kgkm(-2)yr(-1). The erosion loads of Hg resulting from farmland and meadow soil were 175 and 319kgyr(-1) respectively, which were enhanced compared to other landscape types due to the fact that they are generally located in the steep zones associated with significant reclamation. Contributing to establish a mass balance of Hg in Wanshan Hg mining area, this study supplies a dependable scientific basis for controlling soil and water erosion in the local ecosystems. Land use change is the most effective way for reducing Hg erosion load in Wanshan mining area. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. In Vitro Studies Evaluating Leaching of Mercury from Mine Waste Calcine Using Simulated Human Body Fluids

    OpenAIRE

    Gray, John E.; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Morman, Suzette A.; Higueras, Pablo L.; Crock, James G.; Lowers, Heather A.; Witten, Mark L.

    2010-01-01

    In vitro bioaccessibility (IVBA) studies were carried out on samples of mercury (Hg) mine-waste calcine (roasted Hg ore) by leaching with simulated human body fluids. The objective was to estimate potential human exposure to Hg due to inhalation of airborne calcine particulates and hand-to-mouth ingestion of Hg-bearing calcines. Mine waste calcines collected from Hg mines at Almad?n, Spain, and Terlingua, Texas, contain Hg sulfide, elemental Hg, and soluble Hg compounds, which constitute prim...

  4. Mercury Pollution Due to Small-Scale Gold Mining in the Philippines: An Economic Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Orbeta, Aniceto C.; Israel, Danilo C.; Asirot, Jasminda

    2000-01-01

    The study reviews small-scale gold mining in the Philippines and economically assesses mercury pollution and other development problems in the industry. The end purpose is to suggest measures to address the problems and promote better environmental and overall management of small-scale mining. The study has used secondary data from mining institutions and primary data from key informants and small-scale gold miners and processors in the two case study sites.

  5. Mercury Pollution Due to Small-Scale Gold Mining in the Philippines: An Economic Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Israel, Danilo C.; Asirot, Jasminda

    2002-01-01

    The study reviews small-scale gold mining in the Philippines and economically assesses mercury pollution and other development problems in the industry. The end purpose is to suggest measures to address the problems and promote better environmental and overall management of small-scale mining. The study has used secondary data from mining institutions and primary data from key informants and small-scale gold miners and processors in the two case study sites. brazzer

  6. Measuring total mercury due to small-scale gold mining activities to determine community vulnerability in Cihonje, Central Java, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sari, Mega M; Inoue, Takanobu; Matsumoto, Yoshitaka; Yokota, Kuriko

    2016-01-01

    This research is comparative study of gold mining and non-gold mining areas, using four community vulnerability indicators. Vulnerability indicators are exposure degree, contamination rate, chronic, and acute toxicity. Each indicator used different samples, such as wastewater from gold mining process, river water from Tajum river, human hair samples, and health questionnaire. This research used cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry to determine total mercury concentration. The result showed that concentration of total mercury was 2,420 times than the maximum content of mercury permitted in wastewater based on the Indonesian regulation. Moreover, the mercury concentration in river water reached 685 ng/l, exceeding the quality threshold standards of the World Health Organization (WHO). The mercury concentration in hair samples obtained from the people living in the research location was considered to identify the health quality level of the people or as a chronic toxicity indicator. The highest mercury concentration--i.e. 17 ng/mg, was found in the gold mining respondents. Therefore, based on the total mercury concentration in the four indicators, the community in the gold mining area were more vulnerable to mercury than communities in non-gold mining areas. It was concluded that the community in gold mining area was more vulnerable to mercury contamination than the community in non-gold mining area.

  7. Mercury and Mining Produc­tion in New Spain (1810-1821

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Eugenia Romero Sotelo

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available This work presents results of research on financing, transporta­tion and allotment of quicksilver in New Spain's mining industry during 1810-1821. The author points out that the  war of lnde­pendence was the main cause of the mining crisis, describes the effect of this conflict on production organization and distribu­tion of colonial silver industry, and claims that one of the strongest blows on mining was the Spanish government's credit with­ drawal. Furthermore, the study offers data on amounts of mercury available for mining, costs of its transportation, and details of its allotment and distribution to royal mines.

  8. Applicability of two mobile analysers for mercury in urine in small-scale gold mining areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baeuml, Jennifer; Bose-O'Reilly, Stephan; Lettmeier, Beate; Maydl, Alexandra; Messerer, Katalin; Roider, Gabriele; Drasch, Gustav; Siebert, Uwe

    2011-12-01

    Mercury is still used in developing countries to extract gold from the ore in small-scale gold mining areas. This is a major health hazard for people living in mining areas. The concentration of mercury in urine was analysed in different mining areas in Zimbabwe, Indonesia and Tanzania. First the urine samples were analysed by CV-AAS (cold vapour atomic absorption spectrometry) during the field projects with a mobile mercury analyser (Lumex(®) or Seefelder(®)) and secondly, in a laboratory with a stationary CV-AAS mercury analyser (PerkinElmer(®)). Caused by the different systems (reduction agent either SnCl(2) (Lumex(®) or Seefelder(®))) or NaBH(4) (PerkinElmer(®)), with the mobile analysers only the inorganic mercury was obtained and with the stationary system the total mercury concentration was measured. The aims of the study were whether the results obtained in field with the mobile equipments can be compared with the stationary reference method in the laboratory and allow the application of these mobile analysers in screening studies on concerned populations to select those, who are exposed to critical mercury levels. Overall, the concentrations obtained with the two mobile systems were approximately 25% lower than determined with the stationary system. Nevertheless, both mobile systems seem to be very useful for screening of volunteers in field. Moreover, regional staff may be trained on such analysers to perform screening tests by themselves. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  9. Environmental assessment of mercury pollution in urban tailings from gold mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leiva, Manuel A G; Morales, Sandra

    2013-04-01

    It is well-known that small-scale artisanal mining is a source of mercury emissions into the environment, mainly from the use of rudimentary technologies that use mercury amalgamation in the extraction process. Mines near Andacollo, which is located in the Coquimbo region of Chile, use primitive methods to mine gold and copper. In this study, we determined the mercury content of gold mining wastes from Andacollo. At each site, we randomly sampled the soil at the surface and at a depth of 2 m following the ISO 10381 guidelines. Mercury analysis was performed with a direct mercury analyzer. At least one site was contaminated at a mercury concentration of 13.6±1.4 mg kg(-1), which was above the international recommendations that were set by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment's soil quality guidelines (CA-SQG) and the Dutch guidelines (NL-RIVM). At least four of the fourteen sites in this study were within the control and tolerance levels of these recommendations. Better characterization of these sites is required to establish whether they represent a risk to the local community. Based on the US-EPA recommendations, which have a higher tolerance limit, none of the fourteen sites should pose a risk to humans. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Methods to reduce mercury pollution in small gold mining operations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pantoja-Timarán, F.

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available The use of mercury for gold beneficiation is still a current practice in small mining operations, mainly in underdeveloped countries, due to the low investment required and necessity of easy to operate systems. But the lack of basic protections makes unavoidable the high pollution of water streams, soils, and in fact, human bodies. Some improvements have been done at site like that related to the removal of the mercury from the amalgam, that usually was done in the open air and now have been changed to the utilization of artisan iron retorts which considerably reduce the emissions of mercury vapors to the atmosphere, but there are still high losses of mercury into the waste solids or tailings coming from the amalgamation process (nearly most of the total weight of the ore treated. In order to reduce the mercury losses into the tailings from the process, this research work has been based in the use of cheap systems, available to the isolated miners, to proof that it is feasible to get an important reduction of the losses and the pollution. The procedure has been accomplished by means of washing the ores with alkaline or detergent agents, together with the use of activated mercury purified by electrowinning in a simple device, easily manufactured in site by the own workers. It is also proven herewith that controlling the time of amalgamation and the total amount of mercury used could reduce the total pollution, and in addition, the gold recovery would be improved. This investigation reports the possibility of a reduction of mercury losses down to 2.4 g per 100 g of gold produced (case of rich ores like La Bruja, with gold recovery up to 94 %; and 8,6 g per 100 g of gold produced (from ores with average grades like La Gruesa, and gold recoveries in the range of 92 %. All that is about 20 to 100 times lower than data reported in current bibliography. The introduction of a previous step of the ore concentration in shaking tables, decreases the total

  11. Methyl Mercury Production In Tropical Hydromorphic Soils: Impact Of Gold Mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guedron, S.; Charlet, L.; Harris, J.; Grimaldi, M.; Cossa, D.

    2007-12-01

    Artisanal alluvial gold mining is important in many tropical developing countries and several million people are involved worldwide. The dominant use of mercury for gold amalgamation in this activity leads to mercury accumulation in soils, to sediment contamination and to methyl mercury (MMHg) bioaccumulation along the food chain. In this presentation we will present recent data on methyl mercury production in hydromorphic soils and tailing ponds from a former gold mining area located in French Guiana (South America). Comparison of specific fluxes between a pristine sub watershed and the contaminated watershed shows that former mining activities lead to a large enhancement of dissolved and particulate MMHg emissions at least by a factor of 4 and 6, respectively. MMHg production was identified in sediments from tailing ponds and in surrounding hydromorphic soils. Moreover, interstitial soil water and tailing pond water profiles sampled in an experimental tailing pond demonstrate the presence of a large MMHg production in the suboxic areas. Both tailing ponds and hydromorphic soils present geochemical conditions that are favorable to bacterial mercury methylation (high soil Hg content, high aqueous ferric iron and dissolved organic carbon concentrations). Although sulfate-reducing bacteria have been described as being the principal mercury methylating bacteria, the positive correlation between dissolved MMHg and ferrous iron concentrations argue for a significant role of iron-reducing bacteria. Identifications by sequencing fragments of 16S rRNA from total soil DNA support these interpretations. This study demonstrates that current and past artisanal gold mining in the tropics lead to methyl mercury production in contaminated areas. As artisanal activities are increasing with increasing gold prices, the bio- magnification of methyl mercury in fish presents an increasing threat to local populations whose diet relies on fish consumption.

  12. Environmental Impact of the Helen, Research, and Chicago Mercury Mines on Water, Sediment, and Biota in the Upper Dry Creek Watershed, Lake County, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rytuba, James J.; Hothem, Roger L.; May, Jason T.; Kim, Christopher S.; Lawler, David; Goldstein, Daniel; Brussee, Brianne E.

    2009-01-01

    The Helen, Research, and Chicago mercury (Hg) deposits are among the youngest Hg deposits in the Coast Range Hg mineral belt and are located in the southwestern part of the Clear Lake volcanic field in Lake County, California. The mine workings and tailings are located in the headwaters of Dry Creek. The Helen Hg mine is the largest mine in the watershed having produced about 7,600 flasks of Hg. The Chicago and Research Hg mines produced only a small amount of Hg, less than 30 flasks. Waste rock and tailings have eroded from the mines, and mine drainage from the Helen and Research mines contributes Hg-enriched mine wastes to the headwaters of Dry Creek and contaminate the creek further downstream. The mines are located on federal land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (USBLM). The USBLM requested that the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) measure and characterize Hg and geochemical constituents in tailings, sediment, water, and biota at the Helen, Research, and Chicago mines and in Dry Creek. This report is made in response to the USBLM request to conduct a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA - Removal Site Investigation (RSI). The RSI applies to removal of Hg-contaminated mine waste from the Helen, Research, and Chicago mines as a means of reducing Hg transport to Dry Creek. This report summarizes data obtained from field sampling of mine tailings, waste rock, sediment, and water at the Helen, Research, and Chicago mines on April 19, 2001, during a storm event. Further sampling of water, sediment, and biota at the Helen mine area and the upper part of Dry Creek was completed on July 15, 2003, during low-flow conditions. Our results permit a preliminary assessment of the mining sources of Hg and associated chemical constituents that could elevate levels of monomethyl Hg (MMeHg) in the water, sediment, and biota that are impacted by historic mining.

  13. Overview of mine drainage geochemistry at historical mines, Humboldt River basin and adjacent mining areas, Nevada. Chapter E.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, J. Thomas; Stillings, Lisa L.

    2004-01-01

    Reconnaissance hydrogeochemical studies of the Humboldt River basin and adjacent areas of northern Nevada have identified local sources of acidic waters generated by historical mine workings and mine waste. The mine-related acidic waters are rare and generally flow less than a kilometer before being neutralized by natural processes. Where waters have a pH of less than about 3, particularly in the presence of sulfide minerals, the waters take on high to extremely high concentrations of many potentially toxic metals. The processes that create these acidic, metal-rich waters in Nevada are the same as for other parts of the world, but the scale of transport and the fate of metals are much more localized because of the ubiquitous presence of caliche soils. Acid mine drainage is rare in historical mining districts of northern Nevada, and the volume of drainage rarely exceeds about 20 gpm. My findings are in close agreement with those of Price and others (1995) who estimated that less than 0.05 percent of inactive and abandoned mines in Nevada are likely to be a concern for acid mine drainage. Most historical mining districts have no draining mines. Only in two districts (Hilltop and National) does water affected by mining flow into streams of significant size and length (more than 8 km). Water quality in even the worst cases is naturally attenuated to meet water-quality standards within about 1 km of the source. Only a few historical mines release acidic water with elevated metal concentrations to small streams that reach the Humboldt River, and these contaminants and are not detectable in the Humboldt. These reconnaissance studies offer encouraging evidence that abandoned mines in Nevada create only minimal and local water-quality problems. Natural attenuation processes are sufficient to compensate for these relatively small sources of contamination. These results may provide useful analogs for future mining in the Humboldt River basin, but attention must be given to

  14. The Forgotten Legacy: Sediment From Historical Gold Mining Greatly Exceeds all Other Anthropogenic Sources in SE Australian Rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutherfurd, I.; Davies, P.; Macklin, M. G.; Grove, J. R.

    2016-12-01

    Coarse and fine sediment has been a major pollutant of Australian rivers and receiving waters since European settlement in 1788. Anthropogenic sediment budget models demonstrate that catchment and channel erosion has increased background sediment delivery by 10 to 20 times across SE Australia, but these estimates ignore the contribution of historical gold mining. Detailed historical records allow us to reconstruct the delivery of coarse and fine sediment (including contaminated sediment) to the fluvial system. Between 1851 and 1900 alluvial gold mining in the state of Victoria liberated between 1.2 billion and 1.4 billion m3 of coarse and fine sediment into streams. Catchment scale modelling demonstrates that this volume is at least twice the volume of all anthropogenic (post-European) erosion from hillslopes, river banks, and gullies. We map the deposition and remobilization of these contaminated legacy mining sediments down selected valleys, and find that many contemporary floodplains are blanketed with mining sediments (although mercury contamination is present but low), and discrete sediment-slugs can be recognized migrating down river beds. Overall, the impact of gold mining is one of the strongest indicators of the Anthropocene in the Australian landscape, and the level of impact on rivers is substantially greater than recognized in the past. Perhaps of most interest is the rapid recovery of many river systems from the substantial impacts of gold mining. The result is that these major changes to the landscape are largely forgotten.

  15. Screening of chelating ligands to enhance mercury accumulation from historically mercury-contaminated soils for phytoextraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jianxu; Xia, Jicheng; Feng, Xinbin

    2017-01-15

    Screening of optimal chelating ligands which not only have high capacities to enhance plant uptake of mercury (Hg) from soil but also can decrease bioavailable Hg concentration in soil is necessary to establish a viable chemically-assisted phytoextraction. Therefore, Brassica juncea was exposed to historically Hg-contaminated soil (total Hg, 90 mg kg -1 ) to investigate the efficiency of seven chelating agents [ammonium thiosulphate, sodium thiosulphate, ammonium sulfate, ammonium chloride, sodium nitrate, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), and sodium sulfite] at enhancing Hg phytoextraction; the leaching of bioavailable Hg caused by these chelating agents was also investigated. The Hg concentration in control (treated with double-distilled water) plant tissues was below 1 mg kg -1 . The remarkably higher Hg concentration was found in plants receiving ammonium thiosulphate and sodium sulfite treatments. The bioaccumulation factors and translocation factors of ammonium thiosulphate and sodium sulfite treatments were significantly higher than those of the other treatments. The more efficient uptake of Hg by plants upon treatment with ammonium thiosulphate and sodium sulfite compared to the other treatments might be explained by the formation of special Hg-thiosulphate complexes that could be preferentially taken up by the roots and transported in plant tissues. The application of sulfite significantly increased bioavailable Hg concentration in soil compared with that in initial soil and control soil, whereas ammonium thiosulphate significantly decreased bioavailable Hg concentration. The apparent decrease of bioavailable Hg in ammonium thiosulphate-treated soil compared with that in sodium sulfite-treated soil might be attributable to the unstable Hg-thiosulphate complexes formed between thiosulphate and Hg; they could react to produce less bioavailable Hg in the soil. The results of this study indicate that ammonium thiosulphate may be an optimal chelating

  16. Mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vilas, F.; Chapman, C.R.; Matthews, M.S.

    1988-01-01

    Papers are presented on future observations of and missions to Mercury, the photometry and polarimetry of Mercury, the surface composition of Mercury from reflectance spectrophotometry, the Goldstone radar observations of Mercury, the radar observations of Mercury, the stratigraphy and geologic history of Mercury, the geomorphology of impact craters on Mercury, and the cratering record on Mercury and the origin of impacting objects. Consideration is also given to the tectonics of Mercury, the tectonic history of Mercury, Mercury's thermal history and the generation of its magnetic field, the rotational dynamics of Mercury and the state of its core, Mercury's magnetic field and interior, the magnetosphere of Mercury, and the Mercury atmosphere. Other papers are on the present bounds on the bulk composition of Mercury and the implications for planetary formation processes, the building stones of the planets, the origin and composition of Mercury, the formation of Mercury from planetesimals, and theoretical considerations on the strange density of Mercury

  17. Monitoring of the mercury mining site Almadén implementing remote sensing technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, Thomas; Rico, Celia; Rodríguez-Rastrero, Manuel; José Sierra, María; Javier Díaz-Puente, Fco; Pelayo, Marta; Millán, Rocio

    2013-08-01

    The Almadén area in Spain has a long history of mercury mining with prolonged human-induced activities that are related to mineral extraction and metallurgical processes before the closure of the mines and a more recent post period dominated by projects that reclaim the mine dumps and tailings and recuperating the entire mining area. Furthermore, socio-economic alternatives such as crop cultivation, livestock breeding and tourism are increasing in the area. Up till now, only scattered information on these activities is available from specific studies. However, improved acquisition systems using satellite borne data in the last decades opens up new possibilities to periodically study an area of interest. Therefore, comparing the influence of these activities on the environment and monitoring their impact on the ecosystem vastly improves decision making for the public policy makers to implement appropriate land management measures and control environmental degradation. The objective of this work is to monitor environmental changes affected by human-induced activities within the Almadén area occurring before, during and after the mine closure over a period of nearly three decades. To achieve this, data from numerous sources at different spatial scales and time periods are implemented into a methodology based on advanced remote sensing techniques. This includes field spectroradiometry measurements, laboratory analyses and satellite borne data of different surface covers to detect land cover and use changes throughout the mining area. Finally, monitoring results show that the distribution of areas affected by mercury mining is rapidly diminishing since activities ceased and that rehabilitated mining areas form a new landscape. This refers to mine tailings that have been sealed and revegetated as well as an open pit mine that has been converted to an "artificial" lake surface. Implementing a methodology based on remote sensing techniques that integrate data from

  18. Mercury in environmental samples from a waterbody contaminated by gold mining in Colombia, South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivero, J; Solano, B

    1998-06-30

    Environmental samples from a marsh, which receives mercury discharges from a gold mine in Colombia (South America), were evaluated for total mercury content. Mercury concentrations were analyzed in sediments, macrophytes and fish species from different trophic levels. The Mean mercury levels in sediments oscillated between 140 and 355 micrograms/kg whereas in the macrophyte Eichornia crassipes levels were between 219 and 277 microgram/kg with practically no interseasonal variations. The mercury content in the muscle of fish varied depending on the position in the trophic chain and the feeding habits of each species, oscillating between non-detectable (< 7.4 microgram/kg) and 1084 micrograms/kg. Seasonal variations were only observed in fish species whose habitats are mostly the bottom sediment. The presence of mercury in some fish appeared to be the result of bioaccumulation rather than a biomagnification processes. This was clearly evidenced in the detritivorous species Triportheus magdalenae which obtain their food within the sediments and whose mercury concentrations were significantly higher when compared to the other species including carnivorous. The relatively low mercury concentrations found in fish may be due to both the dispersion of the contaminant once it reaches the waterbody and the migrational characteristics of the fish species.

  19. Characterisation and modelling of mercury speciation in urban air affected by gold mining - assessment of bioavailability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cukrowska E. M.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The growing global concern over the release of mercury to the environment has prompted specific inventories that quantify mercury emissions from various sources. Investigations of atmospheric mercury have been mostly done on gaseous species. Although, to assess human expose to mercury, especially in urban areas, the inhalable dust should be included in a study. The Witwatersrand Basin in South Africa is one of the most important gold mining regions in the world. Mercury (Hg, which occurs in gold-bearing ores, was also used for gold recoveries in previous centuries (19th and early 20th century and presently in illegal artisanal mining. The consequences of these mining activities were the release of Hg to the environment, mainly due to AMD from tailings dumps which are presently reprocessed. The city of Johannesburg is a multimillion population exposed strongly to industrial pollution. The aim of this study was to determine the magnitude of mercury pollution in this urban area and assess its bioavailability. The gaseous samples were collected by trapping mercury on various gold traps. Dust samples were collected from a ground and on inhalation levels (1–2 m above a ground. They were later separated into different fractions by micro sieving. Bioavailability of mercury in inhalable dust (25 μm was tested by leaching collected samples with artificial lung fluid (ALF, pH 4.5, Gray’s solution (pH 7.4 and water. The leaching conditions were selected to mimic lungs environment (incubator at 30°C, time 24 hrs, rotation of samples 150 rpm. Total concentrations of mercury in dust fractions were also determined after microwave digestion. The results showed extremely high concentration levels of mercury in air and dust in industrial areas. Especially high levels were found around presently reprocessed old gold tailings dumps, up to 900 000 μgl–1. The levels dropped significantly in CBD area but still showing elevated concentrations up to 10 μgl−1

  20. Mercury emission and dispersion models from soils contaminated by cinnabar mining and metallurgy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llanos, Willians; Kocman, David; Higueras, Pablo; Horvat, Milena

    2011-12-01

    The laboratory flux measurement system (LFMS) and dispersion models were used to investigate the kinetics of mercury emission flux (MEF) from contaminated soils. Representative soil samples with respect to total Hg concentration (26-9770 μg g(-1)) surrounding a decommissioned mercury-mining area (Las Cuevas Mine), and a former mercury smelter (Cerco Metalúrgico de Almadenejos), in the Almadén mercury mining district (South Central Spain), were collected. Altogether, 14 samples were analyzed to determine the variation in mercury emission flux (MEF) versus distance from the sources, regulating two major environmental parameters comprising soil temperature and solar radiation. In addition, the fraction of the water-soluble mercury in these samples was determined in order to assess how MEF from soil is related to the mercury in the aqueous soil phase. Measured MEFs ranged from less than 140 to over 10,000 ng m(-2) h(-1), with the highest emissions from contaminated soils adjacent to point sources. A significant decrease of MEF was then observed with increasing distance from these sites. Strong positive effects of both temperature and solar radiation on MEF was observed. Moreover, MEF was found to occur more easily in soils with higher proportions of soluble mercury compared to soils where cinnabar prevails. Based on the calculated Hg emission rates and with the support of geographical information system (GIS) tools and ISC AERMOD software, dispersion models for atmospheric mercury were implemented. In this way, the gaseous mercury plume generated by the soil-originated emissions at different seasons was modeled. Modeling efforts revealed that much higher emissions and larger mercury plumes are generated in dry and warm periods (summer), while the plume is smaller and associated with lower concentrations of atmospheric mercury during colder periods with higher wind activity (fall). Based on the calculated emissions and the model implementation, yearly emissions from

  1. Health and environmental assessment of mercury exposure in a gold mining community in Western Mindanao, Philippines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortes-Maramba, Nelia; Reyes, Jose Paciano; Francisco-Rivera, Ana Trinidad; Akagi, Hirokatsu; Sunio, Rose; Panganiban, Lynn Crisanta

    2006-10-01

    The small-scale gold mining activities using mercury began in the late 1980s in Sibutad, Western Mindanao. It is located very near the Murcielagos Bay with tailing ponds directly discharging into bodies of water. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the health and environmental effects of gold mining activities on the community. Residents were randomly selected and classified into two groups, namely, the directly exposed and indirectly exposed populations using a set inclusion criteria. Complete medical and laboratory examinations were performed. Environmental and biologic samples were collected for total mercury and methylmercury determinations. The results showed that the directly exposed group had significantly higher mean blood total mercury and methylmercury levels in comparison with the indirectly exposed population. Although there were no significant differences between hair total mercury and methylmercury levels, there was a trend for higher levels of these biomarkers among the directly exposed residents as compared with the unexposed group. The absence of statistically significant differences may be attributable to the small sample size. Ambient air quality monitoring for mercury exceeded the allowable levels. However, levels of mercury in drinking water and sediments were within allowable limits. Frequency of gastrointestinal complaints was significantly associated with elevated hair methylmercury levels (p=0.02). Also, there appears to be a trend towards higher blood total mercury levels and frequency of gastrointestinal complaints (p=0.09). An interesting finding in this study was the increasing incidence of elevated diastolic blood pressure with elevated hair total mercury levels (p=0.07). Mercury storage at home is a risk factor.

  2. Mercury exposure in terrestrial birds far downstream of an historical point source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackson, Allyson K.; Evers, David C.; Folsom, Sarah B.; Condon, Anne M.; Diener, John; Goodrick, Lizzie F.; McGann, Andrew J.; Schmerfeld, John; Cristol, Daniel A.

    2011-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a persistent environmental contaminant found in many freshwater and marine ecosystems. Historical Hg contamination in rivers can impact the surrounding terrestrial ecosystem, but there is little known about how far downstream this contamination persists. In 2009, we sampled terrestrial forest songbirds at five floodplain sites up to 137 km downstream of an historical source of Hg along the South and South Fork Shenandoah Rivers (Virginia, USA). We found that blood total Hg concentrations remained elevated over the entire sampling area and there was little evidence of decline with distance. While it is well known that Hg is a pervasive and long-lasting aquatic contaminant, it has only been recently recognized that it also biomagnifies effectively in floodplain forest food webs. This study extends the area of concern for terrestrial habitats near contaminated rivers for more than 100 km downstream from a waterborne Hg point source. - Highlights: → We report blood mercury levels for terrestrial songbirds downstream of contamination. → Blood mercury levels remain elevated above reference for at least 137 km downstream. → Trends vary based on foraging guild and migration strategy. → Mercury affects terrestrial biota farther downstream than previously documented. - Blood mercury levels of forest songbirds remain elevated above reference levels for at least 137 km downstream of historical point source.

  3. Mercury exposure in terrestrial birds far downstream of an historical point source

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jackson, Allyson K., E-mail: allyson.jackson@briloon.org [Biodiversity Research Institute, 19 Flaggy Meadow Road, Gorham, ME 04038 (United States); Institute for Integrative Bird Behavior Studies, Department of Biology, College of William and Mary, PO Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187 (United States); Evers, David C.; Folsom, Sarah B. [Biodiversity Research Institute, 19 Flaggy Meadow Road, Gorham, ME 04038 (United States); Condon, Anne M. [U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 6669 Short Lane, Gloucester, VA 23061 (United States); Diener, John; Goodrick, Lizzie F. [Biodiversity Research Institute, 19 Flaggy Meadow Road, Gorham, ME 04038 (United States); McGann, Andrew J. [Institute for Integrative Bird Behavior Studies, Department of Biology, College of William and Mary, PO Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187 (United States); Schmerfeld, John [U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 6669 Short Lane, Gloucester, VA 23061 (United States); Cristol, Daniel A. [Institute for Integrative Bird Behavior Studies, Department of Biology, College of William and Mary, PO Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187 (United States)

    2011-12-15

    Mercury (Hg) is a persistent environmental contaminant found in many freshwater and marine ecosystems. Historical Hg contamination in rivers can impact the surrounding terrestrial ecosystem, but there is little known about how far downstream this contamination persists. In 2009, we sampled terrestrial forest songbirds at five floodplain sites up to 137 km downstream of an historical source of Hg along the South and South Fork Shenandoah Rivers (Virginia, USA). We found that blood total Hg concentrations remained elevated over the entire sampling area and there was little evidence of decline with distance. While it is well known that Hg is a pervasive and long-lasting aquatic contaminant, it has only been recently recognized that it also biomagnifies effectively in floodplain forest food webs. This study extends the area of concern for terrestrial habitats near contaminated rivers for more than 100 km downstream from a waterborne Hg point source. - Highlights: > We report blood mercury levels for terrestrial songbirds downstream of contamination. > Blood mercury levels remain elevated above reference for at least 137 km downstream. > Trends vary based on foraging guild and migration strategy. > Mercury affects terrestrial biota farther downstream than previously documented. - Blood mercury levels of forest songbirds remain elevated above reference levels for at least 137 km downstream of historical point source.

  4. Mercury and arsenic in the gold mining regions of the Ankobra River basin in Ghana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bannerman, W.; Potin-Gautier, M.; Amoureux, D.; Tellier, S.; Rambaud, A.; Babut, M.; Adimado, A.; Beinhoff, C.

    2003-05-01

    The river Ankobra flows through the principal gold mining centres in Western Ghana, draining a total area of 8272 km^2 to join the Atlantic ocean. Mercury is used by thousands of small-scale miners in the region to amalgamate gold. Ores mined in some deep shafts and surface mines are arsenopyrites and the region is marked by the presence of heaps of arsenic - rich mine tailings from both past and recent activities. This study was conducted to assess the impact of mining activities on the distribution and speciation of arsenic and mercury in the aquatic environment of the Ankobra River. In all, water (filtered and non-filtered) and bed sediments were collected from various locations within the watershed. Principal parameters investigated include total mercury, arsenic (III), arsenic (V), monomethylarsonic acid (MMAA) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMAA). Seasonal and spatial variations of these parameters were investigated. Quality control systems were adopted at both the environmental and analytical stages of the study. ln general, areas close to the mining centres are the most pollilited. As (V)/As (III) ratios in water are reversed after the first 100-km of the river length with the onset of industrial influence downstream.

  5. Mercury speciation and dispersion from an active gold mine at the West Wits area, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lusilao-Makiese, J G; Tessier, E; Amouroux, D; Tutu, H; Chimuka, L; Weiersbye, I; Cukrowska, E M

    2016-01-01

    Total mercury (HgTOT), inorganic mercury (IHg), and methylmercury (MHg) were determined in dry season waters, sediments, and tailings from an active mine which has long history of gold exploitation. Although HgTOT in waters was generally low (0.03 to 19.60 ng L(-1)), the majority of the samples had proportions of MHg of at least 90 % of HgTOT which denotes a substantial methylation potential of the mine watersheds. Mercury was relatively high in tailing materials (up to 867 μg kg(-1)) and also in the mine sediments (up to 837 μg kg(-1)) especially in samples collected near tailing storage facilities and within a receiving water dam. Sediment profiles revealed mercury enrichment and enhanced methylation rate at deeper layers. The presence of IHg and decaying plants (organic matter) in the watersheds as well as the anoxic conditions of bulk sediments are believed to be some of the key factors favoring the mercury methylation at the site.

  6. Challenges with minimising mercury pollution in the small-scale gold mining sector: experiences from the Guianas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilson, Gavin; Vieira, Rickford

    2007-12-01

    This paper examines the barriers to mitigating mercury pollution at small-scale gold mines in the Guianas (Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname), and prescribes recommendations for overcoming these obstacles. Whilst considerable attention has been paid to analysing the environmental impacts of operations in the region, minimal research has been undertaken to identify appropriate policy and educational initiatives for addressing the mounting mercury problem. Findings from recent fieldwork and selected interviews with operators from Guyanese and Surinamese gold mining regions reveal that legislative incapacity, the region's varied industry policy stances, various technological problems, and low environmental awareness on the part of communities are impeding efforts to facilitate improved mercury management at small-scale gold mines in the Guianas. Marked improvements can be achieved, however, if legislation, particularly that pertaining to mercury, is harmonised in the region; educational seminars continue to be held in important mining districts; and additional outlets for disseminating environmental equipment and mercury-free technologies are provided.

  7. Mercury Exposure and Health Problems in Urban Artisanal Gold Mining (UAGM in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hasriwiani Habo Abbas

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Urban artisanal gold mining (UAGM in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, has been run by a number of urban gold workers with gold jewelry manufacture as its core activity. The wastes generated from goldsmiths’ activities were further processed by the gold smelters to recover fine gold particles. Smelting gold doré, amalgamation, and burning out the amalgam were the mercury-based gold process usually applied in their work. While working the gold workers are, therefore, potentially exposed to a source of mercury pollution that may cause health problems because of working without proper protection. The aims of this research are to characterize the process of urban artisanal gold mining with the potential mercury exposures during the process, and to assess the health of the gold workers. The results showed that the gold workers had a low educational background, but a relatively high income. The total mercury concentration of gold workers was higher than the control group. They were exposed to intoxicatingly high levels of mercury with the average total mercury concentrations of 6.6 and 10.8 µg/g in the hair of indirect and direct exposed workers, respectively. The health assessment showed that 85% of the gold workers suffered neurological symptoms, such as tremors, and 44%–56% of them experienced restricted fields of vision, slow reflexes, sensory disturbances, unbalanced rigidity, and ataxia. The results also showed that the working years have reasonable correlation with the sum of the positive findings in the 10 neurological symptoms.

  8. Mercury isotope fractionation during ore retorting in the Almadén mining district, Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, John E.; Pribil, Michael J.; Higueras, Pablo L.

    2013-01-01

    Almadén, Spain, is the world's largest mercury (Hg) mining district, which has produced over 250,000 metric tons of Hg representing about 30% of the historical Hg produced worldwide. The objective of this study was to measure Hg isotopic compositions of cinnabar ore, mine waste calcine (retorted ore), elemental Hg (Hg0(L)), and elemental Hg gas (Hg0(g)), to evaluate potential Hg isotopic fractionation. Almadén cinnabar ore δ202Hg varied from − 0.92 to 0.15‰ (mean of − 0.56‰, σ = 0.35‰, n = 7), whereas calcine was isotopically heavier and δ202Hg ranged from − 0.03‰ to 1.01‰ (mean of 0.43‰, σ = 0.44‰, n = 8). The average δ202Hg enrichment of 0.99‰ between cinnabar ore and calcines generated during ore retorting indicated Hg isotopic mass dependent fractionation (MDF). Mass independent fractionation (MIF) was not observed in any of the samples in this study. Laboratory retorting experiments of cinnabar also were carried out to evaluate Hg isotopic fractionation of products generated during retorting such as calcine, Hg0(L), and Hg0(g). Calcine and Hg0(L) generated during these retorting experiments showed an enrichment in δ202Hg of as much as 1.90‰ and 0.67‰, respectively, compared to the original cinnabar ore. The δ202Hg for Hg0(g) generated during the retorting experiments was as much as 1.16‰ isotopically lighter compared to cinnabar, thus, when cinnabar ore was roasted, the resultant calcines formed were isotopically heavier, whereas the Hg0(g) generated was isotopically lighter in Hg isotopes.

  9. Geo-Spatial Characterization of Soil Mercury and Arsenic at a High-Altitude Bolivian Gold Mine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Glen D; Pavilonis, Brian; Caravanos, Jack; Grassman, Jean

    2018-02-01

    Soil mercury concentrations at a typical small-scale mine site in the Bolivian Andes were elevated (28-737 mg/kg or ppm) in localized areas where mercury amalgams were either formed or vaporized to release gold, but was not detectable beyond approximately 10 m from its sources. Arsenic was measurable, exceeding known background levels throughout the mine site (77-137,022 ppm), and was also measurable through the local village of Ingenio (36-1803 ppm). Although arsenic levels were high at all surveyed locations, its spatial pattern followed mercury, being highest where mercury was high.

  10. Impacts of historical mining in the Coeur d'Alene River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balistrieri, Laurie S.; Box, Stephen E.; Bookstrom, Arthur A.; Hooper, Robert L.; Mahoney, J. Brian

    2010-01-01

    Mining began in the late 1880s in the Coeur d'Alene mining district in northern Idaho (fig. 1). Although only two mines, the Galena and Lucky Friday, currently are operating, more than 90 historical mines exist in this region (Bennett and others, 1989).

  11. Mercury Speciation in Contaminated Soils from Old Mining Activities in Mexico Using a Chemical Selective Extraction

    OpenAIRE

    Gavilán-García, Irma; Santos-Santos, Elvira; Tovar-Gálvez, Luis R.; Gavilán-García, Arturo; Suárez, Sara; Olmos, Jesús

    2008-01-01

    Amalgamation was heavily used in mining since 1557 in Spanish Colonies. In Mexico and other parts of Latin-America, this process generated tailings which were left aside in the mine backyards. In the valley of Zacatecas, tailings were carried out of the mines due to the run-off from the mountains and contaminated most of the Zacatecan Valley which most important economic activity is agricultural (crop and livestock raising). The main concern in this area is the high level of total mercury fou...

  12. The Effect of Mercury Mining Activities on Oak Forest in the Almaden Area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Villadoniga, M.; Sierra, M. J.; Millan, R.

    2009-01-01

    This scientific-technical report is the result of the research work carried out by Maite Villadoniga Garcia, to obtain the Master's Final Project, this has been developed at the Unit of Soil Degradation in the Department of Environment at CIEMAT. Two main reasons are important for the study of the vegetation in Almaden, firstly to ascertain the state in which they find the different landscapes surrounding the mine and secondly, it would be interesting to know the potential applications for recovery areas, degraded by this type of mining. This report presents the initial analysis of a natural area where there has not been activity related to mining of mercury, but their lithologic conditions and proximity to the mine of Almaden (within 3 km) make it a space in which they are both elevated mercury concentrations in soil (1.25 to 35.55 mg kg - 1) and plant species (Quercus ilex: 0.10-2.29 mg kg - 1; Pseudovernia sp. 1.10-21.06 mg kg - 1). We can conclude after this study that the natural vegetation of the area if they had been affected by years of mining, although not find any obvious signs of damage to these ecosystems and that different factors affect the uptake of mercury by of different species. (Author) 37 refs.

  13. Mercury Exposure Assessment and Spatial Distribution in A Ghanaian Small-Scale Gold Mining Community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajaee, Mozhgon; Long, Rachel N; Renne, Elisha P; Basu, Niladri

    2015-09-01

    Mercury is utilized worldwide in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) and may pose a risk for miners and mining communities. While a number of studies have characterized mercury in ASGM communities, most have focused on a single media and few have taken a holistic approach. Here, a multiple media exposure assessment and cross-sectional study of mercury was conducted in 2010 through 2012 in northeast Ghana with a small-scale gold mining community, Kejetia, a subsistence farming community, Gorogo, and an urban ASGM gold refinery in Bolgatanga. The objective was to assess mercury in a range of human (urine and hair) and ecological (household soil, sediment, fish, and ore) samples to increase understanding of mercury exposure pathways. All participants were interviewed on demographics, occupational and medical histories, and household characteristics. Participants included 90 women of childbearing age and 97 adults from Kejetia and 75 adults from Gorogo. Median total specific gravity-adjusted urinary, hair, and household soil mercury were significantly higher in Kejetia miners (5.18 µg/L, 0.967 µg/g, and 3.77 µg/g, respectively) than Kejetia non-miners (1.18 µg/L, 0.419 µg/g, and 2.00 µg/g, respectively) and Gorogo participants (0.154 µg/L, 0.181 µg/g, and 0.039 µg/g) in 2011. Sediment, fish, and ore Hg concentrations were below guideline values. Median soil mercury from the Bolgatanga refinery was very high (54.6 µg/g). Estimated mean mercury ingestion for Kejetia adults from soil and dust exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reference dose (0.3 µg Hg/kg·day) for pica (0.409 µg Hg/kg·day) and geophagy (20.5 µg Hg/kg·day) scenarios. Most participants with elevated urinary and household soil mercury were miners, but some non-miners approached and exceeded guideline values, suggesting a health risk for non-mining residents living within these communities.

  14. Mercury Exposure Assessment and Spatial Distribution in A Ghanaian Small-Scale Gold Mining Community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mozhgon Rajaee

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Mercury is utilized worldwide in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM and may pose a risk for miners and mining communities. While a number of studies have characterized mercury in ASGM communities, most have focused on a single media and few have taken a holistic approach. Here, a multiple media exposure assessment and cross-sectional study of mercury was conducted in 2010 through 2012 in northeast Ghana with a small-scale gold mining community, Kejetia, a subsistence farming community, Gorogo, and an urban ASGM gold refinery in Bolgatanga. The objective was to assess mercury in a range of human (urine and hair and ecological (household soil, sediment, fish, and ore samples to increase understanding of mercury exposure pathways. All participants were interviewed on demographics, occupational and medical histories, and household characteristics. Participants included 90 women of childbearing age and 97 adults from Kejetia and 75 adults from Gorogo. Median total specific gravity-adjusted urinary, hair, and household soil mercury were significantly higher in Kejetia miners (5.18 µg/L, 0.967 µg/g, and 3.77 µg/g, respectively than Kejetia non-miners (1.18 µg/L, 0.419 µg/g, and 2.00 µg/g, respectively and Gorogo participants (0.154 µg/L, 0.181 µg/g, and 0.039 µg/g in 2011. Sediment, fish, and ore Hg concentrations were below guideline values. Median soil mercury from the Bolgatanga refinery was very high (54.6 µg/g. Estimated mean mercury ingestion for Kejetia adults from soil and dust exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reference dose (0.3 µg Hg/kg·day for pica (0.409 µg Hg/kg·day and geophagy (20.5 µg Hg/kg·day scenarios. Most participants with elevated urinary and household soil mercury were miners, but some non-miners approached and exceeded guideline values, suggesting a health risk for non-mining residents living within these communities.

  15. Mercury Exposure Assessment and Spatial Distribution in A Ghanaian Small-Scale Gold Mining Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajaee, Mozhgon; Long, Rachel N.; Renne, Elisha P.; Basu, Niladri

    2015-01-01

    Mercury is utilized worldwide in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) and may pose a risk for miners and mining communities. While a number of studies have characterized mercury in ASGM communities, most have focused on a single media and few have taken a holistic approach. Here, a multiple media exposure assessment and cross-sectional study of mercury was conducted in 2010 through 2012 in northeast Ghana with a small-scale gold mining community, Kejetia, a subsistence farming community, Gorogo, and an urban ASGM gold refinery in Bolgatanga. The objective was to assess mercury in a range of human (urine and hair) and ecological (household soil, sediment, fish, and ore) samples to increase understanding of mercury exposure pathways. All participants were interviewed on demographics, occupational and medical histories, and household characteristics. Participants included 90 women of childbearing age and 97 adults from Kejetia and 75 adults from Gorogo. Median total specific gravity-adjusted urinary, hair, and household soil mercury were significantly higher in Kejetia miners (5.18 µg/L, 0.967 µg/g, and 3.77 µg/g, respectively) than Kejetia non-miners (1.18 µg/L, 0.419 µg/g, and 2.00 µg/g, respectively) and Gorogo participants (0.154 µg/L, 0.181 µg/g, and 0.039 µg/g) in 2011. Sediment, fish, and ore Hg concentrations were below guideline values. Median soil mercury from the Bolgatanga refinery was very high (54.6 µg/g). Estimated mean mercury ingestion for Kejetia adults from soil and dust exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reference dose (0.3 µg Hg/kg·day) for pica (0.409 µg Hg/kg·day) and geophagy (20.5 µg Hg/kg·day) scenarios. Most participants with elevated urinary and household soil mercury were miners, but some non-miners approached and exceeded guideline values, suggesting a health risk for non-mining residents living within these communities. PMID:26340636

  16. Mercury and trace element contents of Donbas coals and associated mine water in the vicinity of Donetsk, Ukraine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolker, A.; Panov, B.S.; Panov, Y.B.; Landa, E.R.; Conko, K.M.; Korchemagin, V.A.; Shendrik, T.; McCord, J.D.

    2009-01-01

    Mercury-rich coals in the Donets Basin (Donbas region) of Ukraine were sampled in active underground mines to assess the levels of potentially harmful elements and the potential for dispersion of metals through use of this coal. For 29 samples representing c11 to m3 Carboniferous coals, mercury contents range from 0.02 to 3.5 ppm (whole-coal dry basis). Mercury is well correlated with pyritic sulfur (0.01 to 3.2 wt.%), with an r2 of 0.614 (one outlier excluded). Sulfides in these samples show enrichment of minor constituents in late-stage pyrite formed as a result of interaction of coal with hydrothermal fluids. Mine water sampled at depth and at surface collection points does not show enrichment of trace metals at harmful levels, indicating pyrite stability at subsurface conditions. Four samples of coal exposed in the defunct open-cast Nikitovka mercury mines in Gorlovka have extreme mercury contents of 12.8 to 25.5 ppm. This coal was formerly produced as a byproduct of extracting sandstone-hosted cinnabar ore. Access to these workings is unrestricted and small amounts of extreme mercury-rich coal are collected for domestic use, posing a limited human health hazard. More widespread hazards are posed by the abandoned Nikitovka mercury processing plant, the extensive mercury mine tailings, and mercury enrichment of soils extending into residential areas of Gorlovka.

  17. Mercury concentrations at a historically mercury-contaminated site in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Williams, CR

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available A mercury (Hg) processing plant previously operating in KwaZulu-Natal Province (South Africa) discharged Hg waste into a nearby river system causing widespread contamination since the 1980s. Although the processing plant ceased operation in the 1990...

  18. Mercury contamination in agricultural soils from abandoned metal mines classified by geology and mineralization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Han Sik; Jung, Myung Chae

    2012-01-01

    This survey aimed to compare mercury concentrations in soils related to geology and mineralization types of mines. A total of 16,386 surface soils (0~15 cm in depth) were taken from agricultural lands near 343 abandoned mines (within 2 km from each mine) and analyzed for Hg by AAS with a hydride-generation device. To meaningfully compare mercury levels in soils with geology and mineralization types, three subclassification criteria were adapted: (1) five mineralization types, (2) four valuable ore mineral types, and (3) four parent rock types. The average concentration of Hg in all soils was 0.204 mg kg(-1) with a range of 0.002-24.07 mg kg(-1). Based on the mineralization types, average Hg concentrations (mg kg(-1)) in the soils decreased in the order of pegmatite (0.250) > hydrothermal vein (0.208) > hydrothermal replacement (0.166) > skarn (0.121) > sedimentary deposits (0.045). In terms of the valuable ore mineral types, the concentrations decreased in the order of Au-Ag-base metal mines ≈ base metal mines > Au-Ag mines > Sn-W-Mo-Fe-Mn mines. For parent rock types, similar concentrations were found in the soils derived from sedimentary rocks and metamorphic rocks followed by heterogeneous rocks with igneous and metamorphic processes. Furthermore, farmland soils contained relatively higher Hg levels than paddy soils. Therefore, it can be concluded that soils in Au, Ag, and base metal mines derived from a hydrothermal vein type of metamorphic rocks and pegmatite deposits contained relatively higher concentrations of mercury in the surface environment.

  19. Use of preserved museum fish to evaluate historical and current mercury contamination in fish from two rivers in Oklahoma, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, J Jaron; Chumchal, Matthew M; Drenner, Ray W; Pinder, John E; Drenner, S Matthew

    2010-02-01

    We examined the effects of a commonly used preservation technique on mercury concentration in fish tissue. After fixing fish muscle tissue in formalin followed by preservation in isopropanol, we found that mercury concentration in fish muscle tissue increased by 18%, reaching an asymptote after 40 days. We used formalin-isopropanol-preserved longear sunfish (Lepomis megalotis) from the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History to examine historical changes and predict current mercury concentrations in fish from two rivers in southeastern Oklahoma. Glover River was free-flowing, while Mountain Fork River was impounded in 1970 and a coldwater trout fishery was established upstream from the collection site in 1989. Mercury concentrations in longear sunfish from Glover River showed no historical changes from 1963 to 2001. Mercury concentrations in longear sunfish from Mountain Fork River showed no change from 1925 to 1993 but declined significantly from 1993 to 2003. We also compared mercury concentrations of the most recently collected longear sunfish in the museum to mercury concentrations of unpreserved fish collected from the rivers in 2006. Concentrations of mercury in museum fish were not significantly different from mercury concentrations in unpreserved fish we collected from the rivers. Our study indicates that preserved museum fish specimens can be used to evaluate historical changes and predict current levels of mercury contamination in fish.

  20. Removal of mercury (Hg) from contaminated water at traditional gold mining area in Central Kalimantan

    OpenAIRE

    Wilopo, Wahyu; Rahman, Denizar; Eka Putra, Doni Prakasa; Warmada, I Wayan

    2015-01-01

    There are many traditional gold mining and processing in Murung Raya Regency, Central Kalimantan. The processing of gold mostly uses mercury (Hg) and produces a lot of waste water. It just throws to the river without any treatment. Therefore the concentration of mercury (Hg) in the river water is over than the standard of drinking water and reach up to 0.346 mg dm-3. This situation is very dangerous because almost of the people in the downstream area depend on the river water for their daily ...

  1. Perception of mercury contamination by Brazilian adolescents in a gold mining community: an ethnographic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novais, Gabriel; Câmara, Volney de Magalhães

    2009-01-01

    This study used ethnographic methods to examine the perception of mercury contamination by adolescents in the mining community of Poconé, Mato Grosso, Brazil. In Phase I, 53 students aged 13 to 16 years in six schools presented theatrical sketches about community health risks to generate key terms for a pile sorting activity in Phase II. Mercury was reported by four of the 15 groups (26%). In Phase II, researchers conducted semi-structured interviews and pile sorts with 31 students to assess adolescent attitudes about mercury and to generate an ethnomedical model of mercury perception. The lack of consensus evident in the model reveals that while students view mercury as an overall threat, many of them do not understand how its presence can harm human health. Few adolescents felt confident about their knowledge (3%) or could accurately explain how it was used (9%), even though many of them had relatives working as miners (55%). Further analysis of pile sort data suggests that mercury may not belong in a 'typical risks' domain. The authors argue that ethnographic methods are a useful tool for public health research, and hope that these findings can contribute to health education interventions in the field.

  2. Thermal Treatment of Mercury Mine Wastes Using a Rotary Solar Kiln

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrés Navarro

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Thermal desorption, by a rotary kiln of mercury contaminated soil and mine wastes, has been used in order to volatilize mercury from the contaminated medium. Solar thermal desorption is an innovative treatment that uses solar energy to increase the volatility of contaminants, which are removed from a solid matrix by a controlled air flow system. Samples of soils and mine wastes used in the experiments were collected in the abandoned Valle del Azogue mine (SE, Spain, where a complex ore, composed mainly of cinnabar, arsenic minerals (realgar and orpiment and stibnite, was mined. The results showed that thermal treatment at temperatures >400 °C successfully lowered the Hg content (2070–116 ppm to <15 mg kg−1. The lowest values of mercury in treated samples were obtained at a higher temperature and exposition time. The samples that showed a high removal efficiency (>99% were associated with the presence of significant contents of cinnabar and an equivalent diameter above 0.8 mm.

  3. Mercury concentrations and distribution in soil, water, mine waste leachates, and air in and around mercury mines in the Big Bend region, Texas, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, John E; Theodorakos, Peter M; Fey, David L; Krabbenhoft, David P

    2015-02-01

    Samples of soil, water, mine waste leachates, soil gas, and air were collected from areas mined for mercury (Hg) and baseline sites in the Big Bend area, Texas, to evaluate potential Hg contamination in the region. Soil samples collected within 300 m of an inactive Hg mine contained elevated Hg concentrations (3.8-11 µg/g), which were considerably higher than Hg in soil collected from baseline sites (0.03-0.05 µg/g) distal (as much as 24 km) from mines. Only three soil samples collected within 300 m of the mine exceeded the probable effect concentration for Hg of 1.06 µg/g, above which harmful effects are likely to be observed in sediment-dwelling organisms. Concentrations of Hg in mine water runoff (7.9-14 ng/L) were generally higher than those found in springs and wells (0.05-3.1 ng/L), baseline streams (1.1-9.7 ng/L), and sources of drinking water (0.63-9.1 ng/L) collected in the Big Bend region. Concentrations of Hg in all water samples collected in this study were considerably below the 2,000 ng/L drinking water Hg guideline and the 770 ng/L guideline recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to protect aquatic wildlife from chronic effects of Hg. Concentrations of Hg in water leachates obtained from leaching of mine wastes varied widely from <0.001 to 760 µg of Hg in leachate/g of sample leached, but only one leachate exceeded the USEPA Hg industrial soil screening level of 31 µg/g. Concentrations of Hg in soil gas collected at mined sites (690-82,000 ng/m(3)) were highly elevated compared to soil gas collected from baseline sites (1.2-77 ng/m(3)). However, air collected from mined areas at a height of 2 m above the ground surface contained concentrations of Hg (4.9-64 ng/m(3)) that were considerably lower than Hg in soil gas from the mined areas. Although concentrations of Hg emitted from mine-contaminated soils and mine wastes were elevated, persistent wind in southwest Texas disperses Hg in the air within a few meters of the

  4. Current and historic mercury deposition to New Haven Harbor (CT, USA): Implications for industrial coastal environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clark, Heather F.; Benoit, Gaboury

    2009-01-01

    This study quantifies historic and current mercury contamination in New Haven Harbor (New Haven, Connecticut, USA) through the analysis of sediment cores. The mercury concentration measured in surface sediment ranged from 320 to 1640 μg kg -1 with an average of 530 μg kg -1 . The harbor is relatively small in area (6.6 km 2 ) but displays a large range in concentrations, illustrating the important methodological issue that a large number of samples may be necessary to capture the variability in even a small area. Depth profiles of mercury reflect sedimentation over a range of 20 to 200 years and indicate a complex history of contamination. Mercury depth profiles were compared with lead, copper, cadmium, and silver concentrations and the metals generally covary. This trend indicates that the sources of mercury and heavy metals are linked and that regionally specific sources dominate the historic input of metals rather than large-scale atmospheric deposition patterns. Results also show there are large differences in absolute concentrations of metals among sites in the harbor. Differences in the abundance of Fe-rich, fine-grained sediment likely control the level of metals in various parts of the harbor. Proximity to current sources and the long, diverse industrial history of the harbor also influence the distribution pattern. All of the cores can be modeled as mixing between pre-industrial sediments and either one or two pollution endmembers. This study demonstrates the importance of riverine sources in the mass balance of mercury delivered to coastal areas and of watershed management to preserve coastal ecosystems.

  5. Exploiting Stable Mercury Isotopic Analysis to Differentiate between Mercury Sources: Gold Mining vs. Land-Use Change (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergquist, B. A.; Adler Miserendino, R. A.; Guimarães, J. R.; Veiga, M.; Velasquez-López, P.; Lees, P. S.; Thibodeau, A. M.; Fernandez, L. E.

    2013-12-01

    In parts of the developing world, mercury (Hg) is used to extract gold by amalgamation during artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) and this can lead to contamination of downstream aquatic ecosystems. Differentiation between Hg from ASGM and from other sources of Hg, such as increased erosion from land cover and land use change (LCLUC), is challenging and has lead to heated debates over the dominant sources of elevated Hg in some ecosystems. Here, stable Hg isotopic analysis was applied in two aquatic ecosystems in South America: (1) the Amazonian aquatic ecosystem of Amapá, Brazil downstream of artisanal gold mining (AGM) and (2) the Puyango-Tumbes River ecosystem downstream of Portovelo-Zaruma, Ecuador, a large mining area where both AGM and small-scale gold mining (SGM) are in operation. The Hg isotopic analyses from Amapá, Brazil, do not support AGM as the source of elevated Hg in the downstream aquatic ecosystem. Instead, Hg isotopes are most consistent with the elevated Hg being from preferential migration of Hg from soil erosion, which is likely associated with land use change. Although soils are regarded as Hg sinks in the global Hg cycle, this work suggests that LCLUC can disrupt Hg stores with significant ecological consequences. In contrast in the Southwestern Andean region of Ecuador and Peru, analysis of Hg isotopes and other toxic metals (i.e., Pb, Zn, Cu), which are associated with the larger scale mining and cyanide used during SGM, demonstrate Hg used during gold mining is the predominant source of Hg downstream and can be traced far from the dominant mining area. Although it has been speculated that Hg from SGM in Ecuador was not that mobile or that Hg far downstream of SGM processing plants was from erosion due to LCLUC or from AGM taking place downstream, the isotopically heavy signature of Hg used during gold mining and elevated other metal concentrations were observed ~120 km downstream of Portovelo-Zaruma. Mercury isotopes appear

  6. Mercury methylation influenced by areas of past mercury mining in the Terlingua district, Southwest Texas, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gray, John E.; Hines, Mark E.; Biester, Harald

    2006-01-01

    Speciation and microbial transformation of Hg was studied in mine waste from abandoned Hg mines in SW Texas to evaluate the potential for methyl-Hg production and degradation in mine wastes. In mine waste samples, total Hg, ionic Hg 2+ , Hg 0 , methyl-Hg, organic C, and total S concentrations were measured, various Hg compounds were identified using thermal desorption pyrolysis, and potential rates of Hg methylation and methyl-Hg demethylation were determined using isotopic-tracer methods. These data are the first reported for Hg mines in this region. Total Hg and methyl-Hg concentrations were also determined in stream sediment collected downstream from two of the mines to evaluate transport of Hg and methylation in surrounding ecosystems. Mine waste contains total Hg and methyl-Hg concentrations as high as 19,000 μg/g and 1500 ng/g, respectively, which are among the highest concentrations reported at Hg mines worldwide. Pyrolysis analyses show that mine waste contains variable amounts of cinnabar, metacinnabar, Hg 0 , and Hg sorbed onto particles. Methyl-Hg concentrations in mine waste correlate positively with ionic Hg 2+ , organic C, and total S, which are geochemical parameters that influence processes of Hg cycling and methylation. Net methylation rates were as high as 11,000 ng/g/day, indicating significant microbial Hg methylation at some sites, especially in samples collected inside retorts. Microbially-mediated methyl-Hg demethylation was also observed in many samples, but where both methylation and demethylation were found, the potential rate of methylation was faster. Total Hg concentrations in stream sediment samples were generally below the probable effect concentration of 1.06 μg/g, the Hg concentration above which harmful effects are likely to be observed in sediment dwelling organisms; whereas total Hg concentrations in mine waste samples were found to exceed this concentration, although this is a sediment quality guideline and is not directly

  7. Mercury concentrations and distribution in soil, water, mine waste leachates, and air in and around mercury mines in the Big Bend region, Texas, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, John E.; Theodorakos, Peter M.; Fey, David L.; Krabbenhoft, David P.

    2015-01-01

    Samples of soil, water, mine waste leachates, soil gas, and air were collected from areas mined for mercury (Hg) and baseline sites in the Big Bend area, Texas, to evaluate potential Hg contamination in the region. Soil samples collected within 300 m of an inactive Hg mine contained elevated Hg concentrations (3.8–11 µg/g), which were considerably higher than Hg in soil collected from baseline sites (0.03–0.05 µg/g) distal (as much as 24 km) from mines. Only three soil samples collected within 300 m of the mine exceeded the probable effect concentration for Hg of 1.06 µg/g, above which harmful effects are likely to be observed in sediment-dwelling organisms. Concentrations of Hg in mine water runoff (7.9–14 ng/L) were generally higher than those found in springs and wells (0.05–3.1 ng/L), baseline streams (1.1–9.7 ng/L), and sources of drinking water (0.63–9.1 ng/L) collected in the Big Bend region. Concentrations of Hg in all water samples collected in this study were considerably below the 2,000 ng/L drinking water Hg guideline and the 770 ng/L guideline recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to protect aquatic wildlife from chronic effects of Hg. Concentrations of Hg in water leachates obtained from leaching of mine wastes varied widely from wastes were elevated, persistent wind in southwest Texas disperses Hg in the air within a few meters of the ground surface.

  8. Use of mercury in the small mining and the implications for the environment and the health

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hennig, Walther

    2004-01-01

    In the auriferous small and handmade mining, the use of mercury for the amalgamation of minerals and concentrated auriferous it is universally extended. This is attributed to the supposedly easy handling that doesn't require of special technical knowledge, at the relatively low cost of the mercury with relationship to the mineral value and the readiness of included mercury in the most remote regions. Of those more than 3.000 annual t of mercury that arrive of the most diverse sources (E.g. 1.500 t of central thermal of coal and incinerator plants of garbage) to the environment, single 500 t approximately corresponds the auriferous mining, but in form of high local concentrations. Exams carried out in 72 companies of gold mining and silver they checked in around 15% of the employees an excessive exhibition of mercury, in some cases with values 50 times that the allowed. The main roads for which the mercury used in the gold extraction, arrives to the environment, are relicts of mineral preparation and mercury vapors that arise in the distillation open of amalgam without retort. The consumption of mercury, that is to say the losses to the environment, depending on the mineral type and of the applied preparation methods, they reach of some little grams for ton of mineral treaty up to 2 kg Hg / mineral t. Be which is the way for which the mercury arrives to the environment, it is absorbed by the plants and animals and it is integrated in the foods chain. Animals that are at the end of the foods chain, for E j fish, demonstrate the highest concentrations. The mercury possesses a high neurotoxic potential, it concentrates on the neurons and it blocks the transport of signs there and nutritious. Polluted people with mercury assimilate with more easiness another toxic environmental matter, since the mercury impedes to the cell of defending in front of her, allowing this way that heavy metals, pesticides and formaldehydes penetrate the cell. In their vaporous physical state

  9. Environmental contamination of mercury from Hg-mining areas in Wuchuan, northeastern Guizhou, China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qiu Guangle [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 73 Guanshui Road, Guiyang, Guizhou 550002 (China); Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039 (China); Feng Xinbin [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 73 Guanshui Road, Guiyang, Guizhou 550002 (China)]. E-mail: fengxinbin@vip.skleg.cn; Wang Shaofeng [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 73 Guanshui Road, Guiyang, Guizhou 550002 (China); Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039 (China); Shang Lihai [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 73 Guanshui Road, Guiyang, Guizhou 550002 (China); Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039 (China)

    2006-08-15

    Total Hg and methyl-Hg were evaluated in mine wastes, soils, water, and vegetations from the Wuchuan Hg-mining areas, Guizhou, China. Mine wastes contain high total Hg concentrations, ranging from 79 to 710 {mu}g g{sup -1}, and methyl-Hg from 0.32 to 3.9 ng g{sup -1}. Total Hg in soil samples range from 0.33 to 320 {mu}g g{sup -1} and methyl-Hg from 0.69 to 20 ng g{sup -1}. Vegetations present a high average total Hg concentration of 260 ng g{sup -1}, which greatly exceeds the maximum Hg concentration of 20 ng g{sup -1} recommended by the Chinese National Standard Agency for food sources. The rice samples contain elevated methyl-Hg concentrations, ranging from 4.2 to 18 ng g{sup -1}. Stream water collected from Hg-mining areas is also contaminated, containing Hg as high as 360 ng l{sup -1}, and methyl-Hg reaches up to 5.7 ng l{sup -1}. Data indicate heavy Hg-contaminations and significant conversion of methyl-Hg in the study areas. - Mercury mining activities in Wuchun, Guizhou, China have resulted in seriously mercury contamination to the local environment.

  10. Environmental contamination of mercury from Hg-mining areas in Wuchuan, northeastern Guizhou, China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qiu Guangle; Feng Xinbin; Wang Shaofeng; Shang Lihai

    2006-01-01

    Total Hg and methyl-Hg were evaluated in mine wastes, soils, water, and vegetations from the Wuchuan Hg-mining areas, Guizhou, China. Mine wastes contain high total Hg concentrations, ranging from 79 to 710 μg g -1 , and methyl-Hg from 0.32 to 3.9 ng g -1 . Total Hg in soil samples range from 0.33 to 320 μg g -1 and methyl-Hg from 0.69 to 20 ng g -1 . Vegetations present a high average total Hg concentration of 260 ng g -1 , which greatly exceeds the maximum Hg concentration of 20 ng g -1 recommended by the Chinese National Standard Agency for food sources. The rice samples contain elevated methyl-Hg concentrations, ranging from 4.2 to 18 ng g -1 . Stream water collected from Hg-mining areas is also contaminated, containing Hg as high as 360 ng l -1 , and methyl-Hg reaches up to 5.7 ng l -1 . Data indicate heavy Hg-contaminations and significant conversion of methyl-Hg in the study areas. - Mercury mining activities in Wuchun, Guizhou, China have resulted in seriously mercury contamination to the local environment

  11. Millennial scale impact on the marine biogeochemical cycle of mercury from early mining on the Iberian Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrano, O.; Martínez-Cortizas, A.; Mateo, M. A.; Biester, H.; Bindler, R.

    2013-01-01

    The high-resolution mercury record of a Posidonia oceanica mat in the northwest Mediterranean provides an unprecedented testimony of changes in environmental mercury (Hg) loading to the coastal marine environment over the past 4315 yr BP. The period reconstructed made it possible to establish tentative preanthropogenic background Hg levels for the area (6.8 ± 1.5 ng g-1 in bulk sediments). A small, but significant, anthropogenic Hg increase was identifiable by 2500 yr BP, in agreement with the beginning of intense mining in Spain. Changes in the record suggest four major periods of anthropogenic Hg pollution inputs to the Mediterranean: first, during the Roman Empire (2100-1800 yr BP); second, in the Late Middle Ages (970-650 yr BP); third, in the modern historical era (530-380 yr BP); and fourth, in the industrial period (last 250 years), with Hg concentrations two-, four-, five-, and tenfold higher than background concentrations, respectively. Hg from anthropogenic sources has dominated during the last millennium (increase from 12 to 100 ng g-1), which can be related to the widespread historical exploitation of ore resources on the Iberian Peninsula. The chronology of Hg concentrations in the mat archive, together with other Hg pollution records from the Iberian Peninsula, suggests regional-scale Hg transport and deposition and shows earlier marine Hg pollution than elsewhere in Europe. Moreover, the mat also records a higher number of historic contamination phases, in comparison with other natural archives, probably due to the fact that the bioaccumulating capacity of P. oceanica magnify environmental changes in Hg concentrations. In this study, we demonstrate the uniqueness of P. oceanica meadows as a long-term archive recording trends in Hg abundance in the marine coastal environment, as well as its potential role in the Mediterranean as a long-term Hg sink.

  12. Gold mining in the Peruvian Amazon: global prices, deforestation, and mercury imports.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer J Swenson

    Full Text Available Many factors such as poverty, ineffective institutions and environmental regulations may prevent developing countries from managing how natural resources are extracted to meet a strong market demand. Extraction for some resources has reached such proportions that evidence is measurable from space. We present recent evidence of the global demand for a single commodity and the ecosystem destruction resulting from commodity extraction, recorded by satellites for one of the most biodiverse areas of the world. We find that since 2003, recent mining deforestation in Madre de Dios, Peru is increasing nonlinearly alongside a constant annual rate of increase in international gold price (∼18%/yr. We detect that the new pattern of mining deforestation (1915 ha/year, 2006-2009 is outpacing that of nearby settlement deforestation. We show that gold price is linked with exponential increases in Peruvian national mercury imports over time (R(2 = 0.93, p = 0.04, 2003-2009. Given the past rates of increase we predict that mercury imports may more than double for 2011 (∼500 t/year. Virtually all of Peru's mercury imports are used in artisanal gold mining. Much of the mining increase is unregulated/artisanal in nature, lacking environmental impact analysis or miner education. As a result, large quantities of mercury are being released into the atmosphere, sediments and waterways. Other developing countries endowed with gold deposits are likely experiencing similar environmental destruction in response to recent record high gold prices. The increasing availability of satellite imagery ought to evoke further studies linking economic variables with land use and cover changes on the ground.

  13. Gold mining in the Peruvian Amazon: global prices, deforestation, and mercury imports.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swenson, Jennifer J; Carter, Catherine E; Domec, Jean-Christophe; Delgado, Cesar I

    2011-04-19

    Many factors such as poverty, ineffective institutions and environmental regulations may prevent developing countries from managing how natural resources are extracted to meet a strong market demand. Extraction for some resources has reached such proportions that evidence is measurable from space. We present recent evidence of the global demand for a single commodity and the ecosystem destruction resulting from commodity extraction, recorded by satellites for one of the most biodiverse areas of the world. We find that since 2003, recent mining deforestation in Madre de Dios, Peru is increasing nonlinearly alongside a constant annual rate of increase in international gold price (∼18%/yr). We detect that the new pattern of mining deforestation (1915 ha/year, 2006-2009) is outpacing that of nearby settlement deforestation. We show that gold price is linked with exponential increases in Peruvian national mercury imports over time (R(2) = 0.93, p = 0.04, 2003-2009). Given the past rates of increase we predict that mercury imports may more than double for 2011 (∼500 t/year). Virtually all of Peru's mercury imports are used in artisanal gold mining. Much of the mining increase is unregulated/artisanal in nature, lacking environmental impact analysis or miner education. As a result, large quantities of mercury are being released into the atmosphere, sediments and waterways. Other developing countries endowed with gold deposits are likely experiencing similar environmental destruction in response to recent record high gold prices. The increasing availability of satellite imagery ought to evoke further studies linking economic variables with land use and cover changes on the ground.

  14. Selection of Mercury Accumulator Plants for Gold Mine Tailing Contaminated Soils

    OpenAIRE

    Muddarisna, N; Krisnayanti, B D

    2015-01-01

    Phytoremediation, which is more efficient with less side effects than conventional physical and chemical methods, is increasing in popularity as a remediation system. This paper provides a brief overview of developments in research and application of phytoremediation of soil contaminated with gold mine tailings containing mercury. Lindernia crustacea L., Digitaria radicosa Presl. Miq., Zingiber purpurium L, Paspalum conjugatum Berg., Cyperus kyllingia Endl., and Caladium bicolor Vent., that w...

  15. Presence of artisanal gold mining predicts mercury bioaccumulation in five genera of bats (Chiroptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Anjali; Divoll, Timothy J; Ganguli, Priya M; Trama, Florencia A; Lamborg, Carl H

    2018-05-01

    Mercury, a toxic trace metal, has been used extensively as an inexpensive and readily available method of extracting gold from fine-grained sediment. Worldwide, artisanal mining is responsible for one third of all mercury released into the environment. By testing bat hair from museum specimens and field collected samples from areas both impacted and unimpacted by artisanal gold mining in Perú, we show monomethylmercury (MMHg) has increased in the last 100 years. MMHg concentrations were also greatest in the highest bat trophic level (insectivores), and in areas experiencing extractive artisanal mining. Reproductive female bats had higher MMHg concentrations, and both juvenile and adult bats from mercury contaminated sites had more MMHg than those from uncontaminated sites. Bats have important ecological functions, providing vital ecosystem services such as pollination, seed dispersal, and insect control. Natural populations can act as environmental sentinels and offer the chance to expand our understanding of, and responses to, environmental and human health concerns. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Accumulation of total mercury and methylmercury in rice plants collected from different mining areas in China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meng, Mei; Li, Bing; Shao, Jun-juan; Wang, Thanh; He, Bin; Shi, Jian-bo; Ye, Zhi-hong; Jiang, Gui-bin

    2014-01-01

    A total of 155 rice plants were collected from ten mining areas in three provinces of China (Hunan, Guizhou and Guangdong), where most of mercury (Hg) mining takes place in China. During the harvest season, whole rice plants were sampled and divided into root, stalk and leaf, husk and seed (brown rice), together with soil from root zone. Although the degree of Hg contamination varied significantly among different mining areas, rice seed showed the highest ability for methylmercury (MeHg) accumulation. Both concentrations of total mercury (THg) and MeHg in rice plants were significantly correlated with Hg levels in soil, indicating soil is still an important source for both inorganic mercury (IHg) and MeHg in rice plants. The obvious discrepancy between the distribution patterns of THg and MeHg reflected different pathways of IHg and MeHg accumulation. Water soluble Hg may play more important role in MeHg accumulation in rice plants. -- Highlights: • Distribution patterns indicated different pathways of IHg and MeHg accumulation. • Soil is an important source for both THg and MeHg to rice plants. • Water soluble Hg may play more important role in MeHg accumulation in rice plants. -- The distribution patterns indicate different pathways of IHg and MeHg accumulation in rice plants

  17. Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercury is an element that is found in air, water and soil. It has several forms. Metallic mercury is a shiny, silver-white, odorless liquid. If ... with other elements to form powders or crystals. Mercury is in many products. Metallic mercury is used ...

  18. The liability of historical mine authorization holders for rehabilitation / Suzette Hartzer

    OpenAIRE

    Hartzer, Suzette

    2009-01-01

    Historically, irresponsible mining companies have escaped their duty to rehabilitate. The Mineral Petroleum Resources Development Act does not oblige mining companies to rehabilitate if their operations ceased before the Minerals Act came into force. In the court case De Beers Consolidated Mines v Ataqua Mining (Pty) Ltd and others 2006 1 SA 432 (T), the court held that the Mineral Petroleum Resources Development Act is not applicable to tailings dumps that were created thro...

  19. Impact of mercury mine and smelter St. Ana – Podljubelj on spatial distribution of chemical elements in soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamara Teršič

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the research project was to establish the extension of Hg pollution as a consequence of mining and smelting activities in a narrow Alpine valley. The St. Ana mine was first exploited as early as in 1557 and was finally abandoned in 1902. The entire operating period yielded about 110.000 tons of ore, from which 360 tons of Hg was produced. By soil sampling it was established that on about 9 ha the Hg contents in soil exceed the Slovenian critical values for soil (10 mg/kg. The estimated mercury mean for the studied area is 1.3 mg/kg (0.17 – 718 mg/kg. The highest contents of mercury in soilswere found in the area of the mercury smelter.That is a consequence of former atmospheric emissions and technological losses. High values of Hg were found also in soil on the mine and smelter waste dump. The highest determined contents of Hg (108 mg/kg in this area are almost 7-times lower than thecontents of Hg in the area of the smelter. Mercury in soils generally decrease with depth and distance from the mine and smelter. Apart from the area around the former mine and smelter, mercury appear in higher concentrations also along the road that runs along thevalley, which is due to the use of Hg bearing mine tailings in road construction.

  20. River transport of mercury from artisanal and small-scale gold mining and risks for dietary mercury exposure in Madre de Dios, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diringer, Sarah E; Feingold, Beth J; Ortiz, Ernesto J; Gallis, John A; Araújo-Flores, Julio M; Berky, Axel; Pan, William K Y; Hsu-Kim, Heileen

    2015-02-01

    Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is a major contributor to deforestation and the largest anthropogenic source of atmospheric mercury worldwide. Despite significant information on the direct health impacts of mercury to ASGM miners, the impact of mercury contamination on downstream communities has not been well characterized, particularly in Peru's Madre de Dios region. In this area, ASGM has increased significantly since 2000 and has led to substantial political and social controversy. This research examined the spatial distribution and transport of mercury through the Madre de Dios River with distance from ASGM activity. This study also characterized risks for dietary mercury exposure to local residents who depend on fish from the river. River sediment, suspended solids from the water column, and fish samples were collected in 2013 at 62 sites near 17 communities over a 560 km stretch of the Madre de Dios River and its major tributaries. In areas downstream of known ASGM activity, mercury concentrations in sediment, suspended solids, and fish within the Madre de Dios River were elevated relative to locations upstream of mining. Fish tissue mercury concentrations were observed at levels representing a public health threat, with greater than one-third of carnivorous fish exceeding the international health standard of 0.5 mg kg(-1). This study demonstrates that communities located hundreds of kilometers downstream of ASGM activity, including children and indigenous populations who may not be involved in mining, are at risk of dietary mercury exposure that exceed acceptable body burdens. This report represents the first systematic study of the region to aid policy decision-making related to ASGM activities in Peru.

  1. Historical accumulation rates of mercury in four Scottish ombrotrophic peat bogs over the past 2000 years

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farmer, John G., E-mail: J.G.Farmer@ed.ac.uk [School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9 3JN, Scotland (United Kingdom); Anderson, Peter [Contaminated Land Assessment and Remediation Research Centre, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9 3JL, Scotland (United Kingdom); Cloy, Joanna M.; Graham, Margaret C. [School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH9 3JN, Scotland (United Kingdom); MacKenzie, Angus B.; Cook, Gordon T. [Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, East Kilbride, G75 0QF, Scotland (United Kingdom)

    2009-10-15

    The historical accumulation rates of mercury resulting from atmospheric deposition to four Scottish ombrotrophic peat bogs, Turclossie Moss (northeast Scotland), Flanders Moss (west-central), Red Moss of Balerno (east-central) and Carsegowan Moss (southwest), were determined via analysis of {sup 210}Pb- and {sup 14}C-dated cores up to 2000 years old. Average pre-industrial rates of mercury accumulation of 4.5 and 3.7 {mu}g m{sup -2} y{sup -1} were obtained for Flanders Moss (A.D. 1-1800) and Red Moss of Balerno (A.D. 800-1800), respectively. Thereafter, mercury accumulation rates increased to typical maximum values of 51, 61, 77 and 85 {mu}g m{sup -2} y{sup -1}, recorded at different times possibly reflecting local/regional influences during the first 70 years of the 20th century, at the four sites (TM, FM, RM, CM), before declining to a mean value of 27 {+-} 15 {mu}g m{sup -2} y{sup -1} during the late 1990s/early 2000s. Comparison of such trends for mercury with those for lead and arsenic in the cores and also with direct data for the declining UK emissions of these three elements since 1970 suggested that a substantial proportion of the mercury deposited at these sites over the past few decades originated from outwith the UK, with contributions to wet and dry deposition arising from long-range transport of mercury released by sources such as combustion of coal. Confidence in the chronological reliability of these core-derived trends in absolute and relative accumulation of mercury, at least since the 19th century, was provided by the excellent agreement between the corresponding detailed and characteristic temporal trends in the {sup 206}Pb/{sup 207}Pb isotopic ratio of lead in the {sup 210}Pb-dated Turclossie Moss core and those in archival Scottish Sphagnum moss samples of known date of collection. The possibility of some longer-term loss of volatile mercury released from diagenetically altered older peat cannot, however, be excluded by the findings of this

  2. Historical accumulation rates of mercury in four Scottish ombrotrophic peat bogs over the past 2000 years

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Farmer, John G.; Anderson, Peter; Cloy, Joanna M.; Graham, Margaret C.; MacKenzie, Angus B.; Cook, Gordon T.

    2009-01-01

    The historical accumulation rates of mercury resulting from atmospheric deposition to four Scottish ombrotrophic peat bogs, Turclossie Moss (northeast Scotland), Flanders Moss (west-central), Red Moss of Balerno (east-central) and Carsegowan Moss (southwest), were determined via analysis of 210 Pb- and 14 C-dated cores up to 2000 years old. Average pre-industrial rates of mercury accumulation of 4.5 and 3.7 μg m -2 y -1 were obtained for Flanders Moss (A.D. 1-1800) and Red Moss of Balerno (A.D. 800-1800), respectively. Thereafter, mercury accumulation rates increased to typical maximum values of 51, 61, 77 and 85 μg m -2 y -1 , recorded at different times possibly reflecting local/regional influences during the first 70 years of the 20th century, at the four sites (TM, FM, RM, CM), before declining to a mean value of 27 ± 15 μg m -2 y -1 during the late 1990s/early 2000s. Comparison of such trends for mercury with those for lead and arsenic in the cores and also with direct data for the declining UK emissions of these three elements since 1970 suggested that a substantial proportion of the mercury deposited at these sites over the past few decades originated from outwith the UK, with contributions to wet and dry deposition arising from long-range transport of mercury released by sources such as combustion of coal. Confidence in the chronological reliability of these core-derived trends in absolute and relative accumulation of mercury, at least since the 19th century, was provided by the excellent agreement between the corresponding detailed and characteristic temporal trends in the 206 Pb/ 207 Pb isotopic ratio of lead in the 210 Pb-dated Turclossie Moss core and those in archival Scottish Sphagnum moss samples of known date of collection. The possibility of some longer-term loss of volatile mercury released from diagenetically altered older peat cannot, however, be excluded by the findings of this study.

  3. Mercury and other Mining-Related Contaminants in Ospreys along the Upper Clark Fork River, MT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langner, H.; Domenech, R.; Greene, E.; Staats, M. F.

    2010-12-01

    Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) are widely recognized as bio-indicators of the health of aquatic ecosystems. Until the time of fledging, nestlings feed exclusively on fish caught within a few kilometers of the nest. Therefore, tissues of these young birds may reflect the level of contamination of local fish and more generally, the contamination status of the aquatic ecosystem they inhabit. Nests can often be accessed with a boom truck and obtaining small blood samples from the flightless chicks is fairly noninvasive. Ospreys are nesting along the Upper Clark Fork River, Montana, which is heavily contaminated with wastes left from a century of copper and precious metals mining. We have been monitoring the levels of priority pollutants (arsenic, cadmium, lead, copper, zinc, mercury and selenium) in Osprey chicks along a 250 km section of the river for four years. Objectives are to establish current contaminant status, pinpoint pollution hotspots, and assess the success of restoration efforts. Our results suggest that of highest concern may be the bioaccumulation of mercury with blood levels of up to 0.7 mg/L in the growing chicks. These concentrations are expected to increase many fold upon fledging as feather growth stops, which acts as the major sink for mercury. Interestingly, we found mercury levels increased in downstream direction, in contrast to concentrations of other pollutants. Reasons may be the different origin of mercury versus other contaminants and the distribution of wetlands where mercury can be transformed into highly bioavailable methylmercury. Blood levels of selenium are also elevated throughout the Upper Clark Fork River drainage. We discuss the implications for restoration and remediation of the Clark Fork River.

  4. Selection of mercury accumulator plants for gold mine tailing contaminated soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N Muddarisna

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Phytoremediation, which is more efficient with less side effects than conventional physical and chemical methods, is increasing in popularity as a remediation system. This paper provides a brief overview of developments in research and application of phytoremediation of soil contaminated with gold mine tailings containing mercury. Lindernia crustacea L., Digitaria radicosa Presl. Miq., Zingiber purpurium L, Paspalum conjugatum Berg., Cyperus kyllingia Endl., and Caladium bicolor Vent., that were selected for this study were planted in the planting media consisting of soil (70% and tailings (30% for 9 weeks. The results showed that after 9 weeks of planting, Paspalum conjugatum had growth rate, biomass production, Hg accumulation, and ratio of shoot Hg : root Hg higher than those of other plant species tested, both in the media consisted of amalgamation and cyanidation tailings. It can thus be concluded that Paspalum conjugatum is potential plant species for remediating mercury-contaminated soil.

  5. Global Burden of Disease of Mercury Used in Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steckling, Nadine; Tobollik, Myriam; Plass, Dietrich; Hornberg, Claudia; Ericson, Bret; Fuller, Richard; Bose-O'Reilly, Stephan

    Artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the world's largest anthropogenic source of mercury emission. Gold miners are highly exposed to metallic mercury and suffer occupational mercury intoxication. The global disease burden as a result of this exposure is largely unknown because the informal character of ASGM restricts the availability of reliable data. To estimate the prevalence of occupational mercury intoxication and the disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) attributable to chronic metallic mercury vapor intoxication (CMMVI) among ASGM gold miners globally and in selected countries. Estimates of the number of artisanal small-scale gold (ASG) miners were extracted from reviews supplemented by a literature search. Prevalence of moderate CMMVI among miners was determined by compiling a dataset of available studies that assessed frequency of intoxication in gold miners using a standardized diagnostic tool and biomonitoring data on mercury in urine. Severe cases of CMMVI were not included because it was assumed that these persons can no longer be employed as miners. Cases in workers' families and communities were not considered. Years lived with disability as a result of CMMVI among ASG miners were quantified by multiplying the number of prevalent cases of CMMVI by the appropriate disability weight. No deaths are expected to result from CMMVI and therefore years of life lost were not calculated. Disease burden was calculated by multiplying the prevalence rate with the number of miners for each country and the disability weight. Sensitivity analyses were performed using different assumptions on the number of miners and the intoxication prevalence rate. Globally, 14-19 million workers are employed as ASG miners. Based on human biomonitoring data, between 25% and 33% of these miners-3.3-6.5 million miners globally-suffer from moderate CMMVI. The resulting global burden of disease is estimated to range from 1.22 (uncertainty interval [UI] 0.87-1.61) to 2.39 (UI 1

  6. Mercury

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, Irma

    2017-01-01

    Mercury is a naturally occurring metal that exists in several physical and chemical forms. Inorganic mercury refers to compounds formed after the combining of mercury with elements such as chlorine, sulfur, or oxygen. After combining with carbon by covalent linkage, the compounds formed are called

  7. Hydrogeochemical investigations of some historic mining areas in the western Humboldt River basin, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, J.T.

    2001-01-01

    Productive historic mines in 13 mining districts, of many geochemical types, were investigated in May of 1998. Reconnaissance field observations were made and samples of mine dumps, mine drainage waters, and mill tailings have been collected to characterize the geochemical signature of these materials and to determine their actual or potential contamination of surface or ground waters. Field observations suggest that visible indicators of acidic mine drainage are rare, and field measurements of pH and chemical analyses of several kinds of materials indicate that only a few sites release acid or significant concentrations of metals.

  8. Environmental and human exposure assessment monitoring of communities near an abandoned mercury mine in the Philippines: a toxic legacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maramba, Nelia P C; Reyes, Jose Paciano; Francisco-Rivera, Ana Trinidad; Panganiban, Lynn Crisanta R; Dioquino, Carissa; Dando, Nerissa; Timbang, Rene; Akagi, Hirokatsu; Castillo, Ma Teresa; Quitoriano, Carmela; Afuang, Maredith; Matsuyama, Akito; Eguchi, Tomomi; Fuchigami, Youko

    2006-10-01

    Abandoned mines are an important global concern and continue to pose real or potential threats to human safety and health including environmental damage/s. Very few countries had government mine regulation and reclamation policies until the latter part of the century where legal, financial and technical procedures were required for existing mining operations. Major reasons for mine closure may be mainly due to poor economies of the commodity making mining unprofitable, technical difficulties and national security. If the mine is abandoned, more often than not it is the government that shoulders the burden of clean-up, monitoring and remediation. The topic of abandoned mines is complex because of the associated financial and legal liability implications. Abandoned mercury mines have been identified as one of the major concerns because of their significant long-term environmental problems. Primary mercury production is still ongoing in Spain, Kyrgzystan, China, Algeria, Russia and Slovakia while world production declined substantially in the late 1980s. In the Philippines, the mercury mine located southeast of Manila was in operation from 1955 to 1976, before ceasing operation because of the decline in world market price for the commodity. During this time, annual production of mercury was estimated to be about 140,000 kg of mercury yearly. Approximately 2,000,000 t of mine-waste calcines (retorted ore) were produced during mining and roughly 1,000,000 t of these calcines were dumped into nearby Honda Bay to construct a jetty to facilitate mine operations where about 2000 people reside in the nearby three barangays. In October, 1994 the Department of Health received a request from the Provincial Health Office for technical assistance relative to the investigation of increasing complaints of unusual symptoms (e.g. miscarriages, tooth loss, muscle weakness, paralysis, anemia, tremors, etc.) among residents of three barangays. Initial health reports revealed significant

  9. Environmental assessment of mining industry solid pollution in the mercurial district of Azzaba, northeast Algeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seklaoui, M'hamed; Boutaleb, Abdelhak; Benali, Hanafi; Alligui, Fadila; Prochaska, Walter

    2016-11-01

    To date, there have been few detailed studies regarding the impact of mining and metallogenic activities on solid fractions in the Azzaba mercurial district (northeast Algeria) despite its importance and global similarity with large Hg mines. To assess the degree, distribution, and sources of pollution, a physical inventory of apparent pollution was developed, and several samples of mining waste, process waste, sediment, and soil were collected on regional and local scales to determine the concentration of Hg and other metals according to their existing mineralogical association. Several physico-chemical parameters that are known to influence the pollution distribution are realized. The extremely high concentrations of all metals exceed all norms and predominantly characterize the metallurgic and mining areas; the metal concentrations significantly decrease at significant low distances from these sources. The geo-accumulation index, which is the most realistic assessment method, demonstrates that soils and sediments near waste dumps and abandoned Hg mines are extremely polluted by all analyzed metals. The pollution by these metals decreases significantly with distance, which indicates a limited dispersion. The results of a clustering analysis and an integrated pollution index suggest that waste dumps, which are composed of calcine and condensation wastes, are the main source of pollution. Correlations and principal component analysis reveal the important role of hosting carbonate rocks in limiting pollution and differentiating calcine wastes from condensation waste, which has an extremely high Hg concentration (˃1 %).

  10. Improving awareness of mercury pollution in small-scale gold mining communities: challenges and ways forward in rural Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilson, Gavin; Hilson, Christopher J; Pardie, Sandra

    2007-02-01

    This paper critiques the approach taken by the Ghanaian Government to address mercury pollution in the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector. Unmonitored releases of mercury-used in the gold-amalgamation process-have caused numerous environmental complications throughout rural Ghana. Certain policy, technological and educational initiatives taken to address the mounting problem, however, have proved marginally effective at best, having been designed and implemented without careful analysis of mine community dynamics, the organization of activities, operators' needs and local geological conditions. Marked improvements can only be achieved in this area through increased government-initiated dialogue with the now-ostracized illegal galamsey mining community; introducing simple, cost-effective techniques for the reduction of mercury emissions; and effecting government-sponsored participatory training exercises as mediums for communicating information about appropriate technologies and the environment.

  11. Mercury contamination in soil, tailing and plants on agricultural fields near closed gold mine in Buru Island, Maluku

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reginawanti Hindersah

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural productivity in Buru Island, Maluku is threatened by tailings which are generated from formerly gold mine in Botak Mountain in Wamsait Village. Gold that extracted by using mercury was carried out in mining area as well agricultural field.  High content of mercury in tailings and agricultural field pose a serious problem of food production and quality; and further endangers human health. The purpose of this research was to determine the contaminant level of mercury in tailing, soil and its accumulation in edible part of some food crops. Soil, tailing and plant samples for Hg testing were taken by purposive method based on mining activities in Waelata, Waeapo and Namlea sub district. Six soil samples had been analyzed for their chemical properties. Total mercury levels in tailings and plants were measured by Atomic Adsorption Spectrophotometer. This study showed that agricultural field where tailings were deposited contained Hg above the threshold but agricultural area which is far from hot spot did not. Most edible parts of food crops accumulated mercury more than Indonesian threshold for mercury content in food. This evidence explained that tailings deposited on the surface of agricultural field had an impact on soil quality and crop quality. Tailing accumulated on soil will decreased soil quality since naturally soil fertility in agricultural field in Buru is low.

  12. Environmental transformation and distribution of mercury released from gold mining and its implications on human health in Tanzania, studied by nuclear techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ikingura, Justinian R.

    2002-01-01

    The dispersion and transformation of mercury in the southwest Lake Victoria gold fields was investigated through field and laboratory studies in order to evaluate the environmental impact and human health risks due to mercury pollution from small-scale gold mining in Tanzania. River sediment, gold-ore tailings, fish, and lichens were analyzed for their mercury content to determine mercury contamination levels. Mercury concentrations in the tailings from Rwamagaza mine were in the range of 165 to 232 mg/kg while at the Mugusu mine the maximum concentration was 6 mg/kg in the river sediment contaminated by the tailings. The dispersion of mercury along the Mabubi River downstream of the gold-ore processing site at the Mugusu mine decreased rapidly to less than 0.5 mg/kg at a distance of 4 km, and less than 0.1 mg/kg at 9 km. Granulometrical analysis of mercury distribution indicated highest mercury concentrations to be associated with the grain size fraction <212 mm in the sediment. Total mercury concentrations in eight fish species from the Lake Victoria at Nungwe Bay were generally very low and varied from 2 to 34, μg/kg (w.w). The lowest concentrations were found in Tilapia and the highest in Nile perch. The percentage of methylmercury in the fish muscle ranged from 65 to 97%. These results suggest that mercury contamination from gold mining operations in the southwest Lake Victoria goldfields has not led to any significant increase in environmental methylmercury levels that could be reflected in high mercury concentrations in the fish. Based on these results, fish consumption from the Nungwe Bay area of the Lake Victoria does not pose any human health risks on account of very low mercury levels in the fish at present. Mercury concentrations in two lichen species, Parmelia and Usnea, in the Geita Forest Reserve around the Mugusu mine ranged from 0.10 to 3.10 μg/g (d.w.). The mercury concentration in the lichens decreased away from the mine village, indicating the

  13. The distribution of mercury around the small-scale gold mining area along the Cikaniki river, Bogor, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomiyasu, Takashi; Kono, Yuriko; Kodamatani, Hitoshi; Hidayati, Nuril; Rahajoe, Joeni Setijo

    2013-08-01

    The distribution of mercury in the soil, sediment and river water around the artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM) area along the Cikaniki River, West Java, Indonesia, was investigated. The total mercury concentration (T-Hg) in the forest soil ranged from 0.11 to 7.0mgkg(-1), and the highest value was observed at the ASGM village. In the vertical T-Hg profile around the villages, the highest value was observed at the soil surface, and the concentration decreased with depth. This result suggested that the mercury released by mining activity was dispersed through the atmosphere and deposited on the surface. The total organic carbon content (TOC) showed a similar vertical profile as the T-Hg, and a linear relationship was found between T-Hg and TOC. Mercury deposited on the surface can be absorbed by organic matter. The slope of the line was larger near the ASGM village, implying a higher rate of deposition of mercury. The T-Hg in the sediment ranged from 10 to 70mgkg(-1), decreasing gradually toward the lower reaches of the river. Mining waste can be transported with the river flow and deposited along the river. The distribution of the mining waste can be determined using the mineralogical composition measured by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. NDE investigation of the timber foundation in the historic Kennecott Mine Concentration Mill Building

    Science.gov (United States)

    James P. Wacker; Xiping Wang; Douglas R. Rammer; Bessie M. Woodward

    2011-01-01

    The U.S. National Park Service acquired the National Historic Copper Mine at Kennecott, Alaska, in 1998. There was uncertainty about the condition of the timber-cribbing foundation supporting the concentration mill, the largest building in the mine complex. A comprehensive on-site evaluation of the timber cribbing foundation was performed in summer 2009. The inspection...

  15. Mercury accumulation and attenuation at a rapidly forming delta with a point source of mining waste

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, Bryce E., E-mail: bjohnson@ce.berkeley.edu [Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Esser, Bradley K. [Chemical Sciences Division, 7000 East Avenue, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore CA 94550 (United States); Whyte, Dyan C.; Ganguli, Priya M.; Austin, Carrie M. [California Regional Water Quality Control Board, 1515 Clay St., Suite 1400, Oakland, CA 94612 (United States); Hunt, James R. [Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)

    2009-09-01

    The Walker Creek intertidal delta of Tomales Bay, California is impacted by a former mercury mine within the watershed. Eleven short sediment cores (10 cm length) collected from the delta found monomethylmercury (MMHg) concentrations ranging from 0.3 to 11.4 ng/g (dry wt.), with lower concentrations occurring at the vegetated marsh and upstream channel locations. Algal mats common to the delta's sediment surface had MMHg concentrations ranging from 7.5 to 31.5 ng/g, and the top 1 cm of sediment directly under the mats had two times greater MMHg concentrations compared to adjacent locations without algal covering. Spatial trends in resident biota reflect enhanced MMHg uptake at the delta compared to other bay locations. Eighteen sediment cores, 1 to 2 m deep, collected from the 1.2 km{sup 2} delta provide an estimate of a total mercury (Hg) inventory of 2500 {+-} 500 kg. Sediment Hg concentrations ranged from pre-mining background conditions of approximately 0.1 {mu}g/g to a post-mining maximum of 5 {mu}g/g. Sediment accumulation rates were determined from three sediment cores using measured differences of {sup 137}Cs activity. We estimate a pre-mining Hg accumulation of less than 20 kg/yr, and a period of maximum Hg accumulation in the 1970s and 1980s with loading rates greater than 50 kg/yr, corresponding to the failure of a tailings dam at the mine site. At the time of sampling (2003) over 40 kg/yr of Hg was still accumulating at the delta, indicating limited recovery. We attribute observed spatial evolution of elevated Hg levels to ongoing inputs and sediment re-working, and estimate the inventory of the anthropogenic fraction of total Hg to be at least 1500 {+-} 300 kg. We suggest ongoing sediment inputs and methylation at the deltaic surface support enhanced mercury levels for resident biota and transfer to higher trophic levels throughout the Bay.

  16. Mercury biogeochemistry in the Idrija River, Slovenia, from above the mine into the Gulf of Trieste

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hines, M.E.; Horvat, M.; Faganeli, J.; Bonzongo, J.-C.J.; Barkay, T.; Major, E.B.; Scott, K.J.; Bailey, E.A.; Warwick, J.J.; Lyons, W.B.

    2000-01-01

    The Idrija Mine is the second largest Hg mine in the world which operated for 500 years. Mercury (Hg)-laden tailings still line the banks, and the system is a threat to the Idrija River and water bodies downstream including the Soca/Isonzo River and the Gulf of Trieste in the northern Adriatic Sea. A multidisciplinary study was conducted in June 1998 on water samples collected throughout the Idrija and Soca River systems and waters and sediments in the Gulf. Total Hg in the Idrija River increased >20-fold downstream of the mine from 60 ng liter-1 with methyl mercury (MeHg) accounting for ~0.5%. Concentrations increased again downstream and into the estuary with MeHg accounting for nearly 1.5% of the total. While bacteria upstream of the mine did not contain mercury detoxification genes (mer), such genes were detected in bacteria collected downstream. Benthic macroinvertebrate diversity decreased downstream of the mine. Gulf waters near the river mouth contained up to 65 ng liter-1 total Hg with ~0.05 ng liter-1 MeHg. Gulf sediments near the river mouth contained 40 ??g g-1 total Hg with MeHg concentrations of about 3 ng g-1. Hg in sediment pore waters varied between 1 and 8 ng liter-1, with MeHg accounting for up to 85%. Hg methylation and MeHg demethylation were active in Gulf sediments with highest activities near the surface. MeHg was degraded by an oxidative pathway with >97% C released from MeHg as CO2. Hg methylation depth profiles resembled profiles of dissolved MeHg. Hg-laden waters still strongly impact the riverine, estuarine, and marine systems. Macroinvertebrates and bacteria in the Idrija River responded to Hg stress, and high Hg levels persist into the Gulf. Increases in total Hg and MeHg in the estuary demonstrate the remobilization of Hg, presumably as HgS dissolution and recycling. Gulf sediments actively produce MeHg, which enters bottom waters and presumably the marine food chain. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

  17. In vitro studies evaluating leaching of mercury from mine waste calcine using simulated human body fluids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, John E.; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Morman, Suzette A.; Higueras, Pablo L.; Crock, James G.; Lowers, Heather A.; Witten, Mark L.

    2010-01-01

    In vitro bioaccessibility (IVBA) studies were carried out on samples of mercury (Hg) mine-waste calcine (roasted Hg ore) by leaching with simulated human body fluids. The objective was to estimate potential human exposure to Hg due to inhalation of airborne calcine particulates and hand-to-mouth ingestion of Hg-bearing calcines. Mine waste calcines collected from Hg mines at Almadén, Spain, and Terlingua, Texas, contain Hg sulfide, elemental Hg, and soluble Hg compounds, which constitute primary ore or compounds formed during Hg retorting. Elevated leachate Hg concentrations were found during calcine leaching using a simulated gastric fluid (as much as 6200 μg of Hg leached/g sample). Elevated Hg concentrations were also found in calcine leachates using a simulated lung fluid (as much as 9200 μg of Hg leached/g), serum-based fluid (as much as 1600 μg of Hg leached/g), and water of pH 5 (as much as 880 μg of Hg leached/g). The leaching capacity of Hg is controlled by calcine mineralogy; thus, calcines containing soluble Hg compounds contain higher leachate Hg concentrations. Results indicate that ingestion or inhalation of Hg mine-waste calcine may lead to increased Hg concentrations in the human body, especially through the ingestion pathway.

  18. Removal of mercury from gold mine effluents using Limnocharis flava in constructed wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marrugo-Negrete, José; Enamorado-Montes, Germán; Durango-Hernández, José; Pinedo-Hernández, José; Díez, Sergi

    2017-01-01

    Phytoremediation has received increased attention over the recent decades, as an emerging and eco-friendly approach that utilizes the natural properties of plants to remediate contaminated water, soils or sediments. The current study provides information about a pilot-scale experiment designed to evaluate the potential of the anchored aquatic plant Limnocharis flava for phytoremediation of water contaminated with mercury (Hg), in a constructed wetland (CW) with horizontal subsurface flow (HSSF). Mine effluent used in this experiment was collected from a gold mining area located at the Alacran mine in Colombia (Hg: 0.11 ± 0.03 μg mL -1 ) and spiked with HgNO 3 (1.50 ± 0.09 μg mL -1 ). Over a 30 day test period, the efficiency of the reduction in the heavy metal concentration in the wetlands, and the relative metal sorption by the L. flava, varied according to the exposure time. The continued rate of removal of Hg from the constructed wetland was 9 times higher than the control, demonstrating a better performance and nearly 90% reduction in Hg concentrations in the contaminated water in the presence of L. flava. The results in this present study show the great potential of the aquatic macrophyte L. flava for phytoremediation of Hg from gold mining effluents in constructed wetlands. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. [Spatial distribution and ecological significance of heavy metals in soils from Chatian mercury mining deposit, western Hunan province].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Hong-Fei; Li, Yong-Hu; Ji, Yan-Fang; Yang, Lin-Sheng; Wang, Wu-Yi

    2009-04-15

    Ores, waste tailings and slag, together with three typical soil profiles (natural soil profiles far from mine entrance and near mine entrance, soil profile under slag) in Chatian mercury mining deposit (CMD), western Hunan province were sampled and their concentrations of mercury (Hg), arsenic (As), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), zinc (Zn) were determined by HG-ICP-AES and ICP-MS. Enrichment factor and correlation analysis were taken to investigate the origins, distribution and migration of Hg, as well as other heavy metals in the CMD. The results show that Hg is enriched in the bottom of the soil profile far from mine entrance but accumulated in the surface of soil profiles near mine entrance and under slag. The soil profiles near mine entrance and under slag are both contaminated by Hg, while the latter is contaminated more heavily. In the soil profile under slag, Hg concentration in the surface soil, Hg average concentration in the total profile, and the leaching depth of soil Hg are 640 microg x g(-1), (76.74 +/- 171.71) microg x g(-1), and more than 100 cm, respectively; while 6.5 microg x g(-1), (2.74 +/- 1.90) microg x g(-1), and 40 cm, respectively, are found in the soil profile near mine entrance. Soil in the mercury mine area is also polluted by Cd, As, Pb, Zn besides metallogenic element Hg, among which Cd pollution is relatively heavier than others. The mobility of the studied heavy metals in soil follows the order as Hg > Cd > As > Zn approximately equal to Pb. The leaching depth of the heavy metals is influenced by total concentration in the surface soil and soil physico-chemical parameters. The origins, distribution and migration of heavy metals in soil profile in the mining area are related to primary geological environment, and strongly influenced by human mining activities.

  20. Mercury and Cyanide Contaminations in Gold Mine Environment and Possible Solution of Cleaning Up by Using Phytoextraction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    NURIL HIDAYATI

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Water contamination with heavy metals, mainly mercury and cyanide (CN due to small scale of public mines and large scale of industrial mines have been in concern to residents around the area. Surveys of heavy metal contamination in aquatic environments, such as rivers and paddy fields over two gold mine areas in West Jawa were conducted and possible solution of using indigenous plants for phytoremediation was studied. The results showed that most of the rivers and other aquatic environments were affected by gold mine activities. Rivers, ponds, and paddy fields around illegal public mines were mostly contaminated by mercury in considerably high levels, such as paddy fields in two locations (Nunggul and Leuwijamang, Pongkor were contaminated up to 22.68 and 7.73 ppm of Hg, respectively. Whereas rivers located around large scale industrial mines were contaminated by CN. Possible solution of cleaning up by using green technology of phytoremediation was examined. Some plant species grew in the contaminated sites showed high tolerance and potentially effective in accumulating cyanide or mercury in their roots and above ground portions. Lindernia crustacea (L. F.M., Digitaria radicosa (Presl Miq, Paspalum conjugatum, Cyperus kyllingia accumulated 89.13, 50.93, 1.78, and 0.77 ppm of Hg, respectively. Whereas, Paspalum conjugatum, Cyperus kyllingia accumulated 16.52 and 33. 16 ppm of CN respectively.

  1. Mercury dispersion in soils of an abandoned lead-zinc-silver mine, San Quintín (Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esbrí, José Maria; Martín-Crespo, T.; Gómez-Ortiz, D.; Monescillo, C. I.; Lorenzo, S.; Higueras, P.

    2010-05-01

    The mine considered on this work, namely San Quintín, is a filonian field with hydrothermal ores exploited during almost fifty years (1887-1934), producing 550.000Tm of galena, 550Tm of silver and 5.000 of sphalerite. Some rewashing works of tailings muds was achieved in recent times (1973-1985), including flotation tests of cinnabar ore from Almadén mines. The main problems remaining on the site are an active acid mine drainage (with pH ~ 2) and heavy metal dispersion on soils including gaseous mercury emissions. We present here results of a survey including soils sampling with mercury analysis and other pedological parameters, as well as determinations of mercury inmission in the atmosphere, using a common sampling grid. Analysis of soils samples has been carried out using an atomic absorption spectrometer AMA254, while air determinations were made by the same technique, using a Lumex RA-915+. The maps have been obtained by means of SURFER 8 software, as well as by ArcGIS software, and puts forward dispersion of mercury from cinnabar ore dump (108 ?g×g-1) to nearby soils (0.3 ?g×g-1 at 700 m of distance). The dispersion of mercury vapor exceed WHO level for chronic exposure (200 ng×m-3) in a small area (250 meters from cinnabar dump).

  2. Geochemistry and mineralogy of arsenic in mine wastes and stream sediments in a historic metal mining area in the UK

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rieuwerts, J.S., E-mail: jrieuwerts@plymouth.ac.uk [School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Plymouth University, Plymouth PL4 8AA (United Kingdom); Mighanetara, K.; Braungardt, C.B. [School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Plymouth University, Plymouth PL4 8AA (United Kingdom); Rollinson, G.K. [Camborne School of Mines, CEMPS, University of Exeter, Tremough Campus, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9EZ (United Kingdom); Pirrie, D. [Helford Geoscience LLP, Menallack Farm, Treverva, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9BP (United Kingdom); Azizi, F. [School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Plymouth University, Plymouth PL4 8AA (United Kingdom)

    2014-02-01

    Mining generates large amounts of waste which may contain potentially toxic elements (PTE), which, if released into the wider environment, can cause air, water and soil pollution long after mining operations have ceased. The fate and toxicological impact of PTEs are determined by their partitioning and speciation and in this study, the concentrations and mineralogy of arsenic in mine wastes and stream sediments in a former metal mining area of the UK are investigated. Pseudo-total (aqua-regia extractable) arsenic concentrations in all samples from the mining area exceeded background and guideline values by 1–5 orders of magnitude, with a maximum concentration in mine wastes of 1.8 × 10{sup 5} mg kg{sup −1} As and concentrations in stream sediments of up to 2.5 × 10{sup 4} mg kg{sup −1} As, raising concerns over potential environmental impacts. Mineralogical analysis of the wastes and sediments was undertaken by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and automated SEM-EDS based quantitative evaluation (QEMSCAN®). The main arsenic mineral in the mine waste was scorodite and this was significantly correlated with pseudo-total As concentrations and significantly inversely correlated with potentially mobile arsenic, as estimated from the sum of exchangeable, reducible and oxidisable arsenic fractions obtained from a sequential extraction procedure; these findings correspond with the low solubility of scorodite in acidic mine wastes. The work presented shows that the study area remains grossly polluted by historical mining and processing and illustrates the value of combining mineralogical data with acid and sequential extractions to increase our understanding of potential environmental threats. - Highlights: • Stream sediments in a former mining area remain polluted with up to 25 g As per kg. • The main arsenic mineral in adjacent mine wastes appears to be scorodite. • Low solubility scorodite was inversely correlated with potentially mobile As. • Combining

  3. Geochemistry and mineralogy of arsenic in mine wastes and stream sediments in a historic metal mining area in the UK

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rieuwerts, J.S.; Mighanetara, K.; Braungardt, C.B.; Rollinson, G.K.; Pirrie, D.; Azizi, F.

    2014-01-01

    Mining generates large amounts of waste which may contain potentially toxic elements (PTE), which, if released into the wider environment, can cause air, water and soil pollution long after mining operations have ceased. The fate and toxicological impact of PTEs are determined by their partitioning and speciation and in this study, the concentrations and mineralogy of arsenic in mine wastes and stream sediments in a former metal mining area of the UK are investigated. Pseudo-total (aqua-regia extractable) arsenic concentrations in all samples from the mining area exceeded background and guideline values by 1–5 orders of magnitude, with a maximum concentration in mine wastes of 1.8 × 10 5 mg kg −1 As and concentrations in stream sediments of up to 2.5 × 10 4 mg kg −1 As, raising concerns over potential environmental impacts. Mineralogical analysis of the wastes and sediments was undertaken by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and automated SEM-EDS based quantitative evaluation (QEMSCAN®). The main arsenic mineral in the mine waste was scorodite and this was significantly correlated with pseudo-total As concentrations and significantly inversely correlated with potentially mobile arsenic, as estimated from the sum of exchangeable, reducible and oxidisable arsenic fractions obtained from a sequential extraction procedure; these findings correspond with the low solubility of scorodite in acidic mine wastes. The work presented shows that the study area remains grossly polluted by historical mining and processing and illustrates the value of combining mineralogical data with acid and sequential extractions to increase our understanding of potential environmental threats. - Highlights: • Stream sediments in a former mining area remain polluted with up to 25 g As per kg. • The main arsenic mineral in adjacent mine wastes appears to be scorodite. • Low solubility scorodite was inversely correlated with potentially mobile As. • Combining mineralogical and

  4. Mercury uptake and distribution in Lavandula stoechas plants grown in soil from Almadén mining district (Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sierra, M J; Millán, R; Esteban, E

    2009-11-01

    This work studies mercury root uptake by Lavandula stoechas var. Kew Red (lavender) and the distribution of this metal through the plant under greenhouse conditions along three consecutive seasons. Mercury concentration in plant tissues and in the different products obtained from lavender plants (essential oil, toilet water and in lavender tea) was assessed in order to evaluate the possible cultivation of lavender as a profitable alternative land use to mercury mining in the Almadén area once the mine had been closed down. Mercury concentration in useful parts of the plant was low (0.03-0.55 mg kg(-1)). Likewise, the essential oil, toilet water and tea obtained from these plants presented very low mercury levels, below the detection limit of the used equipment (<0.5 microg kg(-1)). In the case of the obtained tea, according to the recommendations given by the World Health Organization, the maximum daily intake of it without intoxication risk would be 85.2l. So, although other sources of mercury intake should also be considered in order to elaborate a complete toxicological risk assessment. Lavender data, obtained under this greenhouse working conditions, shows that lavender cultivation could be an alternative crop in the Almadén area.

  5. Determining a pre-mining radiological baseline from historic airborne gamma surveys: A case study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bollhöfer, Andreas; Beraldo, Annamarie; Pfitzner, Kirrilly; Esparon, Andrew; Doering, Che

    2014-01-01

    Knowing the baseline level of radioactivity in areas naturally enriched in radionuclides is important in the uranium mining context to assess radiation doses to humans and the environment both during and after mining. This information is particularly useful in rehabilitation planning and developing closure criteria for uranium mines as only radiation doses additional to the natural background are usually considered ‘controllable’ for radiation protection purposes. In this case study we have tested whether the method of contemporary groundtruthing of a historic airborne gamma survey could be used to determine the pre-mining radiological conditions at the Ranger mine in northern Australia. The airborne gamma survey was flown in 1976 before mining started and groundtruthed using ground gamma dose rate measurements made between 2007 and 2009 at an undisturbed area naturally enriched in uranium (Anomaly 2) located nearby the Ranger mine. Measurements of 226 Ra soil activity concentration and 222 Rn exhalation flux density at Anomaly 2 were made concurrent with the ground gamma dose rate measurements. Algorithms were developed to upscale the ground gamma data to the same spatial resolution as the historic airborne gamma survey data using a geographic information system, allowing comparison of the datasets. Linear correlation models were developed to estimate the pre-mining gamma dose rates, 226 Ra soil activity concentrations, and 222 Rn exhalation flux densities at selected areas in the greater Ranger region. The modelled levels agreed with measurements made at the Ranger Orebodies 1 and 3 before mining started, and at environmental sites in the region. The conclusion is that our approach can be used to determine baseline radiation levels, and provide a benchmark for rehabilitation of uranium mines or industrial sites where historical airborne gamma survey data are available and an undisturbed radiological analogue exists to groundtruth the data. - Highlights:

  6. Post-depositional behaviour of mercury and arsenic in submarine mine tailings deposited in Buyat Bay, North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Thomas; Rumengan, Inneke; Sahami, Ali

    2018-06-01

    The post-depositional geochemical behaviour of mercury and arsenic in submarine mine tailings from the Mesel Gold Mine in Buyat Bay, North Sulawesi, Indonesia was assessed by in situ sampling of tailings porewaters using dialysis arrays and seawater and fish monitoring. Under steady-state conditions one year after cessation of tailings discharge, the calculated arsenic efflux incrementally added 0.8 μg/L of arsenic to the overlying seawater. The mercury efflux across the tailings-seawater interface was negligible. The arsenic and mercury concentration in seawater bottom samples monitored biannually during a 9-year post-closure program were 1.54 μg/L and tailings are geochemically stable. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Predicting Software Projects Cost Estimation Based on Mining Historical Data

    OpenAIRE

    Najadat, Hassan; Alsmadi, Izzat; Shboul, Yazan

    2012-01-01

    In this research, a hybrid cost estimation model is proposed to produce a realistic prediction model that takes into consideration software project, product, process, and environmental elements. A cost estimation dataset is built from a large number of open source projects. Those projects are divided into three domains: communication, finance, and game projects. Several data mining techniques are used to classify software projects in terms of their development complexity. Data mining techniqu...

  8. Distribution and mobility of mercury in soils of a gold mining region, Cuyuni river basin, Venezuela.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos-Francés, F; García-Sánchez, A; Alonso-Rojo, P; Contreras, F; Adams, M

    2011-04-01

    An extensive and remote gold mining region located in the East of Venezuela has been studied with the aim of assessing the distribution and mobility of mercury in soil and the level of Hg pollution at artisanal gold mining sites. To do so, soils and pond sediments were sampled at sites not subject to anthropological influence, as well as in areas affected by gold mining activities. Total Hg in regionally distributed soils ranged between 0.02 mg kg(-1) and 0.40 mg kg(-1), with a median value of 0.11 mg kg(-1), which is slightly higher than soil Hg worldwide, possibly indicating long-term atmospheric input or more recent local atmospheric input, in addition to minor lithogenic sources. A reference Hg concentration of 0.33 mg kg(-1) is proposed for the detection of mining affected soils in this region. Critical total Hg concentrations were found in the surrounding soils of pollutant sources, such as milling-amalgamation sites, where soil Hg contents ranged from 0.16 mg kg(-1) to 542 mg kg(-1) with an average of 26.89 mg kg(-1), which also showed high levels of elemental Hg, but quite low soluble+exchangeable Hg fraction (0.02-4.90 mg kg(-1)), suggesting low Hg soil mobility and bioavailability, as confirmed by soil column leaching tests. The vertical distribution of Hg through the soil profiles, as well as variations in soil Hg contents with distance from the pollution source, and Hg in pond mining sediments were also analysed. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. A preliminary study on health effects in villagers exposed to mercury in a small-scale artisanal gold mining area in Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bose-O'Reilly, Stephan; Schierl, Rudolf; Nowak, Dennis; Siebert, Uwe; William, Jossep Frederick; Owi, Fradico Teorgi; Ir, Yuyun Ismawati

    2016-08-01

    Cisitu is a small-scale gold mining village in Indonesia. Mercury (Hg) is used to extract gold from ore, heavily polluting air, soil, fish and rice paddy fields with Hg. Rice in Cisitu is burdened with mercury. The main staple food of the inhabitants of Cisitu is this polluted rice. Villagers were concerned that the severe diseases they observed in the community might be related to their mining activities, including high mercury exposure. Case report of the medical examinations and the mercury levels in urine and hair of 18 people with neurological symptoms. Typical signs and symptoms of chronic mercury intoxication were found (excessive salivation, sleep disturbances, tremor, ataxia, dysdiadochokinesia, pathological coordination tests, gray to bluish discoloration of the oral cavity and proteinuria). Mercury levels in urine were increased in eight patients (>7µg Hg/L urine). All 18 people had increased hair levels (>1µg Hg/g hair). 15 patients exhibited several, and sometimes numerous, symptoms in addition to having moderately to highly elevated levels of mercury in their specimens. These patients were classified as intoxicated. The situation in Cisitu is special, with rice paddy fields being irrigated with mercury-contaminated water and villagers consuming only local food, especially mercury-contaminated rice. Severe neurological symptoms and increased levels of mercury in urine and hair support are possibly caused by exposure to inorganic mercury in air, and the consumption of mercury-contaminated fish and rice. The mercury exposure needs to be reduced and treatment provided. Further research is needed to test the hypothesis that mercury-contaminated rice from small-scale gold mining areas might cause mercury intoxication. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Evaluation of mercury levels in hair of children resident in artisanal gold mining area in the city of Chapada de Natividade-Tocantins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mendes, Seyna Ueno R., E-mail: seynaueno@gmail.com [Universidade Federal do Tocantins (UFTO), Palmas,TO (Brazil). Coordenação de Medicina; Vasconcellos, Marina B.A.; Catharino, Marília Gabriela M., E-mail: mbvascon@ipen.br [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (CRPQ/IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil). Centro do Reator de Pesquisa; Quinaglia, Gilson A.; Held, Barbara, E-mail: gquinaglia@sp.gov.br [Companhia Ambiental do Estado de São Paulo (CETESB), São Paulo, SP (Brazil). Setor de Análises Toxicológicas

    2017-07-01

    The objective of the work is to evaluate the mercury exposure of children living in an artisanal gold mining area and in a control area, without mining. A cross-sectional study was conducted with children living in the municipalities of Chapada de Natividade and Porto Nacional, in the State of Tocantins, where hair samples were collected for laboratorial analysis of mercury concentrations, comparing between municipalities, gender, monthly fish consumption, profession of parents and the presence of amalgam in dental restorations. The hair samples were analyzed by the methods of neutron activation analysis and also by means of the DMA (Direct Mercury Analyzer) equipment, in the last case being a partnership with CETESB. There was no evidence of mercury-related diseases in the studied children. The mean concentration of mercury in children in Chapada de Natividade was significantly higher than in Porto Nacional. Children exposed to artisanal gold mining areas have higher concentrations of mercury than children living in non- artisanal gold mining areas. There was no significant relationship between mercury concentrations and gender, monthly fish consumption, parental profession and amalgam presence in dental restorations. The results suggest that the children living in an area exposed to mining experience greater environmental exposure to mercury, regardless of their eating habits or gender. (author)

  11. Evaluation of mercury levels in hair of children resident in artisanal gold mining area in the city of Chapada de Natividade-Tocantins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mendes, Seyna Ueno R.; Vasconcellos, Marina B.A.; Catharino, Marília Gabriela M.; Quinaglia, Gilson A.; Held, Barbara

    2017-01-01

    The objective of the work is to evaluate the mercury exposure of children living in an artisanal gold mining area and in a control area, without mining. A cross-sectional study was conducted with children living in the municipalities of Chapada de Natividade and Porto Nacional, in the State of Tocantins, where hair samples were collected for laboratorial analysis of mercury concentrations, comparing between municipalities, gender, monthly fish consumption, profession of parents and the presence of amalgam in dental restorations. The hair samples were analyzed by the methods of neutron activation analysis and also by means of the DMA (Direct Mercury Analyzer) equipment, in the last case being a partnership with CETESB. There was no evidence of mercury-related diseases in the studied children. The mean concentration of mercury in children in Chapada de Natividade was significantly higher than in Porto Nacional. Children exposed to artisanal gold mining areas have higher concentrations of mercury than children living in non- artisanal gold mining areas. There was no significant relationship between mercury concentrations and gender, monthly fish consumption, parental profession and amalgam presence in dental restorations. The results suggest that the children living in an area exposed to mining experience greater environmental exposure to mercury, regardless of their eating habits or gender. (author)

  12. Sedentary nestlings of Wood Stork as monitors of mercury contamination in the gold mining region of the Brazilian Pantanal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nassif Del Lama, Silvia, E-mail: dsdl@ufscar.br [Laboratorio Genetica de Aves, Departamento de Genetica e Evolucao, Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos, Rodovia Washington Luis km 235, 13565-905 Sao Carlos, Sao Paulo (Brazil); Dosualdo Rocha, Cristiano [Laboratorio Genetica de Aves, Departamento de Genetica e Evolucao, Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos, Rodovia Washington Luis km 235, 13565-905 Sao Carlos, Sao Paulo (Brazil); Figueiredo Jardim, Wilson [Institute of Chemistry, State University of Campinas, P.O. Box 6154, 13083-970 Sao Paulo (Brazil); Tsai, Jo-Szu; Frederick, Peter Crawford [Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, P.O. Box 110430, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States)

    2011-11-15

    Sedentary organisms that are at top trophic levels allow inference about the level of local mercury contamination. We evaluated mercury contamination in feather tissue of nestling Wood Storks (Mycteria americana), sampled in different parts of the Brazilian Pantanal that were variably polluted by mercury releases from gold mining activities. Levels of mercury in feathers sampled in seven breeding colonies were determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy, and the mean value of mercury concentration was 0.557 {mu}g/g, dry weight (n=124), range 0.024-4.423 {mu}g/g. From this total sample, 21 feathers that represent 30% of nestlings collected in Porto da Fazenda and Tucum colonies, in the northern region, ranged from 1.0 to 4.43 {mu}g/g, dry weight (median value=1.87 {mu}g/g). We found significant differences among regions (H=57.342; p=0<0.05). Results suggest that permanently flooded areas, or along mainstream rivers are more contaminated by mercury than dry areas, regardless of the distance from the gold mining center, which is located in the northern Pantanal. Highest values found in nestlings feathers were similar to those found in feathers of adult birds and in tissues of adult mammals that are less sedentary and were captured in the same region of Pantanal. These findings indicate that mercury released has been biomagnified and it is present in high concentrations in tissues of top consumers. We suggest a program to monitor mercury availability in this ecosystem using sedentary life forms of top predators like Wood Storks or other piscivorous birds. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Sedentary stork nestlings were used for the first time to show local mercury contamination of Pantanal. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Differences were found among regions but they are not explained only by distance from the gold mining. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Permanently flooded areas and areas along mainstream rivers are more contaminated than dry areas. Black

  13. Sedentary nestlings of Wood Stork as monitors of mercury contamination in the gold mining region of the Brazilian Pantanal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nassif Del Lama, Silvia; Dosualdo Rocha, Cristiano; Figueiredo Jardim, Wilson; Tsai, Jo-Szu; Frederick, Peter Crawford

    2011-01-01

    Sedentary organisms that are at top trophic levels allow inference about the level of local mercury contamination. We evaluated mercury contamination in feather tissue of nestling Wood Storks (Mycteria americana), sampled in different parts of the Brazilian Pantanal that were variably polluted by mercury releases from gold mining activities. Levels of mercury in feathers sampled in seven breeding colonies were determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy, and the mean value of mercury concentration was 0.557 μg/g, dry weight (n=124), range 0.024–4.423 μg/g. From this total sample, 21 feathers that represent 30% of nestlings collected in Porto da Fazenda and Tucum colonies, in the northern region, ranged from 1.0 to 4.43 μg/g, dry weight (median value=1.87 μg/g). We found significant differences among regions (H=57.342; p=0<0.05). Results suggest that permanently flooded areas, or along mainstream rivers are more contaminated by mercury than dry areas, regardless of the distance from the gold mining center, which is located in the northern Pantanal. Highest values found in nestlings feathers were similar to those found in feathers of adult birds and in tissues of adult mammals that are less sedentary and were captured in the same region of Pantanal. These findings indicate that mercury released has been biomagnified and it is present in high concentrations in tissues of top consumers. We suggest a program to monitor mercury availability in this ecosystem using sedentary life forms of top predators like Wood Storks or other piscivorous birds. - Highlights: ► Sedentary stork nestlings were used for the first time to show local mercury contamination of Pantanal. ► Differences were found among regions but they are not explained only by distance from the gold mining. ► Permanently flooded areas and areas along mainstream rivers are more contaminated than dry areas. ► Mercury has been biomagnified in Pantanal and it is found in high concentrations in top

  14. Using native epiphytic ferns to estimate the atmospheric mercury levels in a small-scale gold mining area of West Java, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kono, Yuriko; Rahajoe, Joeni S; Hidayati, Nuril; Kodamatani, Hitoshi; Tomiyasu, Takashi

    2012-09-01

    Mercury pollution is caused by artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) operations along the Cikaniki River (West Java, Indonesia). The atmosphere is one of the primary media through which mercury can disperse. In this study, atmospheric mercury levels are estimated using the native epiphytic fern Asplenium nidus complex (A. nidus) as a biomonitor; these estimates shed light on the atmospheric dispersion of mercury released during mining. Samples were collected from 8 sites along the Cikaniki Basin during September-November, 2008 and September-November, 2009. The A. nidus fronds that were attached to tree trunks 1-3m above the ground were collected and measured for total mercury concentration using cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry (CVAAS) after acid-digestion. The atmospheric mercury was collected using porous gold collectors, and the concentrations were determined using double-amalgam CVAAS. The highest atmospheric mercury concentration, 1.8 × 10(3) ± 1.6 × 10(3) ngm(-3), was observed at the mining hot spot, and the lowest concentration of mercury, 5.6 ± 2.0 ngm(-3), was observed at the remote site from the Cikaniki River in 2009. The mercury concentrations in A. nidus were higher at the mining village (5.4 × 10(3) ± 1.6 × 10(3) ngg(-1)) than at the remote site (70 ± 30 ngg(-1)). The distribution of mercury in A. nidus was similar to that in the atmosphere; a significant correlation was observed between the mercury concentrations in the air and in A. nidus (r=0.895, P<0.001, n=14). The mercury levels in the atmosphere can be estimated from the mercury concentration in A. nidus using a regression equation: log (Hg(A.nidu)/ngg(-1))=0.740 log (Hg(Air)/ngm (-3)) - 1.324. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... that mercuric chloride and methylmercury are possible human carcinogens. top How does mercury affect children? Very young ... billion parts of drinking water (2 ppb). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set a maximum ...

  16. Water, mining, and waste: An historical and economic perspective on conflict management in South Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Rebecca A. Adler; Marius Claassen; Linda Godfrey; Anthony R. Turton.

    2007-01-01

    Lack of government intervention in South Africa’s mining industry has worsened conflicts associated with limited water resources. With the advent of democracy, new legislation demands that all South African citizens have the right to a clean, safe environment, including access to potable water, and that the country develop in a sustainable manner. But conflict remains due to the historical partnership between the government and the mining industry, as well as due to cumulative impacts associa...

  17. An innovative approach to bioremediation of mercury contaminated soils from industrial mining operations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, Damien; Edwards, Grant C; Gustin, Mae S; Care, Andrew; Miller, Matthieu B; Sunna, Anwar

    2017-10-01

    Soils contaminated with mercury (Hg) have proved expensive and logistically difficult to remediate. Research continues into finding suitable environmentally-friendly and efficient ways of achieving this end. Bioremediation is an option, which employs the strategies microorganisms have evolved to deal with Hg. One microbial strategy involves uptake and intracellular volatilisation of mercuric ions, which passively diffuse from the cell and back into the atmosphere. In this work, Pseudomonas veronii cells grown to stationary phase were immobilised in a xanthan gum-based biopolymer via encapsulation. The P. veronii-biopolymer mix was then coated onto natural zeolite granules. Zeolite immobilised cells remained viable for at least 16 weeks stored under ambient room temperature. Furthermore, the immobilised cells were shown to retain both viability and Hg volatilisation functionality after transportation from Australia to the USA, where they were applied to Hg contaminated soil. Maximum flux rates exceeded 10 μg Hg m 2  h -1 from mine tailings (≈7 mg kg -1  Hg with 50% v/v water). This was 4 orders of magnitude above background flux levels. It is envisioned that emitted gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) can be readily captured, and transformed back into metallic Hg, which can then be stored appropriately or recycled. This breaks the Hg cycle, as GEM is no longer translocated back to the atmospheric compartment. The immobilising excipients used in this research overcome many logistical issues with delivery of suitable microbial loads to locations of mercury contamination and presents a facile and inexpensive method of augmenting contaminated sites with selected microbial consortia for bioremediation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Potential application of a semi-quantitative method for mercury determination in soils, sediments and gold mining residues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yallouz, A.V.; Cesar, R.G.; Egler, S.G.

    2008-01-01

    An alternative, low cost method for analyzing mercury in soil, sediment and gold mining residues was developed, optimized and applied to 30 real samples. It is semiquantitative, performed using an acid extraction pretreatment step, followed by mercury reduction and collection in a detecting paper containing cuprous iodide. A complex is formed with characteristic color whose intensity is proportional to mercury concentration in the original sample. The results are reported as range of concentration and the minimum detectable is 100 ng/g. Method quality assurance was performed by comparing results obtained using the alternative method and the Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption Spectrometry techniques. The average results from duplicate analysis by CVAAS were 100% coincident with alternative method results. The method is applicable for screening tests and can be used in regions where a preliminary diagnosis is necessary, at programs of environmental surveillance or by scientists interested in investigating mercury geochemistry. - Semi-quantitative low-cost method for mercury determination in soil, sediments and mining residues

  19. Mercury exposure in a high fish eating Bolivian Amazonian population with intense small-scale gold-mining activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbieri, Flavia Laura; Cournil, Amandine; Gardon, Jacques

    2009-08-01

    Methylmercury exposure in Amazonian communities through fish consumption has been widely documented in Brazil. There is still a lack of data in other Amazonian countries, which is why we conducted this study in the Bolivian Amazon basin. Simple random sampling was used from a small village located in the lower Beni River, where there is intense gold mining and high fish consumption. All participants were interviewed and hair samples were taken to measure total mercury concentrations. The hair mercury geometric mean in the general population was 3.02 microg/g (CI: 2.69-3.37; range: 0.42-15.65). Age and gender were not directly associated with mercury levels. Fish consumption showed a positive relation and so did occupation, especially small-scale gold mining. Hair mercury levels were lower than those found in Brazilian studies, but still higher than in non-exposed populations. It is necessary to assess mercury exposure in the Amazonian regions where data is still lacking, using a standardized indicator.

  20. Characterization of historic lime mortars by neutron scattering and mercury porosimetry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zouridakis, N.; Stefanopoulos, K.L.; Treimer, W.

    1999-01-01

    Complete text of publication follows. Lime mortars were commonly used in building from ancient Greek times through to the beginning of the nineteenth century [1]. In the past few years, the increased interest in conservation and restoration of historic monuments requires a better knowledge of the structure and composition of lime mortars resulting from the various additives, as well as the preparation technique each time used. Lime mortars from ancient Greek monuments have been dated by using the radiocarbon method [2]. Furthermore, a wide selection of lime mortars from known historic periods and monuments in Greece has been examined by mercury porosimetry. It was found that their structure depends on the utilization of the monument which come from. In specific, lime mortars coming from residences have more or less the same structure, whereas the preparation technique differs for lime mortars coming from tombs and walls. The weathering effects on the porous system of the mortars are studied by neutron scattering. (author) [1] Brown, P.W., and Clifton, J.R., 'Air pollution and conservation', eds. J. Roswall and S. Aleby, 225 (1988), Elsevier, Amsterdam.; [2] N. Zouridakis, J.F. Sliege, A. Person et al., Archaeometry, 60 (1987) 29

  1. Current Mercury Exposure from Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Bombana, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia-Future Significant Health Risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakakibara, Masayuki; Sera, Koichiro

    2017-02-08

    The rapid expansion of the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) industry in developing countries has marginalized the local communities in poverty, and resulted in occupational exposure to mercury via the gold extraction process. We investigated the mercury exposure of the mining workers lived inside and outside the mining area. Based on the occupations of the contributors, the hair samples were divided into three subgroups: directly exposed, indirectly exposed, and a control. A total of 81 hair samples were analyzed by particle-induced X-ray emission spectrometry. The median mercury concentration was highest in the hair from the directly exposed group (12.82 μg/g hair) (control group median: 4.8 μg/g hair, p mining area but who are not engaged in mercury-based gold extraction.

  2. No effect of mercury exposure on kidney function during ongoing artisanal gold mining activities in Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, Luz Helena Sánchez; Rodríguez-Villamizar, Laura Andrea; Flórez-Vargas, Oscar; Fiallo, Yolanda Vargas; Ordoñez, Álvaro; Gutiérrez, Myriam Del Carmen

    2017-01-01

    This cross-sectional study examined whether people who are exposed to mercury (Hg) vapours in ongoing artisanal gold mining activities have alteration in kidney function monitoring parameters. The study enrolled 164 miners and 127 participant controls. The Hg concentrations for miners and control participants were measured in blood (B-Hg; median 7.0 vs. 2.5 µg/L), urine (U-Hg; median 3.9 vs. 1.5 µg/g creatinine) and hair (H-Hg; median 0.8 vs. 0.4 µg/g hair). The biomarkers of renal function were creatinine, albumin and excretion of β-2 microglobulin. Glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was calculated using the chronic kidney disease epidemiology collaboration equation. Significant statistical differences were found in Hg concentrations and eGFR levels between the two study groups ( p association was found between the prevalence of reduced eGFR (associated with Hg vapour exposure in ongoing artisanal gold mining, whose population has a level of Hg exposure from low to moderate (B-Hg from 3.4 to 11.0 µg/L and U-Hg from 1.3 to 9.6 µg/g creatinine).

  3. Speciation of methylmercury in rice grown from a mercury mining area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li Lu [Department of Environment and Geography, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 (Canada); Department of Chemistry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 (Canada); State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 2871, Beijing100085 (China); Wang Feiyue, E-mail: wangf@ms.umanitoba.c [Department of Environment and Geography, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 (Canada); Department of Chemistry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 (Canada); Meng Bo [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 46 Guanshui Road, Guiyang, Guizhou 550002 (China); Lemes, Marcos [Department of Environment and Geography, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 (Canada); Department of Chemistry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 (Canada); Feng Xinbin [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 46 Guanshui Road, Guiyang, Guizhou 550002 (China); Jiang Guibin [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 2871, Beijing100085 (China)

    2010-10-15

    Monomethylmercury (CH{sub 3}Hg{sup +} and its complexes; MeHg hereafter) is a known developmental neurotoxin. Recent studies have shown that rice (Oryza sativa L.) grain grown from mercury (Hg) mining areas may contain elevated MeHg concentrations, raising concerns over the health of local residents who consume rice on a daily basis. An analytical method employing high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) - inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) following enzymatic hydrolysis was developed to analyze the speciation of MeHg in uncooked and cooked white rice grain grown from the vicinity of a Hg mine in China. The results revealed that the MeHg in the uncooked rice is present almost exclusively as CH{sub 3}Hg-L-cysteinate (CH{sub 3}HgCys), a complex that is thought to be responsible for the transfer of MeHg across the blood-brain and placental barriers. Although cooking does not change the total Hg or total MeHg concentration in rice, no CH{sub 3}HgCys is measurable after cooking, suggesting that most, if not all, of the CH{sub 3}HgCys is converted to other forms of MeHg, the identity and toxicity of which remain elusive. - Methylmercury in uncooked rice occurs predominantly as methylmercury-L-cysteinate, which is effectively removed during the cooking process.

  4. Mercury

    CERN Document Server

    Mahoney, T J

    2014-01-01

    This gazetteer and atlas on Mercury lists, defines and illustrates every named (as opposed to merely catalogued) object and term as related to Mercury within a single reference work. It contains a glossary of terminology used, an index of all the headwords in the gazetteer, an atlas comprising maps and images with coordinate grids and labels identifying features listed in the gazetteer, and appendix material on the IAU nomenclature system and the transcription systems used for non-roman alphabets. This book is useful for the general reader, writers and editors dealing with astronomical themes, and those astronomers concerned with any aspect of astronomical nomenclature.

  5. Mercury

    CERN Document Server

    Balogh, André; Steiger, Rudolf

    2008-01-01

    Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun, is different in several respects from the other three terrestrial planets. In appearance, it resembles the heavily cratered surface of the Moon, but its density is high, it has a magnetic field and magnetosphere, but no atmosphere or ionosphere. This book reviews the progress made in Mercury studies since the flybys by Mariner 10 in 1974-75, based on the continued research using the Mariner 10 archive, on observations from Earth, and on increasingly realistic models of its interior evolution.

  6. The environmental and geomorphological impacts of historical gold mining in the Ohinemuri and Waihou river catchments, Coromandel, New Zealand

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Alastair, J. H. C.; Nováková, Tereza; Hudson-Edwards, K. A.; Fuller, I. C.; Macklin, M. G.; Fox, E. G.; Zapico, I.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 295, OCT 15 2017 (2017), s. 159-175 ISSN 0169-555X Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : mining-contaminated river * floodplain sedimentation * mine tailing discharge * historical gold mining * Ohinemuri River * Waihou River Subject RIV: DO - Wilderness Conservation OBOR OECD: Environmental sciences (social aspects to be 5.7) Impact factor: 2.958, year: 2016

  7. Contamination by mercury in air of the mining district of San Martin de Loba in Bolivar's Department, Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olivero V, J.; Young C, F.; Caballero G, K.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a heavy metal, considered a highly toxic pollutant. In its elemental state is volatile, making it easy to transport over long distances through the atmosphere, so that environmental pollution caused by it is a serious problem worldwide. Activities such as gold mining, where metallic Hg is used, have contributed with its global distribution, affecting ecosystems and human health. The aim of this study was to determine the levels of total mercury (T-Hg) in air in gold mining areas in Southern Bolivar, particularly in the mining district of San Martin de Loba, in the municipalities of San Martin de Loba and Barranco de Loba (Mina Santa Cruz), Colombia. In situ analyses were performed by atomic absorption spectroscopy, using a portable Ra-915 + Zeeman mercury analyzer. In Mina Santa Cruz, one of the most important gold mines in Colombia, concentrations of Hg in air ranged between 163.7 ± 6.6 and 40 455 ± 2154 mg/m 3 , while in the urban area of San Martin de Loba varied from 223.6 ± 20.8 to 27 140 ± 212.5 ng/m 3 . In those places where an amalgam burning process was taking place at the time of the measurements, Hg concentrations reached values of 40 455 ± 2154 ng/m 3 . These data imply a severe occupational exposure to Hg for operators and citizens living in cities located near mines. Therefore, it is important to regulate and control the use of Hg in gold mining, avoiding a chronic impact of the metal on the health of people and the environment. (author)

  8. Environmental transformation and distribution of mercury released from gold mining and its implications on human health in Tanzania, studied by nuclear techniques. Highlights and achievements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ikingura, Justinian R.

    2002-01-01

    Tanzania experienced unprecedented rush for gold mining in late 1980s and early 1990s when a similar gold rush was taking place in Latin America and other developing countries because of good gold market prices. The gold rush in Tanzania was also prompted by the socioeconomic and political transformations that were taking place in the country. The liberalization of mining policy and regulations by the government allowed foreign and local private investment in mining and encouraged small-scale mining and gold trade. Because of the liberalization, thousands of local miners, mostly from rural communities, rushed to gold mining for subsistence income. The use of mercury in gold recovery became widespread in Tanzania as a result of the gold rush. From 1992/93, the Department of Geology of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM in collaboration with the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) initiated studies to assess the extent of mercury pollution in the country. Further studies on mercury and other heavy metal pollution were undertaken between 1993 and 1997 by UDSM, under a broader project on 'Environmental Aspects of Mining and Industrialization in Tanzania', supported by the Swedish Agency for Research Cooperation with Developing Countries SAREC (Sida/SAREC). The above studies revealed the presence of elevated mercury concentrations in gold-ore tailings and river sediment in several gold mining areas. Studies to evaluate environmental transformation, partition and bioaccumulation of mercury in different environmental matrices and the long-term impact of mercury pollution have not been done. The present research project was initiated to provide scientific database necessary to better understand the environmental behaviour and cycling of mercury in the southwest Lake Victoria goldfields. Such data are necessary in the evaluation of environmental impacts of mercury pollution and in the mitigation of adverse impacts on the ecosystems and human health

  9. Abatement of mercury pollution in the small-scale gold mining industry: restructuring the policy and research agendas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilson, Gavin

    2006-06-01

    This paper critiques contemporary research and policy approaches taken toward the analysis and abatement of mercury pollution in the small-scale gold mining sector. Unmonitored releases of mercury from gold amalgamation have caused considerable environmental contamination and human health complications in rural reaches of sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia. Whilst these problems have caught the attention of the scientific community over the past 15-20 years, the research that has since been undertaken has failed to identify appropriate mitigation measures, and has done little to advance understanding of why contamination persists. Moreover, the strategies used to educate operators about the impacts of acute mercury exposure, and the technologies implemented to prevent further pollution, have been marginally effective at best. The mercury pollution problem will not be resolved until governments and donor agencies commit to carrying out research aimed at improving understanding of the dynamics of small scale gold mining communities. Acquisition of this knowledge is the key to designing and implementing appropriate support and abatement measures.

  10. Research on recovery of the soil pollution by mercury in gold mining by Sweet Sorghum in Wonogiri, Central Java, Indonesia

    OpenAIRE

    TAKAHI, Sachiko; PRIJAMBADA, Irfan Dwidya; UTAMI, Desi

    2013-01-01

    Small scale gold mining provides an important source of income for miners in rural communities where economic alternatives are extremely limited. However, it releases mercury which damages the environment and poses risks to those in the nearby community. Phytoremediation is considered as a simple and cost-effective method for the cleanup of heavy metal from contaminated soil. Phytoremediation is a technology that uses plants to degrade, extract, contain or immobilize contaminants from soil an...

  11. Historical deposition and fluxes of mercury in Narraguinnep Reservoir, southwestern Colorado, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gray, John E.; Fey, David L.; Holmes, Charles W.; Lasorsa, Brenda K.

    2005-01-01

    Narraguinnep Reservoir has been identified as containing fish with elevated Hg concentrations and has been posted with an advisory recommending against consumption of fish. There are presently no point sources of significant Hg contamination to this reservoir or its supply waters. To evaluate potential historical Hg sources and deposition of Hg to Narraguinnep Reservoir, the authors measured Hg concentrations in sediment cores collected from this reservoir. The cores were dated by the 137 Cs method and these dates were further refined by relating water supply basin hydrological records with core sedimentology. Rates of historical Hg flux were calculated (ng/cm 2 /a) based on the Hg concentrations in the cores, sediment bulk densities, and sedimentation rates. The flux of Hg found in Narraguinnep Reservoir increased by approximately a factor of 2 after about 1970. The 3 most likely sources of Hg to Narraguinnep Reservoir are surrounding bedrocks, upstream inactive Au-Ag mines, and several coal-fired electric power plants in the Four Corners region. Patterns of Hg flux do not support dominant Hg derivation from surrounding bedrocks or upstream mining sources. There are 14 coal-fired power plants within 320 km of Narraguinnep Reservoir that produce over 80 x 10 6 MWH of power and about 1640 kg-Hg/a are released through stack emissions, contributing significant Hg to the surrounding environment. Two of the largest power plants, located within 80 km of the reservoir, emit about 950 kg-Hg/a. Spatial and temporal patterns of Hg fluxes for sediment cores collected from Narraguinnep Reservoir suggest that the most likely source of Hg to this reservoir is from atmospheric emissions from the coal-fired electric power plants, the largest of which began operation in this region in the late-1960s and early 1970s

  12. A Study on Mercury-Resistant Bacteria Isolated from a Gold Mine in Pongkor Village, Bogor, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WAHYU IRAWATI

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Mercury is one of the major pollutant in the environment which is highly toxic. Bioremediation strategies using bacteria have been proposed as an attractive alternative because this is effective, less expensive and more efficient to remove mercury. Brevundimonas sp. HgP1 and Brevundimonas sp. HgP2 were two highly mercury resistant bacteria isolated from a gold mine in Pongkor village with MIC of 575 ppm. The purposes of the research were to study the effect of mercury on bacterial growth and morphological changes of bacterial colony and to measure the ability of bacterial isolates to accumulate Hg2+. The growth was monitored by measuring optical density at 600 nm, whereas accumulation of Hg2+ was measured by mercury vaporation unit. This present studies revealed that the addition of 50 and 100 ppm HgCl2 in Brevundimonas sp. HgP1 resulted in the decreasing of growth rate and the elongation of lag phase in 8 and 16 hours, respectively. The addition of HgCl2 also affected morphological appearance of the bacterial colony to black. Brevundimonas sp. HgP1 accumulated Hg2+ up to 1.09 and 2.7 mg/g dry weight of cells and removed 64.38 and 57.10% Hg2+ from the medium containing 50 and 100 ppm HgCl2, respectively.

  13. The burden of chronic mercury intoxication in artisanal small-scale gold mining in Zimbabwe: data availability and preliminary estimates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steckling, Nadine; Bose-O'Reilly, Stephan; Pinheiro, Paulo; Plass, Dietrich; Shoko, Dennis; Drasch, Gustav; Bernaudat, Ludovic; Siebert, Uwe; Hornberg, Claudia

    2014-12-13

    Artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is a poverty-driven activity practiced in over 70 countries worldwide. Zimbabwe is amongst the top ten countries using large quantities of mercury to extract gold from ore. This analysis was performed to check data availability and derive a preliminary estimate of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) due to mercury use in ASGM in Zimbabwe. Cases of chronic mercury intoxication were identified following an algorithm using mercury-related health effects and mercury in human specimens. The sample prevalence amongst miners and controls (surveyed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in 2004 and the University of Munich in 2006) was determined and extrapolated to the entire population of Zimbabwe. Further epidemiological and demographic data were taken from the literature and missing data modeled with DisMod II to quantify DALYs using the methods from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2004 update published by the World Health Organization (WHO). While there was no disability weight (DW) available indicating the relative disease severity of chronic mercury intoxication, the DW of a comparable disease was assigned by following the criteria 1) chronic condition, 2) triggered by a substance, and 3) causing similar health symptoms. Miners showed a sample prevalence of 72% while controls showed no cases of chronic mercury intoxication. Data availability is very limited why it was necessary to model data and make assumptions about the number of exposed population, the definition of chronic mercury intoxication, DW, and epidemiology. If these assumptions hold, the extrapolation would result in around 95,400 DALYs in Zimbabwe's total population in 2004. This analysis provides a preliminary quantification of the mercury-related health burden from ASGM based on the limited data available. If the determined assumptions hold, chronic mercury intoxication is likely to have been one of the top 20 hazards for population

  14. Reducing Mercury Pollution from Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    To reduce airborne mercury emissions from these Gold Shops, EPA and the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) have partnered to design a low cost, easily constructible technology called the Gold Shop Mercury Capture System (MCS).

  15. Environmental transformation and distribution of mercury released from gold mining and its implications on human health in Tanzania, studied by nuclear techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ikingura, Justinian R.

    2001-01-01

    The catchment areas of Lake Victoria in Tanzania are impacted by mercury contamination from small-scale gold mining activities. A preliminary survey of the mercury contamination has indicated in some cases mercury concentrations that are higher than background levels in soil and river sediment downstream of the mining areas. Average mercury concentration in contaminated soil is in the order of 3.4 mg/kg whereas in river sediment the concentration is about 4.9 mg/kg. Mercury concentrations in fish from a few areas of the Lake Victoria close to gold mining areas are in the range of 2-20 ppb. These fish mercury concentrations are surprisingly low considering the extent of mercury contamination in the Lake Victoria catchment. The dynamics of mercury cycling and their long-term impact on mercury levels in fish and other aquatic organisms in the Lake Victoria gold fields still need to be clarified. Research activities for the first year (2000) will concentrate on the determination of total mercury distribution patterns among soil, river water, sediment, and biota (fish, and other aquatic biota) in two areas (Mugusu-Nungwe Bay and Imweru-Bukombe Bay) of the Lake Victoria gold fields. The relationships between local tropical soil-sediment- and water-chemistry and the distribution of mercury in the contaminated areas will be investigated. Data from this work will be used in the identification and selection of suitable bio-monitors for mercury contamination and human health risk assessment in the study areas. In the second year, the project will focus mainly on methylmercury production and partition between sediment, water and biota in contaminated local tropical sediments. The main factors influencing the methylation and distribution of mercury species will be evaluated in laboratory experiments and extrapolated to environmental conditions. The results of the project will have important implications in mercury pollution monitoring, mitigation, and health risk assessment not

  16. Methylmercury degradation and exposure pathways in streams and wetlands impacted by historical mining

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Donovan, Patrick M., E-mail: pmdon@umich.edu [University of Michigan, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, 1100 N., University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Blum, Joel D. [University of Michigan, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, 1100 N., University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Singer, Michael Bliss [University of St Andrews, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, North St., St. Andrews, KY16 9AL (United Kingdom); Earth Research Institute, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, 91306 (United States); Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark [U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA (United States); Tsui, Martin T.K. [Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 27402 (United States)

    2016-10-15

    Monomethyl mercury (MMHg) and total mercury (THg) concentrations and Hg stable isotope ratios (δ{sup 202}Hg and Δ{sup 199}Hg) were measured in sediment and aquatic organisms from Cache Creek (California Coast Range) and Yolo Bypass (Sacramento Valley). Cache Creek sediment had a large range in THg (87 to 3870 ng/g) and δ{sup 202}Hg (− 1.69 to − 0.20‰) reflecting the heterogeneity of Hg mining sources in sediment. The δ{sup 202}Hg of Yolo Bypass wetland sediment suggests a mixture of high and low THg sediment sources. Relationships between %MMHg (the percent ratio of MMHg to THg) and Hg isotope values (δ{sup 202}Hg and Δ{sup 199}Hg) in fish and macroinvertebrates were used to identify and estimate the isotopic composition of MMHg. Deviation from linear relationships was found between %MMHg and Hg isotope values, which is indicative of the bioaccumulation of isotopically distinct pools of MMHg. The isotopic composition of pre-photodegraded MMHg (i.e., subtracting fractionation from photochemical reactions) was estimated and contrasting relationships were observed between the estimated δ{sup 202}Hg of pre-photodegraded MMHg and sediment IHg. Cache Creek had mass dependent fractionation (MDF; δ{sup 202}Hg) of at least − 0.4‰ whereas Yolo Bypass had MDF of + 0.2 to + 0.5‰. This result supports the hypothesis that Hg isotope fractionation between IHg and MMHg observed in rivers (− MDF) is unique compared to + MDF observed in non-flowing water environments such as wetlands, lakes, and the coastal ocean. - Highlights: • Mercury isotope ratios were measured in sediment and biota from Central California. • The isotopic composition of MMHg was estimated in streams and wetlands. • Mercury isotopes suggest multiple exposure pathways in these habitats. • Mass dependent fractionation between IHg and MMHg is different in streams.

  17. Methylmercury degradation and exposure pathways in streams and wetlands impacted by historical mining

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Donovan, Patrick M.; Blum, Joel D.; Singer, Michael Bliss; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark; Tsui, Martin T.K.

    2016-01-01

    Monomethyl mercury (MMHg) and total mercury (THg) concentrations and Hg stable isotope ratios (δ"2"0"2Hg and Δ"1"9"9Hg) were measured in sediment and aquatic organisms from Cache Creek (California Coast Range) and Yolo Bypass (Sacramento Valley). Cache Creek sediment had a large range in THg (87 to 3870 ng/g) and δ"2"0"2Hg (− 1.69 to − 0.20‰) reflecting the heterogeneity of Hg mining sources in sediment. The δ"2"0"2Hg of Yolo Bypass wetland sediment suggests a mixture of high and low THg sediment sources. Relationships between %MMHg (the percent ratio of MMHg to THg) and Hg isotope values (δ"2"0"2Hg and Δ"1"9"9Hg) in fish and macroinvertebrates were used to identify and estimate the isotopic composition of MMHg. Deviation from linear relationships was found between %MMHg and Hg isotope values, which is indicative of the bioaccumulation of isotopically distinct pools of MMHg. The isotopic composition of pre-photodegraded MMHg (i.e., subtracting fractionation from photochemical reactions) was estimated and contrasting relationships were observed between the estimated δ"2"0"2Hg of pre-photodegraded MMHg and sediment IHg. Cache Creek had mass dependent fractionation (MDF; δ"2"0"2Hg) of at least − 0.4‰ whereas Yolo Bypass had MDF of + 0.2 to + 0.5‰. This result supports the hypothesis that Hg isotope fractionation between IHg and MMHg observed in rivers (− MDF) is unique compared to + MDF observed in non-flowing water environments such as wetlands, lakes, and the coastal ocean. - Highlights: • Mercury isotope ratios were measured in sediment and biota from Central California. • The isotopic composition of MMHg was estimated in streams and wetlands. • Mercury isotopes suggest multiple exposure pathways in these habitats. • Mass dependent fractionation between IHg and MMHg is different in streams.

  18. Hydrogeochemical Investigations of Historic Mining Districts, Central Western Slope of Colorado, Including Influence on Surface-Water Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, J. Thomas

    2002-01-01

    This report describes reconnaissance hydrogeochemical investigations of 22 mining districts on the Western Slope of Colorado in the Gunnison and Uncompahgre National Forests and adjacent public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management. Sources and fates of contaminants from historic mines, mine waste, and mill tailings are interpreted from chemical analyses for 190 samples of surface waters; 185 samples of mined rocks, mill tailings, and altered rocks; and passive leach analyses of 116 samples of those mineralized materials. Short reaches of several headwater streams show relatively low level effects of historic mining; the headwaters of the Uncompahgre River are highly contaminated by mines and unmined altered rocks in the Red Mountain district. There is encouraging evidence that natural processes attenuate mine-related contamination in most districts.

  19. Mercury uptake and phytotoxicity in terrestrial plants grown naturally in the Gumuskoy (Kutahya) mining area, Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasmaz, Merve; Akgül, Bunyamin; Yıldırım, Derya; Sasmaz, Ahmet

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated mercury (Hg) uptake and transport from the soil to different plant parts by documenting the distribution and accumulation of Hg in the roots and shoots of 12 terrestrial plant species, all of which grow naturally in surface soils of the Gumuskoy Pb-Ag mining area. Plant samples and their associated soils were collected and analyzed for Hg content by ICP-MS. Mean Hg values in the soils, roots, and shoots of all plants were 6.914, 460, and 206 µg kg(-1), respectively and lower than 1. The mean enrichment factors for the roots (ECR) and shoots (ECS) of these plants were 0.06 and 0.09, respectively and lower than 1. These results show that the roots of the studied plants prevented Hg from reaching the aerial parts of the plants. The mean translocation factor (TLF) was 1.29 and higher than 1. The mean TLF values indicated that all 12 plant species had the ability to transfer Hg from the roots to the shoots but that transfer was more efficient in plants with higher ECR and ECS. Therefore, these plants could be useful for the biomonitoring of environmental pollution and for rehabilitating areas contaminated by Hg.

  20. Methane Oxidation and Molecular Characterization of Methanotrophs from a Former Mercury Mine Impoundment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaun M. Baesman

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The Herman Pit, once a mercury mine, is an impoundment located in an active geothermal area. Its acidic waters are permeated by hundreds of gas seeps. One seep was sampled and found to be composed of mostly CO2 with some CH4 present. The δ13CH4 value suggested a complex origin for the methane: i.e., a thermogenic component plus a biological methanogenic portion. The relatively 12C-enriched CO2 suggested a reworking of the ebullitive methane by methanotrophic bacteria. Therefore, we tested bottom sediments for their ability to consume methane by conducting aerobic incubations of slurried materials. Methane was removed from the headspace of live slurries, and subsequent additions of methane resulted in faster removal rates. This activity could be transferred to an artificial, acidic medium, indicating the presence of acidophilic or acid-tolerant methanotrophs, the latter reinforced by the observation of maximum activity at pH = 4.5 with incubated slurries. A successful extraction of sterol and hopanoid lipids characteristic of methanotrophs was achieved, and their abundances greatly increased with increased sediment methane consumption. DNA extracted from methane-oxidizing enrichment cultures was amplified and sequenced for pmoA genes that aligned with methanotrophic members of the Gammaproteobacteria. An enrichment culture was established that grew in an acidic (pH 4.5 medium via methane oxidation.

  1. Methane oxidation and molecular characterization of methanotrophs from a former mercury mine impoundment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baesman, Shaun; Miller, Laurence G.; Wei, Jeremy H.; Cho, Yirang; Matys, Emily D.; Summons, Roger E.; Welander, Paula V.; Oremland, Ronald S.

    2015-01-01

    The Herman Pit, once a mercury mine, is an impoundment located in an active geothermal area. Its acidic waters are permeated by hundreds of gas seeps. One seep was sampled and found to be composed of mostly CO2 with some CH4 present. The δ13CH4 value suggested a complex origin for the methane: i.e., a thermogenic component plus a biological methanogenic portion. The relatively 12C-enriched CO2 suggested a reworking of the ebullitive methane by methanotrophic bacteria. Therefore, we tested bottom sediments for their ability to consume methane by conducting aerobic incubations of slurried materials. Methane was removed from the headspace of live slurries, and subsequent additions of methane resulted in faster removal rates. This activity could be transferred to an artificial, acidic medium, indicating the presence of acidophilic or acid-tolerant methanotrophs, the latter reinforced by the observation of maximum activity at pH = 4.5 with incubated slurries. A successful extraction of sterol and hopanoid lipids characteristic of methanotrophs was achieved, and their abundances greatly increased with increased sediment methane consumption. DNA extracted from methane-oxidizing enrichment cultures was amplified and sequenced for pmoA genes that aligned with methanotrophic members of the Gammaproteobacteria. An enrichment culture was established that grew in an acidic (pH 4.5) medium via methane oxidation.

  2. Sources and fate of mercury pollution in Almadén mining district (Spain): Evidences from mercury isotopic compositions in sediments and lichens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Moreno, María; Barre, Julien P G; Perrot, Vincent; Bérail, Sylvain; Rodríguez Martín-Doimeadios, Rosa C; Amouroux, David

    2016-03-01

    Variations in mercury (Hg) isotopic compositions have been scarcely investigated until now in the Almadén mining district (Spain), which is one of the most impacted Hg areas worldwide. In this work, we explore and compare Hg isotopic signatures in sediments and lichens from Almadén mining district and its surroundings in order to identify and trace Hg aquatic and atmospheric contamination sources. No statistically significant mass independent fractionation was observed in sediments, while negative Δ(201)Hg values from -0.12 to -0.21‰ (2SD = 0.06‰) were found in lichens. A large range of δ(202)Hg values were reported in sediments, from -1.86 ± 0.21‰ in La Serena Reservoir sites far away from the pollution sources to δ(202)Hg values close to zero in sediments directly influenced by Almadén mining district, whereas lichens presented δ(202)Hg values from -1.95 to -0.40‰ (2SD = 0.15‰). A dilution or mixing trend in Hg isotope signatures versus the distance to the mine was found in sediments along the Valdeazogues River-La Serena Reservoir system and in lichens. This suggests that Hg isotope fingerprints in these samples are providing a direct assessment of Hg inputs and exposure from the mining district, and potential information on diffuse atmospheric contamination and/or geochemical alteration processes in less contaminated sites over the entire hydrosystem. This study confirms the applicability of Hg isotope signatures in lichens and sediments as an effective and complementary tool for tracing aquatic and atmospheric Hg contamination sources and a better constraint of the spatial and temporal fate of Hg released by recent or ancient mining activities. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Mercury pollution from the artisanal mining in Yani gold district, Northern Bolivia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfonso, Pura; Freixas, Anna; Bascompta, Marc; María Aranibar, Ana; Villegas, Karla; María García-Noguero, Eva; Higueras, Pablo; Cielito Saraiva, Angela

    2016-04-01

    Artisanal gold mining is the main economic activity in the Yani district, Northern Bolivia. In this area abundant orogenic gold deposits constituted by quartz veins hosted in paleozoic turbiditic series that contain either free gold or associated with pyrite. Gold is recovered in processing plants by gravimetric methods using shaking tables in several communities of this district. Previously, miners ground the mineral in ball mills together with mercury. The present study aims to evaluate the effect of mercury used in the gold recovering process to the environment and human health in the Yani district. The assessment was based on the analysis of human hair, sediments and water from the river nearby the processing plant and drinking water from the fountain that supplies these communities. 47 samples of hair from miners and other people from the Yani and Señor de Mayo communities were obtained in 2014 and 52 samples in 2015. All were analysed to evaluate the mercury exposure in these places. The results from the 2014 sampling show a wide range of Hg concentration in hair, especially in Señor de Mayo, with values up to 136 μg/g THg. However, in 2015 among the 43 residents in Señor de Mayo, 29 (67%) exhibit concentrations higher than 2 μg/g THg, with an average value of 5.36 μg/g THg. On the other hand, in Yani only 40% have concentrations above 2 μg/g THg, with an average value of 2.34 μg/g THg. The content in Hg in most of the hair samples exhibit values above the tolerable limits established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (1 μg/g Hg) and the World Health Organisation (WHO, 2 μg/g Hg). These high Hg concentrations are found not only in miners but also in the other members of the community, in spite of low fish consumption in this area. Part of the hair was analysed before and after cleaning. Usually in the second case the content of Hg is reduced, but still show high Hg levels, then probably the atmosphere is polluted with Hg and population is

  4. Mercury in Some Lakes of Gold Mining Area of the Southern Ural

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatsy Y. G.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The mercury content in bottom sediments of Kalkan Lake, of the Uchala district, the Southern Ural. It was assumed that high concentrations of mercury in fish due to pollution of bottom sediments as a result of amalgamation at developing of gold placers. Detailed study of distribution of different elements in sediments show close association Hg with the chalcophylic elements, whose anomalies do not have technogenic nature. Association of mercury with the elements-companions of gold placers is evidence of basic contribution of natural mercury to its anomalous accumulation in sediments and fish. This is result of steady long-term natural mercury pollution.

  5. Human health risk assessment of mercury vapor around artisanal small-scale gold mining area, Palu city, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakazawa, Koyomi; Nagafuchi, Osamu; Kawakami, Tomonori; Inoue, Takanobu; Yokota, Kuriko; Serikawa, Yuka; Cyio, Basir; Elvince, Rosana

    2016-02-01

    Emissions of elemental mercury, Hg(0), from artisanal small-scale gold mining activities accounted for 37% of total global Hg(0) emissions in 2010. People who live near gold-mining areas may be exposed to high concentrations of Hg(0). Here, we assessed the human health risk due to Hg(0) exposure among residents of Palu city (Central Sulawesi Province, Indonesia). The area around the city has more than 60t of gold reserves, and the nearby Poboya area is the most active gold-mining site in Indonesia. Owing to its geography, the city experiences alternating land and sea breezes. Sampling was done over a period of 3 years (from 2010 Aug. to 2012 Dec.) intermittently with a passive sampler for Hg(0), a portable handheld mercury analyzer, and a mercury analyzer in four areas of the city and in the Poboya gold-processing area, as well as wind speeds and directions in one area of the city. The 24-h average concentration, wind speed, and wind direction data show that the ambient air in both the gold-processing area and the city was always covered by high concentration of mercury vapor. The Hg(0) concentration in the city was higher at night than in the daytime, owing to the effect of land breezes. These results indicate that the inhabitants of the city were always exposed to high concentrations of Hg(0). The average daytime point-sample Hg(0) concentrations in the city, as measured with a handheld mercury analyzer over 3 days in July 2011, ranged from 2096 to 3299ngm(-3). In comparison, the average daytime Hg(0) concentration in the Poboya gold-processing area was 12,782ngm(-3). All of these concentrations are substantially higher than the World Health Organization air-quality guideline for annual average Hg exposure (1000ngm(-3)). We used the point-sample concentrations to calculate hazard quotient ratios by means of a probabilistic risk assessment method. The results indicated that 93% of the sample population overall was at risk (hazard quotient ratio ≥1 and cut off at

  6. Correlates between feeding ecology and mercury levels in historical and modern arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Bocharova

    Full Text Available Changes in concentration of pollutants and pathogen distribution can vary among ecotypes (e.g. marine versus terrestrial food resources. This may have important implications for the animals that reside within them. We examined 1 canid pathogen presence in an endangered arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus population and 2 relative total mercury (THg level as a function of ecotype ('coastal' or 'inland' for arctic foxes to test whether the presence of pathogens or heavy metal concentration correlate with population health. The Bering Sea populations on Bering and Mednyi Islands were compared to Icelandic arctic fox populations with respect to inland and coastal ecotypes. Serological and DNA based pathogen screening techniques were used to examine arctic foxes for pathogens. THg was measured by atomic absorption spectrometry from hair samples of historical and modern collected arctic foxes and samples from their prey species (hair and internal organs. Presence of pathogens did not correlate with population decline from Mednyi Island. However, THg concentration correlated strongly with ecotype and was reflected in the THg concentrations detected in available food sources in each ecotype. The highest concentration of THg was found in ecotypes where foxes depended on marine vertebrates for food. Exclusively inland ecotypes had low THg concentrations. The results suggest that absolute exposure to heavy metals may be less important than the feeding ecology and feeding opportunities of top predators such as arctic foxes which may in turn influence population health and stability. A higher risk to wildlife of heavy metal exposure correlates with feeding strategies that rely primarily on a marine based diet.

  7. Mercury stable isotope signatures of world coal deposits and historical coal combustion emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Ruoyu; Sonke, Jeroen E; Heimbürger, Lars-Eric; Belkin, Harvey E; Liu, Guijian; Shome, Debasish; Cukrowska, Ewa; Liousse, Catherine; Pokrovsky, Oleg S; Streets, David G

    2014-07-01

    Mercury (Hg) emissions from coal combustion contribute approximately half of anthropogenic Hg emissions to the atmosphere. With the implementation of the first legally binding UNEP treaty aimed at reducing anthropogenic Hg emissions, the identification and traceability of Hg emissions from different countries/regions are critically important. Here, we present a comprehensive world coal Hg stable isotope database including 108 new coal samples from major coal-producing deposits in South Africa, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, former USSR, and the U.S. A 4.7‰ range in δ(202)Hg (-3.9 to 0.8‰) and a 1‰ range in Δ(199)Hg (-0.6 to 0.4‰) are observed. Fourteen (p coal Hg emissions tracing. A revised coal combustion Hg isotope fractionation model is presented, and suggests that gaseous elemental coal Hg emissions are enriched in the heavier Hg isotopes relative to oxidized forms of emitted Hg. The model explains to first order the published δ(202)Hg observations on near-field Hg deposition from a power plant and global scale atmospheric gaseous Hg. Yet, model uncertainties appear too large at present to permit straightforward Hg isotope source identification of atmospheric forms of Hg. Finally, global historical (1850-2008) coal Hg isotope emission curves were modeled and indicate modern-day mean δ(202)Hg and Δ(199)Hg values for bulk coal emissions of -1.2 ± 0.5‰ (1SD) and 0.05 ± 0.06‰ (1SD).

  8. Correlates between feeding ecology and mercury levels in historical and modern arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocharova, Natalia; Treu, Gabriele; Czirják, Gábor Árpád; Krone, Oliver; Stefanski, Volker; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Unnsteinsdóttir, Ester Rut; Hersteinsson, Páll; Schares, Gereon; Doronina, Lilia; Goltsman, Mikhail; Greenwood, Alex D

    2013-01-01

    Changes in concentration of pollutants and pathogen distribution can vary among ecotypes (e.g. marine versus terrestrial food resources). This may have important implications for the animals that reside within them. We examined 1) canid pathogen presence in an endangered arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) population and 2) relative total mercury (THg) level as a function of ecotype ('coastal' or 'inland') for arctic foxes to test whether the presence of pathogens or heavy metal concentration correlate with population health. The Bering Sea populations on Bering and Mednyi Islands were compared to Icelandic arctic fox populations with respect to inland and coastal ecotypes. Serological and DNA based pathogen screening techniques were used to examine arctic foxes for pathogens. THg was measured by atomic absorption spectrometry from hair samples of historical and modern collected arctic foxes and samples from their prey species (hair and internal organs). Presence of pathogens did not correlate with population decline from Mednyi Island. However, THg concentration correlated strongly with ecotype and was reflected in the THg concentrations detected in available food sources in each ecotype. The highest concentration of THg was found in ecotypes where foxes depended on marine vertebrates for food. Exclusively inland ecotypes had low THg concentrations. The results suggest that absolute exposure to heavy metals may be less important than the feeding ecology and feeding opportunities of top predators such as arctic foxes which may in turn influence population health and stability. A higher risk to wildlife of heavy metal exposure correlates with feeding strategies that rely primarily on a marine based diet.

  9. Minor and trace-elements in apiary products from a historical mining district (Les Malines, France).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Losfeld, Guillaume; Saunier, Jean-Baptiste; Grison, Claude

    2014-03-01

    The trace-elements (TE) contents of honey, royal-jelly and beeswax from a historical Zn-Pb mining district have been investigated to assess potential contamination. In spite of high levels of heavy metal (As, Cd, Tl, Pb) in wastes left after mining stopped, apiary products appear to be relatively free of TE contamination. For honey, the following average levels (±standard error) were observed: Zn 571±440μgkg(-1), Pb 26±20μgkg(-1), Tl 13±10μgkg(-1), Cd 7±6μgkg(-1) and As 3±4μg.kg(-1). These results bring additional data to the potential impact of brownfields left after mining on apiary products. They also bring new data to assess potential risks linked with honey consumption and discuss legal TE contents in honey and other food products from apiaries. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Study on the reduction of atmospheric mercury emissions from mine waste enriched soils through native grass cover in the Mt. Amiata region of Italy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fantozzi, L., E-mail: l.fantozzi@iia.cnr.it [CNR-Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research, c/o: UNICAL-Polifunzionale, 87036 Rende (Italy); Ferrara, R., E-mail: romano.ferrara@pi.ibf.cnr.it [CNR-Institute of Biophysics, San Cataldo Research Area, Via G. Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa (Italy); Dini, F., E-mail: fdiniprotisti@gmail.com [University of Pisa, Department of Biology, Via A. Volta 4, 56126 Pisa (Italy); Tamburello, L., E-mail: ltamburello@biologia.unipi.it [University of Pisa, Department of Biology, Via Derna 1, I-56126 Pisa (Italy); Pirrone, N.; Sprovieri, F. [CNR-Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research, c/o: UNICAL-Polifunzionale, 87036 Rende (Italy)

    2013-08-15

    Atmospheric mercury emissions from mine-waste enriched soils were measured in order to compare the mercury fluxes of bare soils with those from other soils covered by native grasses. Our research was conducted near Mt. Amiata in central Italy, an area that was one of the largest and most productive mining centers in Europe up into the 1980s. To determine in situ mercury emissions, we used a Plexiglas flux chamber connected to a portable mercury analyzer (Lumex RA-915+). This allowed us to detect, in real time, the mercury vapor in the air, and to correlate this with the meteorological parameters that we examined (solar radiation, soil temperature, and humidity). The highest mercury flux values (8000 ng m{sup −2} h{sup −1}) were observed on bare soils during the hours of maximum insulation, while lower values (250 ng m{sup −2} h{sup −1}) were observed on soils covered by native grasses. Our results indicate that two main environmental variables affect mercury emission: solar radiation intensity and soil temperature. The presence of native vegetation, which can shield soil surfaces from incident light, reduced mercury emissions, a result that we attribute to a drop in the efficiency of mercury photoreduction processes rather than to decreases in soil temperature. This finding is consistent with decreases in mercury flux values down to 3500 ng m{sup −2} h{sup −1}, which occurred under cloudy conditions despite high soil temperatures. Moreover, when the soil temperature was 28 °C and the vegetation was removed from the experimental site, mercury emissions increased almost four-fold. This increase occurred almost immediately after the grasses were cut, and was approximately eight-fold after 20 h. Thus, this study demonstrates that enhancing wild vegetation cover could be an inexpensive and effective approach in fostering a natural, self-renewing reduction of mercury emissions from mercury-contaminated soils. -- Highlights: ► Mercury air/surface exchange

  11. Study on the reduction of atmospheric mercury emissions from mine waste enriched soils through native grass cover in the Mt. Amiata region of Italy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fantozzi, L.; Ferrara, R.; Dini, F.; Tamburello, L.; Pirrone, N.; Sprovieri, F.

    2013-01-01

    Atmospheric mercury emissions from mine-waste enriched soils were measured in order to compare the mercury fluxes of bare soils with those from other soils covered by native grasses. Our research was conducted near Mt. Amiata in central Italy, an area that was one of the largest and most productive mining centers in Europe up into the 1980s. To determine in situ mercury emissions, we used a Plexiglas flux chamber connected to a portable mercury analyzer (Lumex RA-915+). This allowed us to detect, in real time, the mercury vapor in the air, and to correlate this with the meteorological parameters that we examined (solar radiation, soil temperature, and humidity). The highest mercury flux values (8000 ng m −2 h −1 ) were observed on bare soils during the hours of maximum insulation, while lower values (250 ng m −2 h −1 ) were observed on soils covered by native grasses. Our results indicate that two main environmental variables affect mercury emission: solar radiation intensity and soil temperature. The presence of native vegetation, which can shield soil surfaces from incident light, reduced mercury emissions, a result that we attribute to a drop in the efficiency of mercury photoreduction processes rather than to decreases in soil temperature. This finding is consistent with decreases in mercury flux values down to 3500 ng m −2 h −1 , which occurred under cloudy conditions despite high soil temperatures. Moreover, when the soil temperature was 28 °C and the vegetation was removed from the experimental site, mercury emissions increased almost four-fold. This increase occurred almost immediately after the grasses were cut, and was approximately eight-fold after 20 h. Thus, this study demonstrates that enhancing wild vegetation cover could be an inexpensive and effective approach in fostering a natural, self-renewing reduction of mercury emissions from mercury-contaminated soils. -- Highlights: ► Mercury air/surface exchange from grass covered soil is

  12. Mercury Pollution from Small-Scale Gold Mining Can Be Stopped by Implementing the Gravity-Borax Method--A Two-Year Follow-Up Study from Two Mining Communities in the Philippines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Køster-Rasmussen, Rasmus; Westergaard, Maria L; Brasholt, Marie; Gutierrez, Richard; Jørs, Erik; Thomsen, Jane F

    2016-02-01

    Mercury is used globally to extract gold in artisanal and small-scale gold mining. The mercury-free gravity-borax method for gold extraction was introduced in two mining communities using mercury in the provinces Kalinga and Camarines Norte. This article describes project activities and quantitative changes in mercury consumption and analyzes the implementation with diffusion of innovations theory. Activities included miner-to-miner training; seminars for health-care workers, school teachers, and children; and involvement of community leaders. Baseline (2011) and follow-up (2013) data were gathered on mining practices and knowledge about mercury toxicology. Most miners in Kalinga converted to the gravity-borax method, whereas only a few did so in Camarines Norte. Differences in the nature of the social systems impacted the success of the implementation, and involvement of the tribal organization facilitated the shift in Kalinga. In conclusion, the gravity-borax method is a doable alternative to mercury use in artisanal and small-scale gold mining, but support from the civil society is needed. © The Author(s) 2016.

  13. Mercury Levels in Human Hair and Farmed Fish near Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Communities in the Madre de Dios River Basin, Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aubrey L. Langeland

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM has been an important source of income for communities in the Madre de Dios River Basin in Peru for hundreds of years. However, in recent decades, the scale of ASGM activities in the region has increased dramatically, and exposures to a variety of occupational and environmental hazards related to ASGM, including mercury, are becoming more widespread. The aims of our study were to: (1 examine patterns in the total hair mercury level of human participants in several communities in the region and compare these results to the 2.2 µg/g total hair mercury level equivalent to the World Health Organization (WHO Expert Committee of Food Additives (JECFA’s Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake (PTWI; and (2, to measure the mercury levels of paco (Piaractus brachypomus fish raised in local aquaculture ponds, in order to compare these levels to the EPA Fish Tissue Residue Criterion of 0.3 µg Hg/g fish (wet weight. We collected hair samples from 80 participants in four communities (one control and three where ASGM activities occurred in the region, and collected 111 samples from fish raised in 24 local aquaculture farms. We then analyzed the samples for total mercury. Total mercury levels in hair were statistically significantly higher in the mining communities than in the control community, and increased with increasing geodesic distance from the Madre de Dios headwaters, did not differ by sex, and frequently exceeded the reference level. Regression analyses indicated that higher hair mercury levels were associated with residence in ASGM communities. The analysis of paco fish samples found no samples that exceeded the EPA tissue residue criterion. Collectively, these results align with other recent studies showing that ASGM activities are associated with elevated human mercury exposure. The fish farmed through the relatively new process of aquaculture in ASGM areas appeared to have little potential to contribute

  14. Mercury Levels in Human Hair and Farmed Fish near Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Communities in the Madre de Dios River Basin, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langeland, Aubrey L; Hardin, Rebecca D; Neitzel, Richard L

    2017-03-14

    Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) has been an important source of income for communities in the Madre de Dios River Basin in Peru for hundreds of years. However, in recent decades, the scale of ASGM activities in the region has increased dramatically, and exposures to a variety of occupational and environmental hazards related to ASGM, including mercury, are becoming more widespread. The aims of our study were to: (1) examine patterns in the total hair mercury level of human participants in several communities in the region and compare these results to the 2.2 µg/g total hair mercury level equivalent to the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee of Food Additives (JECFA)'s Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake (PTWI); and (2), to measure the mercury levels of paco ( Piaractus brachypomus ) fish raised in local aquaculture ponds, in order to compare these levels to the EPA Fish Tissue Residue Criterion of 0.3 µg Hg/g fish (wet weight). We collected hair samples from 80 participants in four communities (one control and three where ASGM activities occurred) in the region, and collected 111 samples from fish raised in 24 local aquaculture farms. We then analyzed the samples for total mercury. Total mercury levels in hair were statistically significantly higher in the mining communities than in the control community, and increased with increasing geodesic distance from the Madre de Dios headwaters, did not differ by sex, and frequently exceeded the reference level. Regression analyses indicated that higher hair mercury levels were associated with residence in ASGM communities. The analysis of paco fish samples found no samples that exceeded the EPA tissue residue criterion. Collectively, these results align with other recent studies showing that ASGM activities are associated with elevated human mercury exposure. The fish farmed through the relatively new process of aquaculture in ASGM areas appeared to have little potential to contribute to human

  15. Evaluation of the water quality related to the acid mine drainage of an abandoned mercury mine (Alaşehir, Turkey).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gemici, Unsal

    2008-12-01

    Mobility of metals in water, mine wastes, and stream sediments around the abandoned Alaşehir mercury mine was investigated to evaluate the environmental effects around the area. Mine waters are dominantly acidic with pH values of 2.55 in arid season and 2.70 in wet season and are sulfate rich. Acidity is caused mainly by the oxidation of sulfide minerals. Pyrite is the main acid-producing mineral in the Alaşehir area. Of the major ions, SO(4) shows a notable increase reaching 3981 mg/l, which exceeds the WHO (WHO guidelines for drinking water quality, vol. 2. Health criteria and other supporting information, 1993) and TS (Sular-Içme ve kullanma sulari. Ankara: Türk Standartlari Enstitüsü, 1997) drinking water standard of 250 mg/L. Mine waters have As, Fe, Mn, Ni, and Al with concentrations higher than drinking water standards. Hg concentrations of adit water samples and surface waters draining the mine area are between 0.25 and 0.274 microg/L and are below the WHO (WHO guidelines for drinking water quality, vol. 2. Health criteria and other supporting information, 1993) drinking water standard of 1.0 microg/L. However, the concentrations are above the 0.012 microg/L standard (EPA, Water quality standards. Establishment of numeric criteria for priority toxic pollutants, states' compliance, final rule. Fed. Reg., 40 CFR, Part 131, 57/246, 60847-60916, 1992) used to protect aquatic life. Stream sediment samples have abnormally high values of especially Hg, As, Ni, and Cr metals. Geoaccumulation (Igeo) and pollution index (PI) values are significantly high and denote heavy contamination in stream sediments. The stream sediments derived from the mining area with the surface waters are potentially hazardous to the environment adjacent to the abandoned Hg mine and are in need of remediation.

  16. Spatial Patterns of Mercury Bioaccumulation in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin, MT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staats, M. F.; Langner, H.; Moore, J. N.

    2010-12-01

    The Upper Clark Fork River Basin (UCFRB) in Montana has a legacy of historic gold/silver mine waste that contributes large quantities of mercury into the watershed. Mercury bioaccumulation at higher levels of the aquatic food chain, such as the mercury concentration in the blood of pre-fledge osprey, exhibit an irregular spatial signature based on the location of the nests throughout the river basin. Here we identify regions with a high concentration of bioavailable mercury and the major factors that allow the mercury to bioaccumulate within trophic levels. This identification is based on the abundance of mercury sources and the potential for mercury methylation. To address the source term, we did a survey of total mercury in fine sediments along selected UCFRB reaches, along with the assessment of environmental river conditions (percentage of backwaters/wetlands, water temperature and pH, etc). In addition, we analyzed the mercury levels of a representative number of macroinvertebrates and fish from key locations. The concentration of total mercury in sediment, which varies from reach to reach (tributaries of the Clark Fork River, 5mg/kg) affects the concentration of mercury found at various trophic levels. However, reaches with a low supply of mine waste-derived mercury can also yield substantial concentrations of mercury in the biota, due to highly favorable conditions for mercury methylation. We identify that the major environmental factor that affects the methylation potential in the UCFRB is the proximity and connectivity of wetland areas to the river.

  17. Dietary human exposure to mercury in two artisanal small-scale gold mining communities of northwestern Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar-Camacho, Carlos; Salas-Moreno, Manuel; Marrugo-Madrid, Siday; Marrugo-Negrete, José; Díez, Sergi

    2017-10-01

    Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the largest anthropogenic source of mercury pollution worldwide, posing a grave threat to human health. The present study identifies current levels of mercury in the human population from mining areas of the Chocó Department, Colombia, through total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) measurements in human hair. Mercury exposure of the local population was assessed in two towns affected by ASGM and was related to different variables of interest. Concentrations of THg in human hair ranged from 0.06 to 17.54ppm and the mean value for the subjects under study was 2.48ppm. Men had significantly higher levels than women in both towns (3.29ppm vs. 0.77ppm). Fish consumption was related to a marked increase of THg in hair, with mean values close to five times higher in frequent fish consumers (5-7 times/week) than in non-fish consumers (4.80ppm vs. 0.90ppm). A multiple linear regression model was fitted successfully (R=0.671) and reveals that gender, fish consumption and location of residence were significant indicators of Hg levels in hair, while no significant relationship was found for age. Approximately 60% of subjects tested had THg levels that exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reference dose of 1.0ppm, while 25% surpassed that of the World Health Organization (2.2ppm). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Understanding the mobilisation of metal pollution associated with historical mining in a carboniferous upland catchment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valencia-Avellan, Magaly; Slack, Rebecca; Stockdale, Anthony; Mortimer, Robert John George

    2017-08-16

    Point and diffuse pollution from metal mining has led to severe environmental damage worldwide. Mine drainage is a significant problem for riverine ecosystems, it is commonly acidic (AMD), but neutral mine drainage (NMD) can also occur. A representative environment for studying metal pollution from NMD is provided by carboniferous catchments characterised by a circumneutral pH and high concentrations of carbonates, supporting the formation of secondary metal-minerals as potential sinks of metals. The present study focuses on understanding the mobility of metal pollution associated with historical mining in a carboniferous upland catchment. In the uplands of the UK, river water, sediments and spoil wastes were collected over a period of fourteen months, samples were chemically analysed to identify the main metal sources and their relationships with geological and hydrological factors. Correlation tests and principal component analysis suggest that the underlying limestone bedrock controls pH and weathering reactions. Significant metal concentrations from mining activities were measured for zinc (4.3 mg l -1 ), and lead (0.3 mg l -1 ), attributed to processes such as oxidation of mined ores (e.g. sphalerite, galena) or dissolution of precipitated secondary metal-minerals (e.g. cerussite, smithsonite). Zinc and lead mobility indicated strong dependence on biogeochemistry and hydrological conditions (e.g. pH and flow) at specific locations in the catchment. Annual loads of zinc and lead (2.9 and 0.2 tonnes per year) demonstrate a significant source of both metals to downstream river reaches. Metal pollution results in a large area of catchment having a depleted chemical status with likely effects on the aquatic ecology. This study provides an improved understanding of geological and hydrological processes controlling water chemistry, which is critical to assessing metal sources and mobilization, especially in neutral mine drainage areas.

  19. Mercury concentrations in bats (Chiroptera) from a gold mining area in the Peruvian Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Brush, Mónica; Portillo, Alejandro; Brändel, Stefan Dominik; Storch, Ilse; Tschapka, Marco; Biester, Harald

    2018-01-01

    In the southeastern Peruvian Amazon, artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is estimated to have released up to 300 tonnes of mercury (Hg) to the environment between 1995 and 2007 alone, and is claimed to be responsible for Hg concentrations above international thresholds for aquatic wildlife species. Here, we examined whether Hg concentrations in bat populations are potentially related to regional ASGM-Hg releases. We determined Hg concentrations in the fur of bats collected at three different distances from the major ASGM areas in Peru. Our findings from 204 individuals of 32 species indicate that Hg concentrations in bat fur mainly resulted from differences in feeding habits, because Hg concentrations were significantly higher in omnivorous bats than in frugivorous bats. At least in two species, populations living in ASGM-affected sites harbored higher Hg concentrations than did populations in unaffected sites. Because Hg concentrations reflect Hg dietary exposure, Hg emissions from amalgam roasting sites appear to deposit locally and enter the terrestrial food web. Although our study demonstrates that ASGM activities (and Hg point sources) increase Hg exposure in wildlife, the overall Hg concentrations reported here are relatively low. The measured Hg concentrations were below the toxicity threshold at which adverse neurological effects have been reported in rodents and mink (>10 µg g -1 ), and were in the range of Hg concentrations in the fur of bats from nonpoint source affected sites in other latitudes. This study emphasizes the importance of considering feeding habits when evaluating Hg concentrations in bats and other vertebrates.

  20. Pollution status and mercury sedimentation in small river near amalgamation and cyanidation units of Talawaan-Tatelu gold mining, North Sulawesi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T M Palapa

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Information Journal Help User Username Password Remember me Notifications View Subscribe / Unsubscribe Search Keyword : The activities of traditional gold mining in the region of Talawaan-Tatelu, North Minahasa regency, North Sulawesi, have been ongoing since 1998. Processing the gold in the mine consists of three stages i.e., the excavation, milling and amalgamation, and the use of cyanide tanks. Waste from the processing units which contains high mercury, generally flows directly into small rivers nearby. This study aimed to determine the pollution status and mercury sedimentation in a small river near the amalgamation and cyanidation processing units in Talawaan-Tatelu gold mining. Water and sediment samples were taken from seven stations along a small river, as many as four temporal replications (weekly. Mercury determination in water and sediments was done by using Cold Vapor Atomic Fluorescence Spectrometry. Pollution status was determined through the calculation of Hg ratio in water samples and in water quality criterion (4th class, as noted in The Indonesian Government Regulation No. 82 of 2001 on Water Quality and Water Pollution Control, while the mercury sedimentation was calculated from the ratio of mercury in water and sediment. The results showed that there are differences in the status of pollution and mercury sedimentation of seven sampling stations. Amalgamation and cyanidation processing units provide significant impact on the status of pollution (although it is categorized in contamination and mercury sedimentation along small river in the gold mining area of Talawaan-Tatelu. The downstream of this small river, Talawaan River, is the main river of the Talawaan watershed. Things that should be a concern are Talawaan rural communities living near Talawaan River who often use the water for daily needs such as bathing and washing. Risk to public health around the river can arise when the status of pollution and mercury

  1. A cross-sectional survey on knowledge and perceptions of health risks associated with arsenic and mercury contamination from artisanal gold mining in Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles Elias

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An estimated 0.5 to 1.5 million informal miners, of whom 30-50% are women, rely on artisanal mining for their livelihood in Tanzania. Mercury, used in the processing gold ore, and arsenic, which is a constituent of some ores, are common occupational exposures that frequently result in widespread environmental contamination. Frequently, the mining activities are conducted haphazardly without regard for environmental, occupational, or community exposure. The primary objective of this study was to assess community risk knowledge and perception of potential mercury and arsenic toxicity and/or exposure from artisanal gold mining in Rwamagasa in northwestern Tanzania. Methods A cross-sectional survey of respondents in five sub-villages in the Rwamagasa Village located in Geita District in northwestern Tanzania near Lake Victoria was conducted. This area has a history of artisanal gold mining and many of the population continue to work as miners. Using a clustered random selection approach for recruitment, a total of 160 individuals over 18 years of age completed a structured interview. Results The interviews revealed wide variations in knowledge and risk perceptions concerning mercury and arsenic exposure, with 40.6% (n=65 and 89.4% (n=143 not aware of the health effects of mercury and arsenic exposure respectively. Males were significantly more knowledgeable (n=59, 36.9% than females (n=36, 22.5% with regard to mercury (x2=3.99, px2=22.82, p= Conclusions The knowledge of individuals living in Rwamagasa, Tanzania, an area with a history of artisanal gold mining, varied widely with regard to the health hazards of mercury and arsenic. In these communities there was limited awareness of the threats to health associated with exposure to mercury and arsenic. This lack of knowledge, combined with minimal environmental monitoring and controlled waste management practices, highlights the need for health education, surveillance, and policy

  2. Recent mercury contamination from artisanal gold mining on Buru Island, Indonesia – Potential future risks to environmental health and food safety

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Male, Yusthinus Thobias; Reichelt-Brushett, Amanda Jean; Pocock, Matt; Nanlohy, Albert

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • Recent mercury contamination from artisanal gold mining, Buru Island, Indonesia. • Measured dispersal into the marine environment. • Implications for food safety. • Challenges for introducing mercury reduction strategies. -- Abstract: In November 2011 gold was found at Mount Botak, Buru Island, Mollucas Province, Indonesia. Since 2012 mercury has been used to extract the gold requiring large volumes of water and resulting in deposition of mercury into Wamsait River and Kayeli Bay. Total mercury in waste ponds was over 680 mg/kg. In sediments at the mouth of the local river and a small feeder creek >3.00 mg/kg and >7.66 mg/kg respectively. River and bay sediments were proportionately higher in available mercury than elemental mercury and more strongly bound mercuric sulfide compared to that in trommel waste. This preliminary investigation raises concerns about the long term distribution and speciation of mercury. The floodplain is an important agricultural resource, and Mollucas Province is recognised nationally as the centre for Indonesian fish stocks. Challenges for management include communicating the potential future risks to the community and leaders and identifying mechanisms to reduce mercury waste

  3. [Pollution characteristics of antimony, arsenic and mercury in human hair at Xikuangshan antimony mining area and Guiyang City, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Bi-Jun; Wu, Feng-Chang; Deng, Qiu-Jing; Mo, Chang-Li; Zhu, Jing; Zeng, Li; Fu, Zhi-You; Li, Wen

    2009-03-15

    The concentration levels of antimony, arsenic and mercury in human hair collected from Xikuangshan antimony mining area and Guiyang City were determined by hydride generation-atomic fluorescence spectrometry after having been digested by nitric acid and perchloric acid. The contents of Sb, As and Hg are 15.9, 4.21, 1.79 microg/g in the samples from Xikuangshan antimony mining area and 0.532, 0.280, 0.338 microg/g in the samples from Guiyang City respectively. The contents of Sb, As and Hg in human hair of Xikuangshan antimony area are much higher than those of Guiyang City. The independent-samples t-test shows that there are no marked differences in the contents of Sb and As between male and female hair samples from both Xikuangshan antimony mining area and Guiyang City (p > 0.05), while Hg contents in male hair are apparently higher than those in female hair from Guiyang City (p mining area may significantly affect human health than in the un-mining areas.

  4. Mercury emission and distribution: Potential environmental risks at a small-scale gold mining operation, Phichit Province, Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pataranawat, Poranee; Parkpian, Preeda; Polprasert, Chongrak; Delaune, R D; Jugsujinda, A

    2007-07-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination was assessed in environment near an amalgamation gold recovery operation located at a small scale mining operation (Phanom Pha) in Phichit Province, Thailand. Total mercury (THg) concentrations was determined in water, sediment, bivalves in the aquatic environment and as dry deposition or atmospheric fallout on surface soil and leaves of Neem tree (Azadirachta indica Juss. var. siamensis Valeton) near the mining operation. THg in surface soil, Neem flowers (edible part) and rice grain in surrounding terrestrial habitat and with distance from the mining area were also evaluated for possible contamination. Potential environmental risks were evaluated using the hazard quotient equation. Hg analyses conducted in the aquatic habitat showed that THg in water, sediment and bivalves (Scabies cripata Gould) ranged from 0.4 to 4 microg L(-1), 96 to 402 microg kg(-1)dry weight (dw) and 15 to 584 microg kg(-1) wet weight (ww), respectively. High concentrations of THg in water, sediment and bivalves were observed in the receiving stream near the mining operation which was located near the Khao Chet Luk Reservoir. Whereas the THg concentration in water, sediment and bivalves from monitoring stations outside the gold mining operation (upstream and downstream), were considerably lower with the values of 0.4-0.8 microg L(-1), 96-140 microg kg(-1) dw and 88-658 microg kg(-1) dw, respectively. The elevated concentration of Hg found in the sediment near the mining operation was consistent with Hg accumulation measured in bivalves. The elevated Hg levels found in living bivalves collected from highly contaminated sites suggested that the sediment bound Hg was bioavailable. THg in surface soils, brown rice grain (Jasmine rice #105) and Neem flowers of terrestrial habitats were in the range of 16 to 180 microg kg(-1) dw, 190 to 300 microg kg(-1) dw, and 622 to 2150 microg kg(-1) dw, respectively. Elevated concentrations of mercury were found in Neem flowers

  5. Microscopy and certification as tools for environmentally benign, mercury-free small-scale gold mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hylander, Lars D; Plath, David

    2006-09-01

    Small-scale gold miners lose annually 500-700 tonnes of mercury when amalgamating gold with mercury and subsequent burning. So far, mercury-free alternatives have been demanding more skill, time, or capital investments and the interest from the miners to reduce the mercury emissions has been limited. Recent development of mercury free methods, an increasing mercury price, and increased awareness of health and environmental damages caused by mercury is changing the attitudes. This trend could be spurred by certification of gold with added value due to clean production methods. Our objectives are to present a method to distinguish gold recovered without using mercury or harmful chemicals such as cyanide. Thereby, this gold could be certified and thus obtain a higher market price. The method is based on inspection of the gold grain surfaces with a light microscope. This method separated natural gold grains from gold recovered by amalgamation or cyanidation. The method also demonstrated different characteristics of gold grains from different gold fields and a basis for a catalogue with photomicrographs of gold grains from different gold fields has been established and partly presented in this article. In conclusion, studies of gold grains with a light microscope and photo documentation is an inexpensive but reliable method to distinguish environment-friendly recovered gold, which could be used for certification to get a higher market price.

  6. Historical record of mercury contamination in sediments from the Babeni Reservoir in the Olt River, Romania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bravo, Andrea Garcia; Loizeau, Jean-Luc; Ancey, Lydie; Ungureanu, Viorel Gheorghe; Dominik, Janusz

    2009-08-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a ubiquitous and hazardous contaminant in the aquatic environment showing a strong biomagnification effect along the food chain. The most common transfer path of Hg to humans is contaminated fish consumption. In severely exposed humans, Hg poisoning may lead to damage in the central nervous system. Thus, it is important to examine current and past contamination levels of Hg in aquatic milieu. The Olt River is the largest Romanian tributary of the Danube River. The use of Hg as an electrode in a chlor-alkali plant contributed to the contamination of the aquatic environment in the Rm Valcea region. The purpose of this study was to compare the current state of Hg contamination with the past contamination using a historical record obtained from a dated sediment core from one of the Olt River reservoirs (Babeni) located downstream from the chlor-alkali plant. To our knowledge, no published data on Hg contamination in this region are available. The Babeni Reservoir was selected for this study because it is situated downstream from the chlor-alkali plant, whilst the other reservoirs only retain the pollutants coming from the upstream part of the watershed. Preliminary analyses (unpublished) showed high Hg concentrations in the surface sediment of the Babeni Reservoir. One core was taken in the upstream Valcea Reservoir to provide a local background level of Hg concentrations in sediments. Sediment texture was uniform in the cores from both reservoirs. Laminated sediment structure, without any obvious discontinuities, was observed. Hg concentrations in the sediment core from the Valcea Reservoir were low and constant (0.01-0.08 mg/kg). In Babeni Reservoir sediments, Hg concentrations were very high in the deeper core section (up to 45 mg/kg in the longest core) and decreased to lower concentrations toward the top of the cores (1.3-2.4 mg/kg). This decrease probably reflects technological progress in control of emissions from the Hg-cell-based chlor

  7. New technique for quantification of elemental hg in mine wastes and its implications for mercury evasion into the atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jew, A.D.; Kim, C.S.; Rytuba, J.J.; Gustin, M.S.; Brown, Gordon E.

    2011-01-01

    Mercury in the environment is of prime concern to both ecosystem and human health. Determination of the molecular-level speciation of Hg in soils and mine wastes is important for understanding its sequestration, mobility, and availability for methylation. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy carried out under ambient P-T conditions has been used in a number of past studies to determine Hg speciation in complex mine wastes and associated soils. However, this approach cannot detect elemental (liquid) mercury in Hg-polluted soils and sediments due to the significant structural disorder of liquid Hg at ambient-temperature. A new sample preparation protocol involving slow cooling through the crystallization temperature of Hg(0) (234 K) results in its transformation to crystalline ??-Hg(0). The presence and proportion of Hg(0), relative to other crystalline Hg-bearing phases, in samples prepared in this way can be quantified by low-temperature (77 K) EXAFS spectroscopy. Using this approach, we have determined the relative concentrations of liquid Hg(0) in Hg mine wastes from several sites in the California Coast Range and have found that they correlate well with measured fluxes of gaseous Hg released during light and dark exposure of the same samples, with higher evasion ratios from samples containing higher concentrations of liquid Hg(0). Two different linear relationships are observed in plots of the ratio of Hg emission under light and dark conditions vs % Hg(0), corresponding to silica-carbonate- and hot springs-type Hg deposits, with the hot springs-type samples exhibiting higher evasion fluxes than silica-carbonate type samples at similar Hg(0) concentrations. Our findings help explain significant differences in Hg evasion data for different mine sites in the California Coast Range. ?? 2011 American Chemical Society.

  8. Breccia-pipe uranium mining in northern Arizona; estimate of resources and assessment of historical effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bills, Donald J.; Brown, Kristin M.; Alpine, Andrea E.; Otton, James K.; Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Hinck, Jo Ellen; Tillman, Fred D.

    2011-01-01

    About 1 million acres of Federal land in the Grand Canyon region of Arizona were temporarily withdrawn from new mining claims in July 2009 by the Secretary of the Interior because of concern that increased uranium mining could have negative impacts on the land, water, people, and wildlife. During a 2-year interval, a Federal team led by the Bureau of Land Management is evaluating the effects of withdrawing these lands for extended periods. As part of this team, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted a series of short-term studies to examine the historical effects of breccia-pipe uranium mining in the region. The USGS studies provide estimates of uranium resources affected by the possible land withdrawal, examine the effects of previous breccia-pipe mining, summarize water-chemistry data for streams and springs, and investigate potential biological pathways of exposure to uranium and associated contaminants. This fact sheet summarizes results through December 2009 and outlines further research needs.

  9. The environmental and geomorphological impacts of historical gold mining in the Ohinemuri and Waihou river catchments, Coromandel, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clement, Alastair J. H.; Nováková, Tereza; Hudson-Edwards, Karen A.; Fuller, Ian C.; Macklin, Mark G.; Fox, Elizabeth G.; Zapico, Ignacio

    2017-10-01

    Between 1875 and 1955 approximately 250,000 Mg yr- 1 of mercury-, arsenic-, and cyanide-contaminated mine tailings were discharged directly into the Ohinemuri River and its tributaries, in the Coromandel Region, North Island, New Zealand. A devastating flood on 14 January 1907 deposited large amounts of mine waste across the floodplain of the Ohinemuri and Waihou rivers in the vicinity of the township of Paeroa. The 1907 mine-waste flood deposit was located as a dirty yellow silt in cores and floodplain profiles, with a thickness ranging from 0.15-0.50 m. Geochemical analysis of the mine waste shows elevated concentrations of Pb ( 200-570 mg kg- 1) and As ( 30-80 mg kg- 1), compared to early Holocene background concentrations (Pb metalloids that pose a long-term risk to the Ohinemuri and Waihou ecosystems.

  10. Senegalese artisanal gold mining leads to elevated total mercury and methylmercury concentrations in soils, sediments, and rivers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacqueline R. Gerson

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The largest source of global mercury (Hg anthropogenic inputs to the environment is derived from artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM activities in developing countries. While our understanding of global Hg emissions from ASGM is growing, there is limited empirical documentation about the levels of total mercury (THg and methylmercury (MeHg contamination near ASGM sites. We measured THg and MeHg concentrations in soil (n = 119, sediment (n = 22, and water (n = 25 from four active ASGM villages and one non-ASGM reference village in Senegal, West Africa. Nearly all samples had THg and MeHg concentrations that exceeded the reference village concentrations and USEPA regulatory standards. The highest median THg concentrations were found in huts where mercury-gold amalgams were burned (7.5 μg/g, while the highest median MeHg concentrations and percent Hg as MeHg were found in river sediments (4.2 ng/g, 0.41%. Median river water concentrations of THg and MeHg were also elevated compared to values at the reference site (22 ng THg/L, 0.037 ng MeHg/L in ASGM sites. This study provides direct evidence that Hg from ASGM is entering both the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems where it is converted in soils, sediment, and water to the neurotoxic and bioavailable form of MeHg.

  11. Mercury bioaccumulation on tadpoles of a gold mining zone in Dagua River, Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca, Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hernandez Cordoba, Oscar Dario; Castro Herrera, Fernando; Paez Melo, Martha

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians, particularly larval stages, are strongly sensitive to pollutants, so they have become useful indicators to assess how different human activities affect ecosystems. In this way, tadpoles were used as bioindicators in the Medio Dagua zone, in Zaragoza town, where mining has released pollutants into the Dagua River (mostly heavy metals). Using spectrophotometry by cold vapor atomic absorption, we measured total mercury concentrations in tadpoles of five species, with a sediment sample for each animal sample as an environment reference. the study was realized in two areas with different intervention levels, we report mercury concentration ranges from 0.07 to 0.24 ?g/g for high impact zone and from 0.07 to 0.17?g/g for unknown impact zone, these levels do not exceed set limits used by local environmental authorities, however, is evident that bioaccumulation processes are developing in the area because organisms concentrations were always higher than those of the environment, in fact, significantly different (mw utest, p = 0.001) therefore we propose the implementation of biomonitoring and bioremediation programs in the area, taking in consideration that tadpoles species used here, were mainly first order consumers, and when their mercury concentrations are incorporated into the food chain, these contaminant loads will produce biomagnification processes.

  12. The dynamics of mercury near Idrija mercury mine, Slovenia: Horizontal and vertical distributions of total, methyl, and ethyl mercury concentrations in soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomiyasu, Takashi; Kodamatani, Hitoshi; Imura, Ryusuke; Matsuyama, Akito; Miyamoto, Junko; Akagi, Hirokatsu; Kocman, David; Kotnik, Jože; Fajon, Vesna; Horvat, Milena

    2017-10-01

    The distributions of the total mercury (T-Hg), methylmercury (MeHg), and ethylmercury (EtHg) concentrations in soil and their relationship to chemical composition of the soil and total organic carbon content (TOC, %) were investigated. Core samples were collected from hill slope on the right and left riverbanks of the Idrija River. Former smelting plant is located on the right bank. The T-Hg average in each of the core samples ranged from 0.25 to 1650 mg kg -1 . The vertical T-Hg variations in the samples from the left bank showed no significant change with depth. Conversely, the T-Hg varied with depth, with the surface, or layers several centimeters from the surface, tending to show the highest values in the samples from the right bank. Since the right and left bank soils have different chemical compositions, different pathways of mercury delivery into soils were suggested. The MeHg and EtHg concentrations ranged from n.d. (not detected) to 444 μg kg -1 and n.d. to 17.4 μg kg -1 , respectively. The vertical variations of MeHg and EtHg were similar to those of TOC, except for the near-surface layers containing TOC greater than 20%. These results suggest that the decomposition of organic matter is closely related to organic mercury formation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Assessing the levels of mercury in selected mining communities in the East Akim Municipality of Ghana

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kwateng, I.K.

    2010-01-01

    Mercury concentrations in tailings, soil, sediment and water from one active and one non-active (abandoned) mine site each from Agyapoma, Kibi and Tete Asikam were studied together with water from the Birim River. The concentrations were measured using Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis - a 30 kW tank-in-pool Ghana Research Reactor-1 (GHARR - 1) operating at a thermal flux of 5 x 10 1 1' ns -1 cm -2 . The samples were irradiated and counted without any chemical treatment. Atomic Absorption Spectrometry was used for full analysis of all the water samples to measure the concentrations of Hg, Cd, Pb, Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, and As. Ultra violet visible spectrophotometer was used to measure the concentrations of SO 4 2- , PO 4 3- and NO 3- . Elevated levels of Hg were found in the tailings at all the active sites which ranged from 3.45-5.09 mg/kg. The non-active sites had concentrations ranging from 0.02-0.24 mg/kg. Soil, sediment and water samples analysed for Hg were below detection limit. The difference in Hg concentrations in tailings from one site to another is significant as it ranged from 0.02-5.09 mg/kg. Levels of mercury in drinking water, soil and sediments were below detection limit. The Birim river and dam water showed a wide range of characteristics in terms of physciochemical parameters and elemental concentrations. The temperature ranged from 26.5-56.7 degrees Celsius with a pH range of 5.85-7.18. The electrical conductivity values were in the range 53.8-192.4 μS/cm and TDS values in the range of 23.2-82.2mg/L. the water samples varied largely in total hardness from 21.95-76.8mg/L. Concentrations of Pb and Fe were all above the guidance values of 0.01 mg/L and 0.3 mg/L respectively. The concentration of Pb ranged from 0.067-0.127 mg/L and that of Fe ranged from 0.653-2.1 mg/L. Arsenic concentrations were also above the WHO guidance values of 0.01 mg/L except for samples from the Birim River. The concentration of SO 4 2- ranges from 7.424-57.26 mg/L which

  14. Testing and modeling the influence of reclamation and control methods for reducing nonpoint mercury emissions associated with industrial open pit gold mines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Matthieu B; Gustin, Mae S

    2013-06-01

    Industrial gold mining is a significant source of mercury (Hg) emission to the atmosphere. To investigate ways to reduce these emissions, reclamation and dust and mercury control methods used at open pit gold mining operations in Nevada were studied in a laboratory setting. Using this information along with field data, and building off previous work, total annual Hg emissions were estimated for two active gold mines in northern Nevada. Results showed that capping mining waste materials with a low-Hg substrate can reduce Hg emissions from 50 to nearly 100%. The spraying of typical dust control solutions often results in higher Hg emissions, especially as materials dry after application. The concentrated application of a dithiocarbamate Hg control reagent appears to reduce Hg emissions, but further testing mimicking the actual distribution of this chemical within an active leach solution is needed to make a more definitive assessment.

  15. A cross-sectional survey on knowledge and perceptions of health risks associated with arsenic and mercury contamination from artisanal gold mining in Tanzania

    OpenAIRE

    Charles, Elias; Thomas, Deborah SK; Dewey, Deborah; Davey, Mark; Ngallaba, Sospatro E; Konje, Eveline

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Background An estimated 0.5 to 1.5 million informal miners, of whom 30-50% are women, rely on artisanal mining for their livelihood in Tanzania. Mercury, used in the processing gold ore, and arsenic, which is a constituent of some ores, are common occupational exposures that frequently result in widespread environmental contamination. Frequently, the mining activities are conducted haphazardly without regard for environmental, occupational, or community exposure. The primary objectiv...

  16. Is mercury from small-scale gold mining prevalent in the southeastern Peruvian Amazon?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Brush, Mónica; Rydberg, Johan; Gamboa, Nadia; Storch, Ilse; Biester, Harald

    2016-11-01

    There is an ongoing debate on the fate of mercury (Hg) in areas affected by artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM). Over the last 30 years, ASGM has released 69 tons of Hg into the southeastern Peruvian Amazon. To investigate the role of suspended matter and hydrological factors on the fate of ASGM-Hg, we analysed riverbank sediments and suspended matter along the partially ASGM-affected Malinowski-Tambopata river system and examined Hg accumulation in fish. In addition, local impacts of atmospheric Hg emissions on aquatic systems were assessed by analysing a sediment core from an oxbow lake. Hg concentrations in riverbank sediments are lower (20-53 ng g -1 ) than in suspended matter (∼400-4000 ng g -1 ) due to differences in particle size. Elevated Hg concentrations in suspended matter from ASGM-affected river sections (∼1400 vs. ∼30-120 ng L -1 in unaffected sections) are mainly driven by the increased amount of suspended matter rather than increased Hg concentrations in the suspended matter. The oxbow lake sediment record shows low Hg concentrations (64-86 ng g -1 ) without evidence of any ASGM-related increase in atmospheric Hg input. Hg flux variations are mostly an effect of variations in sediment accumulation rates. Moreover, only 5% of the analysed fish (only piscivores) exceed WHO recommendations for human consumption (500 ng g -1 ). Our findings show that ASGM-affected river sections in the Malinowski-Tambopata system do not exhibit increased Hg accumulation, indicating that the released Hg is either retained at the spill site or transported to areas farther away from the ASGM areas. We suspect that the fate of ASGM-Hg in such tropical rivers is mainly linked to transport associated with the suspended matter, especially during high water situations. We assume that our findings are typical for ASGM-affected areas in tropical regions and could explain why aquatic systems in such ASGM regions often show comparatively modest enrichment

  17. Digital database of mining-related features at selected historic and active phosphate mines, Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, and Caribou counties, Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Causey, J. Douglas; Moyle, Phillip R.

    2001-01-01

    This report provides a description of data and processes used to produce a spatial database that delineates mining-related features in areas of historic and active phosphate mining in the core of the southeastern Idaho phosphate resource area. The data have varying degrees of accuracy and attribution detail. Classification of areas by type of mining-related activity at active mines is generally detailed; however, the spatial coverage does not differentiate mining-related surface disturbance features at many of the closed or inactive mines. Nineteen phosphate mine sites are included in the study. A total of 5,728 hc (14,154 ac), or more than 57 km2 (22 mi2), of phosphate mining-related surface disturbance are documented in the spatial coverage of the core of the southeast Idaho phosphate resource area. The study includes 4 active phosphate mines—Dry Valley, Enoch Valley, Rasmussen Ridge, and Smoky Canyon—and 15 historic phosphate mines—Ballard, Champ, Conda, Diamond Gulch, Gay, Georgetown Canyon, Henry, Home Canyon, Lanes Creek, Maybe Canyon, Mountain Fuel, Trail Canyon, Rattlesnake Canyon, Waterloo, and Wooley Valley. Spatial data on the inactive historic mines is relatively up-to-date; however, spatially described areas for active mines are based on digital maps prepared in early 1999. The inactive Gay mine has the largest total area of disturbance: 1,917 hc (4,736 ac) or about 19 km2 (7.4 mi2). It encompasses over three times the disturbance area of the next largest mine, the Conda mine with 607 hc (1,504 ac), and it is nearly four times the area of the Smoky Canyon mine, the largest of the active mines with 497 hc (1,228 ac). The wide range of phosphate mining-related surface disturbance features (approximately 80) were reduced to 13 types or features used in this study—adit and pit, backfilled mine pit, facilities, mine pit, ore stockpile, railroad, road, sediment catchment, tailings or tailings pond, topsoil stockpile, water reservoir, and disturbed

  18. Quantifying the importance of diffuse minewater pollution in a historically heavily coal mined catchment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mayes, W.M.; Gozzard, E.; Potter, H.A.B.; Jarvis, A.P.

    2008-01-01

    There has been considerable progress in developing treatment systems for point sources of minewater pollution in recent years; however, there remains a knowledge gap in the characterisation and remediation of diffuse minewater sources. Data are presented from the River Gaunless catchment, a historically heavily coal mined catchment in the northeast of England. Instream iron (Fe) loadings were monitored alongside loadings arising from point minewater discharges over a 12-month period to assess the dynamic importance of diffuse sources of minewater pollution. In low flow, diffuse sources account for around 50% of instream loading, a proportion which increases to 98% in high flow conditions. The low flow sources appear to be dominated by direct discharge of contaminated groundwater to surface waters in lower reaches of the catchment. In high flow, resuspended Fe-rich sediments, which are both naturally occurring and derived from historic mining, become the dominant diffuse source of Fe in the water column. - Diffuse sources of minewater pollution significantly contribute to instream contaminant loadings under varying flow conditions

  19. Effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on the potential of three wild plant species for phytoextraction of mercury from small-scale gold mine tailings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Fiqri

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available A study that was aimed to explore the effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM fungi inoculation on the potential of wild plant species (Paspalum conjugatum, Cyperus kyllingia, and Lindernia crustacea for phytoextraction of mercury from small-scale gold mine tailings was conducted in a glasshouse. Each of the plant seedlings was planted in a plastic pot containing 10 kg of planting medium (mixture of tailings and compost; 50%: 50% by weight. Treatments tested were three plant species and doses of AM fungi inoculation, i.e. 0 and 30 spores/plant. At harvest of 63 days, plant shoot and root were analyzed for mercury concentration. The remaining planting media in the pots were used for growing maize for 84 days. The results showed that the most potential plant species for phytoextraction of mercury was Paspalum conjugatum, while the most mercury tolerant plant was Cyperus kyllingia. Without AM fungi inoculation, the highest accumulation of mercury (44.87 mg/kg was found in the root of Paspalum conjugatum. If AM fungi were inoculated, the highest accumulation of mercury (56.30 mg/kg was also found in the shoot of Paspalum conjugatum. Results of the second experiment proved that the growth and biomass production of maize after mycophytoextraction by the plant species were higher than those of maize grown on media without mycophytoextraction of mercury.

  20. Effects of prescribed fire and post-fire rainfall on mercury mobilization and subsequent contamination assessment in a legacy mine site in Victoria, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abraham, Joji; Dowling, Kim; Florentine, Singarayer

    2018-01-01

    Prescribed fire conducted in fire-prone areas is a cost-effective choice for forest management, but it also affects many of the physicochemical and bio-geological properties of the forest soil, in a similar manner to wild fires. The aim of this study is to investigate the nature of the mercury mobilization after a prescribed fire and the subsequent temporal changes in concentration. A prescribed fire was conducted in a legacy mine site in Central Victoria, Australia, in late August 2015 and soil sample collection and analyses were carried out two days before and two days after the fire, followed by collection at the end of each season and after an intense rainfall event in September 2016. Results revealed the occurrence of mercury volatilization (8.3-97%) during the fire, and the mercury concentration displayed a significant difference (p fire. Integrated assessment with number of pollution indices has shown that the study site is extremely contaminated with mercury during all the sampling events, and this poses a serious ecological risk due to the health impacts of mercury on human and ecosystems. In times of climate fluctuation with concomitant increase in forest fire (including prescribed fire), and subsequent precipitation and runoff, the potential for an increased amount of mercury being mobilized is of heighted significance. Therefore, it is recommended that prescribed fire should be cautiously considered as a forest management strategy in any mercury affected landscapes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Mercury exposure, serum antinuclear/antinucleolar antibodies, and serum cytokine levels in mining populations in Amazonian Brazil: a cross-sectional study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Renee M; Nyland, Jennifer F; Silva, Ines A; Ventura, Ana Maria; de Souza, Jose Maria; Silbergeld, Ellen K

    2010-05-01

    Mercury is an immunotoxic substance that has been shown to induce autoimmune disease in rodent models, characterized by lymphoproliferation, overproduction of immunoglobulin (IgG and IgE), and high circulating levels of auto-antibodies directed at antigens located in the nucleus (antinuclear auto-antibodies, or ANA) or the nucleolus (antinucleolar auto-antibodies, or ANoA). We have reported elevated levels of ANA and ANoA in human populations exposed to mercury in artisanal gold mining, though other confounding variables that may also modulate ANA/ANoA levels were not well controlled. The goal of this study is to specifically test whether occupational and environmental conditions (other than mercury exposure) that are associated with artisanal gold mining affect the prevalence of markers of autoimmune dysfunction. We measured ANA, ANoA, and cytokine concentrations in serum and compared results from mercury-exposed artisanal gold miners to those from diamond and emerald miners working under similar conditions and with similar socio-economic status and risks of infectious disease. Mercury-exposed gold miners had higher prevalence of detectable ANA and ANoA and higher titers of ANA and ANoA as compared to diamond and emerald miners with no occupational mercury exposure. Also, mercury-exposed gold miners with detectable ANA or ANoA in serum had significantly higher concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, and IFN-gamma in serum as compared to the diamond and emerald miners. This study provides further evidence that mercury exposure may lead to autoimmune dysfunction and systemic inflammation in affected populations. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Mercury Distribution in the Processing of Jatiroto Gold Mine Wonogiri Central Java Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitri Yudiantoro, Dwi; Nurcholis, Muhammad; Sri Sayudi, Dewi; Abdurrachman, Mirzam; Paramita Haty, Intan; Pambudi, Wiryan; Subroborini, Arum

    2017-06-01

    The research area is one of the Wonogiri gold producer. In this region there are nearly 30 gold processing locations. This area has a steep morphology which is part of Mt. Mas. The work of the gold processing is a part time job besides for the local farmer population. To get the gold bearing rocks, are by digging holes manually around Mt. Mas, while gold processing is carried out in their homes. As a result of these activities, then identified the distribution of mercury in the surrounding settlements. Analytical methods used in this study is the measurement mercury content using Hg meter on altered rocks, soil and using XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) for plant samples. This results of research shows that there are conducted on mercury contents in the altered rocks, soil and plants showed significant mercury contents in altered rocks, soil and plants. This proves that mercury has polluted the environment surrounding residents, both of people living in the hill down on the lower plain areas. The results of this study are expected to be used as reference to help overcome the pollution of the area.

  3. A cross-sectional survey on knowledge and perceptions of health risks associated with arsenic and mercury contamination from artisanal gold mining in Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles, Elias; Thomas, Deborah S K; Dewey, Deborah; Davey, Mark; Ngallaba, Sospatro E; Konje, Eveline

    2013-01-25

    An estimated 0.5 to 1.5 million informal miners, of whom 30-50% are women, rely on artisanal mining for their livelihood in Tanzania. Mercury, used in the processing gold ore, and arsenic, which is a constituent of some ores, are common occupational exposures that frequently result in widespread environmental contamination. Frequently, the mining activities are conducted haphazardly without regard for environmental, occupational, or community exposure. The primary objective of this study was to assess community risk knowledge and perception of potential mercury and arsenic toxicity and/or exposure from artisanal gold mining in Rwamagasa in northwestern Tanzania. A cross-sectional survey of respondents in five sub-villages in the Rwamagasa Village located in Geita District in northwestern Tanzania near Lake Victoria was conducted. This area has a history of artisanal gold mining and many of the population continue to work as miners. Using a clustered random selection approach for recruitment, a total of 160 individuals over 18 years of age completed a structured interview. The interviews revealed wide variations in knowledge and risk perceptions concerning mercury and arsenic exposure, with 40.6% (n=65) and 89.4% (n=143) not aware of the health effects of mercury and arsenic exposure respectively. Males were significantly more knowledgeable (n=59, 36.9%) than females (n=36, 22.5%) with regard to mercury (x²=3.99, pmining (n=63, 73.2%) were more knowledgeable about the negative health effects of mercury than individuals in other occupations. Of the few individuals (n=17, 10.6%) who knew about arsenic toxicity, the majority (n=10, 58.8%) were miners. The knowledge of individuals living in Rwamagasa, Tanzania, an area with a history of artisanal gold mining, varied widely with regard to the health hazards of mercury and arsenic. In these communities there was limited awareness of the threats to health associated with exposure to mercury and arsenic. This lack of

  4. Flow dependent water quality impacts of historic coal and oil shale mining in the Almond River catchment, Scotland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haunch, Simon; MacDonald, Alan M.; Brown, Neil; McDermott, Christopher I.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • A GIS map of coal and oil shale mining in the Almond basin was constructed. • Water quality data confirms the continued detrimental impact of historic mining. • Oil shale mining is confirmed as a contributor to poor surface water quality. • Surface water flow affects mine contaminant chemistry, behaviour and transport. • River bed iron precipitate is re-suspended and transported downstream at high flow. - Abstract: The Almond River catchment in Central Scotland has experienced extensive coal mining during the last 300 years and also provides an example of enduring pollution associated with historic unconventional hydrocarbon exploitation from oil shale. Detailed spatial analysis of the catchment has identified over 300 abandoned mine and mine waste sites, comprising a significant potential source of mine related contamination. River water quality data, collected over a 15 year period from 1994 to 2008, indicates that both the coal and oil shale mining areas detrimentally impact surface water quality long after mine abandonment, due to the continued release of Fe and SO 4 2- associated with pyrite oxidation at abandoned mine sites. Once in the surface water environment Fe and SO 4 2- display significant concentration-flow dependence: Fe increases at high flows due to the re-suspension of river bed Fe precipitates (Fe(OH) 3 ); SO 4 2- concentrations decrease with higher flow as a result of dilution. Further examination of Fe and SO 4 loading at low flows indicates a close correlation of Fe and SO 4 2- with mined areas; cumulative low flow load calculations indicate that coal and oil shale mining regions contribute 0.21 and 0.31 g/s of Fe, respectively, to the main Almond tributary. Decreases in Fe loading along some river sections demonstrate the deposition and storage of Fe within the river channel. This river bed Fe is re-suspended with increased flow resulting in significant transport of Fe downstream with load values of up to 50 g/s Fe

  5. Natural products for chronic cough: Text mining the East Asian historical literature for future therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shergis, Johannah Linda; Wu, Lei; May, Brian H; Zhang, Anthony Lin; Guo, Xinfeng; Lu, Chuanjian; Xue, Charlie Changli

    2015-08-01

    Chronic cough is a significant health burden. Patients experience variable benefits from over the counter and prescribed products, but there is an unmet need to provide more effective treatments. Natural products have been used to treat cough and some plant compounds such as pseudoephedrine from ephedra and codeine from opium poppy have been developed into drugs. Text mining historical literature may offer new insight for future therapeutic development. We identified natural products used in the East Asian historical literature to treat chronic cough. Evaluation of the historical literature revealed 331 natural products used to treat chronic cough. Products included plants, minerals and animal substances. These natural products were found in 75 different books published between AD 363 and 1911. Of the 331 products, the 10 most frequently and continually used products were examined, taking into consideration findings from contemporary experimental studies. The natural products identified are promising and offer new directions in therapeutic development for treating chronic cough. © The Author(s) 2015.

  6. Influence of reservoir water-level fluctuations on mercury methylation downstream of the historic Black Butte mercury mine, OR.

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The data set contains the raw data used to develop the figures and tables associated with the published manuscript. This dataset is associated with the following...

  7. Mercury at the Oat Hill Extension Mine and James Creek, Napa County, California: Tailings, Sediment, Water, and Biota, 2003-2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slowey, Aaron J.; Rytuba, James J.; Hothem, Roger L.; May, Jason T.

    2007-01-01

    Executive Summary The Oat Hill Extension (OHE) Mine is one of several mercury mines located in the James Creek/Pope Creek watershed that produced mercury from the 1870's until 1944 (U.S. Bureau of Mines, 1965). The OHE Mine developed veins and mineralized fault zones hosted in sandstone that extended eastward from the Oat Hill Mine. Waste material from the Oat Hill Mine was reprocessed at the OHE Mine using gravity separation methods to obtain cinnabar concentrates that were processed in a retort. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management requested that the U.S. Geological Survey measure and characterize mercury and other chemical constituents that are potentially relevant to ecological impairment of biota in tailings, sediment, and water at the OHE Mine and in the tributaries of James Creek that drain the mine area (termed Drainage A and B) (Figs. 1 and 2). This report summarizes such data obtained from sampling of tailings and sediments at the OHE on October 17, 2003; water, sediment, and biota from James Creek on May 20, 2004; and biota on October 29, 2004. These data are interpreted to provide a preliminary assessment of the potential ecological impact of the mine on the James Creek watershed. The mine tailings are unusual in that they have not been roasted and contain relatively high concentrations of mercury (400 to 1200 ppm) compared to unroasted waste rock at other mines. These tailings have contaminated a tributary to James Creek with mercury primarily by erosion, on the basis of higher concentration of mercury (780 ng/L) measured in unfiltered (total mercury, HgT) spring water flowing from the OHE to James Creek compared to 5 to 14 ng/L HgT measured in James Creek itself. Tailing piles (presumably from past Oat Hill mine dumping) near the USBLM property boundary and upstream of the main OHE mine drainage channel (Drainage A; Fig. 2) also likely emit mercury, on the basis of their mercury composition (930 to 1200 ppm). The OHE spring water is likely an

  8. Spatial, Temporal, and Dietary Variables Associated with Elevated Mercury Exposure in Peruvian Riverine Communities Upstream and Downstream of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren Wyatt

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM is a primary contributor to global mercury and its rapid expansion raises concern for human exposure. Non-occupational exposure risks are presumed to be strongly tied to environmental contamination; however, the relationship between environmental and human mercury exposure, how exposure has changed over time, and risk factors beyond fish consumption are not well understood in ASGM settings. In Peruvian riverine communities (n = 12, where ASGM has increased 4–6 fold over the past decade, we provide a large-scale assessment of the connection between environmental and human mercury exposure by comparing total mercury contents in human hair (2-cm segment, n = 231 to locally caught fish tissue, analyzing temporal exposure in women of child bearing age (WCBA, 15–49 years, n = 46 over one year, and evaluating general mercury exposure risks including fish and non-fish dietary items through household surveys and linear mixed models. Calculations of an individual’s oral reference dose using the total mercury content in locally-sourced fish underestimated the observed mercury exposure for individuals in many communities. This discrepancy was particularly evident in communities upstream of ASGM, where mercury levels in river fish, water, and sediment measurements from a previous study were low, yet hair mercury was chronically elevated. Hair from 86% of individuals and 77% of children exceeded a USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provisional level (1.2 µg/g that could result in child developmental impairment. Chronically elevated mercury exposure was observed in the temporal analysis in WCBA. If the most recent exposure exceeded the USEPA level, there was a 97% probability that the individual exceeded that level 8–10 months of the previous year. Frequent household consumption of some fruits (tomato, banana and grains (quinoa was significantly associated with 29–75% reductions in hair mercury

  9. Spatial, Temporal, and Dietary Variables Associated with Elevated Mercury Exposure in Peruvian Riverine Communities Upstream and Downstream of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyatt, Lauren; Ortiz, Ernesto J; Feingold, Beth; Berky, Axel; Diringer, Sarah; Morales, Ana Maria; Jurado, Elvis Rojas; Hsu-Kim, Heileen; Pan, William

    2017-12-15

    Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is a primary contributor to global mercury and its rapid expansion raises concern for human exposure. Non-occupational exposure risks are presumed to be strongly tied to environmental contamination; however, the relationship between environmental and human mercury exposure, how exposure has changed over time, and risk factors beyond fish consumption are not well understood in ASGM settings. In Peruvian riverine communities ( n = 12), where ASGM has increased 4-6 fold over the past decade, we provide a large-scale assessment of the connection between environmental and human mercury exposure by comparing total mercury contents in human hair (2-cm segment, n = 231) to locally caught fish tissue, analyzing temporal exposure in women of child bearing age (WCBA, 15-49 years, n = 46) over one year, and evaluating general mercury exposure risks including fish and non-fish dietary items through household surveys and linear mixed models. Calculations of an individual's oral reference dose using the total mercury content in locally-sourced fish underestimated the observed mercury exposure for individuals in many communities. This discrepancy was particularly evident in communities upstream of ASGM, where mercury levels in river fish, water, and sediment measurements from a previous study were low, yet hair mercury was chronically elevated. Hair from 86% of individuals and 77% of children exceeded a USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) provisional level (1.2 µg/g) that could result in child developmental impairment. Chronically elevated mercury exposure was observed in the temporal analysis in WCBA. If the most recent exposure exceeded the USEPA level, there was a 97% probability that the individual exceeded that level 8-10 months of the previous year. Frequent household consumption of some fruits (tomato, banana) and grains (quinoa) was significantly associated with 29-75% reductions in hair mercury. Collectively, these

  10. Geochemistry and mercury contamination in receiving environments of artisanal mining wastes and identified concerns for food safety

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reichelt-Brushett, Amanda J., E-mail: amanda.reichelt-brushett@scu.edu.au [Marine Ecology Research Centre, School of Environment, Science and Engineering, Southern Cross University, PO Box 157, Lismore, NSW (Australia); School of Environment, Science and Engineering Southern Cross University, PO Box 157, Lismore, NSW (Australia); Stone, Jane [School of Environment, Science and Engineering Southern Cross University, PO Box 157, Lismore, NSW (Australia); Howe, Pelli [Marine Ecology Research Centre, School of Environment, Science and Engineering, Southern Cross University, PO Box 157, Lismore, NSW (Australia); School of Environment, Science and Engineering Southern Cross University, PO Box 157, Lismore, NSW (Australia); Thomas, Bernard [School of Environment, Science and Engineering Southern Cross University, PO Box 157, Lismore, NSW (Australia); Clark, Malcolm [Marine Ecology Research Centre, School of Environment, Science and Engineering, Southern Cross University, PO Box 157, Lismore, NSW (Australia); School of Environment, Science and Engineering Southern Cross University, PO Box 157, Lismore, NSW (Australia); Male, Yusthinus [Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science, Pattimura University, Ambon (Indonesia); Nanlohy, Albert [Department of Fisheries and Marine Science, Pattimura University, Ambon (Indonesia); Butcher, Paul [School of Environment, Science and Engineering Southern Cross University, PO Box 157, Lismore, NSW (Australia); NSW Department of Primary Industries, National Marine Science Centre, PO Box 4321, Coffs Harbour, NSW (Australia)

    2017-01-15

    Artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM) using mercury (Hg) amalgamation has been occurring on Buru Island, Indonesia since early 2012, and has caused rapid accumulation of high Hg concentrations in river, estuary and marine sediments. In this study, sediment samples were collected from several sites downstream of the Mount Botak ASGM site, as well as in the vicinity of the more recently established site at Gogrea where no sampling had previously been completed. All sediment samples had total Hg (THg) concentrations exceeding Indonesian sediment quality guidelines and were up to 82 times this limit at one estuary site. The geochemistry of sediments in receiving environments indicates the potential for Hg-methylation to form highly bioavailable Hg species. To assess the current contamination threat from consumption of local seafood, samples of fish, molluscs and crustaceans were collected from the Namlea fish market and analysed for THg concentrations. The majority of edible tissue samples had elevated THg concentrations, which raises concerns for food safety. This study shows that river, estuary and marine ecosystems downstream of ASGM operations on Buru Island are exposed to dangerously high Hg concentrations, which are impacting aquatic food chains, and fisheries resources. Considering the high dietary dependence on marine protein in the associated community and across the Mollucas Province, and the short time period since ASGM operations commenced in this region, the results warrant urgent further investigation, risk mitigation, and community education. - Highlights: • Mercury contamination of sediments and seafood due to artisanal gold mining. • Considerable risks to human and ecosystem health are identified. • Results emphasise the urgent need for risk mitigation and community education.

  11. Geochemistry and mercury contamination in receiving environments of artisanal mining wastes and identified concerns for food safety

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reichelt-Brushett, Amanda J.; Stone, Jane; Howe, Pelli; Thomas, Bernard; Clark, Malcolm; Male, Yusthinus; Nanlohy, Albert; Butcher, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM) using mercury (Hg) amalgamation has been occurring on Buru Island, Indonesia since early 2012, and has caused rapid accumulation of high Hg concentrations in river, estuary and marine sediments. In this study, sediment samples were collected from several sites downstream of the Mount Botak ASGM site, as well as in the vicinity of the more recently established site at Gogrea where no sampling had previously been completed. All sediment samples had total Hg (THg) concentrations exceeding Indonesian sediment quality guidelines and were up to 82 times this limit at one estuary site. The geochemistry of sediments in receiving environments indicates the potential for Hg-methylation to form highly bioavailable Hg species. To assess the current contamination threat from consumption of local seafood, samples of fish, molluscs and crustaceans were collected from the Namlea fish market and analysed for THg concentrations. The majority of edible tissue samples had elevated THg concentrations, which raises concerns for food safety. This study shows that river, estuary and marine ecosystems downstream of ASGM operations on Buru Island are exposed to dangerously high Hg concentrations, which are impacting aquatic food chains, and fisheries resources. Considering the high dietary dependence on marine protein in the associated community and across the Mollucas Province, and the short time period since ASGM operations commenced in this region, the results warrant urgent further investigation, risk mitigation, and community education. - Highlights: • Mercury contamination of sediments and seafood due to artisanal gold mining. • Considerable risks to human and ecosystem health are identified. • Results emphasise the urgent need for risk mitigation and community education.

  12. Mercury exposure and health impacts among individuals in the artisanal and small-scale gold mining community: a comprehensive review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, Herman; O'Leary, Keri Grace

    2014-07-01

    Mercury (Hg) is used in gold mining to extract gold from ore by forming "amalgam"-a mixture composed of approximately equal parts mercury and gold. Approximately 15 million people, including approximately 3 million women and children, participate in artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM) in developing countries. Thirty-seven percent of global air emissions of Hg are produced by ASGM. The recently adopted Minamata Convention calls for nations to gather health data, train health-care workers, and raise awareness in regard to ASGM activity. The purpose of our review was to evaluate the current literature regarding the health effects of Hg among those working and/or living in or near ASGM communities. We searched PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar for studies relating to health effects and biomarkers of Hg exposure in ASGM communities. Articles published from 1990 through December 2012 were evaluated for relevance. Studies reporting health assessments, kidney dysfunction, neurological disorders and symptoms, and immunotoxicity/autoimmune dysfunction in individuals living in or near an ASGM community were identified. More than 60 studies that measured biomarkers of Hg exposure in individuals living in or near ASGM communities were also identified. These studies, conducted in 19 different countries in South America, Asia, and Africa, demonstrated that hair and urine concentrations are well above World Health Organization health guidance values in ASGM communities. ASGM workers and their families are exposed to Hg vapor, and workers, workers' families, and residents of nearby and downstream communities are consuming fish heavily contaminated with methylmercury.

  13. Changes in Mercury Deposition in a Mining and Smelting Region as Recorded in Tree Rings

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hojdová, Maria; Navrátil, Tomáš; Rohovec, Jan; Žák, Karel; Vaněk, A.; Chrastný, V.; Bače, R.; Svoboda, M.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 216, 1/4 (2011), s. 73-82 ISSN 0049-6979 R&D Projects: GA ČR GP526/09/P404 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : mercury * dendrochemistry * trees * geochemical archives Subject RIV: DD - Geochemistry Impact factor: 1.625, year: 2011

  14. The diesel exhaust in miners study: IV. Estimating historical exposures to diesel exhaust in underground non-metal mining facilities.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeulen, R.; Coble, J.B.; Lubin, J.H.; Portengen, L.; Blair, A.; Attfield, M.D.; Silverman, D.T.; Stewart, P.A.

    2010-01-01

    We developed quantitative estimates of historical exposures to respirable elemental carbon (REC) for an epidemiologic study of mortality, including lung cancer, among diesel-exposed miners at eight non-metal mining facilities [the Diesel Exhaust in Miners Study (DEMS)]. Because there were no

  15. Pictorial series of the manifestations of the dynamics of the Earth. 4. Historical images of rockbursts' effects in mines

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kozák, Jan; Gibowicz, S. J.; Rudajev, Vladimír

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 47, č. 3 (2003), s. 641-650 ISSN 0039-3169 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z3046908; CEZ:AV0Z3012916 Keywords : rockbursts * mines * historical images Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 0.426, year: 2003

  16. MERCURY AND ARSENIC CONTAMINATION FROM SMALL SCALE GOLD MINING ACTIVITIES AT SELOGIRI AREA, CENTRAL JAVA, INDONESIA

    OpenAIRE

    Harijoko, Agung; Htun, Tin May; Saputra, Rodhie; Warmada, I Wayan; Setijadji, Lucas Donny; Imai, Akira; Watanabe, Koichiro

    2015-01-01

    Small scale gold mines discussed here are located at Selogiri area, Central Java, Indonesia which was mined by local community mainly during gold rush in 1990s. This Selogiri gold deposit genetically is characterized by porphyry mineralization overprinted by epithermal system. The ore minerals assemblage consists of pyrite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, galena, chalcocite and rare arsenopyrite. Chemical analysis of soil and stream sediment sampled over 1.5 km across at the Selogiri gold extra...

  17. Mercury in the gold mining district of San Martin de Loba, South of Bolivar (Colombia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivero-Verbel, Jesus; Caballero-Gallardo, Karina; Turizo-Tapia, Alexi

    2015-04-01

    Gold mining is responsible for most Hg pollution in developing countries. The aims of this study were to assess the levels of total Hg (T-Hg) in human hair, fish, water, macrophyte, and sediment samples in the gold mining district of San Martin de Loba, Colombia, as well as to determine fish consumption-based risks for T-Hg ingestion. T-Hg levels were measured by electrothermal atomization and atomic absorption spectroscopy. The overall mean T-Hg level in hair for humans in the mining district of San Martin de Loba was 2.12 μg/g, whereas for the reference site, Chimichagua, Cesar, it was 0.58 μg/g. Mean T-Hg levels were not different when considered within localities belonging to the mining district but differed when the comparison included Chimichagua. T-Hg levels in examined locations were weakly but significantly associated with age and height, as well as with fish consumption, except in San Martin de Loba. High T-Hg concentrations in fish were detected in Pseudoplatystoma magdaleniatum, Caquetaia kraussii, Ageneiosus pardalis, Cyrtocharax magdalenae, and Triportheus magdalenae, whereas the lowest appeared in Prochilodus magdalenae and Hemiancistrus wilsoni. In terms of Hg exposure due to fish consumption, only these last two species offer some guarantee of low risk for Hg-related health problems. Water, floating macrophytes, and sediments from effluents near mining sites also had high Hg values. In mines of San Martin de Loba and Hatillo de Loba, for instance, the geoaccumulation index (I(geo)) for sediments reached values greater than 6, indicating extreme pollution. In short, these data support the presence of a high Hg-polluted environment in this mining district, with direct risk for deleterious effects on the health of the mining communities.

  18. Advanced mercury removal from gold leachate solutions prior to gold and silver extraction: a field study from an active gold mine in Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matlock, Matthew M; Howerton, Brock S; Van Aelstyn, Mike A; Nordstrom, Fredrik L; Atwood, David A

    2002-04-01

    Mercury contamination in the Gold-Cyanide Process (GCP) is a serious health and environmental problem. Following the heap leaching of gold and silver ores with NaCN solutions, portions of the mercury-cyano complexes often adhere to the activated carbon (AC) used to extract the gold. During the electrowinning and retorting steps, mercury can be (and often is) emitted to the air as a vapor. This poses a severe health hazard to plant workers and the local environment. Additional concerns relate to the safety of workers when handling the mercury-laden AC. Currently, mercury treatment from the heap leach solution is nonexistent. This is due to the fact that chelating ligands which can effectively work under the adverse pH conditions (as present in the heap leachate solutions) do not exist. In an effort to economically and effectively treat the leachate solution prior to passing over the AC, a dipotassium salt of 1,3-benzenediamidoethanethiol (BDET2-) has been developed to irreversibly bind and precipitate the mercury. The ligand has proven to be highly effective by selectively reducing mercury levels from average initial concentrations of 34.5 ppm (parts per million) to 0.014 ppm within 10 min and to 0.008 ppm within 15 min. X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR), Raman, and infrared (IR) spectroscopy demonstrate the formation of a mercury-ligand compound, which remains insoluble over pH ranges of 0.0-14.0. Leachate samples from an active gold mine in Peru have been analyzed using cold vapor atomic fluorescence (CVAF) and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) for metal concentrations before and after treatment with the BDET2- ligand.

  19. Impact of historical mining assessed in soils by kinetic extraction and lead isotopic ratios

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Camizuli, E.; Monna, F.; Bermond, A.; Manouchehri, N.; Besançon, S.; Losno, R.; Oort, F. van; Labanowski, J.; Perreira, A.; Chateau, C.; Alibert, P.

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study is to estimate the long-term behaviour of trace metals, in two soils differently impacted by past mining. Topsoils from two 1 km 2 zones in the forested Morvan massif (France) were sampled to assess the spatial distribution of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn. The first zone had been contaminated by historical mining. As expected, it exhibits higher trace-metal levels and greater spatial heterogeneity than the second non-contaminated zone, supposed to represent the local background. One soil profile from each zone was investigated in detail to estimate metal behaviour, and hence, bioavailability. Kinetic extractions were performed using EDTA on three samples: the A horizon from both soil profiles and the B horizon from the contaminated soil. For all three samples, kinetic extractions can be modelled by two first-order reactions. Similar kinetic behaviour was observed for all metals, but more metal was extracted from the contaminated A horizon than from the B horizon. More surprising is the general predominance of the residual fraction over the “labile” and “less labile” pools. Past anthropogenic inputs may have percolated over time through the soil profiles because of acidic pH conditions. Stable organo-metallic complexes may also have been formed over time, reducing metal availability. These processes are not mutually exclusive. After kinetic extraction, the lead isotopic compositions of the samples exhibited different signatures, related to contamination history and intrinsic soil parameters. However, no variation in lead signature was observed during the extraction experiment, demonstrating that the “labile” and “less labile” lead pools do not differ in terms of origin. Even if trace metals resulting from past mining and metallurgy persist in soils long after these activities have ceased, kinetic extractions suggest that metals, at least for these particular forest soils, do not represent a threat for biota. - Highlights: • Trace

  20. Impact of historical mining assessed in soils by kinetic extraction and lead isotopic ratios

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Camizuli, E., E-mail: estelle.camizuli@u-bourgogne.fr [UMR 6298, ArTeHiS, Université de Bourgogne — CNRS — Culture, 6 bd Gabriel, Bat. Gabriel, 21000 Dijon (France); Monna, F. [UMR 6298, ArTeHiS, Université de Bourgogne — CNRS — Culture, 6 bd Gabriel, Bat. Gabriel, 21000 Dijon (France); Bermond, A.; Manouchehri, N.; Besançon, S. [Institut des sciences et industries du vivant et de l' environnement (AgroParisTech), Laboratoire de Chimie Analytique, 16, rue Claude Bernard, 75231 Paris Cedex 05 (France); Losno, R. [UMR 7583, LISA, Universités Paris 7-Paris 12 — CNRS, 61 av. du Gal de Gaulle, 94010 Créteil Cedex (France); Oort, F. van [UR 251, Pessac, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Centre de Versailles-Grignon, RD 10, 78026 Versailles Cedex (France); Labanowski, J. [UMR 7285, IC2MP, Université de Poitiers — CNRS, 4, rue Michel Brunet, 86022 Poitiers (France); Perreira, A. [UMR 6298, ArTeHiS, Université de Bourgogne — CNRS — Culture, 6 bd Gabriel, Bat. Gabriel, 21000 Dijon (France); Chateau, C. [UFR SVTE, Université de Bourgogne, 6 bd Gabriel, Bat. Gabriel, 21000 Dijon (France); Alibert, P. [UMR 6282, Biogeosciences, Université de Bourgogne — CNRS, 6 bd Gabriel, Bat. Gabriel, 21000 Dijon (France)

    2014-02-01

    The aim of this study is to estimate the long-term behaviour of trace metals, in two soils differently impacted by past mining. Topsoils from two 1 km{sup 2} zones in the forested Morvan massif (France) were sampled to assess the spatial distribution of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn. The first zone had been contaminated by historical mining. As expected, it exhibits higher trace-metal levels and greater spatial heterogeneity than the second non-contaminated zone, supposed to represent the local background. One soil profile from each zone was investigated in detail to estimate metal behaviour, and hence, bioavailability. Kinetic extractions were performed using EDTA on three samples: the A horizon from both soil profiles and the B horizon from the contaminated soil. For all three samples, kinetic extractions can be modelled by two first-order reactions. Similar kinetic behaviour was observed for all metals, but more metal was extracted from the contaminated A horizon than from the B horizon. More surprising is the general predominance of the residual fraction over the “labile” and “less labile” pools. Past anthropogenic inputs may have percolated over time through the soil profiles because of acidic pH conditions. Stable organo-metallic complexes may also have been formed over time, reducing metal availability. These processes are not mutually exclusive. After kinetic extraction, the lead isotopic compositions of the samples exhibited different signatures, related to contamination history and intrinsic soil parameters. However, no variation in lead signature was observed during the extraction experiment, demonstrating that the “labile” and “less labile” lead pools do not differ in terms of origin. Even if trace metals resulting from past mining and metallurgy persist in soils long after these activities have ceased, kinetic extractions suggest that metals, at least for these particular forest soils, do not represent a threat for biota. - Highlights: • Trace

  1. Distribution of total mercury and methylmercury around the small-scale gold mining area along the Cikaniki River, Bogor, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomiyasu, Takashi; Kodamatani, Hitoshi; Hamada, Yuriko Kono; Matsuyama, Akito; Imura, Ryusuke; Taniguchi, Yoko; Hidayati, Nuril; Rahajoe, Joeni Setijo

    2017-01-01

    This study investigates the distribution of total mercury (T-Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in the soil and water around the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) area along the Cikaniki River, West Java, Indonesia. The concentration of T-Hg and MeHg in the forest soil ranged from 0.07 to 16.7 mg kg -1 and from <0.07 to 2.0 μg kg -1 , respectively, whereas it ranged from 0.40 to 24.9 mg kg -1 and from <0.07 to 56.3 μg kg -1 , respectively, in the paddy field soil. In the vertical variation of the T-Hg of forest soil, the highest values were observed at the soil surface, and these values were found to decrease with increasing depth. A similar variation was observed for MeHg and total organic carbon content (TOC), and a linear relationship was observed between them. Mercury deposited on the soil surface can be trapped and retained by organic matter and subjected to methylation. The slope of the line obtained for the T-Hg vs. TOC plot became larger near the ASGM villages, implying a higher rate of mercury deposition in these areas. In contrast, the plots of MeHg vs. TOC fell along the same trend line regardless of the distance from the ASGM village. Organic carbon content may be a predominant factor in controlling MeHg formation in forest soils. The T-Hg concentration in the river water ranged from 0.40 to 9.6 μg L -1 . River water used for irrigation can prove to be a source of mercury for the paddy fields. The concentrations of Hg 0 and Hg 2+ in river water showed similar variations as that observed for the T-Hg concentration. The highest Hg 0 concentration of 3.2 μg L -1 can be attributed to the waste inflow from work sites. The presence of Hg 0 in river water can become a source of mercury present in the atmosphere along the river. MeHg concentration in the river water was found to be 0.004-0.14% of T-Hg concentration, which was considerably lower than the concentrations of other Hg species. However, MeHg comprised approximately 0.2% of the T

  2. Mercury pollution in Asia: a review of the contaminated sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, P; Feng, X B; Qiu, G L; Shang, L H; Li, Z G

    2009-09-15

    This article describes the mercury contaminated sites in Asia. Among the various regions, Asia has become the largest contributor of anthropogenic atmospheric mercury (Hg), responsible for over half of the global emission. Based on different emission source categories, the mercury contaminated sites in Asia were divided into various types, such as Hg pollution from Hg mining, gold mining, chemical industry, metal smelting, coal combustion, metropolitan cities, natural resources and agricultural sources. By the review of a large number of studies, serious Hg pollutions to the local environment were found in the area influenced by chemical industry, mercury mining and gold mining. With the probable effects of a unique combination of climatic (e.g. subtropical climate), environmental (e.g. acid rain), economic (e.g. swift growth) and social factors (e.g. high population density), more effort is still needed to understand the biogeochemistry cycle of Hg and associated health effects in Asia. Safer alternatives and cleaner technologies must be developed and effectively implemented to reduce mercury emission; remedial techniques are also required to restore the historical mercury pollution in Asia.

  3. Spatial variability of sediment erosion processes using GIS analysis within watersheds in a historically mined region, Patagonia Mountains, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brady, Laura M.; Gray, Floyd; Wissler, Craig A.; Guertin, D. Phillip

    2001-01-01

    In this study, a geographic information system (GIS) is used to integrate and accurately map field studies, information from remotely sensed data, watershed models, and the dispersion of potentially toxic mine waste and tailings. The purpose of this study is to identify erosion rates and net sediment delivery of soil and mine waste/tailings to the drainage channel within several watershed regions to determine source areas of sediment delivery as a method of quantifying geo-environmental analysis of transport mechanisms in abandoned mine lands in arid climate conditions. Users of this study are the researchers interested in exploration of approaches to depicting historical activity in an area which has no baseline data records for environmental analysis of heavily mined terrain.

  4. Influence of plankton mercury dynamics and trophic pathways on mercury concentrations of top predator fish of a mining-impacted reservoir

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stewart, A.R.; Kuwabara, J.S.; Marvin-DiPasquale, M.; Saiki, M.K.; Alpers, C.N.; Krabbenhoft, D.P.

    2008-01-01

    A study was conducted to document the water quality in the Camp Far West Reservoir (CFWR) located at 300 feet above sea level in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in northern California. The CFWR is characterized by drawdown in the late summer and fall. It receives acidic, metal-rich drainage seasonally from an inactive gold mine. Water-quality constituents vary considerably by season. Water-quality data for CFWR were used together with data from studies of sediment and biota to develop a conceptual model for mercury methylation and bioaccumulation in the reservoir and the lower Bear River watershed. The study examined the physical and biogeochemical characteristics of the aquatic environment that affect growth dynamics of phytoplankton and the zooplankton communities that depend on them. The uptake affect of methylmercury (MeHg) into the pelagic food web was also investigated by assessing the changes in the quality and quantity of suspended particulate material, zooplankton taxonomy, and MeHg concentrations with seasonal changes. MeHg concentrations in bulk zooplankton increased at high water and were positively correlated with cladoceran biomass and negatively correlated with rotifer biomass. According to stable isotope analysis, MeHg concentrations in the pelagic-based food web were generally higher than in the benthic-based food web. The difference in MeHg bioaccumulation among trophic pathways appears to be set at the base of the food webs. It was concluded that plankton dynamics plays a key role in driving the MeHg content of zooplankton and MeHg bioaccumulation in top predators in pelagic-based food webs. 58 refs., 1 tab., 8 figs

  5. Influence of plankton mercury dynamics and trophic pathways on mercury concentrations of top predator fish of a mining-impacted reservoir

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stewart, A.R.; Kuwabara, J.S.; Marvin-DiPasquale, M. [United States Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA (United States); Saiki, M.K. [United States Geological Survey, Western Fisheries Research Center, Dixon, CA (United States); Alpers, C.N. [United States Geological Survey, California Water Science Center, Sacramento, CA (United States); Krabbenhoft, D.P. [United States Geological Survey, Middleton, WI (United States)

    2008-11-15

    A study was conducted to document the water quality in the Camp Far West Reservoir (CFWR) located at 300 feet above sea level in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in northern California. The CFWR is characterized by drawdown in the late summer and fall. It receives acidic, metal-rich drainage seasonally from an inactive gold mine. Water-quality constituents vary considerably by season. Water-quality data for CFWR were used together with data from studies of sediment and biota to develop a conceptual model for mercury methylation and bioaccumulation in the reservoir and the lower Bear River watershed. The study examined the physical and biogeochemical characteristics of the aquatic environment that affect growth dynamics of phytoplankton and the zooplankton communities that depend on them. The uptake affect of methylmercury (MeHg) into the pelagic food web was also investigated by assessing the changes in the quality and quantity of suspended particulate material, zooplankton taxonomy, and MeHg concentrations with seasonal changes. MeHg concentrations in bulk zooplankton increased at high water and were positively correlated with cladoceran biomass and negatively correlated with rotifer biomass. According to stable isotope analysis, MeHg concentrations in the pelagic-based food web were generally higher than in the benthic-based food web. The difference in MeHg bioaccumulation among trophic pathways appears to be set at the base of the food webs. It was concluded that plankton dynamics plays a key role in driving the MeHg content of zooplankton and MeHg bioaccumulation in top predators in pelagic-based food webs. 58 refs., 1 tab., 8 figs.

  6. Factors Affecting Elevated Arsenic and Methyl Mercury Concentrations in Small Shield Lakes Surrounding Gold Mines near the Yellowknife, NT, (Canada Region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam James Houben

    Full Text Available Gold mines in the Yellowknife, NT, region--in particular, the Giant Mine--operated from 1949-99, releasing 237,000 tonnes of waste arsenic trioxide (As2O3 dust, among other compounds, from gold ore extraction and roasting processes. For the first time, we show the geospatial distribution of roaster-derived emissions of several chemical species beyond the mine property on otherwise undisturbed taiga shield lakes within a 25 km radius of the mine, 11 years after its closing. Additionally, we demonstrate that underlying bedrock is not a significant source for the elevated concentrations in overlying surface waters. Aquatic arsenic (As concentrations are well above guidelines for drinking water (10 μg/L and protection for aquatic life (5 μg/L, ranging up to 136 μg/L in lakes within 4 km from the mine, to 2.0 μg/L in lakes 24 km away. High conversion ratios of methyl mercury were shown in lakes near the roaster stack as well, with MeHg concentrations reaching 44% of total mercury. The risk of elevated exposures by these metals is significant, as many lakes used for recreation and fishing near the City of Yellowknife are within this radius of elevated As and methyl Hg concentrations.

  7. Arsenic and mercury levels in human hairs and nails from gold mining areas in Wassa West District of Ghana

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serfor-Armah, Y.; Samlafo, B.V.; Yeboah, P.O.

    2009-01-01

    Hair and nail samples obtained from inhabitants of Wassa District, a major gold mining area in Ghana, were analysed for arsenic (As) and mercury (Hg) using instrumental neutron activation analysis. The samples were irradiated at a thermal neutron flux of 5 x 10 11 n cm -2 s -1 using the Ghana Research Reactor. Concentration of Hg in the hairs ranged from 1.65 to 20.46 μg/g, which were below World Health Organization (WHO) recommended level of 50.00 μg/g for human hair. Mercury concentration in human nail samples ranged from 0.97 to 31.94 μg/g. Arsenic concentrations in human hairs ranged from 0.07 to 0.95 μg/g, while the levels in nail samples ranged from 0.08 to 3.90 μg/g. Generally, levels of As in the hair were less than WHO recommended value of 1.00 μg/g, however, the levels of As in 5 nail samples (FN 11 , FN 20 , FN 28 , TN 9 and TN 16 ) were above the maximum WHO value of 1.80μg/g. The measurement precision specified by the relative standard deviation was within ± 3 %. The accuracy of determination evaluated by analysing certified standard human reference material GBW 09101 was within ± 4 % of the certified value. The levels of As in hair and nail samples of the experimental group were generally higher as compared to the control subject. Similarly, Hg levels in the hair and nail samples in experimental group were also higher compared to the control subject. However, the levels of the toxic elements determined were all below WHO recommended values. (au)

  8. Bioaccessibility of As, Cu, Pb, and Zn in mine waste, urban soil, and road dust in the historical mining village of Kaňk, Czech Republic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drahota, Petr; Raus, Karel; Rychlíková, Eva; Rohovec, Jan

    2017-06-15

    Historical mining activities in the village of Kaňk (in the northern part of the Kutná Hora ore district, Czech Republic) produced large amounts of mine wastes which contain significant amounts of metal(loid) contaminants such as As, Cu, Pb, and Zn. Given the proximity of residential communities to these mining residues, we investigated samples of mine waste (n = 5), urban soil (n = 6), and road dust (n = 5) with a special focus on the solid speciation of As, Cu, Pb, and Zn using a combination of methods (XRD, SEM/EDS, oxalate extractions), as well as on in vitro bioaccessibility in simulated gastric and lung fluids to assess the potential exposure risks for humans. Bulk chemical analyses indicated that As is the most important contaminant in the mine wastes (~1.15 wt%), urban soils (~2900 mg/kg) and road dusts (~440 mg/kg). Bioaccessible fractions of As were quite low (4-13%) in both the simulated gastric and lung fluids, while the bioaccessibility of metals ranged between waste materials and highly contaminated urban soil. Based on the risk assessment, arsenic was found to be the element posing the greatest risk.

  9. Environmental and occupational exposures to mercury among indigenous people in Dunkwa-On-Offin, a small scale gold mining area in the South-West of Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwaansa-Ansah, E E; Basu, N; Nriagu, J O

    2010-11-01

    Total mercury concentrations in human hair and urine samples were determined to ascertain the extent of environmental and occupational mercury exposure in Dunkwa-On-Offin, a small scale gold mining area of the central-west region of Ghana. In all ninety-four (94) hair and urine samples comprising of forty (40) small scale miners and fifty-four (54) farmers were collected and analyzed for their total mercury levels using the cold vapour atomic absorption spectrometry. The hair total mercury concentrations ranged from 0.63 to 7.19 ug/g with a mean of 2.35 ± 1.58 ug/g for the farmers and 0.57-6.07 ug/g with a mean of 2.14 ± 1.53 ug/g for the small scale gold miners. There was no significant correlation between the total mercury concentration and the average weekly fish diet. The total mercury concentrations in urine of the miners were higher than those of the farmers and ranged from 0.32 to 3.62 ug/L with a mean of 1.23 ± 0.86 ug/L. The urine concentrations of farmers ranged from 0.075 to 2.31 ug/L with a mean of 0.69 ± 0.39 ug/L. Although the results indicate elevated internal dose of mercury the current levels of exposures do not appear to pose a significant health threat to the people.

  10. Historical releases of mercury to air, land, and water from coal combustion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streets, David G; Lu, Zifeng; Levin, Leonard; Ter Schure, Arnout F H; Sunderland, Elsie M

    2018-02-15

    Coal combustion is one of the largest contemporary sources of anthropogenic mercury (Hg). It releases geologically sequestered Hg to the atmosphere, and fly ash can contaminate terrestrial and aquatic systems. We estimate that coal combustion has released a cumulative total of 38.0 (14.8-98.9, 80% C.I.) Gg (gigagrams, 10 9 g or thousand tonnes) of Hg to air, land, and water up to the year 2010, most of which (97%) has occurred since 1850. The rate of release has grown by two orders of magnitude from 0.01Ggyr -1 in 1850 to 1Ggyr -1 in 2010. Geographically, Asia and Europe each account for 32% of cumulative releases and an additional 18% is from North America. About 26.3 (10.2-68.3) Gg, 71% of the total, were directly emitted to the atmosphere, mostly from the industrial (45%) and power generation (36%) sectors, while the remainder was disposed of to land and water bodies. While Europe and North America were the major contributing regions until 1950, Asia has surpassed both in recent decades. By 2010, Asia was responsible for 69% of the total releases of Hg from coal combustion to the environment. Control technologies installed on major emitting sources capture mainly particulate and divalent Hg, and therefore the fraction of elemental Hg in emissions from coal combustion has increased over time from 0.46 in 1850 to 0.61 in 2010. About 11.8 (4.6-30.6) Gg of Hg, 31% of the total, have been transferred to land and water bodies through the disposal or utilization of Hg-containing combustion waste and collected fly ash/FGD waste; approximately 8.8Gg of this Hg have simply been discarded to waste piles or ash ponds or rivers. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Historical reconstruction of mercury pollution across the Tibetan Plateau using lake sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Handong; Battarbee, Richard W; Turner, Simon D; Rose, Neil L; Derwent, Richard G; Wu, Guangjian; Yang, Ruiqiang

    2010-04-15

    The Tibetan Plateau is described as the "Roof of the World" averaging over 4000 m above sea level; it is remote, isolated, and presumed to be a pristine region. In order to study the history of atmospheric mercury (Hg) pollution and its spatial variation across the Plateau, lakes were chosen from three areas forming a north to south transect. Sediment cores were taken from three sites in each area and dated using the radionuclides 210Pb and 137Cs. Analysis of the cores yielded the first comprehensive Hg reconstructions for the Plateau, showing clear Hg pollution at all sites. The first indication of Hg pollution is much earlier than the onset of the industrial revolution in Europe, but the most significant pollution increase is from the 1970s, followed by a further marked increase from the 1990s. The mean post-2000 atmospheric pollution Hg accumulation rates for the sampling sites were estimated at between 5.1 and 7.9 microg m(-2) yr(-1). The increase in Hg pollution over the last few decades is synchronous with the recent economic development in Asia (especially China and India), and pollution Hg levels continue to increase. Furthermore, contemporary sediment Hg accumulation rate data are in broad agreement with Hg deposition values derived from global models that attribute pollution to sources mainly within southeast Asia. As most of the sites are exceptionally remote and situated above the atmospheric boundary layer, these results underline the need to understand the local Hg cycle in both regional and global context.

  12. A Sequential Chemical Extraction and Spectroscopic Assessment of the Potential Bioavailability of Mercury Released From the Inoperative New Idria Mercury Mine, San Benito Co., CA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jew, A. D.; Luong, P. N.; Rytuba, J. J.; Brown, G. E.

    2012-12-01

    The inoperative New Idria mercury mine in San Benito Co., CA, is a potential point source of Hg to the Central Valley of California. To determine the phases and the potential bioavailability of Hg present in stream bed deposits downstream of the mine, sequential chemical extractions (SCEs) targeting Hg-bearing phases and synchrotron-based spectroscopic and imaging techniques were used on sediment samples taken from the acid mine drainage (AMD) system, Hg sorbed in the laboratory to ferrihydrite (synthetic 2-line and natural), and Hg associated with diatom-rich samples. In all field samples examined, both the wet and dry seasons, removal of > 97% of the Hg required 1M KOH or harsher chemical treatments. X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) showed that HgS was the dominant inorganic Hg phase present, with no detectable Hg associated with the ferrihydrite. Uptake and subsequent SCE analysis of Hg to both synthetic and natural ferrihydrite showed that 1M MgCl2 removed ≥ 90% of the total Hg, suggesting that Hg does not sorb strongly to ferrihydrite. This finding is surprising, because in most settings ferrihydrite is considered to be a strong adsorbent of heavy metals. Due to the lack of Hg sorption to ferrihydrite in field samples, another pool for the non-HgS/HgSe fraction in sediments is needed. SEM analysis of the downstream samples showed that regardless of pH, freshwater diatoms were present. To determine if diatoms were the sink for dissolved Hg in this system, SCE analysis on commercially available and diatom-rich field samples from the New Idria site and Harley Gulch (Lake County, CA) were completed. The vast majority of Hg in diatom-rich samples was removed by 1M KOH, which corresponds to the non-HgS/HgSe fraction of the New Idria field samples. Analysis for carbon and nitrogen in the diatom-rich samples showed no detectable nitrogen, indicating little to no organic material was left in the samples. We therefore infer that Hg in the diatoms is contained in

  13. Distributions and concentrations of thallium in surface waters of a region impacted by historical metal mining (Cornwall, UK).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatsi, Kristi; Turner, Andrew

    2014-03-01

    Thallium is a highly toxic heavy metal whose concentrations and distributions in the aquatic environment are poorly defined. In this study, concentrations of aqueous and total Tl have been measured in water samples from a variety of rivers and effluents (the latter related to historical metal mining) in the county of Cornwall, SW England. Aqueous concentrations ranged from about 13 ng L(-1) in a river whose catchment contained no metal mines to 2,640 ng L(-1) in water abstracted directly from an abandoned mine shaft. Concentrations of Tl in rivers were greatest in the vicinity of mine-related effluents, with a maximum value measured of about 770 ng L(-1). Thallium was not efficiently removed by the conventional, active treatment of mine water, and displayed little interaction with suspended particles. Its mobility in surface waters, coupled with concentrations that are close to a quality guideline of 800 ng L(-1), is cause for concern. Accordingly, we recommend that the metal is more closely monitored in this and other regions impacted by mining activities. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Mine tailings composition in a historic site: implications for ecological restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtney, R

    2013-02-01

    Ecological restoration, using tolerant plant species and nutrient additions, is a low-cost option to decrease environmental risks associated with mine tailings. An attempt was previously made to establish such a vegetation cover on an abandoned tailings facility in Southern Ireland. Historically, the tailings site has been prone to dusting and is a potential source of contamination to the surrounding environment. The site was examined to determine the success of the previous restoration plan used to revegetate the site and to determine its suitability for further restoration. Three distinct floristic areas were identified (grassland, poor grassland and bare area) based on herbage compositions and elemental analysis. Surface and subsurface samples were taken to characterise tailings from within these areas of the tailings site. The pH of bare surface tailings (pH, 2.7) was significantly more acidic (p tailings being hostile to plant growth. Total metal concentrations in tailings were high (c. 10,000 mg kg(-1) for Pb and up to 20,000 mg kg(-1) for Zn). DTPA-extractable Zn and Pb were 16 and 11 % of the total amount, respectively. Metal content in grasses growing on some areas of the tailings were elevated and demonstrated the inability of the tailings to support sustainable plant growth. Due to the inherently hostile characteristics of these areas, future restoration work will employ capping with a barrier layer.

  15. Map Archive Mining: Visual-Analytical Approaches to Explore Large Historical Map Collections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes H. Uhl

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Historical maps are unique sources of retrospective geographical information. Recently, several map archives containing map series covering large spatial and temporal extents have been systematically scanned and made available to the public. The geographical information contained in such data archives makes it possible to extend geospatial analysis retrospectively beyond the era of digital cartography. However, given the large data volumes of such archives (e.g., more than 200,000 map sheets in the United States Geological Survey topographic map archive and the low graphical quality of older, manually-produced map sheets, the process to extract geographical information from these map archives needs to be automated to the highest degree possible. To understand the potential challenges (e.g., salient map characteristics and data quality variations in automating large-scale information extraction tasks for map archives, it is useful to efficiently assess spatio-temporal coverage, approximate map content, and spatial accuracy of georeferenced map sheets at different map scales. Such preliminary analytical steps are often neglected or ignored in the map processing literature but represent critical phases that lay the foundation for any subsequent computational processes including recognition. Exemplified for the United States Geological Survey topographic map and the Sanborn fire insurance map archives, we demonstrate how such preliminary analyses can be systematically conducted using traditional analytical and cartographic techniques, as well as visual-analytical data mining tools originating from machine learning and data science.

  16. High altitude artisanal small-scale gold mines are hot spots for Mercury in soils and plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terán-Mita, Tania A.; Faz, Angel; Salvador, Flor; Arocena, Joselito M.; Acosta, Jose A.

    2013-01-01

    Mercury releases from artisanal and small-scale gold mines (ASGM) condense and settle on plants, soils and water bodies. We collected soil and plant samples to add knowledge to the likely transfer of Hg from soils into plants and eventually predict Hg accumulation in livestock around ASGM in Bolivia. Mean contents of Hg in soils range from 0.5 to 48.6 mg Hg kg −1 soil (5× to 60× more compared to control sites) and exceeded the soil Hg threshold levels in some European countries. The Hg contents ranged from 0.6 to 18 and 0.2 to 28.3 mg Hg kg −1 leaf and root, respectively. The high Hg in Poaceae and Rosaceae may elevate Hg accumulation into the food chain because llama and alpaca solely thrive on these plants for food. Erosion of soils around ASGM in Bolivia contributes to the Hg contamination in lower reaches of the Amazon basin. - Highlights: ► Hg in soils ranged from 0.5 to 48.6 mg Hg kg −1 soil, and at least 5× to 60× more than control sites. ► Plants near gold mines exceed the 0.1 mg Hg kg −1 plant material European limit for feed quality. ► Camelids feeding on plants with high Hg may elevate Hg levels in foods (meats) for the miners. ► Soils with high Hg can be significant Hg sources to the contamination of the Amazon basin. - Mean contents of Hg in soils were at least 5× to 60× more compared to Hg in control sites, and the high Hg in Poaceae and Rosaceae may elevate Hg into the food chain.

  17. Mass loads of dissolved and particulate mercury and other trace elements in the Mt. Amiata mining district, Southern Tuscany (Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rimondi, V.; Costagliola, P.; Gray, J.E.; Lattanzi, P.; Nannucci, M.; Paolieri, M.; Salvadori, A.

    2014-01-01

    Total dissolved and particulate mercury (Hg), arsenic (As), and antimony (Sb) mass loads were estimated in different seasons (March and September 2011 and March 2012) in the Paglia River basin (PRB) (central Italy). The Paglia River drains the Mt. Amiata Hg district, one of the largest Hg-rich regions worldwide. Quantification of Hg, As, and Sb mass loads in this watershed allowed (1) identification of the contamination sources, (2) evaluation of the effects of Hg on the environment, and (3) determination of processes affecting Hg transport. The dominant source of Hg in the Paglia River is runoff from Hg mines in the Mt. Amiata region. The maximum Hg mass load was found to be related to runoff from the inactive Abbadia San Salvatore Mine (ASSM), and up to 30 g day−1 of Hg, dominantly in the particulate form, was transported both in high and low flow conditions in 2011. In addition, enrichment factors (EFs) calculated for suspended particulate matter (SPM) were similar in different seasons indicating that water discharge controls the quantities of Hg transported in the PRB, and considerable Hg was transported in all seasons studied. Overall, as much as 11 kg of Hg are discharged annually in the PRB and this Hg is transported downstream to the Tiber River, and eventually to the Mediterranean Sea. Similar to Hg, maximum mass loads for As and Sb were found in March 2011, when as much as 190 g day−1 each of As and Sb were measured from sites downstream from the ASSM. Therefore, the Paglia River represents a significant source of Hg, Sb, and As to the Mediterranean Sea.

  18. Geological and anthropogenic factors influencing mercury speciation in mine wastes: An EXAFS spectroscopy study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, C.S.; Rytuba, J.J.; Brown, Gordon E.

    2004-01-01

    The speciation of Hg is a critical determinant of its mobility, reactivity, and potential bioavailability in mine-impacted regions. Furthermore, Hg speciation in these complex natural systems is influenced by a number of physical, geological, and anthropogenic variables. In order to investigate the degree to which several of these variables may affect Hg speciation, extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy was used to determine the Hg phases and relative proportions of these phases present in Hg-bearing wastes from selected mine-impacted regions in California and Nevada. The geological origin of Hg ore has a significant effect on Hg speciation in mine wastes. Specifically, samples collected from hot-spring Hg deposits were found to contain soluble Hg-chloride phases, while such phases were largely absent in samples from silica-carbonate Hg deposits; in both deposit types, however, Hg-sulfides in the form of cinnabar (HgS, hex.) and metacinnabar (HgS, cub.) dominate. Calcined wastes in which Hg ore was crushed and roasted in excess of 600??C, contain high proportions of metacinnabar while the main Hg-containing phase in unroasted waste rock samples from the same mines is cinnabar. The calcining process is thought to promote the reconstructive phase transformation of cinnabar to metacinnabar, which typically occurs at 345??C. The total Hg concentration in calcines is strongly correlated with particle size, with increases of nearly an order of magnitude in total Hg concentration between the 500-2000 ??m and process, identified the presence of Hg-sulfides and schuetteite (Hg3O2SO4), which may have formed as a result of long-term Hg(0) burial in reducing high-sulfide sediments. ?? 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. The impact of small-scale mining activities on the levels of mercury in the environment. The case of Prestea and its environs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serfor-Armah, Y.; Adotey, D.K.; Nyarko, B.J.B.; Akaho, E.H.K.; Adomako, D.

    2004-01-01

    To obtain the baseline information of mercury pollution due to gold mining activities in Prestea and its environs total mercury (T-Hg) concentrations were measured in water and stream sediment. The samples were analyzed by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). They were irradiated and counted without any preconcentration. Higher levels of T-Hg concentration were found in samples at the sites with extensive small-scale 'galamsey' gold mining activities than at the sites with low small-scale 'galamsey' activities. Concentrations varied between 6.80-19.82 mg/l for water and 28.90-84.30 mg/kg in sediment at sites with extensive small-scale mining activities. At low small-scale mining sites concentration levels for T-Hg varied between 0.50-9.10 mg/l and 1.20-22.75 mg/kg in water and sediment, respectively. The concentration levels of T-Hg in water from all the sampling sites are in excess of the WHO tolerable limit of 0.001 mg/l for drinking water. (author)

  20. Mercury cycling in a wastewater treatment plant treating waters with high mercury contents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Noguero, Eva M.; García-Noguero, Carolina; Higueras, Pablo; Reyes-Bozo, Lorenzo; Esbrí, José M.

    2015-04-01

    The Almadén mercury mining district has been historically the most important producer of this element since Romans times to 2004, when both mining and metallurgic activities ceased as a consequence both of reserves exhaustion and persistent low prices for this metal. The reclamation of the main dump of the mine in 2007-2008 reduced drastically the atmospheric presence of the gaseous mercury pollutant in the local atmosphere. But still many areas, and in particular in the Almadén town area, can be considered as contaminated, and produce mercury releases that affect the urban residual waters. Two wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) where built in the area in year 2002, but in their design the projects did not considered the question of high mercury concentrations received as input from the town area. This communication presents data of mercury cycling in one of the WWTP, the Almadén-Chillón one, being the larger and receiving the higher Hg concentrations, due to the fact that it treats the waters coming from the West part of the town, in the immediate proximity to the mine area. Data were collected during a number of moments of activity of the plant, since April 2004 to nowadays. Analyses were carried out by means of cold vapor-atomic fluorescence spectroscopy (CV-AFS), using a PSA Millennium Merlin analytical device with gold trap. The detection limit is 0.1 ng/l. The calibration standards are prepared using the Panreac ICP Standard Mercury Solution (1,000±0,002 g/l Hg in HNO3 2-5%). Results of the surveys indicate that mercury concentrations in input and output waters in this plant has suffered an important descent since the cessation of mining and metallurgical activities, and minor reduction also after the reclamation of the main mine's dump. Since 2009, some minor seasonal variations are detected, in particular apparently related to accumulation during summer of mercury salts and particles, which are washed to the plant with the autumn's rains. Further

  1. Human exposure and risk assessment associated with mercury contamination in artisanal gold mining areas in the Brazilian Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castilhos, Zuleica; Rodrigues-Filho, Saulo; Cesar, Ricardo; Rodrigues, Ana Paula; Villas-Bôas, Roberto; de Jesus, Iracina; Lima, Marcelo; Faial, Kleber; Miranda, Antônio; Brabo, Edilson; Beinhoff, Christian; Santos, Elisabeth

    2015-08-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination is an issue of concern in the Amazon region due to potential health effects associated with Hg exposure in artisanal gold mining areas. The study presents a human health risk assessment associated with Hg vapor inhalation and MeHg-contaminated fish ingestion, as well as Hg determination in urine, blood, and hair, of human populations (about 325 miners and 321 non-miners) from two gold mining areas in the Brazilian Amazon (São Chico and Creporizinho, Pará State). In São Chico and Creporizinho, 73 fish specimens of 13 freshwater species, and 161 specimens of 11 species, were collected for total Hg determination, respectively. The hazard quotient (HQ) is a risk indicator which defines the ratio of the exposure level and the toxicological reference dose and was applied to determine the threat of MeHg exposure. The mean Hg concentrations in fish from São Chico and Creporizinho were 0.83 ± 0.43 and 0.36 ± 0.33 μg/g, respectively. More than 60 and 22 % of fish collected in São Chico and Creporizinho, respectively, were above the Hg limit (0.5 μg/g) recommended by WHO for human consumption. For all sampling sites, HQ resulted from 1.5 to 28.5, except for the reference area. In Creporizinho, the values of HQ are close to 2 for most sites, whereas in São Chico, there is a hot spot of MeHg contamination in fish (A2-São Chico Reservoir) with the highest risk level (HQ = 28) associated with its human consumption. Mean Hg concentrations in urine, blood, and hair samples indicated that the miners group (in São Chico: urine = 17.37 μg/L; blood = 27.74 μg/L; hair = 4.50 μg/g and in Creporizinho: urine = 13.75 μg/L; blood = 25.23 μg/L; hair: 4.58 μg/g) was more exposed to mercury compared to non-miners (in São Chico: urine = 5.73 μg/L; blood = 16.50 μg/L; hair = 3.16 μg/g and in Creporizinho: urine = 3.91 μg/L; blood = 21.04 μg/L, hair = 1.88 μg/g). These high Hg levels (found

  2. Seasonal mercury concentrations and δ15N and δ13C values of benthic macroinvertebrates and sediments from a historically polluted estuary in south central Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Jaramillo, Mauricio; Muñoz, Claudia; Rudolph, Ignacio; Servos, Mark; Barra, Ricardo

    2013-01-01

    The Lenga Estuary is one of the most industrialized sites in south central Chile where the historic operation of chlor-alkali plants resulted in large quantities of mercury (Hg) being deposited into the estuary. This historical contamination may still represent a risk to the biota in the estuary. To investigate this four macroinvertebrates, Neotrypaea uncinata (ghostshrimp), Elminius kingii (barnacle), Hemigrapsus crenulatus (shore crab) and Perinereis gualpensis (ragworm) were collected seasonally from three different sites in the Lenga Estuary and one in a reference estuary (Tubul Estuary), and analyzed for Hg and stable isotopes (δ(15)N and δ(13)C). Mercury concentrations in Lenga sediments ranged from 0.4 ± 0.1 to 13 ± 3 mg/kg, while those in Tubul sediments ranged from 0.02 ± 0.01 to 0.07 ± 0.09 mg/kg. Total Hg concentrations of invertebrates were significantly different between estuaries (p0.05). In contrast, organic Hg concentrations were different by species and season with shore crab muscle tissues exhibiting the greatest percent difference. Site-specific relationships demonstrated that total Hg concentrations in ragworm best reflected the total Hg sediment mercury concentrations. Signatures of δ(13)C were correlated to the organic Hg % rather than total Hg. This suggests that organic Hg concentrations in these species were related to the carbon sources. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Defining the Cubature Changes of Historic St. Kinga Chamber in Bochnia Salt Mine, Using Laser Scanning Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szafarczyk, Anna; Gawałkiewicz, Rafał

    2018-03-01

    In Poland, there are many mining enterprises, of historic character registered in the UNESCO World Heritage List. One of the oldest mining enterprises in Poland is the Salt Mine in Bochnia. The processes inside the rock mass require that surveying services carry out regular geometric control of the cavities. A particular attention should be paid (due to its sacral function) on St. Kinga Chamber, located 195 metres below the surface, on the mine level "August". So far measurement technologies have been connected with the studies on changes in the geometry of cavities and based on linear bases used to measure convergence. This only provides discrete information (in a point) and not always presents a real state of deformation. In the scanning method, in practice a three dimension image of changes (structural deformations) is obtained, impossible to determine with the application of measurement methods, applied to measure the value of linear convergence (the method with a limited number of bases). Laser scanning, apart from determining the value of volume convergence, gives also the possibility of the visualization of 3D cavern. Moreover, it provides direct information to update mining numerical maps and make it possible to generate various cross-sections through the cavern. The authors analysed the possibility of the application of laser scanning (scanner Faro Focus 3D), as a modern tool allowing the measuring of the value of volume convergence.

  4. Defining the Cubature Changes of Historic St. Kinga Chamber in Bochnia Salt Mine, Using Laser Scanning Technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szafarczyk Anna

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available In Poland, there are many mining enterprises, of historic character registered in the UNESCO World Heritage List. One of the oldest mining enterprises in Poland is the Salt Mine in Bochnia. The processes inside the rock mass require that surveying services carry out regular geometric control of the cavities. A particular attention should be paid (due to its sacral function on St. Kinga Chamber, located 195 metres below the surface, on the mine level “August”. So far measurement technologies have been connected with the studies on changes in the geometry of cavities and based on linear bases used to measure convergence. This only provides discrete information (in a point and not always presents a real state of deformation. In the scanning method, in practice a three dimension image of changes (structural deformations is obtained, impossible to determine with the application of measurement methods, applied to measure the value of linear convergence (the method with a limited number of bases. Laser scanning, apart from determining the value of volume convergence, gives also the possibility of the visualization of 3D cavern. Moreover, it provides direct information to update mining numerical maps and make it possible to generate various cross-sections through the cavern. The authors analysed the possibility of the application of laser scanning (scanner Faro Focus 3D, as a modern tool allowing the measuring of the value of volume convergence.

  5. Total mercury concentrations in anadromous Northern Dolly Varden from the northwestern Canadian Arctic: A historical baseline study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tran, L., E-mail: l5tran@uwaterloo.ca [Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 (Canada); Reist, J.D. [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N6 (Canada); Power, M., E-mail: m3power@uwaterloo.ca [Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 (Canada)

    2015-03-15

    Previous research has documented the significance of total mercury (THg) as a northern contaminant in general and of fish in particular. While much research has been devoted to documenting both spatial and temporal changes in THg in consumed fish, little effort has been directed at understanding patterns of THg in Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma), a prized subsistence species throughout the western North American Arctic. Here we report historical THg concentrations for anadromous Dolly Varden from 10 populations in the Yukon and Northwest Territories sampled across a range of latitudes (67–69°N) and longitudes (136–141°W) between the years 1988–91. Unadjusted mean THg concentrations ranged from 15 to 254 ng/g wet weight. Length-adjusted THg concentrations were significantly different among sites, but were not related to latitude or longitude. Within and among populations, THg was significantly related to fork-length, age, δ{sup 15}N, and δ{sup 13}C, with the variation in THg found among populations being best explained by size. The data serve as an important baseline against which future changes in THg levels in this important subsistence fishery may be compared to determine the significance of any observed trends. - Highlights: • THg were measured in Dolly Varden from the Yukon and Northwest Territories. • Length-adjusted THg concentrations were not related to latitude or longitude. • Among-population variation in THg was best explained by fork-length. • Length-adjusted THg concentrations were related to age, δ{sup 15}N, and δ{sup 13}C. • Mean THg were below Health Canada’s consumption guideline for commercial fish.

  6. Total mercury concentrations in anadromous Northern Dolly Varden from the northwestern Canadian Arctic: A historical baseline study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tran, L.; Reist, J.D.; Power, M.

    2015-01-01

    Previous research has documented the significance of total mercury (THg) as a northern contaminant in general and of fish in particular. While much research has been devoted to documenting both spatial and temporal changes in THg in consumed fish, little effort has been directed at understanding patterns of THg in Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma), a prized subsistence species throughout the western North American Arctic. Here we report historical THg concentrations for anadromous Dolly Varden from 10 populations in the Yukon and Northwest Territories sampled across a range of latitudes (67–69°N) and longitudes (136–141°W) between the years 1988–91. Unadjusted mean THg concentrations ranged from 15 to 254 ng/g wet weight. Length-adjusted THg concentrations were significantly different among sites, but were not related to latitude or longitude. Within and among populations, THg was significantly related to fork-length, age, δ 15 N, and δ 13 C, with the variation in THg found among populations being best explained by size. The data serve as an important baseline against which future changes in THg levels in this important subsistence fishery may be compared to determine the significance of any observed trends. - Highlights: • THg were measured in Dolly Varden from the Yukon and Northwest Territories. • Length-adjusted THg concentrations were not related to latitude or longitude. • Among-population variation in THg was best explained by fork-length. • Length-adjusted THg concentrations were related to age, δ 15 N, and δ 13 C. • Mean THg were below Health Canada’s consumption guideline for commercial fish

  7. Mercury in soil, vegetable and human hair in a typical mining area in China: Implication for human exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Qin; Zhu, Xuemei; Hao, Yaqiong; Yang, Ziliang; Wang, Qi; Fu, Haihui; Yu, Hongjin

    2018-06-01

    Concentrations of total mercury (T-Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in soil, vegetables, and human hair were measured in a mercury mining area in central China. T-Hg and MeHg concentrations in soil ranged from 1.53 to 1054.97mg/kg and 0.88 to 46.52μg/kg, respectively. T-Hg concentrations was correlated with total organic carbon (TOC) content (R 2 =0.50, p<0.01) and pH values (R 2 =0.21, p<0.05). A significant linear relationship was observed between MeHg concentrations and the abundance of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) (R 2 =0.39, p<0.05) in soil. Soil incubation experiments amended with specific microbial stimulants and inhibitors showed that Hg methylation was derived from SRB activity. T-Hg and MeHg concentrations in vegetables were 24.79-781.02μg/kg and 0.01-0.18μg/kg, respectively; levels in the edible parts were significantly higher than in the roots (T-Hg: p<0.05; MeHg: p<0.01). Hg species concentrations in rhizosphere soil were positively correlated to those in vegetables (p<0.01), indicating that soil was an important source of Hg in vegetables. Risk assessment indicated that the consumption of vegetables could result in higher probable daily intake (PDI) of T-Hg than the provisional tolerable daily intake (PTDI) for both adults and children. In contrast, the PDI of MeHg was lower than the reference dose. T-Hg and MeHg concentrations in hair samples ranged from 1.57 to 12.61mg/kg and 0.04 to 0.94mg/kg, respectively, and MeHg concentration in hair positively related to PDI of MeHg via vegetable consumption (R 2 =0.39, p<0.05), suggesting that vegetable may pose health risk to local residents. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. Concentration, distribution, and translocation of mercury and methylmercury in mine-waste, sediment, soil, water, and fish collected near the Abbadia San Salvatore mercury mine, Monte Amiata district, Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rimondi, V.; Gray, J.E.; Costagliola, P.; Vaselli, O.; Lattanzi, P.

    2012-01-01

    The distribution and translocation of mercury (Hg) was studied in the Paglia River ecosystem, located downstream from the inactive Abbadia San Salvatore mine (ASSM). The ASSM is part of the Monte Amiata Hg district, Southern Tuscany, Italy, which was one of the world’s largest Hg districts. Concentrations of Hg and methyl-Hg were determined in mine-waste calcine (retorted ore), sediment, water, soil, and freshwater fish collected from the ASSM and the downstream Paglia River. Concentrations of Hg in calcine samples ranged from 25 to 1500 μg/g, all of which exceeded the industrial soil contamination level for Hg of 5 μg/g used in Italy. Stream and lake sediment samples collected downstream from the ASSM ranged in Hg concentration from 0.26 to 15 μg/g, of which more than 50% exceeded the probable effect concentration for Hg of 1.06 μg/g, the concentration above which harmful effects are likely to be observed in sediment-dwelling organisms. Stream and lake sediment methyl-Hg concentrations showed a significant correlation with TOC indicating considerable methylation and potential bioavailability of Hg. Stream water contained Hg as high as 1400 ng/L, but only one water sample exceeded the 1000 ng/L drinking water Hg standard used in Italy. Concentrations of Hg were elevated in freshwater fish muscle samples and ranged from 0.16 to 1.2 μg/g (wet weight), averaged 0.84 μg/g, and 96% of these exceeded the 0.3 μg/g (methyl-Hg, wet weight) USEPA fish muscle standard recommended to protect human health. Analysis of fish muscle for methyl-Hg confirmed that > 90% of the Hg in these fish is methyl-Hg. Such highly elevated Hg concentrations in fish indicated active methylation, significant bioavailability, and uptake of Hg by fish in the Paglia River ecosystem. Methyl-Hg is highly toxic and the high Hg concentrations in these fish represent a potential pathway of Hg to the human food chain.

  9. Trends in historical mercury deposition inferred from lake sediment cores across a climate gradient in the Canadian High Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korosi, Jennifer B; Griffiths, Katherine; Smol, John P; Blais, Jules M

    2018-06-02

    Recent climate change may be enhancing mercury fluxes to Arctic lake sediments, confounding the use of sediment cores to reconstruct histories of atmospheric deposition. Assessing the independent effects of climate warming on mercury sequestration is challenging due to temporal overlap between warming temperatures and increased long-range transport of atmospheric mercury following the Industrial Revolution. We address this challenge by examining mercury trends in short cores (the last several hundred years) from eight lakes centered on Cape Herschel (Canadian High Arctic) that span a gradient in microclimates, including two lakes that have not yet been significantly altered by climate warming due to continued ice cover. Previous research on subfossil diatoms and inferred primary production indicated the timing of limnological responses to climate warming, which, due to prevailing ice cover conditions, varied from ∼1850 to ∼1990 for lakes that have undergone changes. We show that climate warming may have enhanced mercury deposition to lake sediments in one lake (Moraine Pond), while another (West Lake) showed a strong signal of post-industrial mercury enrichment without any corresponding limnological changes associated with warming. Our results provide insights into the role of climate warming and organic carbon cycling as drivers of mercury deposition to Arctic lake sediments. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Port Radium Canada's Original Radium/Uranium Mine, The Complete Story of Canada's Historic Radium/Uranium Mine, 1932 to 2012 - 13159

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chambers, Doug; Wiatzka, Gerd [SENES Consultants Limited, 121 Granton Drive, Unit 12, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3N4 (United States); Brown, Steve [SENES Consultants Limited, 8310 South Valley Highway, Suite 3016, Englewood, Colorado 80112 (United States)

    2013-07-01

    deal of work was done through the CDUT, including efforts to assess site environment and safety issues in the context of modern reclamation standards. In addition to the environmental and remediation studies, an assessment of historic exposures of Deline ore carriers to radiation and a follow-up epidemiological feasibility study were performed. SENES Consultants Limited (SENES) carried out the dose reconstruction for the Port Radium miners in the 1990's, was the environmental consultant to the CDUT from 2000 to 2005, developed the Remedial Action Plan (RAP), engineering plans and specifications for decommissioning the Port Radium mine and vicinity sites in 2005/6, supervised the remedial works in 2007 and carried out the long term post closure monitoring from 2008 to 2012. Our firsthand experience from working cooperatively with the CDUT provides insights into effective decommissioning of historic contaminated sites. (authors)

  11. Port Radium Canada's Original Radium/Uranium Mine, The Complete Story of Canada's Historic Radium/Uranium Mine, 1932 to 2012 - 13159

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chambers, Doug; Wiatzka, Gerd; Brown, Steve

    2013-01-01

    done through the CDUT, including efforts to assess site environment and safety issues in the context of modern reclamation standards. In addition to the environmental and remediation studies, an assessment of historic exposures of Deline ore carriers to radiation and a follow-up epidemiological feasibility study were performed. SENES Consultants Limited (SENES) carried out the dose reconstruction for the Port Radium miners in the 1990's, was the environmental consultant to the CDUT from 2000 to 2005, developed the Remedial Action Plan (RAP), engineering plans and specifications for decommissioning the Port Radium mine and vicinity sites in 2005/6, supervised the remedial works in 2007 and carried out the long term post closure monitoring from 2008 to 2012. Our firsthand experience from working cooperatively with the CDUT provides insights into effective decommissioning of historic contaminated sites. (authors)

  12. Mercury content in wetland rice soil and water of two different seasons at small-scale gold mine processing areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Sugianti

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available This study was aimed to identify the impact of small-scale gold processing activities on mercury content in wetland rice soil and water during the rainy and first dry seasons in Central Lombok and West Lombok Districts. The method used for this study was survey method. Measurement of mercury levels in water samples was conducted at Agro Bogor Centre using SNI 6989.77: 2011 methods. The data was collected and processed in a simple statistic presented descriptively, in order to obtain information. Results of the study showed that mercury content soils in the rainy season exceeded the threshold of 0.005 ppm, while in the first dry season the mercury content in soil decreased, but it was still above the threshold value permitted. The contents of mercury in water samples in the rainy season and the first dry season were still at a safe point that was less than 0.05 ppm. The wetland rice soil and water had been polluted with mercury, although the mercury content in the water was still below the threshold, but the accumulation of mercury that could have been absorbed by the plants are of particular concerns. The decrease of mercury content in soil in dry season was due to lack of gold processing activities.

  13. Agricola and the Wismut company: A historical review from the days of silver mining to those of uranium mining in the Erzgebirge. Reflections in view of the 500th return of the birthday of Georg Pawer, who named himself Agricola

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schiffner, W.

    1994-01-01

    On the occasion of the 500th return of the birthday of Georgius Agricola (1494-1555) the author, drawing on his own experience from decades of work in bismuth/uranium mining, celebrates this great Saxonian humanist, whose achievements influence even modern-day mining. The book spans the period of history from silver mining in the Saxonian Ore Mountains during Agricola's time to the period more than 400 years later when uranium was extracted at an unparalleled scale. As substantiated by the historical comparison, Agricola's mining science, the mining technology for which he laid the basis, were still applied even centuries later in bismuth mining. At the same time the book offers a critical review of the last great mining activities in the area, so momentous to man and the environment. (orig./HP) [de

  14. Quality of water and sediment in streams affected by historical mining, and quality of Mine Tailings, in the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Basin, Big Bend Area of the United States and Mexico, August 2002

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Rebecca B.; Kolbe, Christine M.; Belzer, Wayne

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the International Boundary and Water Commission - U.S. and Mexican Sections, the National Park Service, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales in Mexico, the Area de Proteccion de Flora y Fauna Canon de Santa Elena in Mexico, and the Area de Proteccion de Flora y Fauna Maderas del Carmen in Mexico, collected samples of stream water, streambed sediment, and mine tailings during August 2002 for a study to determine whether trace elements from abandoned mines in the area in and around Big Bend National Park have affected the water and sediment quality in the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Basin of the United States and Mexico. Samples were collected from eight sites on the main stem of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo, four Rio Grande/Rio Bravo tributary sites downstream from abandoned mines or mine-tailing sites, and 11 mine-tailing sites. Mines in the area were operated to produce fluorite, germanium, iron, lead, mercury, silver, and zinc during the late 1800s through at least the late 1970s. Moderate (relatively neutral) pHs in stream-water samples collected at the 12 Rio Grande/Rio Bravo main-stem and tributary sites indicate that water is well mixed, diluted, and buffered with respect to the solubility of trace elements. The highest sulfate concentrations were in water samples from tributaries draining the Terlingua mining district. Only the sample from the Rough Run Draw site exceeded the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards general-use protection criterion for sulfate. All chloride and dissolved solids concentrations in water samples were less than the general-use protection criteria. Aluminum, copper, mercury, nickel, selenium, and zinc were detected in all water samples for which each element was analyzed. Cadmium, chromium, and lead were detected in samples less frequently, and silver was not detected in any of the samples. None of the sample concentrations of

  15. Application of organic matter to enhance phytoremediation of mercury contaminated soils using local plant species: a case study on small-scale gold mining locations in Banyuwangi of East Java

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Muddarisna

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The discharge of small-scale gold mine tailing to agricultural lands at Pesanggaran village of Banyuwangi Regency caused soil degradation as indicated by reduced crop production. This soil degradation is mainly due to the toxicity of mercury contained in the tailing. The purpose of this study was to explore the potential of three local plant species, i.e. Lindernia crustacea, Digitaria radicosa, and Cyperus kyllingia for phytoremediation of agricultural land contaminated gold mine waste containing mercury, and its influence on the growth of maize. Six treatments (three plant species, and two levels of organic matter application were arranged in a randomized block design with three replicates. Maize was grown on soil after phytoremediation for 8 weeks. The results showed that among the three plant species tested, Cyperus kyllingia was the potential candidate plant species for phytoremediation of soil contaminated with gold mine tailing containing mercury because of its ability to accumulate mercury from 32.06 to 73.90 mg / kg of soil in 60 days. Phytoremediation of mercury contaminated soil using Cyperus kyllingia using increased maize yield by 126% compared to that the biomass yield of maize grown on soil without phytoremediation. Induce phytoremediation needs to be carried out to accelerate the process of remediation of mercury contaminated soils

  16. Data Mining of Historical Human Data to Assess the Risk of Injury due to Dynamic Loads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Jesica; Somers, Jeffrey T.; Newby, N.; Gernhardt, Michael

    2014-01-01

    The NASA Occupant Protection Group is charged with ensuring crewmembers are protected during all dynamic phases of spaceflight. Previous work with outside experts has led to the development of a definition of acceptable risk (DAR) for space capsule vehicles. The DAR defines allowable probability rates for various categories of injuries. An important question is how to validate these probabilities for a given vehicle. One approach is to impact test human volunteers under projected nominal landing loads. The main drawback is the large number of subject tests required to attain a reasonable level of confidence that the injury probability rates would meet those outlined in the DAR. An alternative is to mine existing databases containing human responses to impact. Testing an anthropomorphic test device (ATD) at the same human-exposure levels could yield a range of ATD responses that would meet DAR. As one aspect of future vehicle validation, the ATD could be tested in the vehicle's seat and suit configuration at nominal landing loads and compared with the ATD responses supported by the human data set. This approach could reduce the number of human-volunteer tests NASA would need to conduct to validate that a vehicle meets occupant protection standards. METHODS: The U.S. Air Force has recorded hundreds of human responses to frontal, lateral, and spinal impacts at many acceleration levels and pulse durations. All of this data are stored on the Collaborative Biomechanics Data Network (CBDN), which is maintained by the Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB). The test device for human occupant restraint (THOR) ATD was impact tested on WPAFB's horizontal impulse accelerator (HIA) matching human-volunteer exposures on the HIA to 5 frontal and 3 spinal loading conditions. No human injuries occurred as a result of these impact conditions. Peak THOR response variables for neck axial tension and compression, and thoracic-spine axial compression were collected. Maximal chest

  17. [Characteristics of mercury pollution in soil and atmosphere in Songhua River upstream Jia-pi-gou gold mining area].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Gang; Wang, Ning; Wang, Yuan; Liu, Te; Ai, Jian-Chao

    2012-09-01

    In the studied area of Jia-pi-gou at the upstream area of Songhua River, algamation process has been applied as a dominant method to extract gold for more than one hundred and eighty years, resulting in severe mercury environmental pollution. The total mercury contents in the atmosphere and soil have been determined by mercury analyzer (Zeeman RA915+) and cold atomic absorption spectrophotometry (GB/T 17136-1997), respectively. To study the pollution characteristics of mercury in the soil and atmosphere, the mercury flux at the interface between the soil and the atmosphere of 4 sampling sites Lao-jin-chang, Er-dao-gou, Er-dao-cha and community of Jia-pi-gou have been determined with the method of dynamic flux chamber. Furthermore, linear regression analyses on the total mercury contents between soil and atmosphere have been carried out and the correlation coefficient of mercury exchange flux between soil and atmosphere and meteorological factors has been studied. The results are as follows: (1) The mean value of mercury content in the atmosphere is (71.08 +/- 38.22) ng x m(-3). (2) The mean value of mercury content in the soil is (0.913 1 +/- 0.040 8) mg x kg(-1); it shows remarkably positive correlation between the mercury contents in soil and in the atmosphere. (3) The mercury exchange flux between soil and atmosphere in different locations are Lao-jin-chang [(129.13 +/- 496.07) ng (m2 x h)(-1)], Er-dao-gou [(98.64 +/- 43.96) ng x (m2 x h)(-1)], Er-dao-cha [(23.17 +/- 171.23) ng x (m2 x h)(-1)], and community of Jia-pi-gou [(7.12 +/- 46.33) ng x (m2 x h)(-1)]. (4) Solar radiation is the major influential factor in the mercury exchange flux between the soil and atmosphere in Lao-jin-chang, Er-dao-cha and community of Jia-pi-gou. Solar radiation, air temperature and soil temperature jointly influence the process of the mercury exchange flux between the soil and atmosphere in Er-dao-gou. Under the disturbance of terrain, three noticeably distinctive trend features

  18. Mercury species accumulation and trophic transfer in biological systems using the Almadén mining district (Ciudad Real, Spain) as a case of study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patiño Ropero, M J; Rodríguez Fariñas, N; Mateo, R; Berzas Nevado, J J; Rodríguez Martín-Doimeadios, R C

    2016-04-01

    The impact of mercury (Hg) pollution in the terrestrial environments and the terrestrial food chains including the impact on human food consumption is still greatly under-investigated. In particular, studies including Hg speciation and detoxification strategies in terrestrial animals are almost non-existing, but these are key information with important implications for human beings. Therefore, in this work, we report on Hg species (inorganic mercury, iHg, and monomethylmercury, MeHg) distribution among terrestrial animal tissues obtained from a real-world Hg exposure scenario (Almadén mining district, Spain). Thus, we studied Hg species (iHg and MeHg) and total selenium (Se) content in liver and kidney of red deer (Cervus elaphus; n = 41) and wild boar (Sus scrofa; n = 16). Similar mercury species distribution was found for both red deer and wild boar. Major differences were found between tissues; thus, in kidney, iHg was clearly the predominant species (more than 81%), while in liver, the species distribution was less homogeneous with a percentage of MeHg up to 46% in some cases. Therefore, Hg accumulation and MeHg transfer were evident in terrestrial ecosystems. The interaction between total Se and Hg species has been evaluated by tissue and by animal species. Similar relationships were found in kidney for both Hg species in red deer and wild boar. However, in liver, there were differences between animals. The possible underlying mechanisms are discussed.

  19. Potential for Increased Mercury Accumulation in the Estuary Food Web

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jay A Davis

    2003-10-01

    Full Text Available Present concentrations of mercury in large portions of San Francisco Bay (Bay, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta, and the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers are high enough to warrant concern for the health of humans and wildlife. Large scale tidal wetland restoration is currently under consideration as a means of increasing populations of fish species of concern. Tidal wetland restoration activities may lead to increased concentrations of mercury in the estuarine food web and exacerbate the existing mercury problem. This paper evaluates our present ability to predict the local and regional effects of restoration actions on mercury accumulation in aquatic food webs. A sport fish consumption advisory is in place for the Bay, and an advisory is under consideration for the Delta and lower Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. Mercury concentrations in eggs of several water bird species from the Bay have exceeded the lowest observed effect level. A variety of mercury sources, largely related to historic mercury and gold mining, is present in the watershed and has created a spatially heterogeneous distribution of mercury in the Bay-Delta Estuary. Mercury exists in the environment in a variety of forms and has a complex biogeochemical cycle. The most hazardous form, methylmercury, is produced at a relatively high rate in wetlands and newly flooded aquatic habitats. It is likely that distinct spatial variation on multiple spatial scales exists in net methylmercury production in Bay-Delta tidal wetlands, including variation within each tidal wetland, among tidal wetlands in the same region, and among tidal wetlands in different regions. Understanding this spatial variation and its underlying causes will allow environmental managers to minimize the negative effects of mercury bioaccumulation as a result of restoration activities. Actions needed to reduce the uncertainty associated with this issue include a long term, multifaceted research effort, long

  20. Metal speciation of historic and new copper mine tailings from Repparfjorden, Northern Norway, before and after acid, base and electrodialytic extraction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Kristine B.; Jensen, Pernille Erland; Ottosen, Lisbeth M.

    2017-01-01

    the new mine tailings. Electrodialysis, based on applying an electric field of low intensity to extract metals from polluted soils/sediments, was designed for acidic and alkaline extraction, and in both cases more Cu was extracted than in the pure acid/base extractions, while maintaining low mobilisation......In Kvalsund, Northern Norway, a permit for submarine mine tailings disposal in Repparfjorden was recently issued for a copper mine with expected operation from 2019. A copper mine was active in the same area in the 1970s and also deposited mine tailings in the fjord. Investigations of the metal...... tailings. Substantial desorption (>40%) for both historic and new mine tailings occurred at pH values below 3 and above 12. These results combined with metal speciation, showing that the binding of Cu in the sediment changes around pH values 3 and 10, indicate potential for extraction of more Cu from...

  1. A retrospective assessment of gold mining in the Reedy Creek sub-catchment, northeast Victoria, Australia: residual mercury contamination 100 years later

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Churchill, R.C.; Meathrel, C.E.; Suter, P.J.

    2004-01-01

    The mining of gold can lead to toxic metals such as mercury (Hg) contaminating watercourses as by-products. The Reedy Creek sub-catchment, in northeast Victoria, Australia, was mined for gold in the 1850s. In 1998, samples were taken from six watercourses to measure any remaining toxic metal contamination in sediments and surface waters from two creeks with no previous gold mining (controls) and four that were mined. Although mean concentrations of Hg (measured using an ICP-OES) in sediments were below worldwide background levels, individual sites along Reedy Creek had slightly elevated Hg concentrations. In contrast, the Hg concentrations in the surface waters were above background levels. Temporal fluxes of very high Hg concentrations in the surface waters during periods of first flow and flood events revealed that Hg concentrations in the surface waters may, at certain times of the year, exceed all Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (National Water Quality Management Strategy. Australian Water Quality Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Waters, ANZECC, 2000) guidelines for water use and the protection of the aquatic ecosystem

  2. Seasonal mercury concentrations and δ15N and δ13C values of benthic macroinvertebrates and sediments from a historically polluted estuary in south central Chile

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Díaz-Jaramillo, Mauricio; Muñoz, Claudia; Rudolph, Ignacio; Servos, Mark; Barra, Ricardo

    2013-01-01

    The Lenga Estuary is one of the most industrialized sites in south central Chile where the historic operation of chlor-alkali plants resulted in large quantities of mercury (Hg) being deposited into the estuary. This historical contamination may still represent a risk to the biota in the estuary. To investigate this four macroinvertebrates, Neotrypaea uncinata (ghostshrimp), Elminius kingii (barnacle), Hemigrapsus crenulatus (shore crab) and Perinereis gualpensis (ragworm) were collected seasonally from three different sites in the Lenga Estuary and one in a reference estuary (Tubul Estuary), and analyzed for Hg and stable isotopes (δ 15 N and δ 13 C). Mercury concentrations in Lenga sediments ranged from 0.4 ± 0.1 to 13 ± 3 mg/kg, while those in Tubul sediments ranged from 0.02 ± 0.01 to 0.07 ± 0.09 mg/kg. Total Hg concentrations of invertebrates were significantly different between estuaries (p 0.05). In contrast, organic Hg concentrations were different by species and season with shore crab muscle tissues exhibiting the greatest percent difference. Site-specific relationships demonstrated that total Hg concentrations in ragworm best reflected the total Hg sediment mercury concentrations. Signatures of δ 13 C were correlated to the organic Hg % rather than total Hg. This suggests that organic Hg concentrations in these species were related to the carbon sources. -- Highlights: ► Hg in sediments and biota from Lenga Estuary were elevated compared to nearby estuary. ► Invertebrates showed interspecific and seasonal differences in terms of organic Hg %. ► Total Hg levels in the ragworm best reflect Hg sediment gradient in Lenga Estuary. ► Interspecific variation in δ 13 C signatures indicated different feeding modes. ► Organic forms of Hg in invertebrates were mainly related to the carbon sources.

  3. The Tiptop coal-mine fire, Kentucky: Preliminary investigation of the measurement of mercury and other hazardous gases from coal-fire gas vents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hower, James C.; Henke, Kevin R.; O'Keefe, Jennifer M.K.; Engle, Mark A.; Blake, Donald R.; Stracher, Glenn B.

    2009-01-01

    The Tiptop underground coal-mine fire in the Skyline coalbed of the Middle Pennsylvanian Breathitt Formation was investigated in rural northern Breathitt County, Kentucky, in May 2008 and January 2009, for the purpose of determining the concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and mercury (Hg) in the vent and for measuring gas-vent temperatures. At the time of our visits, concentrations of CO2 peaked at 2.0% and > 6.0% (v/v) and CO at 600 ppm and > 700 ppm during field analysis in May 2008 and January 2009, respectively. For comparison, these concentrations exceed the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) eight-hour safe exposure limits (0.5% CO2 and 50 ppm CO), although the site is not currently mined. Mercury, as Hg0, in excess of 500 and 2100 μg/m3, in May and January, respectively, in the field, also exceeded the OSHA eight-hour exposure limit (50 μg/m3). Carbonyl sulfide, dimethyl sulfide, carbon disulfide, and a suite of organic compounds were determined at two vents for the first sampling event. All gases are diluted by air as they exit and migrate away from a gas vent, but temperature inversions and other meteorological conditions could lead to unhealthy concentrations in the nearby towns.

  4. Geophysical exploration of historical mine dumps for the estimation of valuable residuals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Tina; Knieß, Rudolf; Noell, Ursula; Hupfer, Sarah; Kuhn, Kerstin; Günther, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    Within the project ROBEHA, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (033R105) the economic potential of different abandoned dump sites for mine waste in the Harz Mountains was investigated. Two different mining dumps were geophysically and mineralogically analysed in order to characterize the mine dump structure and to estimate the volume of the potential recycling material. The geophysical methods comprised geoelectrics, radar, and spectral induced polarization (SIP). One about 100-year old mining dump containing residues from density separated Ag- and Sb-rich Pb (Zn)-gangue ores was investigated in detail. Like most small-scale mining waste disposal sites this investigated dump is very heterogeneously structured. Therefore, 27 geoelectrical profiles, more than 50 radar profiles, and several SIP profiles were measured and analysed. The results from the radar measurements, registered with the GSSI system and a shielded 200 MHz antenna, show the near surface boundary layer (down to 3-4 m beneath surface) of the waste residuals. These results can be used as pre-information for the inversion process of the geoelectrical data. The geoelectrical results reveal the mineral residues as layers with higher resistivities (> 300 Ohm*m) than the surrounding material. The SIP method found low phase signals (mine dump and other parameters we get a first estimate for the volume of the residues but the economical viability and the environmental impact of the reworking of the dump still needs to be evaluated in detail. The results of the second mine dump, an abandoned Cu and Zn-rich slag heap, show that the slag residues are characterized by higher resistivities and higher phases. A localization of the slag residues which are covered by organic material could be realized applying these geophysical methods.

  5. Estimating the “Forgone” ESVs for Small-Scale Gold Mining Using Historical Image Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ernest Frimpong Asamoah

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ghana’s economic development relies largely on the mining industry, but the ecological cost is very high, particularly for the small-scale sector. To ascertain and give an account of the ecological pressures from the small-scale gold mining sector, we quantified and appraised the ecosystems (land cover types degradation due to mining land use along portions of the renowned Pra River basin of Ghana. The study classified and analysed high-quality Landsat image data (1986–2016 to monitor processes and changes in the river basin and adopted the Ecosystem Service Value (ESV model to quantify the forgone value in monetary term. The results revealed that the initial ESV of 17.69 million US$ in 1986 increased to 18.40 million US$ in 2002 for the study landscape with the small-scale mining sector accounting for 8.4% of the trade-off costs. The expansion of forest areas and its higher value coefficient (VC was, however, prevalent and this resulted in a net positive change during this period. However, in 2016, out of the total ESV of 14.63 million US$ obtained, the small-scale mining activities accounted for 36.8% of the trade-off costs. The substantial increase in trade-off costs with a subsequent decrease in ESV in the study landscape, following the intensification of small-scale gold mining, indicates that their activities have been degrading the watershed ecosystem and are, therefore, unsustainable. The study affirms the need for policymakers/government to review the laws, particularly on post-mining monitoring schemes to deter illegal miners and support the registered small-scale miners who are willing to implement land rehabilitation activities.

  6. Application of Organic Matter to Enhance Phytoremediation of Mercury Contaminated Soils Using Local Plant Species: a Case Study on Small-scale Gold Mining Locations in Banyuwangi of East Java

    OpenAIRE

    Muddarisna, N; Siahaan, B C

    2014-01-01

    The discharge of small-scale gold mine tailing to agricultural lands at Pesanggaran village of Banyuwangi Regency caused soil degradation as indicated by reduced crop production. This soil degradation is mainly due to the toxicity of mercury contained in the tailing. The purpose of this study was to explore the potential of three local plant species, i.e. Lindernia crustacea, Digitaria radicosa, and Cyperus kyllingia for phytoremediation of agricultural land contaminated gold mine waste conta...

  7. Mercury Levels in Women and Children from Interior Villages in Suriname, South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul E. Ouboter

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Natural sources of mercury, historical gold mining, and contemporary artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM activities have led to mercury contamination in Suriname. Our primary objective was to evaluate mercury levels in hair of women and children from interior villages in Suriname where mercury levels in fish are elevated. We also estimated blood levels of mercury using an established mathematical conversion to facilitate comparison with other biomonitoring programs in the United States. Estimated levels of mercury in the blood of participants from Suriname were significantly higher than those in women from a heavy marine fish-consuming population in southeast Louisiana and estimates of the US national average. This includes women from Surinamese villages well upstream of ASGM activities. Since residents in these areas rely heavily on local fish, this is likely the source of their exposure to mercury. The levels in hair are similar to those seen in women from longitudinal studies finding neurological impairments in children exposed pre- and postnatally. Additional biomonitoring and neurodevelopmental assessments are warranted in these areas, as well as other areas of the Suriname. Mercury levels in hair (Suriname and blood (southeast LA USA were determined using cold vapor atomic absorption spectroscopy (CVAAS.

  8. Mercury Levels in Women and Children from Interior Villages in Suriname, South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouboter, Paul E; Landburg, Gwendolyn; Satnarain, Gaitrie U; Starke, Sheryl Y; Nanden, Indra; Simon-Friedt, Bridget; Hawkins, William B; Taylor, Robert; Lichtveld, Maureen Y; Harville, Emily; Wickliffe, Jeffrey K

    2018-05-17

    Natural sources of mercury, historical gold mining, and contemporary artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) activities have led to mercury contamination in Suriname. Our primary objective was to evaluate mercury levels in hair of women and children from interior villages in Suriname where mercury levels in fish are elevated. We also estimated blood levels of mercury using an established mathematical conversion to facilitate comparison with other biomonitoring programs in the United States. Estimated levels of mercury in the blood of participants from Suriname were significantly higher than those in women from a heavy marine fish-consuming population in southeast Louisiana and estimates of the US national average. This includes women from Surinamese villages well upstream of ASGM activities. Since residents in these areas rely heavily on local fish, this is likely the source of their exposure to mercury. The levels in hair are similar to those seen in women from longitudinal studies finding neurological impairments in children exposed pre- and postnatally. Additional biomonitoring and neurodevelopmental assessments are warranted in these areas, as well as other areas of the Suriname. Mercury levels in hair (Suriname) and blood (southeast LA USA) were determined using cold vapor atomic absorption spectroscopy (CVAAS).

  9. Mercury Production and Use in Colonial Andean Silver Production: Emissions and Health Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagan, Nicole A.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Colonial cinnabar mining and refining began in Huancavelica, Peru, in 1564. With a local source of mercury, the amalgamation process was adopted to refine silver in Potosí, Bolivia, in the early 1570s. As a result, large quantities of mercury were released into the environment. Objectives: We used archival, primary, and secondary sources to develop the first estimate of mercury emissions from cinnabar refining in Huancavelica and to revise previous estimates of emissions from silver refining in Potosí during the colonial period (1564–1810). Discussion: Although other estimates of historical mercury emissions have recognized Potosí as a significant source, Huancavelica has been overlooked. In addition, previous estimates of mercury emissions from silver refining under-estimated emissions because of unrecorded (contra-band) production and volatilization of mercury during processing and recovery. Archival descriptions document behavioral and health issues during the colonial period that are consistent with known effects of mercury intoxication. Conclusions: According to our calculations, between 1564 and 1810, an estimated 17,000 metric tons of mercury vapor were emitted from cinnabar smelting in Huancavelica, and an estimated 39,000 metric tons were released as vapor during silver refining operations in Potosí. Huancavelica and Potosí combined contributed > 25% of the 196,000 metric tons of mercury vapor emissions in all of Latin America between 1500 and 1800. The historical record is laden with evidence of mercury intoxication consistent with effects recognized today. Our estimates serve as the foundation of investigations of present-day contamination in Huancavelica and Potosí resulting from historical emissions of mercury. PMID:22334094

  10. Hydrogeochemical studies of historical mining areas in the Humboldt River basin and adjacent areas, northern Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, J. Thomas

    2005-01-01

    The study area comprises the Humboldt River Basin and adjacent areas, with emphasis on mining areas relatively close to the Humboldt River. The basin comprises about 16,840 mi2 or 10,800,000 acres. The mineral resources of the Humboldt Basin have been investigated by many scientists over the past 100 years, but only recently has our knowledge of regional geology and mine geology been applied to the understanding and evaluation of mining effects on water and environmental quality. The investigations reported here apply some of the techniques and perspectives developed in the Abandoned Mine Lands Initiative (AMLI) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a program of integrated geological-hydrological-biological-chemical studies underway in the Upper Animas River watershed in Colorado and the Boulder River watershed in, Montana. The goal of my studies of sites and districts is to determine the character of mining-related contamination that is actively or potentially a threat to water quality and to estimate the potential for natural attenuation of that contamination. These geology-based studies and recommendations differ in matters of emphasis and data collection from the biology-based assessments that are the cornerstone of environmental regulations.

  11. Field experiences in the prevention of toxic effects for cyanide and mercury in the Mining District of Vetas-California, Santander

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chaparro Garnica, Helkin Claudio Martin

    2004-01-01

    The problem of the mercury and their impact in the health acquired their maximum importance starting from the intoxications of Minamata and Niigata (Japan), because the children that were exposed to the methyl-mercury during their fetal development presented a neurological syndrome and they were born with cerebral paralysis. In Colombia according to the ministry of mines a pound of mercury is used by each pound of obtained gold what can give an idea of the quantity of waste that they take place and that directly they will contaminate the soil, the air and the water. Additionally, they use cyanide, of high to be able to toxic, for the separation process of the fraction of gold whose they discharge they also go to the hydraulic sources. In the human being the white organs of the mercury are the kidneys and the nervous system, causing deterioration that can arrive until the patient's death for renal inadequacy or moderate inability to severe for the caused neurological damages, and in the case of the cyanide whose dose lethal stocking is surpassed in several percentiles by the miners, that same lethality has made them to have him respect and that therefore, single cases accidentals (dogs that they drink water of the saturation tank), or of suicide in human, they have been reported with reference to this toxic that however, it is need to include in the activities of sensitization. In the Mining District of Vetas-California, Department of Santander, Colombia, exists around 25 mines that exploit the gold, there only are not plants, there are also miners handmade called barrileros y/o arrastreros whose benefit involves processes of having amalgamated in development of which it is highly possible the sharp and mainly chronic intoxication for mercury in the exposed population, but additionally in the population not directly related with the productive system because the mercury in its elementary state, or of inorganic salts or of mercurial organic, they can penetrate to the

  12. Mercury contamination and its potential health effects in a lead-zinc mining area in the karst region of Guangxi, China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deng Chaobing; Zhang Chaolan; Li Lihe; Li Zhongyi; Li Ning

    2011-01-01

    Research highlights: → Soil in the investigated area is severely contaminated by mercury. → Contamination of T-Hg in paddy field soils is more severe than that in dry land soils. → Vertical distributions of T-Hg are different in the paddy and dry land samples. → T-Hg contents in the agricultural products exceed the Chinese tolerance value. - Abstract: Mercury contamination of the environment is of worldwide concern because of its global presence and its potent neurotoxicity. Mining, smelting and the electronics industry are the main sources of Hg pollution. However, few studies have been performed to investigate systemic Hg contamination in metal mining regions. In this study, concentrations of Hg in air, farmland soil, and crops were measured in a Pb-Zn mining area in the karst region of Guangxi, China. Key factors that could affect Hg distribution, such as the fate of waste ore and waste residue, were analyzed. Geo-statistical methods were adopted to analyze the characteristics of spatial structure and distribution of Hg. The results show that Hg contamination in this region is serious. The total mercury (T-Hg) content is far higher than the Level II Limit Value of Chinese Soil Standards of 0.30 mg kg -1 , showing obvious directional characteristics from WNW to ESE. Highest Hg concentrations were found in the WNW portion of the study area. The contamination of paddy soil is higher than that in dry farmland soil. The vertical distribution of T-Hg and its decrease with depth suggest that the important sources are waste water irrigation and the improper disposal of the waste ore and waste rock. The T-Hg concentrations in the agricultural products examined exceed the Chinese tolerance value (0.02 mg kg -1 for rice and 0.01 mg kg -1 for vegetables), indicating the seriousness of the problem. The ecological environment and the safety of food grown in this mining area are being affected, with the result that human health is possibly being affected.

  13. Mercury contamination and its potential health effects in a lead-zinc mining area in the karst region of Guangxi, China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deng Chaobing [Guangxi University, Nanning 530001 (China)] [Environmental Monitoring Station of Guangxi, Nanning 530022 (China); Zhang Chaolan, E-mail: zhangcl@gxu.edu.cn [Guangxi University, Nanning 530001 (China); Li Lihe [Environmental Monitoring Station of Guangxi, Nanning 530022 (China); Li Zhongyi [Guangxi University, Nanning 530001 (China); Li Ning [Environmental Monitoring Station of Guangxi, Nanning 530022 (China)

    2011-02-15

    Research highlights: {yields} Soil in the investigated area is severely contaminated by mercury. {yields} Contamination of T-Hg in paddy field soils is more severe than that in dry land soils. {yields} Vertical distributions of T-Hg are different in the paddy and dry land samples. {yields} T-Hg contents in the agricultural products exceed the Chinese tolerance value. - Abstract: Mercury contamination of the environment is of worldwide concern because of its global presence and its potent neurotoxicity. Mining, smelting and the electronics industry are the main sources of Hg pollution. However, few studies have been performed to investigate systemic Hg contamination in metal mining regions. In this study, concentrations of Hg in air, farmland soil, and crops were measured in a Pb-Zn mining area in the karst region of Guangxi, China. Key factors that could affect Hg distribution, such as the fate of waste ore and waste residue, were analyzed. Geo-statistical methods were adopted to analyze the characteristics of spatial structure and distribution of Hg. The results show that Hg contamination in this region is serious. The total mercury (T-Hg) content is far higher than the Level II Limit Value of Chinese Soil Standards of 0.30 mg kg{sup -1}, showing obvious directional characteristics from WNW to ESE. Highest Hg concentrations were found in the WNW portion of the study area. The contamination of paddy soil is higher than that in dry farmland soil. The vertical distribution of T-Hg and its decrease with depth suggest that the important sources are waste water irrigation and the improper disposal of the waste ore and waste rock. The T-Hg concentrations in the agricultural products examined exceed the Chinese tolerance value (0.02 mg kg{sup -1} for rice and 0.01 mg kg{sup -1} for vegetables), indicating the seriousness of the problem. The ecological environment and the safety of food grown in this mining area are being affected, with the result that human health is

  14. Mercury in San Francisco Bay forage fish

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Greenfield, Ben K., E-mail: ben@sfei.or [San Francisco Estuary Institute, 7770 Pardee Lane, Oakland, CA 94621 (United States); Jahn, Andrew, E-mail: andyjahn@mac.co [1000 Riverside Drive, Ukiah, CA 95482 (United States)

    2010-08-15

    In the San Francisco Estuary, management actions including tidal marsh restoration could change fish mercury (Hg) concentrations. From 2005 to 2007, small forage fish were collected and analyzed to identify spatial and interannual variation in biotic methylmercury (MeHg) exposure. The average whole body total Hg concentration was 0.052 {mu}g g{sup -1} (wet-weight) for 457 composite samples representing 13 fish species. MeHg constituted 94% of total Hg. At a given length, Hg concentrations were higher in nearshore mudflat and wetland species (Clevelandia ios, Menidia audens, and Ilypnus gilberti), compared to species that move offshore (e.g., Atherinops affinis and Lepidogobius lepidus). Gut content analysis indicated similar diets between Atherinops affinis and Menidia audens, when sampled at the same locations. Hg concentrations were higher in sites closest to the Guadalupe River, which drains a watershed impacted by historic Hg mining. Results demonstrate that despite differences among years and fish species, nearshore forage fish exhibit consistent Hg spatial gradients. - Total mercury in estuarine forage fish varies with species, habitat, and proximity to a historic mercury mine.

  15. Mercury in San Francisco Bay forage fish

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greenfield, Ben K.; Jahn, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    In the San Francisco Estuary, management actions including tidal marsh restoration could change fish mercury (Hg) concentrations. From 2005 to 2007, small forage fish were collected and analyzed to identify spatial and interannual variation in biotic methylmercury (MeHg) exposure. The average whole body total Hg concentration was 0.052 μg g -1 (wet-weight) for 457 composite samples representing 13 fish species. MeHg constituted 94% of total Hg. At a given length, Hg concentrations were higher in nearshore mudflat and wetland species (Clevelandia ios, Menidia audens, and Ilypnus gilberti), compared to species that move offshore (e.g., Atherinops affinis and Lepidogobius lepidus). Gut content analysis indicated similar diets between Atherinops affinis and Menidia audens, when sampled at the same locations. Hg concentrations were higher in sites closest to the Guadalupe River, which drains a watershed impacted by historic Hg mining. Results demonstrate that despite differences among years and fish species, nearshore forage fish exhibit consistent Hg spatial gradients. - Total mercury in estuarine forage fish varies with species, habitat, and proximity to a historic mercury mine.

  16. Effects of Historical Coal Mining and Drainage from Abandoned Mines on Streamflow and Water Quality in Newport and Nanticoke Creeks, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, 1999-2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaplin, Jeffrey J.; Cravotta,, Charles A.; Weitzel, Jeffrey B.; Klemow, Kenneth M.

    2007-01-01

    This report characterizes the effects of historical mining and abandoned mine drainage (AMD) on streamflow and water quality and evaluates potential strategies for AMD abatement in the 14-square-mile Newport Creek Basin and 7.6-square-mile Nanticoke Creek Basin. Both basins are mostly within the Northern Anthracite Coal Field and drain to the Susquehanna River in central Luzerne County, Pa. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Earth Conservancy, conducted an assessment from April 1999 to September 2000 that included (1) continuous stage measurement at 7 sites; (2) synoptic water-quality and flow sampling at 21 sites on June 2-4, 1999, and at 24 sites on October 7-8, 1999; and (3) periodic measurement of flow and water quality at 26 additional sites not included in the synoptic sampling effort. Stream water and surface runoff from the unmined uplands drain northward to the valley, where most of the water is intercepted and diverted into abandoned underground mines. Water that infiltrates into the mine workings becomes loaded with acidity, metals, and sulfate and later discharges as AMD at topographically low points along lower reaches of Newport Creek, Nanticoke Creek, and their tributaries. Differences among streamflows in unmined and mined areas of the watersheds indicated that (1) intermediate stream reaches within the mined area but upgradient of AMD sites generally were either dry or losing reaches, (2) ground water flowing to AMD sites could cross beneath surface-drainage divides, and (3) AMD discharging to the lower stream reaches restored volumes lost in the upstream reaches. The synoptic data for June and October 1999, along with continuous stage data during the study period, indicated flows during synoptic surveys were comparable to average values. The headwaters upstream of the mined area generally were oxygenated (dissolved oxygen range was 4.7 to 11.0 mg/L [milligrams per liter]), near-neutral (pH range was 5.8 to 7.6), and net

  17. Contribution to understanding the post-mining landscape - Application of airborn LiDAR and historical maps at the example from Silesian Upland (Poland)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gawior, D.; Rutkiewicz, P.; Malik, I.; Wistuba, M.

    2017-11-01

    LiDAR data provide new insights into the historical development of mining industry recorded in the topography and landscape. In the study on the lead ore mining in the 13th-17th century we identified remnants of mining activity in relief that are normally obscured by dense vegetation. The industry in Tarnowice Plateau was based on exploitation of galena from the bedrock. New technologies, including DEM from airborne LiDAR provide show that present landscape and relief of post-mining area under study developed during several, subsequent phases of exploitation when different techniques of exploitation were used and probably different types of ores were exploited. Study conducted on the Tarnowice Plateau proved that combining GIS visualization techniques with historical maps, among all geological maps, is a promising approach in reconstructing development of anthropogenic relief and landscape..

  18. The Tiptop coal-mine fire, Kentucky: Preliminary investigation of the measurement of mercury and other hazardous gases from coal-fire gas vents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hower, James C.; Henke, Kevin [University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research, Lexington, KY 40511 (United States); O' Keefe, Jennifer M.K. [Morehead State University, Morehead, KY 40351 (United States); Engle, Mark A. [U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA 20192 (United States); Blake, Donald R. [Department of Chemistry, University of California - Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697 (United States); Stracher, Glenn B. [East Georgia College, Swainsboro, GA 30401 (United States)

    2009-10-01

    The Tiptop underground coal-mine fire in the Skyline coalbed of the Middle Pennsylvanian Breathitt Formation was investigated in rural northern Breathitt County, Kentucky, in May 2008 and January 2009, for the purpose of determining the concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}), carbon monoxide (CO), and mercury (Hg) in the vent and for measuring gas-vent temperatures. At the time of our visits, concentrations of CO{sub 2} peaked at 2.0% and > 6.0% (v/v) and CO at 600 ppm and > 700 ppm during field analysis in May 2008 and January 2009, respectively. For comparison, these concentrations exceed the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) eight-hour safe exposure limits (0.5% CO{sub 2} and 50 ppm CO), although the site is not currently mined. Mercury, as Hg{sup 0}, in excess of 500 and 2100 {mu}g/m{sup 3}, in May and January, respectively, in the field, also exceeded the OSHA eight-hour exposure limit (50 {mu}g/m{sup 3}). Carbonyl sulfide, dimethyl sulfide, carbon disulfide, and a suite of organic compounds were determined at two vents for the first sampling event. All gases are diluted by air as they exit and migrate away from a gas vent, but temperature inversions and other meteorological conditions could lead to unhealthy concentrations in the nearby towns. Variation in gas temperatures, nearly 300 C during the January visit to the fire versus < 50 C in May, demonstrates the large temporal variability in fire intensity at the Tiptop mine. These preliminary results suggest that emissions from coal fires may be important, but additional data are required that address the reasons for significant variations in the composition, flow, and temperature of vent gases. (author)

  19. Manganese and Mercury Levels in Water, Sediments, and Children Living Near Gold-Mining Areas of the Nangaritza River Basin, Ecuadorian Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Merizalde, Max V; Menezes-Filho, José A; Cruz-Erazo, Claudia Teresa; Bermeo-Flores, Santos Amable; Sánchez-Castillo, María Obdulia; Hernández-Bonilla, David; Mora, Abrahan

    2016-08-01

    Artisanal and small-scale gold-mining activities performed in mountain areas of the Southern Ecuadorian Amazon have incorporated several heavy metals into the aquatic systems, thus increasing the risk of exposure in populations living in adjacent zones. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the contamination levels of mercury (Hg) and manganese (Mn) in several rivers of the Nangaritza River basin and assess the exposure in school-aged children residing near the gold-mining zones. River water and sediment samples were collected from a highly contaminated (HEx) and a moderately contaminated (MEx) zones. Hair Mn (MnH) and urinary Hg (HgU) levels were determined in school-aged children living in both zones. High concentrations of dissolved Mn were found in river waters of the HEx zone (between 2660 and 3990 µg l(-1)); however, Hg levels, in general, were lower than the detection limit (DL; MnH in children of the HEx and MEx zones were 5.5 and 3.4 µg g(-1), respectively, whereas the median values of HgU concentrations in children living in the HEx and MEx zones were 4.4 and 0.62 µg g-creat(-1), respectively. Statistically significant differences were observed between both biomarkers in children from the HEx and MEx zones. In addition, boys presented significantly greater MnH levels in both zones. The greater MnH values were found in children living in alluvial areas, whereas children living in the high mountain areas, where some ore-processing plants are located close to or inside houses and schools, had the greater HgU concentrations. In summary, the data reported in this paper highlights that artisanal and small-scale gold-mining activities can not only produce mercurial contamination, that can also release other heavy metals (such as Mn) that may pose a risk to human health.

  20. Mercury behaviour and C, N, and P biogeochemical cycles during ecological restoration processes of old mining sites in French Guiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couic, Ewan; Grimaldi, Michel; Alphonse, Vanessa; Balland-Bolou-Bi, Clarisse; Livet, Alexandre; Giusti-Miller, Stéphanie; Sarrazin, Max; Bousserrhine, Noureddine

    2018-04-25

    Several decades of gold mining extraction activities in the Amazonian rainforest have caused deforestation and pollution. While ecological rehabilitation is essential for restoring biodiversity and decreasing erosion on deforested lands, few studies note the behaviour or toxicity of trace elements during the rehabilitation process. Our original study focused on the potential use of microbial activity and Hg speciation and compared them with As, Cu, Zn and Cr speciation in assessing the chemical and biological quality of ecological restoration efforts. We sampled two sites in French Guyana 17 years after rehabilitation efforts began. The former site was actively regenerated (R) with the leguminous species Clitoria racemosa and Acacia mangium, and the second site was passively regenerated with spontaneous vegetation (Sv). We also sampled soil from a control site without a history of gold mining (F). We performed microcosm soil experiments for 30 days, where trace element speciation and enzyme activities (i.e., FDA, dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, urease, alkaline and acid phosphatase) were estimated to characterise the behaviour of trace elements and the soil microbial activity. As bioindicators, the use of soil microbial carbon biomass and soil enzyme activities related to the carbon and phosphorus cycles seems to be relevant for assessing soil quality in rehabilitated and regenerated old mining sites. Our results showed that restoration with leguminous species had a positive effect on soil chemical quality and on soil microbial bioindicators, with activities that tended toward natural non-degraded soil (F). Active restoration processes also had a positive effect on Hg speciation by reducing its mobility. While in Sv we found more exchangeable and soluble mercury, in regenerated sites, Hg was mostly bound to organic matter. These results also suggested that enzyme activities and mercury cycles are sensitive to land restoration and must be considered when evaluating

  1. Effects of historical lead–zinc mining on riffle-dwelling benthic fish and crayfish in the Big River of southeastern Missouri, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allert, A.L.; DiStefano, R.J.; Fairchild, J.F.; Schmitt, C.J.; McKee, M.J.; Girondo, J.A.; Brumbaugh, W.G.; May, T.W.

    2013-01-01

    The Big River (BGR) drains much of the Old Lead Belt mining district (OLB) in southeastern Missouri, USA, which was historically among the largest producers of lead–zinc (Pb–Zn) ore in the world. We sampled benthic fish and crayfish in riffle habitats at eight sites in the BGR and conducted 56-day in situ exposures to the woodland crayfish (Orconectes hylas) and golden crayfish (Orconectes luteus) in cages at four sites affected to differing degrees by mining. Densities of fish and crayfish, physical habitat and water quality, and the survival and growth of caged crayfish were examined at sites with no known upstream mining activities (i.e., reference sites) and at sites downstream of mining areas (i.e., mining and downstream sites). Lead, zinc, and cadmium were analyzed in surface and pore water, sediment, detritus, fish, crayfish, and other benthic macro-invertebrates. Metals concentrations in all materials analyzed were greater at mining and downstream sites than at reference sites. Ten species of fish and four species of crayfish were collected. Fish and crayfish densities were significantly greater at reference than mining or downstream sites, and densities were greater at downstream than mining sites. Survival of caged crayfish was significantly lower at mining sites than reference sites; downstream sites were not tested. Chronic toxic-unit scores and sediment probable effects quotients indicated significant risk of toxicity to fish and crayfish, and metals concentrations in crayfish were sufficiently high to represent a risk to wildlife at mining and downstream sites. Collectively, the results provided direct evidence that metals associated with historical mining activities in the OLB continue to affect aquatic life in the BGR.

  2. Study of the environmental cycling of mercury

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia Frades, J P; Hildebrand, S G; Huckabee, J W; Murias, B; Diaz, F S; Wilson, R H

    1977-01-01

    A study of mercury in the environment is under way near the mercury mine at Almaden, Spain. The main aspects of the project are: ecology; atmospheric monitoring; and human studies. The mercury deposit at Almaden is described. The liquid effluent from the mine and smelter contains high concentrations of mercury that pollute nearby rivers. Sample collection and analytical methods used in the ecological survey are reviewed. Ecological experiments are considered. Air monitoring studies and human studies currently being performed are assessed. (1 map)

  3. Contributing towards a conceptual model of soil-landscape co-evolution: observations from historic mining sites in Alberta, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raab, Thomas; Naeth, Anne; Hirsch, Florian; Raab, Alexandra

    2016-04-01

    characteristic geomorphology of the prairie can be found in landscape (i). Distinct differences are found in properties and types of soils in these four landscapes. Natural soils and pile soils characteristically differ in parent material and soil horizons. No information is gathered yet for the reclaimed soils and the landslides soils due to prohibited access. However, based on what we find at the former Diplomat Mine we can conclude that distribution, development and properties of unreclaimed soils in historical open cast mines in Alberta are primarily controlled by parent material and topography. The geomorphological set-up is dominating the trajectory of vegetation development and post-mining geomorphodynamics. Contrasting slope aspects determine micro climatic conditions and lead to different vegetation types. This has likely had an effect on soil development and soil properties (especially carbon stocks). Further studies will be conducted to quantify these differing soil properties to refine this conceptual model of initial pedogenesis and soil distribution on very young landforms in the prairie landscapes.

  4. The Effect of Mercury Mining Activities on Oak Forest in the Almaden Area; El Encinar en el Distrito Minero de Almaden y su Afectacion por la Mineria del Mercurio

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Villadoniga, M.; Sierra, M.J.; Millan, R.

    2009-07-01

    This scientific-technical report is the result of the research work carried out by Maite Villadoniga Garcia, to obtain the Master's Final Project, this has been developed at the Unit of Soil Degradation in the Department of Environment at CIEMAT. Two main reasons are important for the study of the vegetation in Almaden, firstly to ascertain the state in which they find the different landscapes surrounding the mine and secondly, it would be interesting to know the potential applications for recovery areas, degraded by this type of mining. This report presents the initial analysis of a natural area where there has not been activity related to mining of mercury, but their lithologic conditions and proximity to the mine of Almaden (within 3 km) make it a space in which they are both elevated mercury concentrations in soil (1.25 to 35.55 mg kg{sup -}1) and plant species (Quercus ilex: 0.10-2.29 mg kg{sup -}1; Pseudovernia sp. 1.10-21.06 mg kg{sup -}1). We can conclude after this study that the natural vegetation of the area if they had been affected by years of mining, although not find any obvious signs of damage to these ecosystems and that different factors affect the uptake of mercury by of different species. (Author) 37 refs.

  5. The Effect of Mercury Mining Activities on Oak Forest in the Almaden Area; El Encinar en el Distrito Minero de Almaden y su Afectacion por la Mineria del Mercurio

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Villadoniga, M; Sierra, M J; Millan, R

    2009-07-01

    This scientific-technical report is the result of the research work carried out by Maite Villadoniga Garcia, to obtain the Master's Final Project, this has been developed at the Unit of Soil Degradation in the Department of Environment at CIEMAT. Two main reasons are important for the study of the vegetation in Almaden, firstly to ascertain the state in which they find the different landscapes surrounding the mine and secondly, it would be interesting to know the potential applications for recovery areas, degraded by this type of mining. This report presents the initial analysis of a natural area where there has not been activity related to mining of mercury, but their lithologic conditions and proximity to the mine of Almaden (within 3 km) make it a space in which they are both elevated mercury concentrations in soil (1.25 to 35.55 mg kg{sup -}1) and plant species (Quercus ilex: 0.10-2.29 mg kg{sup -}1; Pseudovernia sp. 1.10-21.06 mg kg{sup -}1). We can conclude after this study that the natural vegetation of the area if they had been affected by years of mining, although not find any obvious signs of damage to these ecosystems and that different factors affect the uptake of mercury by of different species. (Author) 37 refs.

  6. Mining

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khairullah Khan

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Opinion mining is an interesting area of research because of its applications in various fields. Collecting opinions of people about products and about social and political events and problems through the Web is becoming increasingly popular every day. The opinions of users are helpful for the public and for stakeholders when making certain decisions. Opinion mining is a way to retrieve information through search engines, Web blogs and social networks. Because of the huge number of reviews in the form of unstructured text, it is impossible to summarize the information manually. Accordingly, efficient computational methods are needed for mining and summarizing the reviews from corpuses and Web documents. This study presents a systematic literature survey regarding the computational techniques, models and algorithms for mining opinion components from unstructured reviews.

  7. Soil Contamination at the Historical Zn-Pb Ore Mining Sites (Southern Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksander-Kwaterczak U.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Results of metals analyses in soil profiles sampled at two 18/19th century mine shafts of the Trzebinia lead-zinc ore mining region in southern Poland are presented. Waste dump sites located at these shafts exhibit initial pedogenesis with clear differences in zinc and cadmium content between soil horizons which changes in depth across each of the investigated dump. The highest metal concentrations occur in horizons containing excavated ore-bearing Triassic dolomites, soils buried beneath are less polluted whereas, initial A0 soil horizons are virtually unpolluted. Relatively low downward metal migration in profiles to the horizons underlying the dumps is related to alkaline pH of soils. Migration appear to be important in the more acidic soils of outer zones in the two dump sites overgrown either with coniferous and deciduous trees.

  8. The Diesel Exhaust in Miners Study: IV. Estimating historical exposures to diesel exhaust in underground non-metal mining facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vermeulen, Roel; Coble, Joseph B; Lubin, Jay H; Portengen, Lützen; Blair, Aaron; Attfield, Michael D; Silverman, Debra T; Stewart, Patricia A

    2010-10-01

    We developed quantitative estimates of historical exposures to respirable elemental carbon (REC) for an epidemiologic study of mortality, including lung cancer, among diesel-exposed miners at eight non-metal mining facilities [the Diesel Exhaust in Miners Study (DEMS)]. Because there were no historical measurements of diesel exhaust (DE), historical REC (a component of DE) levels were estimated based on REC data from monitoring surveys conducted in 1998-2001 as part of the DEMS investigation. These values were adjusted for underground workers by carbon monoxide (CO) concentration trends in the mines derived from models of historical CO (another DE component) measurements and DE determinants such as engine horsepower (HP; 1 HP = 0.746 kW) and mine ventilation. CO was chosen to estimate historical changes because it was the most frequently measured DE component in our study facilities and it was found to correlate with REC exposure. Databases were constructed by facility and year with air sampling data and with information on the total rate of airflow exhausted from the underground operations in cubic feet per minute (CFM) (1 CFM = 0.0283 m³ min⁻¹), HP of the diesel equipment in use (ADJ HP), and other possible determinants. The ADJ HP purchased after 1990 (ADJ HP₁₉₉₀(+)) was also included to account for lower emissions from newer, cleaner engines. Facility-specific CO levels, relative to those in the DEMS survey year for each year back to the start of dieselization (1947-1967 depending on facility), were predicted based on models of observed CO concentrations and log-transformed (Ln) ADJ HP/CFM and Ln(ADJ HP₁₉₉₀(+)). The resulting temporal trends in relative CO levels were then multiplied by facility/department/job-specific REC estimates derived from the DEMS surveys personal measurements to obtain historical facility/department/job/year-specific REC exposure estimates. The facility-specific temporal trends of CO levels (and thus the REC

  9. Historical Jeroným Mine in Čistá – Underground Experimental Geotechnical Laboratory

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kaláb, Zdeněk; Hrubešová, E.; Kořínek, R.; Žůrek, P.; Kukutsch, Radovan

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 21, č. 1 (2012), s. 54-65 ISSN 1211-0728 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA105/09/0089 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z3086906 Keywords : Jeroným Mine * geotechnical laboratory * monitoring Subject RIV: DC - Siesmology, Volcanology, Earth Structure http://www.ita-aites.cz/files/tunel/komplet/tunel_1_12.pdf

  10. Source identification and mass balance studies of mercury in Lake An-dong, S. Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, J.; Byeon, M.; Yoon, J.; Park, J.; Lee, M.; Huh, I.; Na, E.; Chung, D.; Shin, S.; Kim, Y.

    2009-12-01

    In this study, mercury and methylmercury were measured in atmospheric, tributary, open-lake water column, sediment, planktons and fish samples in the catchments area of Lake An-dong, S. Korea. Lake An-dong, an artificial freshwater lake is located on the upstream of River Nak-dong. It has 51.5 km2 of open surface water and 1.33 year of hydraulic residence time. It is a source of drinking water for 0.3 million S. Koreans. Recently, the possibilities of its mercury contamination became an issue since current studies showed that the lake had much higher mercury level in sediment and certain freshwater fish species than any other lakes in S. Korea. This catchments area has the possibilities of historical mercury pollution by the location of more than 50 abandoned gold mines and Young-poong zinc smelter. The objective of this study was to develop a mercury mass balance and identify possible mercury sources in the lake. The results of this study are thus expected to offer valuable insights for the sources of mercury loading through the watershed. In order to estimate the mercury flux, TGM, RGM and particulate mercury were measured using TEKRAN 2537 at the five sites surrounding Lake An-dong from May, 2009 with wet and dry deposition. The fate and transport of mercury in water body were predicted by using EFDC (Environmental Dynamic Fluid Code) and Mercury module in WASP7 (Water quality analysis program) after subsequent distribution into water body, sediments, followed by bioaccumulation and ultimate uptake by humans. The mercury mass balance in Young-poong zinc smelter was also pre-estimated by measuring mercury content in zinc ores, emission gases, sludge, wastewater and products.

  11. Distribuição e especiação de mercúrio em sedimentos de áreas de garimpo de ouro do quadrilátero ferrífero (MG Distribution and speciation of mercury in sediments from gold mining sites in iron quadrangle (Minas Gerais

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cláudia Carvalhinho Windmöller

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available The concentration and thermodesorption speciation of mercury in sediments from four different Iron Quadrangle sites impacted by gold mining activity were determined. The mercury content of some samples was considerably high (ranging from 0.04 to 1.1 µg g-1. Only Hg2+ was found and it was preferably distributed in the silt/clay fraction in all samples. Cluster analysis showed that mercury and manganese can be associated. The occurrence of cinnabar in this region as another mercury source was also discussed, corroborating earlier works showing the importance of natural mercury in the geochemical cycle of the metal in this region.

  12. Arsenic mineralogy and mobility in the arsenic-rich historical mine waste dump

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Filippi, Michal; Drahota, Petr; Machovič, Vladimír; Böhmová, Vlasta; Mihaljevič, Martin

    2015-01-01

    A more than 250 year-old mine dump was studied to document the products of long-term arsenopyrite oxidation under natural conditions in a coarse-grained mine waste dump and to evaluate the environmental hazards associated with this material. Using complementary mineralogical and chemical approaches (SEM/EDS/WDS, XRD, micro-Raman spectroscopy, pore water analysis, chemical extraction techniques and thermodynamic PHREEQC-2 modeling), we documented the mineralogical/geochemical characteristics of the dumped arsenopyrite-rich material and environmental stability of the newly formed secondary minerals. A distinct mineralogical zonation was found (listed based on the distance from the decomposed arsenopyrite): scorodite (locally associated with native sulfur pseudomorphs) plus amorphous ferric arsenate (AFA/pitticite), kaňkite, As-bearing ferric (hydr)oxides and jarosite. Ferric arsenates and ferric (hydr)oxides were found to dissolve and again precipitate from downward migrating As-rich solutions cementing rock fragments. Acidic pore water (pH 3.8) has elevated concentrations of As with an average value of about 2.9 mg L −1 . Aqueous As is highly correlated with pH (R 2 = 0.97, p < 0.001) indicating that incongruent dissolution of ferric arsenates controls dissolved As well as the pH of the percolating waste solution. Arsenic released from the dissolution of ferric arsenates into the pore water is, however, trapped by latter and lower-down precipitating jarosite and especially ferric (hydr)oxides. The efficiency of As sequestration by ferric (hydr)oxides in the waste dump and underlying soil has been found to be very effective, suggesting limited environmental impact of the mine waste dump on the surrounding soil ecosystems. - Highlights: • More than 250 year-old arsenopyrite-rich mine waste dump was studied. • Mineral transformation and the environmental stability of different secondary arsenic mineral phases were assessed. • High efficiency of As

  13. The accumulation of elements in plants growing spontaneously on small heaps left by the historical Zn-Pb ore mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefanowicz, Anna M; Stanek, Małgorzata; Woch, Marcin W; Kapusta, Paweł

    2016-04-01

    The study evaluated the levels of nine metals, namely Ca, Cd, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Pb, Tl, and Zn, in soils and tissues of ten plant species growing spontaneously on heaps left by historical mining for Zn-Pb ores. The concentrations of Cd, Pb, Tl, and Zn in heap soils were much higher than in control soils. Plants growing on heaps accumulated excessive amounts of these elements in tissues, on average 1.3-52 mg Cd kg(-1), 9.4-254 mg Pb kg(-1), 0.06-23 mg Tl kg(-1) and 134-1479 mg Zn kg(-1) in comparison to 0.5-1.1 mg Cd kg(-1), 2.1-11 mg Pb kg(-1), 0.02-0.06 mg Tl kg(-1), and 23-124 mg Zn kg(-1) in control plants. The highest concentrations of Cd, Pb, and Zn were found in the roots of Euphorbia cyparissias, Fragaria vesca, and Potentilla arenaria, and Tl in Plantago lanceolata. Many species growing on heaps were enriched in K and Mg, and depleted in Ca, Fe, and Mn. The concentrations of all elements in plant tissues were dependent on species, organ (root vs. shoot), and species-organ interactions. Average concentrations of Ca, K, and Mg were generally higher in shoots than in roots or similar in the two organs, whereas Cd, Fe, Pb, Tl, and Zn were accumulated predominantly in the roots. Our results imply that heaps left by historical mining for Zn-Pb ores may pose a potential threat to the environment and human health.

  14. DNA methylation changes in Mexican children exposed to arsenic from two historic mining areas in San Luis potosí.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alegría-Torres, Jorge Alejandro; Carrizales-Yánez, Leticia; Díaz-Barriga, Fernando; Rosso-Camacho, Fernando; Motta, Valeria; Tarantini, Letizia; Bollati, Valentina

    2016-12-01

    Arsenic is a carcinogen and epimutagen that threatens the health of exposed populations worldwide. In this study, we examined the methylation status of Alu and long interspersed nucleotide elements (LINE-1) and their association with levels of urinary arsenic in 84 Mexican children between 6 and 12 years old from two historic mining areas in the State of San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Urinary arsenic levels were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry and DNA methylation analysis was performed in peripheral blood leukocytes by bisulfite-pyrosequencing. The geometric mean of urinary arsenic was 26.44 µg/g Cr (range 1.93-139.35). No significant differences in urinary arsenic or methylation patterns due to gender were observed. A positive correlation was found between urinary arsenic and the mean percentage of methylated cytosines in Alu sequences (Spearman correlation coefficient r = 0.532, P < 0.001), and a trend of LINE-1 hypomethylation was also observed (Spearman correlation coefficient r = -0.232, P = 0.038) after adjustment for sex and age. A linear regression model showed an association with log-normalized urinary arsenic for Alu (β = 1.05, 95% CI: 0.67; 1.43, P < 0.001) and LINE-1 (β = -0.703, 95% CI: -1.36; -0.38, P = 0.038). Despite the low-level arsenic exposure, a subtle epigenetic imbalance measured as DNA methylation was detected in the leukocytes of Mexican children living in two historic mining areas. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 57:717-723, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Mercury concentrations in water resources potentially impacted by coal-fired power stations and artisanal gold mining in Mpumalanga, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Chavon R; Leaner, Joy J; Nel, Jaco M; Somerset, Vernon S

    2010-09-01

    Total mercury (TotHg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations were determined in various environmental compartments collected from water resources of three Water Management Areas (WMAs) - viz. Olifants, Upper Vaal and Inkomati WMAs, potentially impacted by major anthropogenic mercury (Hg) sources (i.e coal-fired power stations and artisanal gold mining activities). Aqueous TotHg concentrations were found to be elevated above the global average (5.0 ng/L) in 38% of all aqueous samples, while aqueous MeHg concentrations ranged from below the detection limit (0.02 ng/L) to 2.73 +/- 0.10 ng/L. Total Hg concentrations in surface sediment (0-4 cm) ranged from 0.75 +/- 0.01 to 358.23 +/- 76.83 ng/g wet weight (ww). Methylmercury accounted for, on average, 24% of TotHg concentrations in sediment. Methylmercury concentrations were not correlated with TotHg concentrations or organic content in sediment. The concentration of MeHg in invertebrates and fish were highest in the Inkomati WMA and, furthermore, measured just below the US EPA guideline for MeHg in fish.

  16. Hair Mercury Level is Associated with Anemia and Micronutrient Status in Children Living Near Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in the Peruvian Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinhouse, Caren; Ortiz, Ernesto J; Berky, Axel J; Bullins, Paige; Hare-Grogg, John; Rogers, Laura; Morales, Ana-Maria; Hsu-Kim, Heileen; Pan, William K

    2017-12-01

    Anemia has been widely studied in global health contexts because of severe nutritional deficiency, and more recently, inflammatory status, but chemical exposures are rarely considered. Until recently, "anemia" was used synonymously with "iron deficiency anemia (IDA)" in global health settings. However, only 50% of anemia cases worldwide are IDA. Environmental toxicology studies of anemia risk have generally focused on populations in developed countries, albeit with high exposure to environmental toxicants, such as lead or cadmium. In the developing world, toxicant exposures commonly coexist with other risk factors for anemia. In particular, artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) communities are at risk for dietary methylmercury exposure through contaminated fish consumption, and for anemia due to food insecurity and infectious and chronic diseases. Here, we report analysis of total hair mercury content, hemoglobin, and serum micronutrient levels in children association between total mercury and hemoglobin (β = -0.12 g/dL, P = 0.06) that persisted (β = -0.14 g/dL, P = 0.04) after adjusting for age, sex, anthropometrics, and vitamin B 12 in multivariate regression. This study provides preliminary evidence that methylmercury exposure is associated with anemia, which is especially relevant to children living near ASGM.

  17. Radon as a radiation problem in underground mines and in houses - historical aspects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schuettmann, W.

    1992-01-01

    The paper briefly recalls the discovery of the radioisotope radon and the research into its properties and effects, referring among other things to the underground mining sites in the Erzgebirge and the Schneeberg lung disease. Today, the radiation exposure of underground miners in a radioactive environment is regarded to be a well-known risk manageable by today's state of the art in radiological protection. Radon as a radiation source in houses, however, remains the problem of great significance today. The paper reviews the current knowledge and approaches for solving this problem. (DG) [de

  18. The effects of acidic mine drainage from historical mines in the Animas River watershed, San Juan County, Colorado—What is being done and what can be done to improve water quality?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Church, Stanley E.; Owen, Robert J.; Von Guerard, Paul; Verplanck, Philip L.; Kimball, Briant A.; Yager, Douglas B.

    2007-01-01

    Historical production of metals in the western United States has left a legacy of acidic drainage and toxic metals in many mountain watersheds that are a potential threat to human and ecosystem health. Studies of the effects of historical mining on surface water chemistry and riparian habitat in the Animas River watershed have shown that cost-effective remediation of mine sites must be carefully planned. of the more than 5400 mine, mill, and prospect sites in the watershed, ∼80 sites account for more than 90% of the metal loads to the surface drainages. Much of the low pH water and some of the metal loads are the result of weathering of hydrothermally altered rock that has not been disturbed by historical mining. Some stream reaches in areas underlain by hydrothermally altered rock contained no aquatic life prior to mining.Scientific studies of the processes and metal-release pathways are necessary to develop effective remediation strategies, particularly in watersheds where there is little land available to build mine-waste repositories. Characterization of mine waste, development of runoff profiles, and evaluation of ground-water pathways all require rigorous study and are expensive upfront costs that land managers find difficult to justify. Tracer studies of water quality provide a detailed spatial analysis of processes affecting surface- and ground-water chemistry. Reactive transport models were used in conjunction with the best state-of-the-art engineering solutions to make informed and cost-effective remediation decisions.Remediation of 23% of the high-priority sites identified in the watershed has resulted in steady improvement in water quality. More than $12 million, most contributed by private entities, has been spent on remediation in the Animas River watershed. The recovery curve for aquatic life in the Animas River system will require further documentation and long-term monitoring to evaluate the effectiveness of remediation projects implemented.

  19. Lack of autoantibody induction by mercury exposure in artisanal gold mining settings in Colombia: Findings and a review of the epidemiology literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez Rodríguez, Luz Helena; Flórez-Vargas, Oscar; Rodríguez-Villamizar, Laura Andrea; Vargas Fiallo, Yolanda; Stashenko, Elena E; Ramírez, Gerardo

    2015-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) has been implicated as an immunotoxicant in experimental animal models, but its role in the induction of human autoimmunity remains unclear due to contradictory findings. Therefore, it has been claimed that it is important to examine other populations in order to clarify the role of Hg in these diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate whether occupational Hg exposure due to artisanal gold mining is associated with the prevalence of autoimmune biomarkers. A cross-sectional study was conducted comparing Hg-exposed gold miners (n = 164) with a control population (n = 127). Hair, blood, and 24-h urine samples were collected for measures of Hg levels, as well as of anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA) and rheumatoid factor (RF). Participants were clinically evaluated by a general practice physician, a rheumatologist, and a toxicologist. Statistically significant differences (p mining activities had a significant impact on autoantibodies as biomarkers of autoimmune diseases. In a review context, the epidemiological findings were interpreted in light of the conflicting data in the literature about how Hg exposure was linked to development of autoantibodies. Validation of these findings in prospective studies is needed to firmly establish the role of Hg in development of autoimmunity in human populations.

  20. Using diatom assemblages and sulphur in sediments to uncover the effects of historical mining on Lake Arnoux (Quebec, Canada: A retrospective of economic benefits versus environmental debt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Brian Hamilton

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring changes in environmental conditions is increasingly important as the Canadian economic infrastructure ramps up exploration and mining development in the more inaccessible northern regions of Canada. Governments are concurrently assessing effects from past mining activities and absorbing the economic cost to society with on-going remediation and monitoring initiatives. The abandoned Aldermac mine in northwestern Quebec, mined from 1932–1943, is an excellent case study for assessing the state of environmental and economic effects of past mining operations. A paleolimnological approach, using diatoms as environmental proxies, was used to evaluate the spatial and temporal impacts on aquatic receiving environments. Based on the inferences drawn from diatom assemblages in Lake Arnoux, prior to mining activity, lake water pH was similar to that of surrounding lakes (circumneutral to weakly acidic. After mining operations terminated, changes in pH and alkalinity in Lake Arnoux coincided with distinct increases in sediment sulphur content. Across a 30- to 40-year span (circa 1940 to 1970s a significant decline in phytoplankton flora coincided with lake acidification and increased clarity of the water column. This resulted in an increase in the benthic diatom population (>90%, replacing the planktonic diatoms. Observed shifts in environmental proxies are concurrent with one, and possibly two, reported tailings pond breaches at the abandoned mine site. Adverse effects of the abandoned Aldermac mine on nearby ecosystems, combined with pressure from local citizens and environmental groups, forced responsible accountability for site restoration led by the Quebec government. Based on the historical period of economic growth, the financial benefits of the Aldermac mine were significant and justify the current pay-it-backward costs for environmental remediation. However, it has now been documented that the pay-it-backward model is not sustainable in

  1. Newspaper archives + text mining = rich sources of historical geo-spatial data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yzaguirre, A.; Smit, M.; Warren, R.

    2016-04-01

    Newspaper archives are rich sources of cultural, social, and historical information. These archives, even when digitized, are typically unstructured and organized by date rather than by subject or location, and require substantial manual effort to analyze. The effort of journalists to be accurate and precise means that there is often rich geo-spatial data embedded in the text, alongside text describing events that editors considered to be of sufficient importance to the region or the world to merit column inches. A regional newspaper can add over 100,000 articles to its database each year, and extracting information from this data for even a single country would pose a substantial Big Data challenge. In this paper, we describe a pilot study on the construction of a database of historical flood events (location(s), date, cause, magnitude) to be used in flood assessment projects, for example to calibrate models, estimate frequency, establish high water marks, or plan for future events in contexts ranging from urban planning to climate change adaptation. We then present a vision for extracting and using the rich geospatial data available in unstructured text archives, and suggest future avenues of research.

  2. Bryophyte Communities from Abandoned Mercury Mine in Eastern Guizhou Province%废弃汞矿山苔藓植物群落生态研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    潘莎; 张朝晖

    2011-01-01

    对贵州省铜仁市云场坪镇废弃汞矿山的苔藓植物群落进行了研究,通过野外全面调查和实验室仔细鉴定,发现废弃汞矿山苔藓植物群落的种类组成有13科52属62种(苔类植物2科2属2种,藓类植物11科50属60种).应用双向指示种分析法(TWINSPAN)和除趋势对应分析(DCA)分析其分布格局表明,该区12个样点分为2个类型组,组1为废石、废渣样地,组2为废洞样地,说明废洞与废石、废渣生境差异性较大,忿函、废渣生境较相似;北地扭口藓群落(Barbula fallax Com.)、阔叶小石藓群落(Weisia planifolia Corn.)、尖叶扭口藓群落(Barbula conystricta Com.)、拟丛净口藓群落(Gymnostomum anoectangioides Com.)、硬叶净口藓群落(Gymnostomum subrigidulumCom.)为该矿区废石、废渣上的优势群落,其生物量为55.20 -448.20 g·m-,,饱和吸水量为260.80-3 599.40 g-m-2,说明在矿区这种干旱且保水能力弱的环境区域,苔藓植物群落以其特有的生态功能在矿区生态环境治理中具有十分重要的作用.%The bryophyte communities were investigated in abandoned mercury mine of Yunchangping town,Guizhou province. Based on the extensive investigation and identification of the bryophyte specimens, 62 taxa in 52 genera of 13 families were found (2 species in 2 genera of 2 families are Hepaticae, 60 taxa in 50 genera of 11 families are Musci). Two-way Indicator Species Analysis (TWINSPAN) and Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) were used to analyze their distribution patterns. The results showed that 12 sampling plots could be classified into two groups. Group 1 contained waste rock sampling plots and waste solid sampling plots, group 2 contained abandoned mercury mine caves, which indicated the habitats of abandoned mercury mine caves are different from waste rock and waste solid, the habitats of waste rock and waste solid are similar. The dominant communities are Barbula fallax Com. , Weisia planifolia Com. , Barbula

  3. Total mercury and methylmercury accumulation in wild plants grown at wastelands composed of mine tailings: Insights into potential candidates for phytoremediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Xiaoli; Wu, Yonggui; Zhou, Hongyun; Xu, Xiaohang; Xu, Zhidong; Shang, Lihai; Qiu, Guangle

    2018-08-01

    Total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MMHg) were investigated in 259 wild plants belonging to 49 species in 29 families that grew in heavily Hg-contaminated wastelands composed of cinnabar ore mine tailings (calcines) in the Wanshan region, southwestern China, the world's third largest Hg mining district. The bioconcentration factors (BCFs) of THg and MMHg from soil to roots ([THg] root /[THg] soil , [MMHg] root /[MMHg] soil ) were evaluated. The results showed that THg and MMHg in both plants and soils varied widely, with ranges of 0.076-140 μg/g THg and 0.19-87 ng/g MMHg in roots, 0.19-106 μg/g THg and 0.06-31 ng/g MMHg in shoots, and 0.74-1440 μg/g THg and 0.41-820 ng/g MMHg in soil. Among all investigated species, Arthraxon hispidus, Eremochloa ciliaris, Clerodendrum bunge, and Ixeris sonchifolia had significantly elevated concentrations of THg in shoots and/or roots that reached 100 μg/g, whereas Chenopodium glaucum, Corydalisedulis maxim, and Rumex acetosa contained low values below 0.5 μg/g. In addition to the high THg concentrations, the fern E. ciliaris also showed high BCF values for both THg and MMHg exceeding 1.0, suggesting its capability to extract Hg from soils. Considering its dominance and the tolerance identified in the present study, E. ciliaris is suggested to be a practical candidate for phytoextraction, whereas A. hispidus is identified as a potential candidate for phytostabilization of Hg mining-contaminated soils. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Contamination by mercury in air of the mining district of San Martin de Loba in Bolivar's Department, Colombia; Contaminacion por mercurio en aire del distrito minero de San Martin de loba en el Departamento de Bolivar, Colombia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olivero V, J.; Young C, F.; Caballero G, K., E-mail: jolivero@unicartagena.edu.co [Universidad de Cartagena, Facultad de Ciencias Farmaceuticas, Grupo de Quimica Ambiental y Computacional, Calle de la Universidad 36-100, Cartagena de Indias (Colombia)

    2014-06-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a heavy metal, considered a highly toxic pollutant. In its elemental state is volatile, making it easy to transport over long distances through the atmosphere, so that environmental pollution caused by it is a serious problem worldwide. Activities such as gold mining, where metallic Hg is used, have contributed with its global distribution, affecting ecosystems and human health. The aim of this study was to determine the levels of total mercury (T-Hg) in air in gold mining areas in Southern Bolivar, particularly in the mining district of San Martin de Loba, in the municipalities of San Martin de Loba and Barranco de Loba (Mina Santa Cruz), Colombia. In situ analyses were performed by atomic absorption spectroscopy, using a portable Ra-915 + Zeeman mercury analyzer. In Mina Santa Cruz, one of the most important gold mines in Colombia, concentrations of Hg in air ranged between 163.7 ± 6.6 and 40 455 ± 2154 mg/m{sup 3}, while in the urban area of San Martin de Loba varied from 223.6 ± 20.8 to 27 140 ± 212.5 ng/m{sup 3}. In those places where an amalgam burning process was taking place at the time of the measurements, Hg concentrations reached values of 40 455 ± 2154 ng/m{sup 3}. These data imply a severe occupational exposure to Hg for operators and citizens living in cities located near mines. Therefore, it is important to regulate and control the use of Hg in gold mining, avoiding a chronic impact of the metal on the health of people and the environment. (author)

  5. Metals other than uranium affected microbial community composition in a historical uranium-mining site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitte, Jana; Löffler, Sylvia; Burkhardt, Eva-Maria; Goldfarb, Katherine C; Büchel, Georg; Hazen, Terry C; Küsel, Kirsten

    2015-12-01

    To understand the links between the long-term impact of uranium and other metals on microbial community composition, ground- and surface water-influenced soils varying greatly in uranium and metal concentrations were investigated at the former uranium-mining district in Ronneburg, Germany. A soil-based 16S PhyloChip approach revealed 2358 bacterial and 35 archaeal operational taxonomic units (OTU) within diverse phylogenetic groups with higher OTU numbers than at other uranium-contaminated sites, e.g., at Oak Ridge. Iron- and sulfate-reducing bacteria (FeRB and SRB), which have the potential to attenuate uranium and other metals by the enzymatic and/or abiotic reduction of metal ions, were found at all sites. Although soil concentrations of solid-phase uranium were high, ranging from 5 to 1569 μg·g (dry weight) soil(-1), redundancy analysis (RDA) and forward selection indicated that neither total nor bio-available uranium concentrations contributed significantly to the observed OTU distribution. Instead, microbial community composition appeared to be influenced more by redox potential. Bacterial communities were also influenced by bio-available manganese and total cobalt and cadmium concentrations. Bio-available cadmium impacted FeRB distribution while bio-available manganese and copper as well as solid-phase zinc concentrations in the soil affected SRB composition. Archaeal communities were influenced by the bio-available lead as well as total zinc and cobalt concentrations. These results suggest that (i) microbial richness was not impacted by heavy metals and radionuclides and that (ii) redox potential and secondary metal contaminants had the strongest effect on microbial community composition, as opposed to uranium, the primary source of contamination.

  6. Mercury Pollution in Soils from the Yacuambi River (Ecuadorian Amazon) as a Result of Gold Placer Mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Blanco, Charo; Collahuazo, Luis; Torres, Sandra; Chinchay, Luis; Ayala, Diana; Benítez, Paulina

    2015-09-01

    Gold mining is known to generate important economic products but also to produce several types of contamination/pollution. We report here the first data about Hg concentrations in the soils of the Yacuambi River in the Ecuadorian Amazon. We analyzed soil samples to assess the extent of contamination caused by gold placer mining in this area. Hg concentrations in soils exceeded the local background concentrations. High concentrations of Mn, As, Pb, Cr, Cu, Fe and Zn in some soil samples were probably derived from the geology of the site, which is rich in polysulfides and metamorphic rocks. Placer mining may accelerate the natural release of these elements to the environment by the exposure of the bedrock to the atmosphere. Accumulation of Hg in the river soils may be a potential source of toxicity for aquatic life and a risk to human health in the future.

  7. Report to Congress on the Global Supply and Trade of Elemental Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    This report assembles available information on the global supply and trade of mercury, including both primary mercury mining as well as mercury that has been recovered from a wide variety of sources and redistilled to a high level of purity.

  8. Historic and contemporary mercury exposure and potential risk to yellow-billed loons (Gavia adamsii) breeding in Alaska and Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evers, David C.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Basu, Niladri; DeSorbo, Christopher R.; Fair, Jeff; Gray, Carrie E.; Paruk, James D.; Perkins, Marie; Regan, Kevin; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Wright, Kenneth G.

    2014-01-01

    The Yellow-billed Loon (Gavia adamsii) is one of the rarest breeding birds in North America. Because of the small population size and patchy distribution, any stressor to its population is of concern. To determine risks posed by environmental mercury (Hg) loads, we captured 115 Yellow-billed Loons between 2002 and 2012 in the North American Arctic and sampled their blood and/or feather tissues and collected nine eggs. Museum samples from Yellow-billed Loons also were analyzed to examine potential changes in Hg exposure over time. An extensive database of published Hg concentrations and associated adverse effects in Common Loons (G. immer) is highly informative and representative for Yellow-billed Loons. Blood Hg concentrations reflect dietary uptake of methylmercury (MeHg) from breeding areas and are generally considered near background levels if less than 1.0 µg/g wet weight (ww). Feather (grown at wintering sites) and egg Hg concentrations can represent a mix of breeding and wintering dietary uptake of MeHg. Based on Common Loon studies, significant risk of reduced reproductive success generally occurs when adult Hg concentrations exceed 2.0 µg/g ww in blood, 20.0 µg/g fresh weight (fw) in flight feathers and 1.0 µg/g ww in eggs. Contemporary mercury concentrations for 176 total samples (across all study sites for 115 Yellow-billed Loons) ranged from 0.08 to 1.45 µg/g ww in blood, 3.0 to 24.9 µg/g fw in feathers and 0.21 to 1.23 µg/g ww in eggs. Mercury concentrations in blood, feather and egg tissues indicate that some individual Yellow-billed Loons in breeding populations across North America are at risk of lowered productivity resulting from Hg exposure. Most Yellow-billed Loons breeding in Alaska overwinter in marine waters of eastern Asia. Although blood Hg concentrations from most breeding loons in Alaska are within background levels, some individuals exhibit elevated feather and egg Hg concentrations, which likely indicate the uptake of Me

  9. Impact of mine and natural sources of mercury on water, sediment, and biota in Harley Gulch adjacent to the Abbott-Turkey Run mine, Lake County, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rytuba, James J.; Hothem, Roger L.; Brussee, Brianne E.; Goldstein, Daniel N.

    2011-01-01

    Executive Summary Stable-isotope data indicate that there are three sources of water that effect the composition and Hg concentration of waters in Harley Gulch: (1) meteoric water that dominates water chemistry during the wet season; (2) thermal water effluent from the Turkey Run mine that effects the chemistry at sample site HG1; and (3) cold connate groundwater that dominates water chemistry during the dry season as it upwells and reaches the surface. The results from sampling executed for this study suggest four distinct areas in Harley Gulch: (1) the contaminated West Fork of Harley Gulch, consisting of the stream immediately downstream from the mine area and the wetlands upstream from Harley Gulch canyon (sample sites HG1-HG2, (2) the East Fork of Harley Gulch, where no mining has occurred (sample site HG3), (3) sample sites HG4-HG7, where a seasonal influx of saline groundwater alters stream chemistry, and (4) sample sites HG7-HG10, downstream in Harley Gulch towards the confluence with Cache Creek.

  10. Mercury Retention and Accumulation by Plants at the Abandoned New Idria Mine Site - a Preliminary micro-XRF and micro-XRD Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siebner, H.; Webb, S. M.; Brown, G. E.

    2008-12-01

    Due to its high toxicity and increasing levels in ecosystems, Hg pollution has become a serious global problem. A lot of research has been conducted with regard to Hg biogeochemical cycles in aquatic systems. Much less is known about terrestrial Hg-cycles in general and in plants specifically. Plants play an important role in these cycles; they are known to be an important sink for both atmospheric and soil Hg, the vegetative cover significantly influences soil erosion and migration of contaminants into aquatic systems. However, the processes involved in the interactions of Hg with plants and plants products are poorly studied. Information concerning the interaction of Hg in plants at the molecular level is sparse. The present study is intended to provide new information on Hg retention, translocation, and accumulation in plants associated with mercury mine wastes in central California. We present here preliminary results of Hg distribution in root and leave samples, taken from different plant species, which have adapted to the hostile environment at the New Idria site. Samples were taken at two locations that differ in water acidity and flooding regime. The distribution of Hg appears to be affected by plant species, growing conditions, and development stage. Micro-XRF images of root sections show that Hg is mainly associated with Fe plaque at the outer surfaces and epidermis, but is distributed differently in roots of the two plants. Micro-XRD showed evidence for mineralogical changes in the plaque through the sections. Mercury in leaves was found to be highly diffuse in its distribution, and is not associated with Fe-rich particles attached to the outer surface of the leaf. This finding implies that Hg is assimilated in the leaf tissue. Further examination of Fe plaque characteristics and associated Hg, as well as Hg speciation in the different organs of these plants, is being conducted in our lab.

  11. Assessment of blood lead level declines in an area of historical mining with a holistic remediation and abatement program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoof, Rosalind A; Johnson, Dina L; Handziuk, Emma R; Landingham, Cynthia Van; Feldpausch, Alma M; Gallagher, Alexa E; Dell, Linda D; Kephart, Amy

    2016-10-01

    Lead exposure and blood lead levels (BLLs) in the United States have declined dramatically since the 1970s as many widespread lead uses have been discontinued. Large scale mining and mineral processing represents an additional localized source of potential lead exposure in many historical mining communities, such as Butte, Montana. After 25 years of ongoing remediation efforts and a residential metals abatement program that includes blood lead monitoring of Butte children, examination of blood lead trends offers a unique opportunity to assess the effectiveness of Butte's lead source and exposure reduction measures. This study examined BLL trends in Butte children ages 1-5 (n= 2796) from 2003-2010 as compared to a reference dataset matched for similar demographic characteristics over the same period. Blood lead differences across Butte during the same period are also examined. Findings are interpreted with respect to effectiveness of remediation and other factors potentially contributing to ongoing exposure concerns. BLLs from Butte were compared with a reference dataset (n=2937) derived from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The reference dataset was initially matched for child age and sample dates. Additional demographic factors associated with higher BLLs were then evaluated. Weights were applied to make the reference dataset more consistent with the Butte dataset for the three factors that were most disparate (poverty-to-income ratio, house age, and race/ethnicity). A weighted linear mixed regression model showed Butte geometric mean BLLs were higher than reference BLLs for 2003-2004 (3.48vs. 2.05µg/dL), 2005-2006 (2.65vs. 1.80µg/dL), and 2007-2008 (2.2vs. 1.72µg/dL), but comparable for 2009-2010 (1.53vs. 1.51µg/dL). This trend suggests that, over time, the impact of other factors that may be associated with Butte BLLs has been reduced. Neighborhood differences were examined by dividing the Butte dataset into the older area called "Uptown

  12. Assessment of mercury levels in different environmental matrices in communities impacted by artisanal gold mining in the Asutifi District of Ghana

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adjei-Kyereme, Y.

    2010-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) used in gold amalgamation is a major source of contamination in Ghana. Water, sediment and tailings samples from artisanal gold mining (AGM) sites in Kenyasi, Wuramumuso and Nkaseim in the Asutifi district were collected during the wet and the dry period of 2009 and 2010 respectively, and analyzed for total-Hg (T-Hg) using Cold Vapour Atomic Absorption spectroscopy. T-Hg concentration in water samples collected in the wet period were all below detection (< 1.00 μg/L) while that of the dry period ranged from below detection to 11.22 μg/L. T -Hg in water in the wet period were all below the WHO permissible limit of 1.0 μg/L whereas about 85 % of the samples collected in the dry period had values above the WHO permissible limit. In the sediment, T-Hg in the dry period was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that of the wet period. T -Hg concentrations ranged from below detection limit (0.001 mg/kg) to 0.053 mg/kg (wet) and 0.233 to 8.564 mg/kg (dry) respectively. Likewise, in the tailings, T-Hg concentration ranged from 0.339 to 8.466 mg/kg for only dry period. The pollution status of mercury in sediment and tailings were evaluated by the geoaccumulation index and the enrichment factor. The average geoaccumulation index value indicated that sediments were practically uncontaminated (- 4.4) in the wet period but moderately contaminated (0.6) in the dry period while enrichment factor (ef) gave moderate to extremely high enrichment. In the case of tailings, average geoaccumulation index for mercury (0.5) denoted uncontaminated to moderately contaminated, while the EF indicated very high to extremely high enrichment. With regard to other trace metals, AGM seemed to have an impact on the ambient levels of As, Mn, Cu and Al as high levels were observed in sediment and tailings. The Pollution Load indices (< 1) however, suggested that the sites were not polluted. (au)

  13. Human exposure to mercury in artisanal small-scale gold mining areas of Kedougou region, Senegal, as a function of occupational activity and fish consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niane, Birane; Guédron, Stéphane; Moritz, Robert; Cosio, Claudia; Ngom, Papa Malick; Deverajan, Naresh; Pfeifer, Hans Rudolf; Poté, John

    2015-05-01

    We investigated mercury (Hg) exposure of food web and humans in the region of Kedougou, Senegal, where Hg is used for gold amalgamation in artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM). For this purpose, total mercury (THg) concentration was determined in eight fish species and two shellfish species from Gambia River and in human hair from 111 volunteers of different age and sex, living in urban locations (Kedougou and Samekouta) or in ASGM areas (Tinkoto and Bantako). THg concentrations in fish samples range from 0.03 to 0.51 mg kg(-1) wet weight (ww) and 0.5 to 1.05 mg kg(-1) ww for shellfish. THg concentrations in fish are below the WHO guideline of 0.5 mg kg(-1) ww, whereas 100 % of shellfish are above this safety guideline. In the entire set of fish and shellfish samples, we documented a decrease of THg concentrations with increasing selenium to mercury (Se:Hg) ratio suggesting a protection of Se against Hg. However, local population consuming fish from the Gambia River in the two ASGM areas have higher THg concentrations (median = 1.45 and 1.5 mg kg(-1) at Bantako and Tinkoto) in hair than those from others localities (median = 0.42 and 0.32 mg kg(-1) at Kedougou town and Samekouta) who have diverse diets. At ASGM sites, about 30 % of the local population present Hg concentrations in hair exceeding 1 mg kg(-1), defined as the reference concentration of Hg in hair. We also evidence a higher exposure of women to Hg in the Tinkoto ASGM site due to the traditional distribution of daily tasks where women are more involved in the burning of amalgams. The discrepancy between the calculated moderate exposure through fish consumption and the high Hg concentrations measured in hair suggest that fish consumption is not the only source of Hg exposure and that further studies should focus on direct exposure to elemental Hg of population living at ASGM sites.

  14. Mercury distribution in coals influenced by magmatic intrusions, and surface waters from the Huaibei Coal Mining District, Anhui, China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yan, Zhicao; Liu, Guijian; Sun, Ruoyu; Wu, Dun; Wu, Bin; Zhou, Chuncai

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • Hg concentrations in coal and surface water samples were determined. • Hg is enriched in the Huaibei coals. • Magmatic activities imparted influences on Hg content and distribution. • Hg contents in surface waters are relative low at the present status. - Abstract: The Hg concentrations in 108 samples, comprising 81 coal samples, 1 igneous rock, 2 parting rock samples and 24 water samples from the Huaibei Coal Mining District, China, were determined by cold-vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry. The abundance and distribution of Hg in different coal mines and coal seams were studied. The weighted average Hg concentration for all coal samples in the Huaibei Coalfield is 0.42 mg/kg, which is about twice that of average Chinese coals. From southwestern to northeastern coalfield, Hg concentration shows a decreasing trend, which is presumably related to magmatic activity and fault structures. The relatively high Hg levels are observed in coal seams Nos. 6, 7 and 10 in the southwestern coal mines. Correlation analysis indicates that Hg in the southwestern and southernmost coals with high Hg concentrations is associated with pyrite. The Hg concentrations in surface waters in the Huaibei Coal Mining District range from 10 to 60 ng/L, and display a decreasing trend with distance from a coal waste pile but are lower than the regulated levels for Hg in drinking water

  15. The historical significance of the Trepça mine in the Region of Stan-Terg during the twentieth century

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mustafë Haziri

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The historical significance of the Trepça’s mine in Stan-Terg is so big, that it is impossible to be presented in this scientific paper, because of its historic, economic and social character. This paper analyses chronologically the importance of Trepça mine, focusing with particular emphasis on the period of the twentieth century where in 1926 the first research that was implemented by the British government began. In 1930 began the modern exploitation of Trepça which was followed by some union movements which lasted until 1939. In 1941, Trepça fell into the hands of the nazi regime of Germany. Other aspects of this work include the period of the Second World War, when the nationalization of property was implemented during the communist regime in former Yugoslavia until the great strike of 1989.

  16. Industrial and natural sources of gaseous elemental mercury in the Almadén district (Spain): an updated report on this issue after the ceasing of mining and metallurgical activities in 2003 and major land reclamation works.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higueras, Pablo; Esbrí, José María; Oyarzun, Roberto; Llanos, Willans; Martínez-Coronado, Alba; Lillo, Javier; López-Berdonces, Miguel Angel; García-Noguero, Eva Maria

    2013-08-01

    Two events during the last decade had major environmental repercussions in Almadén town (Spain). First it was the ceasing of activities in the mercury mine and metallurgical facilities in 2003, and then the finalization of the restoration works on the main waste dump in 2008. The combination of both events brought about a dramatic drop in the emissions of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) to the atmosphere. Although no one would now call the Almadén area as 'mercury-free', the GEM levels have fallen beneath international reference safety levels for the first time in centuries. This has been a major breakthrough because in less than one decade the site went from GEM levels in the order of "tens of thousands" to mere "tens" nanogram per cubic meter. Although these figures are per se a remarkable achievement, they do not mark the end of the environmental concerns in the Almadén district. Two other sites remain as potential environmental hazards. (1) The Las Cuevas mercury storage complex, a partially restored ex-mining site where liquid mercury is being stored. The MERSADE Project (LIFE-European Union) has tested the Las Cuevas complex as a potential site for the installation of a future European prototype safe deposit of surplus mercury from industrial activities. Despite restoration works carried out in 2004, the Las Cuevas complex can still be regarded as hotspot of mercury contamination, with high concentrations above 800μgg(-1) Hgsoil and 300ngm(-3) Hggas. However, as predicted by air contamination modeling using the ISC-AERMOD software, GEM concentrations fade away in a short distance following the formation of a NW-SE oriented narrow plume extending for a few hundred meters from the complex perimeter. (2) Far more dangerous from the human health perspective is the Almadenejos area, hosting the small Almadenejos village, the so-called Cerco de Almadenejos (CDA; an old metallurgical precinct), and the mines of La Nueva Concepción, La Vieja Concepción and El

  17. Airborne gamma survey of the historic Sleisbeck mine area in the Northern Territory, Australia, and its use for site rehabilitation planning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bollhoefer, A.; Pfitzner, K.; Ryan, B.; Martin, P.; Fawcett, M.; Jones, D.R.

    2008-01-01

    An airborne γ-survey provided information about the extent of radioactive contamination around the historic Sleisbeck mine. Quickbird satellite data were acquired to relate airborne measurements to land cover features. Enhanced equivalent uranium (eU) levels were found to be confined to the mine and low grade waste rock dumps. The average terrestrial background radiation dose rate estimated from the airborne gamma survey data was 0.10-0.14 μGy h -1 while the area around the mine exhibited a maximum of ∼2.3 μGy h -1 , but measurements on the ground indicate that this maximum is exceeded in some localized areas. Rehabilitation of the site is likely to result in a threefold reduction in radiation doses to people accessing the area

  18. 3D modeling of underground objects with the use of SLAM technology on the example of historical mine in Ciechanowice (Ołowiane Range, The Sudetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wajs Jaroslaw

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Terrestrial Laser Scanning is a currently one of the most popular methods for producing representations of 3D objects. This paper presents the potential of applying the mobile laser scanning method to inventory underground objects. The examined location was a historic crystalline limestone mine situated in the vicinity of Ciechanowice village (Kaczawa Mts., SW Poland. The authors present a methodology for performing measurements and for processing the obtained results, whose accuracy is additionally verified.

  19. 3D modeling of underground objects with the use of SLAM technology on the example of historical mine in Ciechanowice (Ołowiane Range, The Sudetes)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wajs, Jaroslaw; Kasza, Damian; Zagożdżon, Paweł P.; Zagożdżon, Katarzyna D.

    2018-01-01

    Terrestrial Laser Scanning is a currently one of the most popular methods for producing representations of 3D objects. This paper presents the potential of applying the mobile laser scanning method to inventory underground objects. The examined location was a historic crystalline limestone mine situated in the vicinity of Ciechanowice village (Kaczawa Mts., SW Poland). The authors present a methodology for performing measurements and for processing the obtained results, whose accuracy is additionally verified.

  20. Mercury accumulation in soils and plants in the Almadén mining district, Spain: one of the most contaminated sites on Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina, José Antonio; Oyarzun, Roberto; Esbrí, José María; Higueras, Pablo

    2006-10-01

    Although mercury (Hg) mining in the Almadén district ceased in May 2002, the consequences of 2000 years of mining in the district has resulted in the dissemination of Hg into the surrounding environment where it poses an evident risk to biota and human health. This risk needs to be properly evaluated. The uptake of Hg has been found to be plant-specific. To establish the different manners in which plants absorb Hg, we carried out a survey of Hg levels in the soils and plants in the most representative habitats of this Mediterranean area and found that the Hg concentrations varied greatly and were dependent on the sample being tested (0.13-2,695 microg g(-1) Hg). For example, the root samples had concentrations ranging from 0.06 (Oenanthe crocata, Rumex induratus) to 1095 (Polypogon monspeliensis) microg g(-1) Hg, while in the leaf samples, the range was from 0.16 (Cyperus longus) to 1278 (Polypogon monspeliensis) microg g(-1) Hg. There are four well-differentiated patterns of Hg uptake: (1) the rate of uptake is constant, independent of Hg concentration in the soil (e.g., Pistacia lentiscus, Quercus rotundifolia); (2) after an initial linear relationship between uptake and soil concentration, no further increase in Hg(plant) is observed (e.g., Asparagus acutifolius, Cistus ladanifer); (3) no increase in uptake is recorded until a threshold is surpassed, and thereafter a linear relationship between Hg(plant) and Hg(soil) is established (e.g., Rumex bucephalophorus, Cistus crispus); (4) there is no relationship between Hg(plant) and Hg(soil )(e.g., Oenanthe crocata and Cistus monspeliensis). Overall, the Hg concentrations found in plants from the Almadén district clearly reflect the importance of contamination processes throughout the study region.

  1. An Investigation of Organic and Inorganic Mercury Exposure and Blood Pressure in a Small-Scale Gold Mining Community in Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mozhgon Rajaee

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available There is increasing concern about the cardiovascular effects of mercury (Hg exposure, and that organic methylmercury and inorganic Hg2+ may affect the cardiovascular system and blood pressure differentially. In small-scale gold mining communities where inorganic, elemental Hg exposures are high, little is known about the effects of Hg on blood pressure. In 2011, we assessed the relationship between Hg exposure and blood pressure (BP in a cross-sectional study of adults from a small-scale gold mining community, Kejetia, and subsistence farming community, Gorogo, in Ghana’s Upper East Region. Participants’ resting heart rate and BP were measured, and hair and urine samples were provided to serve as biomarkers of organic and inorganic Hg exposure, respectively. Participants included 70 miners and 26 non-miners from Kejetia and 75 non-miners from Gorogo. Total specific gravity-adjusted urinary and hair Hg was higher among Kejetia miners than Kejetia non-miners and Gorogo participants (median urinary Hg: 5.17, 1.18, and 0.154 µg/L, respectively; hair Hg: 0.945, 0.419, and 0.181 µg/g, respectively. Hypertension was prevalent in 17.7% of Kejetia and 21.3% of Gorogo participants. Urinary and hair Hg were not significantly associated with systolic or diastolic BP for Kejetia or Gorogo participants while adjusting for sex, age, and smoking status. Although our results follow trends seen in other studies, the associations were not of statistical significance. Given the unique study population and high exposures to inorganic Hg, the work contained here will help increase our understanding of the cardiovascular effects of Hg.

  2. An Investigation of Organic and Inorganic Mercury Exposure and Blood Pressure in a Small-Scale Gold Mining Community in Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajaee, Mozhgon; Sánchez, Brisa N; Renne, Elisha P; Basu, Niladri

    2015-08-21

    There is increasing concern about the cardiovascular effects of mercury (Hg) exposure, and that organic methylmercury and inorganic Hg(2+) may affect the cardiovascular system and blood pressure differentially. In small-scale gold mining communities where inorganic, elemental Hg exposures are high, little is known about the effects of Hg on blood pressure. In 2011, we assessed the relationship between Hg exposure and blood pressure (BP) in a cross-sectional study of adults from a small-scale gold mining community, Kejetia, and subsistence farming community, Gorogo, in Ghana's Upper East Region. Participants' resting heart rate and BP were measured, and hair and urine samples were provided to serve as biomarkers of organic and inorganic Hg exposure, respectively. Participants included 70 miners and 26 non-miners from Kejetia and 75 non-miners from Gorogo. Total specific gravity-adjusted urinary and hair Hg was higher among Kejetia miners than Kejetia non-miners and Gorogo participants (median urinary Hg: 5.17, 1.18, and 0.154 µg/L, respectively; hair Hg: 0.945, 0.419, and 0.181 µg/g, respectively). Hypertension was prevalent in 17.7% of Kejetia and 21.3% of Gorogo participants. Urinary and hair Hg were not significantly associated with systolic or diastolic BP for Kejetia or Gorogo participants while adjusting for sex, age, and smoking status. Although our results follow trends seen in other studies, the associations were not of statistical significance. Given the unique study population and high exposures to inorganic Hg, the work contained here will help increase our understanding of the cardiovascular effects of Hg.

  3. An Investigation of Organic and Inorganic Mercury Exposure and Blood Pressure in a Small-Scale Gold Mining Community in Ghana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajaee, Mozhgon; Sánchez, Brisa N.; Renne, Elisha P.; Basu, Niladri

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing concern about the cardiovascular effects of mercury (Hg) exposure, and that organic methylmercury and inorganic Hg2+ may affect the cardiovascular system and blood pressure differentially. In small-scale gold mining communities where inorganic, elemental Hg exposures are high, little is known about the effects of Hg on blood pressure. In 2011, we assessed the relationship between Hg exposure and blood pressure (BP) in a cross-sectional study of adults from a small-scale gold mining community, Kejetia, and subsistence farming community, Gorogo, in Ghana’s Upper East Region. Participants’ resting heart rate and BP were measured, and hair and urine samples were provided to serve as biomarkers of organic and inorganic Hg exposure, respectively. Participants included 70 miners and 26 non-miners from Kejetia and 75 non-miners from Gorogo. Total specific gravity-adjusted urinary and hair Hg was higher among Kejetia miners than Kejetia non-miners and Gorogo participants (median urinary Hg: 5.17, 1.18, and 0.154 µg/L, respectively; hair Hg: 0.945, 0.419, and 0.181 µg/g, respectively). Hypertension was prevalent in 17.7% of Kejetia and 21.3% of Gorogo participants. Urinary and hair Hg were not significantly associated with systolic or diastolic BP for Kejetia or Gorogo participants while adjusting for sex, age, and smoking status. Although our results follow trends seen in other studies, the associations were not of statistical significance. Given the unique study population and high exposures to inorganic Hg, the work contained here will help increase our understanding of the cardiovascular effects of Hg. PMID:26308023

  4. Spatial distribution of mercury and arsenic levels in water, soil and cassava plants in a community with long history of gold mining in Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyanza, Elias C; Dewey, Deborah; Thomas, Deborah S K; Davey, Mark; Ngallaba, Sospatro E

    2014-12-01

    This study examined the spatial distribution of total mercury (THg) and total arsenic (TAs) in water, soil and cassava (Manihot esculenta) (leaves and roots) samples taken from areas in Rwamagasa village in northwestern Tanzania where daily living activities occur in close proximity to extensive artisanal and small scale gold mining. Results indicated that 33.3 % of the water sources had THg levels above the WHO guideline of 1.0 µg/L for safe drinking water, and 12.5 % had TAs levels above 10 µg/L. Cassava leaves were found to have higher THg (ranging from 8.3 to 167 µg/kg) and TAs (ranging from 60 to 1,120 µg/kg) levels than cassava roots, which ranged between 1.2-8.3 µg/kg for THg and 25-310 µg/kg for TAs. Concentrations of THg and TAs in soil samples ranged between 5.8-1,759 and 183-20,298 µg/kg, respectively. Both THg and TAs were found to be distributed throughout Rwamagasa village.

  5. Evaluation of mercury pollution in cultivated and wild plants from two small communities of the Tapajós gold mining reserve, Pará State, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egler, Silvia G; Rodrigues-Filho, Saulo; Villas-Bôas, Roberto C; Beinhoff, Christian

    2006-09-01

    This study examines the total Hg contamination in soil and sediments, and the correlation between the total Hg concentration in soil and vegetables in two small scale gold mining areas, São Chico and Creporizinho, in the State of Para, Brazilian Amazon. Total Hg values for soil samples for both study areas are higher than region background values (ca. 0.15 mg/kg). At São Chico, mean values in soils samples are higher than at Creporizinho, but without significant differences at alpha1 in all of São Chico's produce samples, soil-plant parts regression were not significant, and Hg uptake probably occurs through stomata by atmospheric mercury deposition. Wild plants aboveground:root ratios were <1 at both study areas, and soil-plant parts regressions were significant in samples of Creporizinho, suggesting that they function as an excluder. The average total contents of Hg in edible parts of produces were close to FAO/WHO/JECFA PTWI values in São Chico area, and much lower in Creporizinho. However, Hg inorganic small gastrointestinal absorption reduces its adverse health effects.

  6. ISOLATION AND CHARACTERISTIC OF NITROGEN-FIXING BACTERIA AND PHOSPHATE-SOLUBILIZING BACTERIA FROM SOIL HIGH IN MERCURY IN TAILINGS AND COMPOST AREAS OF ARTISANAL GOLD MINE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yulia Nuraini

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The research was conducted at Brawijaya University and West Nusa Tenggara, from March 2013 to October 2013. The tailings areas of the gold mine contains high mercury (Hg as much as 1,090 ppm, and living microbes (resistance exist in a small number in such a condition. Microbial P solvents encountered came from the genus Bacillus with a population of 23 x 103 cfu g-1 and N-fixing bacteria encountered are of the genus Bacillus, with a population of 4 x 103 cfu g-1. Identification of species using Becton Dickinson Phoenix test, both species belong to Bacillus megaterium and Bacillus pumilus. While the waste corn and peanuts that has been composted for 4 weeks acquired P-solubilizing bacteria, such as Enterobacter, Bacillus and Pseudomonas, and N-fixing bacteria found was Pseudomonas and Azotobacter. While testing the activity and antagonism of N-fixing and P-solubilizing bacteria, the result on agar media did not show antagonism in its growth. Bacillus pumilus and Bacillus megaterium effective at 5 % molasses medium with the number of 0.15 x 1012 on seven days of incubation.

  7. Reflections of an historical researcher on mining, industry, the docks and the Royal Institute of Asturias. Consideraciones de un investigador de temas historicos: sobre mineria, industria, obras portuarias y Real Instituto de Asturias

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adaro Ruiz-Falco, L.

    1988-01-01

    Inaugural treatise by Luis Adaro Ruiz Falco on his taking the office of full academic member of the Royal Academy of Doctors. The treatise is corroborated by Juan Manuel Lopez de Arcona and deals with historical documentation which has been found on Asturias concerning mines and coal mining, in particular.

  8. Mercury in Nordic ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Munthe, John; Waengberg, Ingvar (IVL Swedish Environmental Research Inst., Stockholm (SE)); Rognerud, Sigurd; Fjeld, Eirik (Norwegian Inst. for Water Research (NIVA), Oslo (Norway)); Verta, Matti; Porvari, Petri (Finnish Environment Inst. (SYKE), Helsinki (Finland)); Meili, Markus (Inst. of Applied Environmental Research (ITM), Stockholm (Sweden))

    2007-12-15

    This report provides a first comprehensive compilation and assessment of available data on mercury in air, precipitation, sediments and fish in the Nordic countries. The main conclusion is that mercury levels in Nordic ecosystems continue to be affected by long-range atmospheric transport. The geographical patterns of mercury concentrations in both sediments and fish are also strongly affected by ecosystem characteristics and in some regions possibly by historical pollution. An evaluation of geographical variations in mercury concentrations in precipitation indicates that the influence from anthropogenic sources from Central European areas is still significant. The annual variability of deposition is large and dependant of precipitation amounts. An evaluation of data from stations around the North Sea has indicated a significant decrease in mercury concentrations in precipitation indicating a continuous decrease of emissions in Europe (Waengberg et al., 2007). For mercury in air (TGM), the geographical pattern is less pronounced indicating the influence of mercury emissions and distribution over a larger geographical area (i.e. hemispherical transport). Comparison of recent (surficial) and historical lake sediments show significantly elevated concentrations of mercury most likely caused by anthropogenic atmospheric deposition over the past century. The highest pollution impact was observed in the coastal areas of southern Norway, in south western Finland and in Sweden from the coastal areas in the southwest across the central parts to the north-east. The general increase in recent versus old sediments was 2-5 fold. Data on mercury in Nordic freshwater fish was assembled and evaluated with respect to geographical variations. The fish data were further compared with temporal and spatial trends in mercury deposition and mercury contamination of lake sediments in order to investigate the coupling between atmospheric transport and deposition of mercury and local mercury

  9. Spatiotemporal patterns of mercury accumulation in lake sediments of western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drevnick, Paul; Cooke, Colin A.; Barraza, Daniella; Blais, Jules M.; Coale, Kenneth; Cumming, Brian F.; Curtis, Chris; Das, Biplob; Donahue, William F.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Engstrom, Daniel R.; Fitzgerald, William F.; Furl, Chad V.; Gray, John R.; Hall, Roland I.; Jackson, Togwell A.; Laird, Kathleen R.; Lockhart, W. Lyle; Macdonald, Robie W.; Mast, M. Alisa; Mathieu, Callie; Muir, Derek C.G.; Outridge, Peter; Reinemann, Scott; Rothenberg, Sarah E.; Ruiz-Fernandex, Ana Carolina; St. Louis, V.L.; Sanders, Rhea; Sanei, Hamed; Skierszkan, Elliott; Van Metre, Peter C.; Veverica, Timothy; Wiklund, Johan A.; Wolfe, Brent B.

    2016-01-01

    For the Western North America Mercury Synthesis, we compiled mercury records from 165 dated sediment cores from 138 natural lakes across western North America. Lake sediments are accepted as faithful recorders of historical mercury accumulation rates, and regional and sub-regional temporal and spatial trends were analyzed with descriptive and inferential statistics. Mercury accumulation rates in sediments have increased, on average, four times (4×) from 1850 to 2000 and continue to increase by approximately 0.2 μg/m2 per year. Lakes with the greatest increases were influenced by the Flin Flon smelter, followed by lakes directly affected by mining and wastewater discharges. Of lakes not directly affected by point sources, there is a clear separation in mercury accumulation rates between lakes with no/little watershed development and lakes with extensive watershed development for agricultural and/or residential purposes. Lakes in the latter group exhibited a sharp increase in mercury accumulation rates with human settlement, stabilizing after 1950 at five times (5×) 1850 rates. Mercury accumulation rates in lakes with no/little watershed development were controlled primarily by relative watershed size prior to 1850, and since have exhibited modest increases (in absolute terms and compared to that described above) associated with (regional and global) industrialization. A sub-regional analysis highlighted that in the ecoregion Northwestern Forest Mountains, mercury deposited to watersheds is delivered to lakes. Research is warranted to understand whether mountainous watersheds act as permanent sinks for mercury or if export of “legacy” mercury (deposited in years past) will delay recovery when/if emissions reductions are achieved.

  10. Assessment of environmental and health risks in former polymetallic ore mining and smelting area, Slovakia: Spatial distribution and accumulation of mercury in four different ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Árvay, Július; Demková, Lenka; Hauptvogl, Martin; Michalko, Miloslav; Bajčan, Daniel; Stanovič, Radovan; Tomáš, Ján; Hrstková, Miroslava; Trebichalský, Pavol

    2017-10-01

    Former long-term mining and smelting of pollymetallic ores in the Middle Spiš area caused a serious contamination problem of the environment with heavy metals and metalloids, especially mercury (Hg). Several studies have reported concentration of Hg in the area but this paper provides first detailed characterization of Hg contamination of different environmental components in agricultural, forest, grassland and urban ecosystems. The ecosystems are in different distances from emission sources - former mercury and copper smelting plants in NE Slovakia. Total Hg content was studied in soil/substrate samples (n = 234) and characteristic biological samples (Athyrium filix-femina (L.) Roth, Macrolepiota procera (Scop.) Singer, Boletus edulis Bull., Cyanoboletus pulverulentus (Opat.) Gelardi, Vizzini & Simonini, Triticum aestivum (L.), Poa pratensis (L.)) (n = 234) collected in the above-mentioned ecosystems. The level of contamination and environmental risks were assessed by contamination factor (C f ), index of geoaccumulation (I geo ) and potential environmental risk index (PER). To determine the level of transition of Hg from abiotic to biotic environment, bioconcentration factor (BCF) was used. To determine a health risk resulting from regular and long-term consumption of the locally available species, the results of the Hg content were compared with the Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake (PTWI) for Hg defined by World Health Organization. The results suggest that almost 63% of the area belong to the very high risk category and 80% of the sampling sites shown very high contamination factor. Geoaccumulation index showed that almost 30% of the area is very strongly contaminated and only 8% is not contaminated with Hg. Spearman's correlation relationship confirmed that the values of PER, BCF, C f and I geo decreased with an increasing distance from the pollution source. The percentage of contribution to PTWI ranged between 5.76-69.0% for adults and 11.5-138% for

  11. Long-term dispersal of heavy metals in a catchment affected by historic lead and zinc mining

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ciszewski, Dariusz; Kubsik, Urszula; Aleksander-Kwaterczak, Urszula [AGH Univ. of Science and Technology, Krakow (Poland)

    2012-10-15

    The Matylda catchment, in southern Poland, was polluted by the discharge of mine waters from a lead and zinc mine that inundated parts of a valley floor and caused the accumulation of metal-polluted sediments. After a partial reclamation of the mine site in the early 1980s, polluted sediments continue to accumulate on downstream floodplains and in fishponds. The aim of this study was to reconstruct the changes in metal dispersal during 100 years of mining and during the 40-year post-mining period and to propose a strategy for pollution mitigation in the area. Analyses of Cu, Cd, Pb, Zn, Mn, Ca, Mg and Fe concentrations, speciation of heavy metals and mineralogical analyses were undertaken on overbank sediment cores and in stream sediments. Concentrations of the same elements and macro-ions soluble in stream waters were also determined. Concentrations of Zn, Cd and Pb in the sediment profiles vary between 40,000 and 55,000, 300 and 600 and 30,000 and 50,000 mg kg{sup -1}, respectively. Changes of metal concentrations and the stratigraphy of sediments from the floodplains, stream channels and fishponds suggest rapid changes of metal loads migrating downstream during both the mining and post-mining periods. Since the time of mine closure, fine-grained, mine-derived sediments (ca. 12 cm thick) have been the main source of pollution of post-mining sediments and surface waters. Closure of the mine was followed by a relatively short period of rapid redistribution of sediment-associated heavy metals in the stream channel. Since the 1980s, the floodplain and fishponds have received a constant supply of metals. It contrasts with the slow sediment accretion rate and a rapid decrease of metal concentrations in floodplain pools due to dilution by decomposed leaf litter. A fivefold increase of Cd content in waters over the 4.6 km reach of the Matylda stream indicates continuous leaching of this element from the contaminated valley floor. Unsuccessful mine site rehabilitation is

  12. Remediation of acid mine drainage at the friendship hill national historic site with a pulsed limestone bed process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibrell, P.L.; Watten, B.; Boone, T.; ,

    2003-01-01

    A new process utilizing pulsed fluidized limestone beds was tested for the remediation of acid mine drainage at the Friendship Hill National Historic Site, in southwestern Pennsylvania. A 230 liter-per-minute treatment system was constructed and operated over a fourteen-month period from June 2000 through September 2001. Over this period of time, 50,000 metric tons of limestone were used to treat 50 million liters of water. The influent water pH was 2.5 and acidity was 1000 mg/L as CaCO3. Despite the high potential for armoring at the site, effluent pH during normal plant operation ranged from 5.7 to 7.8 and averaged 6.8. As a result of the high influent acidity, sufficient CO2 was generated and recycled to provide a net alkaline discharge with about 50 mg/L as CaCO3 alkalinity. Additions of commercial CO2 increased effluent alkalinity to as high as 300 mg/L, and could be a useful process management tool for transient high flows or acidities. Metal removal rates were 95% for aluminum (60 mg/L in influent), 50 to 90% for iron (Fe), depending on the ratio of ferrous to ferric iron, which varied seasonally (200 mg/L in influent), and iron and Mn removal was incomplete because of the high pH required for precipitation of these species. Iron removal could be improved by increased aeration following neutralization, and Mn removal could be effected by a post treatment passive settling/oxidation pond. Metal hydroxide sludges were settled in settling tanks, and then hauled from the site for aesthetic purposes. Over 450 metric tons of sludge were removed from the water over the life of the project. The dried sludge was tested by the Toxicity Characteristics Leaching Protocol (TCLP) and was found to be non-hazardous. Treatment costs were $43,000 per year and $1.08 per m 3, but could be decreased to $22,000 and $0.51 per m3 by decreasing labor use and by onsite sludge handling. These results confirm the utility of the new process in treatment of acid impaired waters that were

  13. Remediation of acid mine drainage at the friendship hill national historic site with a pulsed limestone bed process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibrell, P.L.; Watten, B.; Boone, T.; ,

    2003-01-01

    A new process utilizing pulsed fluidized limestone beds was tested for the remediation of acid mine drainage at the Friendship Hill National Historic Site, in southwestern Pennsylvania. A 230 liter-per-minute treatment system was constructed and operated over a fourteen-month period from June 2000 through September 2001. Over this period of time, 50,000 metric tons of limestone were used to treat 50 million liters of water. The influent water pH was 2.5 and acidity was 1000 mg/L as CaCO3. Despite the high potential for armoring at the site, effluent pH during normal plant operation ranged from 5.7 to 7.8 and averaged 6.8. As a result of the high influent acidity, sufficient CO2 was generated and recycled to provide a net alkaline discharge with about 50 mg/L as CaCO3 alkalinity. Additions of commercial CO2 increased effluent alkalinity to as high as 300 mg/L, and could be a useful process management tool for transient high flows or acidities. Metal removal rates were 95% for aluminum (60 mg/L in influent), 50 to 90% for iron (Fe), depending on the ratio of ferrous to ferric iron, which varied seasonally (200 mg/L in influent), and treatment passive settling/oxidation pond. Metal hydroxide sludges were settled in settling tanks, and then hauled from the site for aesthetic purposes. Over 450 metric tons of sludge were removed from the water over the life of the project. The dried sludge was tested by the Toxicity Characteristics Leaching Protocol (TCLP) and was found to be non-hazardous. Treatment costs were $43,000 per year and $1.08 per m 3, but could be decreased to $22,000 and $0.51 per m3 by decreasing labor use and by onsite sludge handling. These results confirm the utility of the new process in treatment of acid impaired waters that were previously not amenable to low cost limestone treatment.

  14. Questa baseline and pre-mining ground-water quality investigation 4. Historical surface-water quality for the Red River Valley, New Mexico, 1965 to 2001

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maest, Ann S.; Nordstrom, D. Kirk; LoVetere, Sara H.

    2004-01-01

    Historical water-quality samples collected from the Red River over the past 35 years were compiled, reviewed for quality, and evaluated to determine influences on water quality over time. Hydrologic conditions in the Red River were found to have a major effect on water quality. The lowest sulfate concentrations were associated with the highest flow events, especially peak, rising limb, and falling limb conditions. The highest sulfate concentrations were associated with the early part of the rising limb of summer thunderstorm events and early snowmelt runoff, transient events that can be difficult to capture as part of planned sampling programs but were observed in some of the data. The first increase in flows in the spring, or during summer thunderstorm events, causes a flushing of sulfide oxidation products from scars and mine-disturbed areas to the Red River before being diluted by rising river waters. A trend of increasing sulfate concentrations and loads over long time periods also was noted at the Questa Ranger Station gage on the Red River, possibly related to mining activities, because the same trend is not apparent for concentrations upstream. This trend was only apparent when the dynamic events of snowmelt and summer rainstorms were eliminated and only low-flow concentrations were considered. An increase in sulfate concentrations and loads over time was not seen at locations upstream from the Molycorp, Inc., molybdenum mine and downstream from scar areas. Sulfate concentrations and loads and zinc concentrations downstream from the mine were uniformly higher, and alkalinity values were consistently lower, than those upstream from the mine, suggesting that additional sources of sulfate, zinc, and acidity enter the river in the vicinity of the mine. During storm events, alkalinity values decreased both upstream and downstream of the mine, indicating that natural sources, most likely scar areas, can cause short-term changes in the buffering capacity of the Red

  15. Effects of historical coal mining and drainage from abandoned mines on streamflow and water quality in Bear Creek, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania-March 1999-December 2002

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaplin, Jeffrey J.

    2005-01-01

    More than 100 years of anthracite coal mining has changed surface- and ground-water hydrology and contaminated streams draining the Southern Anthracite Coal Field in east-central Pennsylvania. Bear Creek drains the western prong of the Southern Anthracite Coal Field and is affected by metals in drainage from abandoned mines and streamwater losses. Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) developed for dissolved iron of about 5 lb/d (pounds per day) commonly are exceeded in the reach downstream of mine discharges. Restoration of Bear Creek using aerobic ponds to passively remove iron in abandoned mine drainage is under consideration (2004) by the Dauphin County Conservation District. This report, prepared in cooperation with the Dauphin County Conservation District, evaluates chemical and hydrologic data collected in Bear Creek and its receiving waters prior to implementation of mine-drainage treatment. The data collected represent the type of baseline information needed for documentation of water-quality changes following passive treatment of mine drainage in Pennsylvania and in other similar hydrogeologic settings. Seven surface-water sites on Bear Creek and two mine discharges were monitored for nearly three years to characterize the chemistry and hydrology of the following: (1) Bear Creek upstream of the mine discharges (BC-UMD), (2) water draining from the Lykens-Williamstown Mine Pool at the Lykens Water-Level Tunnel (LWLT) and Lykens Drift (LD) discharges, (3) Bear Creek after mixing with the mine discharges (BC-DMD), and (4) Bear Creek prior to mixing with Wiconisco Creek (BCM). Two sites on Wiconisco Creek, upstream and downstream of Bear Creek (WC-UBC and WC-DBC, respectively), were selected to evaluate changes in streamflow and water quality upon mixing with Bear Creek. During periods of below-normal precipitation, streamwater loss was commonly 100 percent upstream of site BC-UMD (streamflow range = 0 to 9.7 ft3/s (cubic feet per second)) but no loss was detected

  16. Mercury Bioaccumulation in Fish in a Region Affected by Historic Gold Morning: The South Yuba River, Deer Creek, and Bear River Watersheds, California, 1999

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    May, Jason T; Hothem, Roger L; Alpers, Charles N; Law, Matthew A

    2000-01-01

    ... Francisco Bay of northern California. Methylmercury is of particular concern because it is the most prevalent form of mercury in fish and is a potent neurotoxin that bioaccumulates at successive trophic levels within food webs...

  17. Benthic foraminifera (Protista) as indicators of metal pollution in areas of historic mining: examples from southwest England

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Malcolm; Smart, Christopher

    2016-04-01

    Southwest England has been, from Roman times, an important mining area supplying a range of important metals, including copper, tin, tungsten, arsenic, zinc, silver, etc. This mining activity virtually disappeared in the twentieth century, although one tungsten mine near Plymouth has recently re-opened. Large areas of Cornwall and West Devon are now inscribed as the 'Cornish Mining World Heritage Site' on the cultural list of UNESCO. Many of the old mines with their spoil heaps and tailings dams are now protected and, together with the mineral-rich local geology, provide many catchments with on-going metal pollution. In January 1992, after a period of prolonged, heavy rainfall Wheal Jane mine flooded and discharged heavily polluted, acidic, water into Restonguet Creek and the Fal Estuary. This event provided the setting for a detailed investigation of the immediate impact of the pollution and the resulting environmental improvements caused by engineering interventions and natural re-adjustment. Benthic foraminifera disappeared from Restronguet Creek for a number of years and while there is now an abundant, though low diversity, estuarine assemblage of foraminifera living in the creek there are still high levels (pollution can be used to compare with the test deformity data. In other estuarine systems in southwest England, such as the River Fowey and the River Tamar, levels of deformity are less, though still significant for areas no longer being actively mined. This demonstrates that polluted sediments in all these estuaries, which can be disturbed during floods or times of stormy weather, and the background levels of metal elements in the catchments that supply these estuaries, are sufficient to maintain these levels of deformity in the long term. OLUGBODE, O.I., HART, M.B. & STUBBLES, S.J. 2005. Foraminifera from Restronguet Creek: monitoring recovery from the Wheal Jane pollution incident. Geoscience in south-west England, 11, 82-92.

  18. Remains of mining in the territory of villages´ Červenica and Zlatá Baňa in the mountain range of Slanské vrchy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rudolf Magula

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available This article is devoted to the territory that is recondite for mining activities. It is situated in a north part of the mountain range of Slanské vrchy. There are villages that were known as mining villages in the past. The mining activities for gold, silver and mercury had only a local economical importance, beside of the output or production of opal. The output of opal on this territory was world noted, in the past. The aim of this article is to remit at some historical facts about former mines and to draw our attention to some attempts for building up, the educational and touristic path on this territory.

  19. Technogenic magnetic particles in soils as evidence of historical mining and smelting activity: A case of the Brynica River Valley, Poland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Magiera, Tadeusz, E-mail: tadeusz.magiera@ipis.zabrze.pl [Institute of Environmental Engineering, Polish Academy of Sciences, Skłodowskiej-Curie 34, Zabrze (Poland); Mendakiewicz, Maria; Szuszkiewicz, Marcin [Institute of Environmental Engineering, Polish Academy of Sciences, Skłodowskiej-Curie 34, Zabrze (Poland); Jabłońska, Mariola [Department of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Petrology, Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia, Sosnowiec (Poland); Chróst, Leszek [Laboratory for Ecological Research, Ekopomiar, Gliwice (Poland)

    2016-10-01

    In the area of Brynica River basin (Upper Silesia, southern Poland) the exploitation and smelting of iron, silver and lead ores was historically documented since early Middle Ages. First investigations showed that metallurgy industry had a large impact from 9th century (AD) until the Second World War. The aim of the study was to use magnetic prospection to detect traces of past mining and ore smelting in Brynica River Valley located in Upper Silesia (southern Poland). The field screening was performed by measurement magnetic susceptibility (κ) on surface and in vertical profiles and was supported locally by gradiometric measurements. Vertical distribution of magnetic susceptibility values was closely associated with the type of soil use. Historical technogenic magnetic particles resulting from exploitation, processing, and smelting of iron, silver, and lead ores were accumulated in the soil layer at the depth 10 to 25 cm. They were represented by sharp-edged particles of slag, coke, as well as various mineralogical forms of iron minerals and aggregates composed of carbon particles, aluminosilicate glass, and single particles of metallic iron. The additional geochemical study in adjacent peat bog supported by radiocarbon dating was also performed. The application of integrated geochemical-magnetic methods to reconstruct the historical accumulation of pollutants in the studied peat bog was effective. The magnetic peak, which was pointed out by magnetic analyses, is consistent with the presence of charcoal and pollution from heavy metals, such as Ag, Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb, or Sn. The results of this work will be helpful for the further study of human's impact on the environment related to the historical and even pre-historical ore exploitation and smelting and also used for better targeting the archeological excavations on such areas. - Highlights: • Due to ferrimagnetic properties of historical slags magnetic prospection is an efficient tool for they localization.

  20. Technogenic magnetic particles in soils as evidence of historical mining and smelting activity: A case of the Brynica River Valley, Poland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Magiera, Tadeusz; Mendakiewicz, Maria; Szuszkiewicz, Marcin; Jabłońska, Mariola; Chróst, Leszek

    2016-01-01

    In the area of Brynica River basin (Upper Silesia, southern Poland) the exploitation and smelting of iron, silver and lead ores was historically documented since early Middle Ages. First investigations showed that metallurgy industry had a large impact from 9th century (AD) until the Second World War. The aim of the study was to use magnetic prospection to detect traces of past mining and ore smelting in Brynica River Valley located in Upper Silesia (southern Poland). The field screening was performed by measurement magnetic susceptibility (κ) on surface and in vertical profiles and was supported locally by gradiometric measurements. Vertical distribution of magnetic susceptibility values was closely associated with the type of soil use. Historical technogenic magnetic particles resulting from exploitation, processing, and smelting of iron, silver, and lead ores were accumulated in the soil layer at the depth 10 to 25 cm. They were represented by sharp-edged particles of slag, coke, as well as various mineralogical forms of iron minerals and aggregates composed of carbon particles, aluminosilicate glass, and single particles of metallic iron. The additional geochemical study in adjacent peat bog supported by radiocarbon dating was also performed. The application of integrated geochemical-magnetic methods to reconstruct the historical accumulation of pollutants in the studied peat bog was effective. The magnetic peak, which was pointed out by magnetic analyses, is consistent with the presence of charcoal and pollution from heavy metals, such as Ag, Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb, or Sn. The results of this work will be helpful for the further study of human's impact on the environment related to the historical and even pre-historical ore exploitation and smelting and also used for better targeting the archeological excavations on such areas. - Highlights: • Due to ferrimagnetic properties of historical slags magnetic prospection is an efficient tool for they localization.

  1. Contamination status of arsenic and other trace elements in drinking water and residents from Tarkwa, a historic mining township in Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asante, Kwadwo Ansong; Agusa, Tetsuro; Subramanian, Annamalai; Ansa-Asare, Osmund D; Biney, Charles A; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2007-01-01

    This study was conducted to assess the contamination status of 22 trace elements, especially As in water and residents in Tarkwa, a historic mining town in Ghana. Drinking water and human urine samples were collected from Tarkwa in addition to control samples taken from Accra, the capital of Ghana in March, 2004. Concentrations of As and Mn in some drinking water samples from Tarkwa were found above the WHO drinking water guidelines posing a potential health risk for the people. A potential health risk of As and Mn is a concern for the people consuming the contaminated water in this area. No significant difference of As concentrations in human urine between mining town (Tarkwa) and control site (Accra) was observed. Although As concentrations in drinking water in Tarkwa were low, urinary As levels were comparable to those reported in highly As-affected areas in the world. These results suggest the presence of other sources of As contamination in Ghana. This is the first study on multi-elemental contamination in drinking water and human from a mining town in Ghana.

  2. Industrial and natural sources of gaseous elemental mercury in the Almadén district (Spain): An updated report on this issue after the ceasing of mining and metallurgical activities in 2003 and major land reclamation works

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Higueras, Pablo; María Esbrí, José; Oyarzun, Roberto; Llanos, Willans; Martínez-Coronado, Alba

    2013-01-01

    Two events during the last decade had major environmental repercussions in Almadén town (Spain). First it was the ceasing of activities in the mercury mine and metallurgical facilities in 2003, and then the finalization of the restoration works on the main waste dump in 2008. The combination of both events brought about a dramatic drop in the emissions of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) to the atmosphere. Although no one would now call the Almadén area as ‘mercury-free’, the GEM levels have fallen beneath international reference safety levels for the first time in centuries. This has been a major breakthrough because in less than one decade the site went from GEM levels in the order of “tens of thousands” to mere “tens” nanogram per cubic meter. Although these figures are per se a remarkable achievement, they do not mark the end of the environmental concerns in the Almadén district. Two other sites remain as potential environmental hazards. (1) The Las Cuevas mercury storage complex, a partially restored ex-mining site where liquid mercury is being stored. The MERSADE Project (LIFE—European Union) has tested the Las Cuevas complex as a potential site for the installation of a future European prototype safe deposit of surplus mercury from industrial activities. Despite restoration works carried out in 2004, the Las Cuevas complex can still be regarded as hotspot of mercury contamination, with high concentrations above 800 μg g −1 Hg soil and 300 ng m −3 Hg gas . However, as predicted by air contamination modeling using the ISC-AERMOD software, GEM concentrations fade away in a short distance following the formation of a NW–SE oriented narrow plume extending for a few hundred meters from the complex perimeter. (2) Far more dangerous from the human health perspective is the Almadenejos area, hosting the small Almadenejos village, the so-called Cerco de Almadenejos (CDA; an old metallurgical precinct), and the mines of La Nueva Concepción, La

  3. Historical variations in the stable isotope composition of mercury in a sediment core from a riverine lake: Effects of dams, pulp and paper mill wastes, and mercury from a chlor-alkali plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackson, Togwell A.

    2016-01-01

    The Wabigoon River (Ontario, Canada) was affected by dams starting in 1898 and was polluted with pulp and paper mill wastes starting in 1913 and mercury from a chlor-alkali plant from 1962 to 1975. A dated sediment core from a riverine lake was analysed to investigate resultant changes in the biogeochemistry of mercury as revealed by variations in mercury isotope ratios and sediment chemistry. A total mercury maximum formed by the mercury pollution coincided with minimums in the δ-values of the 198 Hg/ 202 Hg, 199 Hg/ 202 Hg, 200 Hg/ 202 Hg, and 201 Hg/ 202 Hg ratios, and the δ-values decreased in the order δ 201 Hg > δ 200 Hg > δ 199 Hg > δ 198 Hg. Thus, mass-dependent fractionation caused depletion in lighter isotopes, implying evaporation of Hg(0) and pollution of the atmosphere as well as the river-lake system. Concurrently, mass-independent fractionation caused 199 Hg enrichment, possibly reflecting an independently documented upsurge in methylmercury production, and 201 Hg depletion, suggesting removal of methylmercury with anomalously high 201 Hg/ 199 Hg ratios by aquatic organisms and accumulation of 201 Hg-depleted inorganic Hg(II) in sediments. The δ 201 Hg/δ 199 Hg ratio rose abruptly when mercury pollution began, reflecting the resultant increase in methylmercury production, and remained high but gradually declined as the pollution abated, paralleling trends shown by methylmercury in aquatic organisms. The δ 201 Hg/δ 199 Hg ratio of pre-1962 background mercury increased ca. 1898 and ca. 1913–1929, suggesting accelerated methylmercury production due to stimulation of microbial activities by the damming of the river and the input of pulp and paper mill wastes, respectively. Other variations were linked to economic and technological factors that affected pulp and paper manufacture. - Highlights: • A core from a lake polluted by Hg and organic wastes was analysed for Hg isotopes. • Hg from a chlor-alkali plant was depleted in lighter

  4. Mercury and Your Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... the Risk of Exposure to Mercury Learn About Mercury What is Mercury What is Metallic mercury? Toxicological Profile ToxFAQs Mercury Resources CDC’s National Biomonitoring Program Factsheet on Mercury ...

  5. Mercury accumulation plant Cyrtomium macrophyllum and its potential for phytoremediation of mercury polluted sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xun, Yu; Feng, Liu; Li, Youdan; Dong, Haochen

    2017-12-01

    Cyrtomium macrophyllum naturally grown in 225.73 mg kg -1 of soil mercury in mining area was found to be a potential mercury accumulator plant with the translocation factor of 2.62 and the high mercury concentration of 36.44 mg kg -1 accumulated in its aerial parts. Pot experiments indicated that Cyrtomium macrophyllum could even grow in 500 mg kg -1 of soil mercury with observed inhibition on growth but no obvious toxic effects, and showed excellent mercury accumulation and translocation abilities with both translocation and bioconcentration factors greater than 1 when exposed to 200 mg kg -1 and lower soil mercury, indicating that it could be considered as a great mercury accumulating species. Furthermore, the leaf tissue of Cyrtomium macrophyllum showed high resistance to mercury stress because of both the increased superoxide dismutase activity and the accumulation of glutathione and proline induced by mercury stress, which favorited mercury translocation from the roots to the aerial parts, revealing the possible reason for Cyrtomium macrophyllum to tolerate high concentration of soil mercury. In sum, due to its excellent mercury accumulation and translocation abilities as well as its high resistance to mercury stress, the use of Cyrtomium macrophyllum should be a promising approach to remediating mercury polluted soils. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Planet Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    1974-01-01

    Mariner 10's first image of Mercury acquired on March 24, 1974. During its flight, Mariner 10's trajectory brought it behind the lighted hemisphere of Mercury, where this image was taken, in order to acquire important measurements with other instruments.This picture was acquired from a distance of 3,340,000 miles (5,380,000 km) from the surface of Mercury. The diameter of Mercury (3,031 miles; 4,878 km) is about 1/3 that of Earth.Images of Mercury were acquired in two steps, an inbound leg (images acquired before passing into Mercury's shadow) and an outbound leg (after exiting from Mercury's shadow). More than 2300 useful images of Mercury were taken, both moderate resolution (3-20 km/pixel) color and high resolution (better than 1 km/pixel) black and white coverage.

  7. Atmospheric mercury emissions in Australia from anthropogenic, natural and recycled sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Peter F.; Morrison, Anthony L.; Malfroy, Hugh J.; Cope, Martin; Lee, Sunhee; Hibberd, Mark L.; Meyer, C. P. (Mick); McGregor, John

    2012-12-01

    The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has begun a process of developing a legally binding instrument to manage emissions of mercury from anthropogenic sources. The UNEP Governing Council has concluded that there is sufficient evidence of significant global adverse impacts from mercury to warrant further international action; and that national, regional and global actions should be initiated as soon as possible to identify populations at risk and to reduce human generated releases. This paper describes the development of, and presents results from, a comprehensive, spatially and temporally resolved inventory of atmospheric mercury emissions from the Australian landmass. Results indicate that the best estimate of total anthropogenic emissions of mercury to the atmosphere in 2006 was 15 ± 5 tonnes. Three industrial sectors contribute substantially to Australian anthropogenic emissions: gold smelting (˜50%, essentially from a single site/operation), coal combustion in power plants (˜15%) and alumina production from bauxite (˜12%). A diverse range of other sectors contribute smaller proportions of the emitted mercury, but industrial emissions account for around 90% of total anthropogenic mercury emissions. The other sectors include other industrial sources (mining, smelting, and cement production) and the use of products containing mercury. It is difficult to determine historical trends in mercury emissions given the large uncertainties in the data. Estimates for natural and re-emitted emissions from soil, water, vegetation and fires are made using meteorological models, satellite observations of land cover and soil and vegetation type, fuel loading, fire scars and emission factors which account for the effects of temperature, insolation and other environmental variables. These natural and re-emitted sources comfortably exceed the anthropogenic emissions, and comprise 4-12 tonnes per year from vegetation, 70-210 tonnes per year from soils, and 21-63 tonnes

  8. Mercurial poisoning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gorton, B

    1924-01-01

    Cats which had been kept in a thermometer factory to catch rats were afflicted with mercury poisoning. So were the rats they were supposed to eat. The symptoms of mercury poisoning were the same in both species. The source of mercury for these animals is a fine film of the metal which coats floors, a result of accidental spills during the manufacturing process.

  9. Seasonal and spatial variation of diffuse (non-point) source zinc pollution in a historically metal mined river catchment, UK

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gozzard, E., E-mail: emgo@ceh.ac.uk [Hydrogeochemical Engineering Research and Outreach Group, School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU (United Kingdom); Mayes, W.M., E-mail: W.Mayes@hull.ac.uk [Hydrogeochemical Engineering Research and Outreach Group, School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU (United Kingdom); Potter, H.A.B., E-mail: hugh.potter@environment-agency.gov.uk [Environment Agency England and Wales, c/o Institute for Research on Environment and Sustainability, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU (United Kingdom); Jarvis, A.P., E-mail: a.p.jarvis@ncl.ac.uk [Hydrogeochemical Engineering Research and Outreach Group, School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU (United Kingdom)

    2011-10-15

    Quantifying diffuse sources of pollution is becoming increasingly important when characterising river catchments in entirety - a prerequisite for environmental management. This study examines both low and high flow events, as well as spatial variability, in order to assess point and diffuse components of zinc pollution within the River West Allen catchment, which lies within the northern England lead-zinc Orefield. Zinc levels in the river are elevated under all flow regimes, and are of environmental concern. Diffuse components are of little importance at low flow, with point source mine water discharges dominating instream zinc concentration and load. During higher river flows 90% of the instream zinc load is attributed to diffuse sources, where inputs from resuspension of metal-rich sediments, and groundwater influx are likely to be more dominant. Remediating point mine water discharges should significantly improve water quality at lower flows, but contribution from diffuse sources will continue to elevate zinc flux at higher flows. - Highlights: > Zinc concentrations breach EU quality thresholds under all river flow conditions. > Contributions from point sources dominate instream zinc dynamics in low flow. > Contributions from diffuse sources dominate instream zinc dynamics in high flow. > Important diffuse sources include river-bed sediment resuspension and groundwater influx. > Diffuse sources would still create significant instream pollution, even with point source treatment. - Diffuse zinc sources are an important source of instream contamination to mine-impacted rivers under varying flow conditions.

  10. Got Mercury?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyers, Valerie E.; McCoy, J. Torin; Garcia, Hector D.; James, John T.

    2009-01-01

    Many of the operational and payload lighting units used in various spacecraft contain elemental mercury. If these devices were damaged on-orbit, elemental mercury could be released into the cabin. Although there are plans to replace operational units with alternate light sources, such as LEDs, that do not contain mercury, mercury-containing lamps efficiently produce high quality illumination and may never be completely replaced on orbit. Therefore, exposure to elemental mercury during spaceflight will remain possible and represents a toxicological hazard. Elemental mercury is a liquid metal that vaporizes slowly at room temperature. However, it may be completely vaporized at the elevated operating temperatures of lamps. Although liquid mercury is not readily absorbed through the skin or digestive tract, mercury vapors are efficiently absorbed through the respiratory tract. Therefore, the amount of mercury in the vapor form must be estimated. For mercury releases from lamps that are not being operated, we utilized a study conducted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Quality to calculate the amount of mercury vapor expected to form over a 2-week period. For longer missions and for mercury releases occurring when lamps are operating, we conservatively assumed complete volatilization of the available mercury. Because current spacecraft environmental control systems are unable to remove mercury vapors, both short-term and long-term exposures to mercury vapors are possible. Acute exposure to high concentrations of mercury vapors can cause irritation of the respiratory tract and behavioral symptoms, such as irritability and hyperactivity. Chronic exposure can result in damage to the nervous system (tremors, memory loss, insomnia, etc.) and kidneys (proteinurea). Therefore, the JSC Toxicology Group recommends that stringent safety controls and verifications (vibrational testing, etc.) be applied to any hardware that contains elemental mercury that could yield

  11. Restoration of a historic church in the Rhineland brown coal mining area after damage caused by mining; Bergschadensanierung einer historischen Kirche im rheinischen Braunkohlenrevier

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koether, M. [Rheinbraun AG, Koeln (Germany); Weiper, H. [Rheinbraun AG, Koeln (Germany); Jung, H.H. [Ingenieurgesellschaft J.-F. und P. Jung und Partner GmbH, Gelsenkirchen (Germany)

    1996-09-01

    From the 1960s onwards, the Catholic parish curch of St. Remigius in Bergheim, the oldest parts of which date back to the 12th century, suffered damage caused by ground subsidences induced by mining operations on a tectonic fault. As a result of the effects of damage on the building over decades and the occurrence of a slip of almost 60 mm along the fault line, the damage to this National Trust edifice was so extensive by the late 1980s that the existence of the three-nave churche was seriously endangered in view of the further ground subsidences that were to be expected. (orig./HS) [Deutsch] Die katholische Pfarrkirche St. Remigius in Bergheim, deren aelteste Bauabschnitte aus dem 12. Jahrhundert stammen, wurde seit den 60er Jahren durch bergbaulich induzierte Bodenbewegungen an einer tektonischen Stoerung geschaedigt. Aufgrund der jahrzehntelangen Schadenseinwirkungen auf das Bauwerk und eine Absatzbildung an der Stoerungslinie von insgesamt fast 60 mm fuehrten Ende der 80er Jahre an dem denkmalgeschuetzten Bauwerk zu so starken Schaeden, dass der Bestand der dreischiffigen Kirche unter Beruecksichtigung der noch zu erwartenden Bodenbewegungen gefaehrdet war. (orig./HS)

  12. The Impact of the Rock Mass Deformation on Geometric Changes of a Historical Chimney in the Salt Mine of Bochnia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szafarczyk, Anna; Gawałkiewicz, Rafał

    2018-03-01

    There are many ways of the geometry measurement of slim objects, with the application of geodetic and photogrammetric methods. A modern solution in the diagnostics of slim objects is the application of laser scanning, with the use of a scanner of a scanning total station. The point cloud, obtained from the surface of the scanned object gives the possibility of generating not only information on structural surface deformations, but also facilitates obtaining the data on the geometry of the axis of the building, as a basic indicator of the characteristics of its deformation. The cause of the change in the geometry of slim objects is the impact of many external and internal factors. These objects are located in the areas of working or closed underground mines. They can be impacted by the ground and they can face the results of the convergence of cavities. A specific structure of the salt rock mass causes subsequent convergence of the post-exploitation cavities, which has the influence on the behaviour of the terrain surface and the related objects. The authors analysed the impact of the changes in the rock mass and the surface on the changes of the industrial chimney in the Bochnia Salt Mine.

  13. Atmospheric mercury sources in the Mt. Amiata area, Italy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferrara, R.; Mazzolai, B.; Edner, H.; Svanberg, S.; Wallinder, E.

    1998-01-01

    Mt. Amiata, located in southern Tuscany (Italy), is part of the geologic anomaly of the Mediterranean basin, which contains about 65% of the world's cinnabar (HgS) deposits. Atmospheric mercury emissions from the main sources (geothermal power plants, abandoned mine structures and spoil banks of roasted cinnabar ore) were determined by flux chamber and by LIDAR remote sensing. Mercury emissions from five geothermal power plants were on the order of 24 g h -1 for each plant, a value that remains constant throughout the year. In the month of July, the mine spoils (covering an area of =200000 m 2 ) emit a few grams of mercury per hour, while the abandoned mine structures give off 100-110 g h -1 . These two mercury sources were strongly influenced by ambient temperature. The area affected by mercury sources displays an average air mercury concentration of 20 ng m -3 during the summer and 10 ng m -3 in winter

  14. Seasonal mercury concentrations and {delta}{sup 15}N and {delta}{sup 13}C values of benthic macroinvertebrates and sediments from a historically polluted estuary in south central Chile

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Diaz-Jaramillo, Mauricio, E-mail: mdiazjaramillo@conicet.gov.ar [Aquatic Systems Research Unit, EULA Chile Environmental Sciences Centre, Universidad de Concepcion (Chile); Munoz, Claudia; Rudolph, Ignacio [Aquatic Systems Research Unit, EULA Chile Environmental Sciences Centre, Universidad de Concepcion (Chile); Servos, Mark [Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, ON (Canada); Barra, Ricardo [Aquatic Systems Research Unit, EULA Chile Environmental Sciences Centre, Universidad de Concepcion (Chile)

    2013-01-01

    The Lenga Estuary is one of the most industrialized sites in south central Chile where the historic operation of chlor-alkali plants resulted in large quantities of mercury (Hg) being deposited into the estuary. This historical contamination may still represent a risk to the biota in the estuary. To investigate this four macroinvertebrates, Neotrypaea uncinata (ghostshrimp), Elminius kingii (barnacle), Hemigrapsus crenulatus (shore crab) and Perinereis gualpensis (ragworm) were collected seasonally from three different sites in the Lenga Estuary and one in a reference estuary (Tubul Estuary), and analyzed for Hg and stable isotopes ({delta}{sup 15}N and {delta}{sup 13}C). Mercury concentrations in Lenga sediments ranged from 0.4 {+-} 0.1 to 13 {+-} 3 mg/kg, while those in Tubul sediments ranged from 0.02 {+-} 0.01 to 0.07 {+-} 0.09 mg/kg. Total Hg concentrations of invertebrates were significantly different between estuaries (p < 0.05), but not by species or season for each estuary (p > 0.05). In contrast, organic Hg concentrations were different by species and season with shore crab muscle tissues exhibiting the greatest percent difference. Site-specific relationships demonstrated that total Hg concentrations in ragworm best reflected the total Hg sediment mercury concentrations. Signatures of {delta}{sup 13}C were correlated to the organic Hg % rather than total Hg. This suggests that organic Hg concentrations in these species were related to the carbon sources. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Hg in sediments and biota from Lenga Estuary were elevated compared to nearby estuary. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Invertebrates showed interspecific and seasonal differences in terms of organic Hg %. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Total Hg levels in the ragworm best reflect Hg sediment gradient in Lenga Estuary. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Interspecific variation in {delta}{sup 13}C signatures indicated different feeding modes. Black

  15. Colombian mining legislation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mendoza Delgado, Eva Isolina

    2004-01-01

    The paper makes a historical recount of the mining legislation in Colombia, it is about the more relevant aspects of the Code of Mines, like they are the title miner, obligations, economic aspects, integration of mining areas and of the benefits contemplated in the law 685 of 2001

  16. Solar System Exploration Augmented by In-Situ Resource Utilization: Mercury and Saturn Propulsion Investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palaszewski, Bryan

    2016-01-01

    Human and robotic missions to Mercury and Saturn are presented and analyzed with a range of propulsion options. Historical studies of space exploration, in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), and industrialization all point to the vastness of natural resources in the solar system. Advanced propulsion benefitted from these resources in many ways. While advanced propulsion systems were proposed in these historical studies, further investigation of nuclear options using high power nuclear thermal and nuclear pulse propulsion as well as advanced chemical propulsion can significantly enhance these scenarios. Updated analyses based on these historical visions will be presented. Nuclear thermal propulsion and ISRU enhanced chemical propulsion landers are assessed for Mercury missions. At Saturn, nuclear pulse propulsion with alternate propellant feed systems and Titan exploration with chemical propulsion options are discussed. In-situ resource utilization was found to be critical in making Mercury missions more amenable for human visits. At Saturn, refueling using local atmospheric mining was found to be difficult to impractical, while refueling the Saturn missions from Uranus was more practical and less complex.

  17. Mercury recycling in the United States in 2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, William E.; Matos, Grecia R.

    2005-01-01

    Reclamation and recycling of mercury from used mercury- containing products and treatment of byproduct mercury from gold mining is vital to the continued, though declining, use of this metal. Mercury is reclaimed from mercury-containing waste by treatment in multistep high-temperature retorts-the mercury is volatized and then condensed for purification and sale. Some mercury-containing waste, however, may be landfilled, and landfilled material represents loss of a recyclable resource and a threat to the environment. Related issues include mercury disposal and waste management, toxicity and human health, and regulation of mercury releases in the environment. End-users of mercury-containing products may face fines and prosecution if these products are improperly recycled or not recycled. Local and State environmental regulations require adherence to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act to regulate generation, treatment, and disposal of mercury-containing products. In the United States, several large companies and a number of smaller companies collect these products from a variety of sources and then reclaim and recycle the mercury. Because mercury has not been mined as a principal product in the United States since 1992, mercury reclamation from fabricated products has become the main source of mercury. Principal product mercury and byproduct mercury from mining operations are considered to be primary materials. Mercury may also be obtained as a byproduct from domestic or foreign gold-processing operations. In the early 1990s, U.S. manufacturers used an annual average that ranged from 500 to 600 metric tons of recycled and imported mercury for fabrication of automobile convenience switches, dental amalgam, fluorescent lamps, medical uses and thermometers, and thermostats. The amount now used for fabrication is estimated to be 200 metric tons per year or less. Much of the data on

  18. Remains of mining in the territory of villages´ Červenica and Zlatá Baňa in the mountain range of Slanské vrchy

    OpenAIRE

    Rudolf Magula; Ján Brehuv

    2007-01-01

    This article is devoted to the territory that is recondite for mining activities. It is situated in a north part of the mountain range of Slanské vrchy. There are villages that were known as mining villages in the past. The mining activities for gold, silver and mercury had only a local economical importance, beside of the output or production of opal. The output of opal on this territory was world noted, in the past. The aim of this article is to remit at some historical facts about former m...

  19. Over three millennia of mercury pollution in the Peruvian Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, Colin A.; Balcom, Prentiss H.; Biester, Harald; Wolfe, Alexander P.

    2009-01-01

    We present unambiguous records of preindustrial atmospheric mercury (Hg) pollution, derived from lake-sediment cores collected near Huancavelica, Peru, the largest Hg deposit in the New World. Intensive Hg mining first began ca. 1400 BC, predating the emergence of complex Andean societies, and signifying that the region served as a locus for early Hg extraction. The earliest mining targeted cinnabar (HgS) for the production of vermillion. Pre-Colonial Hg burdens peak ca. 500 BC and ca. 1450 AD, corresponding to the heights of the Chavín and Inca states, respectively. During the Inca, Colonial, and industrial intervals, Hg pollution became regional, as evidenced by a third lake record ≈225 km distant from Huancavelica. Measurements of sediment-Hg speciation reveal that cinnabar dust was initially the dominant Hg species deposited, and significant increases in deposition were limited to the local environment. After conquest by the Inca (ca. 1450 AD), smelting was adopted at the mine and Hg pollution became more widely circulated, with the deposition of matrix-bound phases of Hg predominating over cinnabar dust. Our results demonstrate the existence of a major Hg mining industry at Huancavelica spanning the past 3,500 years, and place recent Hg enrichment in the Andes in a broader historical context. PMID:19451629

  20. Estimating threshold limits for mercury in biological material

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berlin, M H

    1963-01-01

    A brief historical review of the study of occupational exposure to mercury is presented. Important factors in the determination of the tolerable body burden of mercury are discussed, notably the body distribution of mercury after exposure, and the risk of accumulation in different organs. In acute exposure the kidney and liver accumulate much mercury and are hence liable to injury, while recent findings indicate that in chronic exposure to moderate levels of mercury the brain and possibly testes are the critical organs because of a pronounced tendency to accumulate. The possibility of obtaining an index of mercury retention is explored; it is concluded that urinary mercury excretion does not reflect the level of body retention although it may indicate very recent exposure. It is suggested that mercury concentration in biopsies of skin, liver, kidney and colonic mucosa may serve as an index of body retention of mercury. 37 references, 7 figures.

  1. Elevated mercury concentrations in humans of Madre de Dios, Peru.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katy Ashe

    Full Text Available The enormous increase in practically unregulated mining in Madre de Dios Peru is leading to massive release of liquid elemental mercury to the environment. Rapidly increasing global prices for gold are causing a massive upsurge in artisanal mining in the Peruvian Amazon, considered to be one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. This study identifies the current levels of mercury in the human population, through identifying levels of total mercury in human hair in mining zones of Madre de Dios Department and in the nearby city of Puerto Maldonado. A regression analysis reveals that fish consumption, gender, and location of residence were significant indicators of mercury levels; while duration of residence and age had no significant relationship to mercury levels. Increased fish consumption levels were the strongest indicators of increased total mercury levels across the entire population. The levels of total mercury in hair was significantly (α = 0.05 higher in mining zones, than Puerto Maldonado. In both areas men had significantly higher levels than women, likely due to a difference in metabolism or varying levels of direct involvement in gold mining- a male predominated industry. This is the first study to show the health threat that mercury poses to this region, however further research needs to be done to gain a more refined understanding of the predominant routes of exposure in this population.

  2. Elevated mercury concentrations in humans of Madre de Dios, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashe, Katy

    2012-01-01

    The enormous increase in practically unregulated mining in Madre de Dios Peru is leading to massive release of liquid elemental mercury to the environment. Rapidly increasing global prices for gold are causing a massive upsurge in artisanal mining in the Peruvian Amazon, considered to be one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. This study identifies the current levels of mercury in the human population, through identifying levels of total mercury in human hair in mining zones of Madre de Dios Department and in the nearby city of Puerto Maldonado. A regression analysis reveals that fish consumption, gender, and location of residence were significant indicators of mercury levels; while duration of residence and age had no significant relationship to mercury levels. Increased fish consumption levels were the strongest indicators of increased total mercury levels across the entire population. The levels of total mercury in hair was significantly (α = 0.05) higher in mining zones, than Puerto Maldonado. In both areas men had significantly higher levels than women, likely due to a difference in metabolism or varying levels of direct involvement in gold mining- a male predominated industry. This is the first study to show the health threat that mercury poses to this region, however further research needs to be done to gain a more refined understanding of the predominant routes of exposure in this population.

  3. Worldwide ISL Uranium Mining Outlook

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boytsov, A.; Stander, S.; Martynenko, V.

    2014-01-01

    Contents: • ISL uranium production historical review and current status; • ISL versus conventional mining; • Acid versus alkaline ISL; • ISL cost considerations; • Principal criteria and parameters for ISL mining; • ISL production forecast and resources availability

  4. Sediment-water interactions affecting dissolved-mercury distributions in Camp Far West Reservoir, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuwabara, James S.; Alpers, Charles N.; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark; Topping, Brent R.; Carter, James L.; Stewart, A. Robin; Fend, Steven V.; Parcheso, Francis; Moon, Gerald E.; Krabbenhoft, David P.

    2003-01-01

    Field and laboratory studies were conducted in April and November 2002 to provide the first direct measurements of the benthic flux of dissolved (0.2-micrometer filtered) mercury species (total and methylated forms) between the bottom sediment and water column at three sampling locations within Camp Far West Reservoir, California: one near the Bear River inlet to the reservoir, a second at a mid-reservoir site of comparable depth to the inlet site, and the third at the deepest position in the reservoir near the dam (herein referred to as the inlet, midreservoir and near-dam sites, respectively; Background, Fig. 1). Because of interest in the effects of historic hydraulic mining and ore processing in the Sierra Nevada foothills just upstream of the reservoir, dissolved-mercury species and predominant ligands that often control the mercury speciation (represented by dissolved organic carbon, and sulfides) were the solutes of primary interest. Benthic flux, sometimes referred to as internal recycling, represents the transport of dissolved chemical species between the water column and the underlying sediment. Because of the affinity of mercury to adsorb onto particle surfaces and to form insoluble precipitates (particularly with sulfides), the mass transport of mercury in mining-affected watersheds is typically particle dominated. As these enriched particles accumulate at depositional sites such as reservoirs, benthic processes facilitate the repartitioning, transformation, and transport of mercury in dissolved, biologically reactive forms (dissolved methylmercury being the most bioavailable for trophic transfer). These are the forms of mercury examined in this study. In contrast to typical scientific manuscripts, this report is formatted in a pyramid-like structure to serve the needs of diverse groups who may be interested in reviewing or acquiring information at various levels of technical detail (Appendix 1). The report enables quick transitions between the initial

  5. Evaluation and demonstration of remediation alternatives for historical mine waste using ash and alkaline by products; Utvaerdering och demonstration av efterbehandlingsalternativ foer historiskt gruvavfall med aska och alkaliska restprodukter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baeckstroem, Mattias; Sartz, Lotta; Karlsson, Stefan [MTM, Man-Technology-Envionrment, Oerebro Univ., 701 82 Oerebro (Sweden)

    2009-03-15

    The results clearly show that the use of alkaline by products can significantly reduce the leakage of trace metals from historical acid mine waste. Under ideal conditions (laboratory experiments) pH increase significantly and the trace metal concentrations decrease with around 99% compared to the untreated reference. During more realistic conditions (pilot scale) the same increase in pH was not obtained and thus the decrease in trace metal concentrations was not as great. In the stabilisation experiments pH was between 5.8 and 6.8 while the trace metal reduction was around 96-99%. In the filter experiments a median pH between 4 (aged ash) and 10 (lime kiln dust) was obtained after the alkaline section. Average metal reduction is around 95% for cadmium, copper and lead while it is slightly lower for zinc (85%). In summary it is indicated that hydroxide dominated materials work best in aerated environments while carbonate dominated materials work best in reducing environments. In summary it can be concluded that the use of alkaline by products to neutralise acidic mine waste and acid mine drainage from historical mine sites give rise to both environmental and economical benefits and should therefore be encouraged as a sustainable remediation method

  6. The price of gold: mercury exposure in the Amazonian rain forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branches, F J; Erickson, T B; Aks, S E; Hryhorczuk, D O

    1993-01-01

    Concern has surfaced over the recent discovery of human mercury exposure throughout the tropical rain forest of South America's Amazon River Basin. The probable source of mercury has been traced to gold mines located within the interior. The mining process involves the extraction of gold from ore by burning off a mercury additive, resulting in vaporization of elemental mercury into the surrounding environment. The purpose of this case series is to document mercury levels in miners and local villagers presenting with a history of exposure, or signs and symptoms consistent with mercury toxicity. Over a five year period (1986-91), the whole blood and urine mercury levels of 55 Brazilian patients demonstrating signs and symptoms consistent with mercury exposure were collected. Thirty-three (60%) of the subjects had direct occupational exposure to mercury via gold mining and refining. Whole blood mercury levels ranged from 0.4-13.0 micrograms/dL (mean 3.05 micrograms/dL). Spot urine levels ranged 0-151 micrograms/L (mean = 32.7 micrograms/L). Occupational mercury exposure is occurring in the Amazon River Basin. Interventions aimed at altering the gold mining process while protecting the workers and surrounding villagers from the source of exposure are essential. The impact of the gold mining industry on general environmental contamination has not been investigated.

  7. Introduction of Mercury-free Gold Extraction Methods to Medium-Scale Miners and Education of Health Care Providers to Reduce the use of Mercury in Sorata, Bolivia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter W. U. Appel

    2015-01-01

    Conclusions. The gold ores tested during the project proved amenable to mercury-free gold extraction using borax smelting. The miners also realized that gold recovery increased when performing mercury-free gold extraction. The miners decided to stop using mercury and a follow-up project cleaned their mining equipment for mercury and modified the processing lines. The health care providers were also successfully trained.

  8. 40 CFR 440.40 - Applicability; description of the mercury ore subcategory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... mercury ore subcategory. 440.40 Section 440.40 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) EFFLUENT GUIDELINES AND STANDARDS ORE MINING AND DRESSING POINT SOURCE CATEGORY Mercury Ore Subcategory § 440.40 Applicability; description of the mercury ore subcategory. The provisions of subpart D...

  9. Characterization of Mercury Emissions from ASGM Goldshop Activities in Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercury (Hg), used in artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM) practices, is recognized as a significant source of Hg release to the environment and is a major area of focus of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Global Mercury Partnership. Hg is used to bind (form a...

  10. Substance Flow Analysis of Mercury in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hui, L. M.; Wang, S.; Zhang, L.; Wang, F. Y.; Wu, Q. R.

    2015-12-01

    In previous studies, the emission of anthropogenic atmospheric Hg in China as well as single sector have been examined a lot. However, there might have been more Hg released as solid wastes rather than air. Hg stored in solid wastes may be released to air again when the solid wastes experience high temperature process or cause local pollution if the solid wastes are stacked casually for a long time. To trace the fate of Hg in China, this study developed the substance flow of Hg in 2010 covering all the sectors summarized in table 1. Below showed in Figure 1, the total Hg input is 2825t. The unintentional input of Hg, mined Hg, and recycled Hg account for 57%, 32% and 11% respectively. Figure 2 provides the detail information of substance flow of Hg. Byproducts from one sector may be used as raw materials of another, causing cross Hg flow between sectors. The Hg input of cement production is 303 t, of which 34% comes from coal and limestone, 33% comes from non-ferrous smelting, 23% comes from coal combustion, 7% comes from iron and steel production and 3% comes from mercury mining. Hg flowing to recycledHg production is 639 t, mainly from Hg contained in waste active carbon and mercuric chloride catalyst from VCM production and acid sludge from non-ferrous smelting. There are 20 t mercury flowing from spent mercury adding products to incineration. Figure1 and Figure 2 also show that 46% of the output Hg belongs to "Lagged release", which means this part of mercury might be released later. The "Lagged release" Hg includes 809 t Hg contained in stacked byproducts form coal combustion, non-ferrous smelting, iron and steel production, Al production, cement production and mercury mining, 161t Hg stored in the pipeline of VCM producing, 10 t Hg in fluorescent lamps that are in use and 314 t mercury stored in materials waiting to be handled with in recycled mercury plants. There is 112 t Hg stored in landfill and 129 t Hg exported abroad with the export of mercury adding

  11. Mercury pollution in the Upper Beni River, Amazonian basin : Bolivia

    OpenAIRE

    Maurice Bourgoin, Laurence; Quiroga, I.; Guyot, Jean-Loup; Malm, O.

    1999-01-01

    Mercury contamination caused by the amalgamation of gold in small-scale gold mining is an environmental problem of increasing concern, particularly in tropical regions like the Amazon, where a new boom of such gold mining started in the 1970s. In Brazil, research into these problems has been carried out for many years, but there is no available data for Bolivia. The present paper surveys mercury contamination of a Bolivian river system in the Amazon drainage basin, measured in water, fish, an...

  12. Mercury flow through an Asian rice-based food web

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abeysinghe, Kasun S.; Qiu, Guangle; Goodale, Eben; Anderson, Christopher W.N.; Bishop, Kevin; Evers, David C.; Goodale, Morgan W.; Hintelmann, Holger; Liu, Shengjie

    2017-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a globally-distributed pollutant, toxic to humans and animals. Emissions are particularly high in Asia, and the source of exposure for humans there may also be different from other regions, including rice as well as fish consumption, particularly in contaminated areas. Yet the threats Asian wildlife face in rice-based ecosystems are as yet unclear. We sought to understand how Hg flows through rice-based food webs in historic mining and non-mining regions of Guizhou, China. We measured total Hg (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in soil, rice, 38 animal species (27 for MeHg) spanning multiple trophic levels, and examined the relationship between stable isotopes and Hg concentrations. Our results confirm biomagnification of THg/MeHg, with a high trophic magnification slope. Invertivorous songbirds had concentrations of THg in their feathers that were 15x and 3x the concentration reported to significantly impair reproduction, at mining and non-mining sites, respectively. High concentrations in specialist rice consumers and in granivorous birds, the later as high as in piscivorous birds, suggest rice is a primary source of exposure. Spiders had the highest THg concentrations among invertebrates and may represent a vector through which Hg is passed to vertebrates, especially songbirds. Our findings suggest there could be significant population level health effects and consequent biodiversity loss in sensitive ecosystems, like agricultural wetlands, across Asia, and invertivorous songbirds would be good subjects for further studies investigating this possibility. - Highlights: • Hg concentrations were measured across rice-based food webs in Guizhou, China. • Of 38 animal species, THg concentrations were highest for invertivorous songbirds. • High THg levels in rice pests and in granivorous birds suggest rice as a source. • Levels of THg in songbird feathers at mining site were among highest ever recorded. • Even at non-mining site, THg in such

  13. Pumps in mining

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1979-01-01

    This article looks at the pump industry as a whole, its historical links with the mining industry, their parallel develop ment, and at the individual manufacturers and pumps, services and auxillary products they have to offer.

  14. Soil criteria to protect terrestrial wildlife and open-range livestock from metal toxicity at mining sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Karl L; Beyer, W Nelson

    2014-03-01

    Thousands of hard rock mines exist in the western USA and in other parts of the world as a result of historic and current gold, silver, lead, and mercury mining. Many of these sites in the USA are on public lands. Typical mine waste associated with these sites are tailings and waste rock dumps that may be used by wildlife and open-range livestock. This report provides wildlife screening criteria levels for metals in soil and mine waste to evaluate risk and to determine the need for site-specific risk assessment, remediation, or a change in management practices. The screening levels are calculated from toxicity reference values based on maximum tolerable levels of metals in feed, on soil and plant ingestion rates, and on soil to plant uptake factors for a variety of receptors. The metals chosen for this report are common toxic metals found at mining sites: arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, and zinc. The resulting soil screening values are well above those developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The difference in values was mainly a result of using toxicity reference values that were more specific to the receptors addressed rather than the most sensitive receptor.

  15. Mercury's Messenger

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Clark R.

    2004-01-01

    Forty years after Mariner 2, planetary exploration has still only just begun, and many more missions are on drawing boards, nearing the launch pad, or even en route across interplanetary space to their targets. One of the most challenging missions that will be conducted this decade is sending the MESSENGER spacecraft to orbit the planet Mercury.…

  16. Mercury Report-Children's exposure to elemental mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... gov . Mercury Background Mercury Report Additional Resources Mercury Report - Children's Exposure to Elemental Mercury Recommend on Facebook ... I limit exposure to mercury? Why was the report written? Children attending a daycare in New Jersey ...

  17. Stream-sediment geochemistry in mining-impacted streams: Prichard, Eagle, and Beaver creeks, northern Coeur d'Alene Mining District, northern Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Box, Stephen E.; Wallis, John C.; Briggs, Paul H.; Brown, Zoe Ann

    2005-01-01

    This report presents the results of one aspect of an integrated watershed-characterization study that was undertaken to assess the impacts of historical mining and milling of silver-lead-zinc ores on water and sediment composition and on aquatic biota in streams draining the northern part of the Coeur d?Alene Mining District in northern Idaho. We present the results of chemical analyses of 62 samples of streambed sediment, 19 samples of suspended sediment, 23 samples of streambank soil, and 29 samples of mine- and mill-related artificial- fill material collected from the drainages of Prichard, Eagle, and Beaver Creeks, all tributaries to the North Fork of the Coeur d?Alene River. All samples were sieved into three grain-size fractions (Beaver Creek drainages has resulted in enrichments of lead, zinc, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, silver, copper, cobalt, and, to a lesser extent, iron and manganese in streambed sediment. Using samples collected from the relatively unimpacted West Fork of Eagle Creek as representative of background compositions, streambed sediment in the vicinity of the mines and millsites has Pb and Zn contents of 20 to 100 times background values, decreasing to 2 to 5 times background values at the mouth of the each stream, 15 to 20 km downstream. Lesser enrichments (<10 times background values) of mercury and arsenic also are generally associated with, and decrease downstream from, historical silver-lead-zinc mining in the drainages. However, enrichments of arsenic and, to a lesser extent, mercury also are areally associated with the lode gold deposits along Prichard Creek near Murray, which were not studied here. Metal contents in samples of unfractionated suspended sediment collected during a high-flow event in April 2000 are generally similar to, but slightly higher than, those in the fine (<0.063- mm grain size) fraction of streambed sediment from the same sampling site. Although metal enrichment in streambed sediment typically begins adjacent to

  18. Arsenic mineralogy of near-neutral soils and mining waste at the Smolotely-Líšnice historical gold district, Czech Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Drahota, P.; Kulakowski, O.; Culka, A.; Knappová, M.; Rohovec, Jan; Veselovský, F.; Racek, M.

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 89, February (2018), s. 243-254 ISSN 0883-2927 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : soil * mining waste * pharmacosiderite * yukonite * arseniosiderite Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy OBOR OECD: Mineralogy Impact factor: 2.581, year: 2016

  19. Worldwide trend of atmospheric mercury since 1995

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Slemr

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Concern about the adverse effects of mercury on human health and ecosystems has led to tightening emission controls since the mid 1980s. But the resulting mercury emissions reductions in many parts of the world are believed to be offset or even surpassed by the increasing emissions in rapidly industrializing countries. Consequently, concentrations of atmospheric mercury are expected to remain roughly constant. Here we show that the worldwide atmospheric mercury concentrations have decreased by about 20 to 38 % since 1996 as indicated by long-term monitoring at stations in the Southern and Northern Hemispheres combined with intermittent measurements of latitudinal distribution over the Atlantic Ocean. The total reduction of the atmospheric mercury burden of this magnitude within 14 years is unusually large among most atmospheric trace gases and is at odds with the current mercury emission inventories with nearly constant anthropogenic emissions over this period. This suggests a major shift in the biogeochemical cycle of mercury including oceans and soil reservoirs. Decreasing reemissions from the legacy of historical mercury emissions are the most likely explanation for this decline since the hypothesis of an accelerated oxidation rate of elemental mercury in the atmosphere is not supported by the observed trends of other trace gases. Acidification of oceans, climate change, excess nutrient input and pollution may also contribute by their impact on the biogeochemistry of ocean and soils. Consequently, models of the atmospheric mercury cycle have to include soil and ocean mercury pools and their dynamics to be able to make projections of future trends.

  20. Increased Mercury Bioaccumulation Follows Water Quality Improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bogle, M.A.; Peterson, M.J.; Smith, J.G.; Southworth, G.R.

    1999-09-15

    Changes in physical and chemical characteristics of aquatic habitats made to reduce or eliminate ecological risks can sometimes have unforeseen consequences. Environmental management activities on the U.S. Dept. of Energy reservation in Oak Ridge, Tennessee,have succeeded in improving water quality in streams impacted by discharges fi-om industrial facilities and waste disposal sites. The diversity and abundance of pollution-sensitive components of the benthic macroinvertebrate communities of three streams improved after new waste treatment systems or remedial actions reduced inputs of various toxic chemicals. Two of the streams were known to be mercury-contaminated from historical spills and waste disposal practices. Waterborne mercury concentrations in the third were typical of uncontaminated systems. In each case, concentrations of mercury in fish, or the apparent biological availability of mercury increased over the period during which ecological metrics indicated improved water quality. In the system where waterborne mercury concentrations were at background levels, increased mercury bioaccumulation was probably a result of reduced aqueous selenium concentrations; however, the mechanisms for increased mercury accumulation in the other two streams remain under investigation. In each of the three systems, reduced inputs of metals and inorganic anions was followed by improvements in the health of aquatic invertebrate communities. However, this reduction in risk to aquatic invertebrates was accompanied by increased risk to humans and piscivorous wildlife related to increased mercury concentrations in fish.

  1. Increased Mercury Bioaccumulation Follows Water Quality Improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bogle, M.A.; Peterson, M.J.; Smith, J.G.; Southworth, G.R.

    1999-01-01

    Changes in physical and chemical characteristics of aquatic habitats made to reduce or eliminate ecological risks can sometimes have unforeseen consequences. Environmental management activities on the U.S. Dept. of Energy reservation in Oak Ridge, Tennessee,have succeeded in improving water quality in streams impacted by discharges fi-om industrial facilities and waste disposal sites. The diversity and abundance of pollution-sensitive components of the benthic macroinvertebrate communities of three streams improved after new waste treatment systems or remedial actions reduced inputs of various toxic chemicals. Two of the streams were known to be mercury-contaminated from historical spills and waste disposal practices. Waterborne mercury concentrations in the third were typical of uncontaminated systems. In each case, concentrations of mercury in fish, or the apparent biological availability of mercury increased over the period during which ecological metrics indicated improved water quality. In the system where waterborne mercury concentrations were at background levels, increased mercury bioaccumulation was probably a result of reduced aqueous selenium concentrations; however, the mechanisms for increased mercury accumulation in the other two streams remain under investigation. In each of the three systems, reduced inputs of metals and inorganic anions was followed by improvements in the health of aquatic invertebrate communities. However, this reduction in risk to aquatic invertebrates was accompanied by increased risk to humans and piscivorous wildlife related to increased mercury concentrations in fish

  2. Searching for the Source of Salt Marsh Buried Mercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooke, C. G.; Nelson, D. C.; Fleming, E. J.

    2016-12-01

    Salt marshes provide a barrier between upstream mercury contamination and coastal ecosystems. Mercury is sorbed, transported, and deposited in estuarine systems. Once the upstream mercury source has been remediated, the downstream mercury contaminated salt marsh sediments should become "capped" or buried by uncontaminated sediments preventing further ecosystem contamination. Downstream from a remediated mercury mine, an estuarine intertidal marsh in Tomales Bay, CA, USA, scavengers/predators (e.g. Pachygrapsus crassipes, Lined Shore Crab) have leg mercury concentrations as high as 5.5 ppm (dry wt./dry wt.), which increase significantly with crab size, a surrogate for trophic level. These elevated mercury concentrations suggests that "buried" mercury is rereleased into the environment. To locate possible sources of mercury release in Walker Marsh, we sampled a transect across the marsh that included diverse micro-environments (e.g. rhizoshere, stratified sediments, faunal burrows). From each location we determined the sediment structure, sediment color, total sediment mercury, total sediment iron, and microbial composition (n = 28). Where flora or fauna had perturbed the sediment, mercury concentrations were 10% less than undisturbed stratified sediments (1025 ppb vs. 1164 ppb, respectively). High-throughput SSU rRNA gene sequencing and subsequent co-occurrence network analysis genera indicated that in flora- or fauna- perturbed sediments there was an increased likelihood that microbial genera contained mercury mobilizing genes (94% vs 57%; in perturbed vs stratified sediments, respectively). Our observations are consistent with findings by others that in perturbed sites mercury mobility increased. We did however identify a microbial and geochemical profile with increased mercury mobility. For future work we plan to quantify the role these micro-environments have on mercury-efflux from salt marshes.

  3. Mercury concentrations in cattle from NW Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López Alonso, M; Benedito, J L; Miranda, M; Castillo, C; Hernández, J; Shore, R F

    2003-01-20

    Mercury is a toxic metal that is released into the environment as a result of various industrial and agricultural processes. It can be accumulated by domestic animals and so contaminate human foodstuffs. To date, there is no information on mercury residues in livestock in Spain and the aim of the present study was to quantify the concentrations of mercury in cattle in two of the major regions in north-west Spain, Galicia (a largely rural region) and Asturias, which is characterised by heavy industry and mining. Total mercury concentrations were determined in tissue (liver, kidney and muscle) and blood from 284 calves (6-10 months old) and 56 cows (2-16 years old) from across the whole of the two regions. Mercury was usually detected in the kidney (62.4-87.5% of samples) but most (79.5-96%) liver, muscle and blood samples did not contain detectable residues. Renal mercury concentrations did not differ between male and female calves but were significantly greater in female calves than in cows. Unexpectedly, kidney mercury concentrations were significantly higher in calves from the predominantly rural region of Galicia (geometric mean: 12.2 microg/kg w.wt.) than in animals from the industrialised-mining region of Asturias (3.40 microg/kg w.wt.). Overall, mercury residues in cattle from NW Spain were similar to those reported in cattle from non-polluted areas in other countries and do not constitute a risk to animal or human health. Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.

  4. Decision Mining Revisited – Discovering Overlapping Rules

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mannhardt, F.; de Leoni, M.; Reijers, H.A.; van der Aalst, W.M.P.

    2016-01-01

    Decision mining enriches process models with rules underlying decisions in processes using historical process execution data. Choices between multiple activities are specified through rules defined over process data. Existing decision mining methods focus on discovering mutually-exclusive rules,

  5. Decision Mining Revisited - Discovering Overlapping Rules

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mannhardt, F.; De Leoni, M.; Reijers, H.A.; van der Aalst, W.M.P.; Nurcan, S.; Soffer, P.; Bajec, M.; Eder, J.

    2016-01-01

    Decision mining enriches process models with rules underlying decisions in processes using historical process execution data. Choices between multiple activities are specified through rules defined over process data. Existing decision mining methods focus on discovering mutually-exclusive rules,

  6. Decision mining revisited - Discovering overlapping rules

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mannhardt, Felix; De Leoni, Massimiliano; Reijers, Hajo A.; Van Der Aalst, Wil M P

    2016-01-01

    Decision mining enriches process models with rules underlying decisions in processes using historical process execution data. Choices between multiple activities are specified through rules defined over process data. Existing decision mining methods focus on discovering mutually-exclusive rules,

  7. Biomarkers of mercury exposure in two eastern Ukraine cities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, H.; Haver, C.; Kozlov, K.; Centeno, J.A.; Jurgenson, V.; Kolker, A.; Conko, K.M.; Landa, E.R.; Xu, H.

    2011-01-01

    This study evaluates biomarkers of mercury exposure among residents of Horlivka, a city in eastern Ukraine located in an area with geologic and industrial sources of environmental mercury, and residents of Artemivsk, a nearby comparison city outside the mercury-enriched area. Samples of urine, blood, hair, and nails were collected from study participants, and a questionnaire was administered to obtain data on age, gender, occupational history, smoking, alcohol consumption, fish consumption, tattoos, dental amalgams, home heating system, education, source of drinking water, and family employment in mines. Median biomarker mercury concentrations in Artemivsk were 0.26 ??g/g-Cr (urine), 0.92 ??g/L (blood), 0.42 ??g/g (hair), 0.11 ??g/g (toenails), and 0.09 ??g/g (fingernails); median concentrations in Horlivka were 0.15 ??g/g-Cr (urine), 1.01 ??g/L (blood), 0.14 ??g/g (hair), 0.31 ??g/g (toenails), and 0.31 ??g/g (fingernails). Biomarkers of mercury exposure for study participants from Horlivka and Artemivsk are low in comparison with occupationally exposed workers at a mercury recycling facility in Horlivka and in comparison with exposures known to be associated with clinical effects. Blood and urinary mercury did not suggest a higher mercury exposure among Horlivka residents as compared with Artemivsk; however, three individuals living in the immediate vicinity of the mercury mines had elevated blood and urinary mercury, relative to overall results for either city. For a limited number of residents from Horlivka (N = 7) and Artemivsk (N = 4), environmental samples (vacuum cleaner dust, dust wipes, soil) were collected from their residences. Mercury concentrations in vacuum cleaner dust and soil were good predictors of blood and urinary mercury. Copyright ?? 2011 JOEH, LLC.

  8. Estimates and Predictions of Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis Cases among Redeployed Coal Workers of the Fuxin Mining Industry Group in China: A Historical Cohort Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Bing; Liu, Hongbo; Zhai, Guojiang; Wang, Qun; Liang, Jie; Zhang, Mengcang; Cui, Kai; Shen, Fuhai; Yi, Hongbo; Li, Yuting; Zhai, Yuhan; Sheng, Yang; Chen, Jie

    2016-01-01

    This research was aimed at estimating possible Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP) cases as of 2012, and predicting future CWP cases among redeployed coal workers from the Fuxin Mining Industry Group. This study provided the scientific basis for regulations on CWP screening and diagnosis and labor insurance policies for redeployed coal workers of resource-exhausted mines. The study cohort included 19,116 coal workers. The cumulative incidence of CWP was calculated by the life-table method. Possible CWP cases by occupational category were estimated through the average annual incidence rate of CWP and males’ life expectancy. It was estimated that 141 redeployed coal workers might have suffered from CWP as of 2012, and 221 redeployed coal workers could suffer from CWP in the future. It is crucial to establish a set of feasible and affordable regulations on CWP screening and diagnosis as well as labor insurance policies for redeployed coal workers of resource-exhausted coal mines in China. PMID:26845337

  9. Estimates and Predictions of Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis Cases among Redeployed Coal Workers of the Fuxin Mining Industry Group in China: A Historical Cohort Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Bing; Liu, Hongbo; Zhai, Guojiang; Wang, Qun; Liang, Jie; Zhang, Mengcang; Cui, Kai; Shen, Fuhai; Yi, Hongbo; Li, Yuting; Zhai, Yuhan; Sheng, Yang; Chen, Jie

    2016-01-01

    This research was aimed at estimating possible Coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) cases as of 2012, and predicting future CWP cases among redeployed coal workers from the Fuxin Mining Industry Group. This study provided the scientific basis for regulations on CWP screening and diagnosis and labor insurance policies for redeployed coal workers of resource-exhausted mines. The study cohort included 19,116 coal workers. The cumulative incidence of CWP was calculated by the life-table method. Possible CWP cases by occupational category were estimated through the average annual incidence rate of CWP and males' life expectancy. It was estimated that 141 redeployed coal workers might have suffered from CWP as of 2012, and 221 redeployed coal workers could suffer from CWP in the future. It is crucial to establish a set of feasible and affordable regulations on CWP screening and diagnosis as well as labor insurance policies for redeployed coal workers of resource-exhausted coal mines in China.

  10. Mercury Contributions from Flint Creek and other Tributaries to the Upper Clark Fork River in Northwestern Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langner, H.; Young, M.; Staats, M. F.

    2013-12-01

    Methylmercury contamination in biota is a major factor diminishing the environmental quality of the Upper Clark Fork River (CFR), e.g. by triggering human consumption limits of fish. The CFR is subject to one of the largest Superfund cleanup projects in the US, but remediation and restoration is currently focused exclusively on other mining-related contaminants (As, Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd), which may be counterproductive with respect to the bio-availability of mercury, for example by creation of wetlands along mercury-contaminated reaches of the river. The identification and elimination of Hg sources is an essential step toward reducing the methylmercury exposure in the biota of the CFR watershed because a strong correlation exists between total mercury levels in river sediment and methylmercury levels in aquatic life. We analyzed duplicate samples from the top sediment layer of the main stem and significant tributaries to the Clark Fork River along a 240 km reach between Butte, MT and downstream of the Missoula Valley. Mercury concentrations were 1.3 × 1.6 (mean × SD, n = 35) in the main stem. Concentrations in tributaries varied widely (0.02 to 85 mg/kg) and seemed only loosely related to the number of historic precious metal mines in the watershed. In the upper reach of the CFR, elevated Hg levels are likely caused by residual contaminated sediments in the flood plain. Levels tend to decrease downstream until Drummond, MT, where Flint Creek contributes a significant amount of mercury, causing Hg levels in the main stem CFR to increase from 0.7 to 4 mg/kg. Levels continue to decrease downstream. Flint Creek is the single largest contributor of Hg to the CFR. Detailed sampling of the main stem Flint Creek and tributaries (26 sites) showed extremely high levels in two tributaries (22 to 85 mg/kg) where historic milling operations were located. Elimination of these point sources may be accomplished comparatively economically and may significantly reduce mercury levels in

  11. Mercury uptake and effects on growth in Jatropha curcas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marrugo-Negrete, José; Durango-Hernández, José; Pinedo-Hernández, José; Enamorado-Montes, Germán; Díez, Sergi

    2016-10-01

    The use of metal-accumulating plants for the phytoremediation of contaminated soils is gaining more attention. Mercury (Hg)-contaminated soils from historical gold mines represent a potential risk to human health and the environment. Therefore, Jatropha curcas plant, that has shown its tolerance to these environments, is a species of particular interest to implement phytoremediation techniques in gold mining sites. In this work, the behavior of J. curcas was assessed in different hydroponic cultures fortified with Hg at concentrations of 5, 10, 20, 40, and 80μgHg/mL (T5, T10, T20, T40 and T80, respectively). After exposure, plant growth, net photosynthesis, leaf area, and Hg accumulation were determined and variables such as net Hg uptake, effective Hg accumulation, translocation and bioaccumulation factors were calculated. Accumulation of Hg in root and leaf tissues increased with respect to the Hg concentrations in the hydroponic culture, with statistically significant differences (p50% with treatment T5). Moreover, percentage of inhibition was even higher (>60%) with same treatment for net photosynthesis. Finally, it should be highlighted that for T40 and T80 treatments, plant growth and photosynthesis were almost completely depleted (88%-95%). Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  12. Remediation of mercury-polluted soils using artificial wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Mercadoa, Héctor Daniel; Fernándezb, Georgina; Garzón-Zúñigac, Marco Antonio; Durán-Domínguez-de-Bazúaa, María Del Carmen

    2017-01-02

    Mexico's mercury mining industry is important for economic development, but has unfortunately contaminated soils due to open-air disposal. This case was seen at two sites in the municipality of Pinal de Amoles, State of Queretaro, Mexico. This paper presents an evaluation of mercury dynamics and biogeochemistry in two soils (mining waste soil) using ex-situ wetlands over 36 weeks. In soils sampled in two former mines of Pinal de Amoles, initial mercury concentrations were 424 ± 29 and 433 ± 12 mg kg -1 in La Lorena and San Jose, former mines, respectively. Typha latifolia and Phragmites australis were used and 20 reactors were constructed (with and without plants). The reactors were weekly amended with a nutrient solution (NPK), for each plant, at a pH of 5.0. For remediation using soils from San Jose 70-78% of mercury was removed in T. latifolia reactors and 76-82% in P. australis reactors, and for remediation of soils from La Lorena, mercury content was reduced by 55-71% using T. latifolia and 58-66% in P. australis reactors. Mercury emissions into the atmosphere were estimated to be 2-4 mg m -2 h -1 for both soils.

  13. Port Radium start to finish life cycle: a case study on Canada's historic radium/uranium mine, initial operation and closure, concerns of the aboriginal Dene people, subsequent assessments, remediation - 59332

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wiatzka, Gerd; Brown, Steve

    2012-01-01

    Document available in abstract form only. Full text of publication follows: This paper provides a life study cycle case study on the historic Port Radium mine. In addition to the history of operations, it discusses the unique and successful approach used to identify the key issues and concerns associated with the former radium, uranium and silver mining property and the program activities undertaken to define the remedial issues and options that ultimately lead to the development of a preferred remedial plan. The Port Radium Mine site, situated approximately 275 km north of Yellowknife on the east shore of Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territories, was operated almost continuously between 1932 and 1982, initially for recovery of radium and uranium and subsequently for recovery of silver. Tailings production equalled an estimated 900, 000 tons from uranium ore processing and 800, 000 tons from silver processing operations. While the site was decommissioned at mine closure, site investigations were undertaken to address concerns expressed by residents of the community of Deline about residual contamination at the site and exposure of Deline residents as traditional land users and to identify residual environmental and safety issues based on current closure standards. Assessment of past radiation exposures of worker based on past practices associated with ore handling and concentrate shipping were also addressed. The paper provides insights into the approach and activities undertaken over a seven (7) year period that ultimately concluded with the final decommissioning of the site in 2007 and post remedial actions being carried out under the long term care and maintenance program. (authors)

  14. MoDOT pavement preservation research program volume II, data collection for pavement management : historical data mining and production of data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    The objective of Task 1 was to develop data for use in MoDOTs pavement preservation program based primarily on historical : information available throughout MoDOT as well as climate data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration : (...

  15. Mercury contamination extraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuhrmann, Mark [Silver Spring, MD; Heiser, John [Bayport, NY; Kalb, Paul [Wading River, NY

    2009-09-15

    Mercury is removed from contaminated waste by firstly applying a sulfur reagent to the waste. Mercury in the waste is then permitted to migrate to the reagent and is stabilized in a mercury sulfide compound. The stable compound may then be removed from the waste which itself remains in situ following mercury removal therefrom.

  16. Due Diligence Processes for Public Acquisition of Mining-Impacted Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, E.; Monohan, C.; Keeble-Toll, A. K.

    2016-12-01

    The acquisition of public land is critical for achieving conservation and habitat goals in rural regions projected to experience continuously high rates of population growth. To ensure that public funds are utilized responsibly in the purchase of conservation easements appropriate due diligence processes must be established that limit landowner liability post-acquisition. Traditional methods of characterizing contamination in regions where legacy mining activities were prevalent may not utilize current scientific knowledge and understanding of contaminant fate, transport and bioavailability, and therefore are likely to have type two error. Agency prescribed assessment methods utilized under CERLA in many cases fail to detect contamination that presents liability issues by failing to require water quality sampling that would reveal offsite transport potential of contaminants posing human health risks, including mercury. Historical analysis can be used to inform judgmental sampling to identify hotspots and contaminants of concern. Land acquisition projects at two historic mine sites in Nevada County, California, the Champion Mine Complex and the Black Swan Preserve have established the necessity of re-thinking due diligence processes for mining-impacted landscapes. These pilot projects demonstrate that pre-acquisition assessment in the Gold Country must include judgmental sampling and evaluation of contaminant transport. Best practices using the current scientific knowledge must be codified by agencies, consultants, and NGOs in order to ensure responsible use of public funds and to safeguard public health.

  17. Mercury in the South African environment

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Matooane, M

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available ? Mercury, also known as quick silver, is ubiquitous in the environment ? Uses - Medical: medicines, thermometers, dental amalgam, etc. - Manufacturing industry: batteries, gold mining, chlorine production, cement production, etc. - Personal care.../day - Adult: >18 yrs - Child: 10 yrs Mercury Health Risks ? Freshwater Fish WMA Species Hazard Quotient Adult Child Berg Silverfish, Catfish; Yellowfish 1.44 ? 2.34 (0.03 ? 0.35) 1.27 ? 13.67 (1.20 ? 1.95) Upper Vaal Yellow fish Banded Tilapia 0...

  18. Biomarkers of mercury exposure at a mercury recycling facility in Ukraine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, H.J.; Kozlov, K.; Buckley, J.P.; Centeno, J.; Jurgenson, V.; Kolker, A.; Conko, K.; Landa, E.; Panov, B.; Panov, Y.; Xu, H.

    2008-01-01

    This study evaluates biomarkers of occupational mercury exposure among workers at a mercury recycling operation in Gorlovka, Ukraine. The 29 study participants were divided into three occupational categories for analysis: (1) those who worked in the mercury recycling operation (Group A, n = 8), (2) those who worked at the facility but not in the yard where the recycling was done (Group B, n = 14), and (3) those who did not work at the facility (Group C, n = 7). Urine, blood, hair, and nail samples were collected from the participants, and a questionnaire was administered to obtain data on age, gender, occupational history, smoking, alcohol consumption, fish consumption, tattoos, dental amalgams, home heating system, education, source of drinking water, and family employment in the former mercury mine/smelter located on the site of the recycling facility. Each factor was tested in a univariate regression with total mercury in urine, blood, hair, and nails. Median biomarker concentrations were 4.04 ??g/g-Cr (urine), 2.58 ??g/L (blood), 3.95 ??g/g (hair), and 1.16 ??g/g (nails). Occupational category was significantly correlated (p < 0.001) with both blood and urinary mercury concentrations but not with hair or nail mercury. Four individuals had urinary mercury concentrations in a range previously found to be associated with subtle neurological and subjective symptoms (e.g., fatigue, loss of appetite, irritability), and one worker had a urinary mercury concentration in a range associated with a high probability of neurological effects and proteinuria. Comparison of results by occupational category found that workers directly involved with the recycling operation had the highest blood and urinary mercury levels. Those who worked at the facility but were not directly involved with the recycling operation had higher levels than those who did not work at the facility. Copyright ?? 2008 JOEH, LLC.

  19. Estimates and Predictions of Coal Workers' Pneumoconiosis Cases among Redeployed Coal Workers of the Fuxin Mining Industry Group in China: A Historical Cohort Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bing Han

    Full Text Available This research was aimed at estimating possible Coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP cases as of 2012, and predicting future CWP cases among redeployed coal workers from the Fuxin Mining Industry Group. This study provided the scientific basis for regulations on CWP screening and diagnosis and labor insurance policies for redeployed coal workers of resource-exhausted mines. The study cohort included 19,116 coal workers. The cumulative incidence of CWP was calculated by the life-table method. Possible CWP cases by occupational category were estimated through the average annual incidence rate of CWP and males' life expectancy. It was estimated that 141 redeployed coal workers might have suffered from CWP as of 2012, and 221 redeployed coal workers could suffer from CWP in the future. It is crucial to establish a set of feasible and affordable regulations on CWP screening and diagnosis as well as labor insurance policies for redeployed coal workers of resource-exhausted coal mines in China.

  20. Mercury in the nation's streams - Levels, trends, and implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wentz, Dennis A.; Brigham, Mark E.; Chasar, Lia C.; Lutz, Michelle A.; Krabbenhoft, David P.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in fish to levels of concern for human health and the health of fish-eating wildlife. Mercury contamination of fish is the primary reason for issuing fish consumption advisories, which exist in every State in the Nation. Much of the mercury originates from combustion of coal and can travel long distances in the atmosphere before being deposited. This can result in mercury-contaminated fish in areas with no obvious source of mercury pollution.Three key factors determine the level of mercury contamination in fish - the amount of inorganic mercury available to an ecosystem, the conversion of inorganic mercury to methylmercury, and the bioaccumulation of methylmercury through the food web. Inorganic mercury originates from both natural sources (such as volcanoes, geologic deposits of mercury, geothermal springs, and volatilization from the ocean) and anthropogenic sources (such as coal combustion, mining, and use of mercury in products and industrial processes). Humans have doubled the amount of inorganic mercury in the global atmosphere since pre-industrial times, with substantially greater increases occurring at locations closer to major urban areas.In aquatic ecosystems, some inorganic mercury is converted to methylmercury, the form that ultimately accumulates in fish. The rate of mercury methylation, thus the amount of methylmercury produced, varies greatly in time and space, and depends on numerous environmental factors, including temperature and the amounts of oxygen, organic matter, and sulfate that are present.Methylmercury enters aquatic food webs when it is taken up from water by algae and other microorganisms. Methylmercury concentrations increase with successively higher trophic levels in the food web—a process known as bioaccumulation. In general, fish at the top of the food web consume other fish and tend to accumulate the highest methylmercury concentrations.This report summarizes selected stream studies

  1. Laying Waste to Mercury: Inexpensive Sorbents Made from Sulfur and Recycled Cooking Oils

    OpenAIRE

    Worthington, Max J. H.; Kucera, Renata L.; Albuquerque, Inês S.; Gibson, Christopher T.; Sibley, Alexander; Slattery, Ashley D.; Campbell, Jonathan A.; Alboaiji, Salah F. K.; Muller, Katherine A.; Young, Jason; Adamson, Nick; Gascooke, Jason R.; Jampaiah, Deshetti; Sabri, Ylias M.; Bhargava, Suresh K.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Mercury pollution threatens the environment and human health across the globe. This neurotoxic substance is encountered in artisanal gold mining, coal combustion, oil and gas refining, waste incineration, chloralkali plant operation, metallurgy, and areas of agriculture in which mercury‐rich fungicides are used. Thousands of tonnes of mercury are emitted annually through these activities. With the Minamata Convention on Mercury entering force this year, increasing regulation of mercu...

  2. Health and environmental impact of mercury in the Philippines using nuclear techniques. Highlights and achievements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cortes-Maramba, Nelia

    2002-01-01

    This is the first comprehensive health evaluation made by the Department of Health of the mining community's exposure to total and methyl mercury. Previous studies have mainly focused more on the health risks associated with occupational exposure to mercury. Other sources of mercury exposure such as diet and other environmental media was not investigated and the population studied did not include high risk groups such as pregnant women and children

  3. Global Trends in Mercury Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Kyunghee

    2012-01-01

    The United Nations Environmental Program Governing Council has regulated mercury as a global pollutant since 2001 and has been preparing the mercury convention, which will have a strongly binding force through Global Mercury Assessment, Global Mercury Partnership Activities, and establishment of the Open-Ended Working Group on Mercury. The European Union maintains an inclusive strategy on risks and contamination of mercury, and has executed the Mercury Export Ban Act since December in 2010. The US Environmental Protection Agency established the Mercury Action Plan (1998) and the Mercury Roadmap (2006) and has proposed systematic mercury management methods to reduce the health risks posed by mercury exposure. Japan, which experienced Minamata disease, aims vigorously at perfection in mercury management in several ways. In Korea, the Ministry of Environment established the Comprehensive Plan and Countermeasures for Mercury Management to prepare for the mercury convention and to reduce risks of mercury to protect public health. PMID:23230466

  4. A global ocean inventory of anthropogenic mercury based on water column measurements

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamborg, C.H.; Hammerschmidt, C.R.; Bowman, K.L.; Swarr, G.J.; Munson, K.M.; Ohnemus, D.C.; Lam, P.L.; Heimbürger, L.-E.; Rijkenberg, M.J.A.; Saito, M.A.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is a toxic, bioaccumulating trace metal whose emissions to the environment have increased significantly as a result of anthropogenic activities such as mining and fossil fuel combustion. Several recent models have estimated that these emissions have increased the oceanic mercury inventory by

  5. Limitations in small artisanal gold mining addressed by educational components paired with alternative mining methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolnikov, Tara R

    2012-03-01

    Current solutions continue to be inadequate in addressing the longstanding, worldwide problem of mercury emissions from small artisanal gold mining. Mercury, an inexpensive and easily accessible heavy metal, is used in the process of extracting gold from ore. Mercury emissions disperse, affecting human populations by causing adverse health effects and environmental and social ramifications. Many developing nations have sizable gold ore deposits, making small artisanal gold mining a major source of employment in the world. Poverty drives vulnerable, rural populations into gold mining because of social and economic instabilities. Educational programs responding to this environmental hazard have been implemented in the past, but have had low positive results due to lack of governmental support and little economic incentive. Educational and enforced intervention programs must be developed in conjunction with governmental agencies in order to successfully eliminate this ongoing problem. Industry leaders offered hopeful suggestions, but revealed limitations when trying to develop encompassing solutions to halt mercury emissions. This research highlights potential options that have been attempted in the past and suggests alternative solutions to improve upon these methods. Some methods include buyer impact recognition, risk assessment proposals exposing a cost-benefit analysis and toxicokinetic modeling, public health awareness campaigns, and the education of miners, healthcare workers, and locals within hazardous areas of mercury exposure. These methods, paired with the implementation of alternative mining techniques, propose a substantial reduction of mercury emissions. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. A comparison of the efficacy and ecosystem impact of residual-based and topsoil-based amendments for restoring historic mine tailings in the Tri-State mining district.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Sally; Mahoney, Michele; Sprenger, Mark

    2014-07-01

    A long-term research and demonstration site was established on Pb and Zn mine wastes in southwestern Missouri in 1999. Municipal biosolids and lime and composts were mixed into the wastes at different loading rates. The site was monitored intensively after establishment and again in 2012. A site restored with topsoil was also included in the 2012 sampling. Initial results including plant, earthworm and small mammal assays indicate that the bioaccessibility of metals had been significantly reduced as a result of amendment addition. The recent sampling showed that at higher loading rates, the residual mixtures have maintained a vegetative cover and are similar to the topsoil treatment based on nutrient availability and cycling and soil physical properties including bulk density and water holding capacity. The ecosystem implications of restoration with residuals versus mined topsoil were evaluated. Harvesting topsoil from nearby farms would require 1875 years to replace based on natural rates of soil formation. In contrast, diverting biosolids from combustion facilities (60% of biosolids generated in Missouri are incinerated) would result in greenhouse gas savings of close to 400 Mg CO2 per ha. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. A comparison of the efficacy and ecosystem impact of residual-based and topsoil-based amendments for restoring historic mine tailings in the Tri-State mining district

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Sally, E-mail: slb@uw.edu [School of Forest and Environmental Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105 (United States); Mahoney, Michele; Sprenger, Mark [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Response Team, Edison, NJ (United States)

    2014-07-01

    A long-term research and demonstration site was established on Pb and Zn mine wastes in southwestern Missouri in 1999. Municipal biosolids and lime and composts were mixed into the wastes at different loading rates. The site was monitored intensively after establishment and again in 2012. A site restored with topsoil was also included in the 2012 sampling. Initial results including plant, earthworm and small mammal assays indicate that the bioaccessibility of metals had been significantly reduced as a result of amendment addition. The recent sampling showed that at higher loading rates, the residual mixtures have maintained a vegetative cover and are similar to the topsoil treatment based on nutrient availability and cycling and soil physical properties including bulk density and water holding capacity. The ecosystem implications of restoration with residuals versus mined topsoil were evaluated. Harvesting topsoil from nearby farms would require 1875 years to replace based on natural rates of soil formation. In contrast, diverting biosolids from combustion facilities (60% of biosolids generated in Missouri are incinerated) would result in greenhouse gas savings of close to 400 Mg CO{sub 2} per ha. - Highlights: • Plant yield and metal uptake over 12 years show efficacy of residuals. • Field small mammal trapping indicate minimal risk of attractive nuisance. • Physical properties and fertility of residuals are similar to topsoil. • Ecosystem costs of replacement topsoil show benefit of residuals.

  8. A comparison of the efficacy and ecosystem impact of residual-based and topsoil-based amendments for restoring historic mine tailings in the Tri-State mining district

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, Sally; Mahoney, Michele; Sprenger, Mark

    2014-01-01

    A long-term research and demonstration site was established on Pb and Zn mine wastes in southwestern Missouri in 1999. Municipal biosolids and lime and composts were mixed into the wastes at different loading rates. The site was monitored intensively after establishment and again in 2012. A site restored with topsoil was also included in the 2012 sampling. Initial results including plant, earthworm and small mammal assays indicate that the bioaccessibility of metals had been significantly reduced as a result of amendment addition. The recent sampling showed that at higher loading rates, the residual mixtures have maintained a vegetative cover and are similar to the topsoil treatment based on nutrient availability and cycling and soil physical properties including bulk density and water holding capacity. The ecosystem implications of restoration with residuals versus mined topsoil were evaluated. Harvesting topsoil from nearby farms would require 1875 years to replace based on natural rates of soil formation. In contrast, diverting biosolids from combustion facilities (60% of biosolids generated in Missouri are incinerated) would result in greenhouse gas savings of close to 400 Mg CO 2 per ha. - Highlights: • Plant yield and metal uptake over 12 years show efficacy of residuals. • Field small mammal trapping indicate minimal risk of attractive nuisance. • Physical properties and fertility of residuals are similar to topsoil. • Ecosystem costs of replacement topsoil show benefit of residuals

  9. Basic Information about Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... or metallic mercury is a shiny, silver-white metal and is liquid at room temperature. It is ... releases can happen naturally. Both volcanoes and forest fires send mercury into the atmosphere. Human activities, however, ...

  10. Minamata Convention on Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    On November 6, 2013 the United States signed the Minamata Convention on Mercury, a new multilateral environmental agreement that addresses specific human activities which are contributing to widespread mercury pollution

  11. Health and environmental impact of mercury in the Philippines using nuclear techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cortex-Maramba, Nelia; Trinidad Francisco-Rivera, Ana; Manglicmot, Ailyn; Santos, Flora; Akagi, Hirokatsu

    2001-01-01

    Artisanal gold mining activities using mercury has proliferated in various parts of the country since the early 1980's. In Southern Philippines, it is estimated that a small-scale gold processor utilizes one kilogram of mercury every week or an average of fifty-two kgs./yr. Production is estimated at 30 kilograms of gold per day. It has been estimated that 140 tons of mercury flux have been dumped directly into the river systems from small-scale gold mining operations in one of the gold rush areas in the country. Small-scale mining operations have affected tributaries and water systems in the country that also relies heavily on fishing as a source of livelihood as well as the daily food fare among the low-income sectors in the area. Aside from this, cattle livestock and agricultural production have also been affected by these mining activities because of contamination of the irrigation and water systems. Presently, environmental and health monitoring conducted by several government agencies in the recent past were limited to the determination of total mercury only. Previous studies undertaken focused mainly on the exposure of adults and workers to mercury during mining/processing operations. Environmental quality monitoring showed total mercury sediment levels ranged from 0.55 ug/g dry weight while water samples from river systems exhibited mercury levels from 0.0728-0.0784 ppb. Fish samples collected showed levels ranging from 1.07-438.8 ppb for total mercury and 0.71-377.18 ppb for methyl mercury. Methyl mercury content in fish ranged from 56-99%. Laboratory results showed that total mercury hair samples in schoolchildren ranged from 0.278-20.393 ppm while methyl mercury levels were from 0.191-18.469 ppm. Methyl mercury represented 45.96%-99.81% of the total mercury levels in hair. Total blood mercury levels ranged from 0.757-56.88 ppb while methyl mercury blood levels ranged from 1.36-46.73 ppb. Summary of physical examination results showed that predominant

  12. Colombian mining legislation; Legislacion minera colombiana

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mendoza Delgado, Eva Isolina

    2004-07-01

    The paper makes a historical recount of the mining legislation in Colombia, it is about the more relevant aspects of the Code of Mines, like they are the title miner, obligations, economic aspects, integration of mining areas and of the benefits contemplated in the law 685 of 2001.

  13. Geologic and anthropogenic sources of contamination in settled dust of a historic mining port city in northern Chile: health risk implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseline S. Tapia

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Chile is the leading producer of copper worldwide and its richest mineral deposits are found in the Antofagasta Region of northern Chile. Mining activities have significantly increased income and employment in the region; however, there has been little assessment of the resulting environmental impacts to residents. The port of Antofagasta, located 1,430 km north of Santiago, the capital of Chile, functioned as mineral stockpile until 1998 and has served as a copper concentrate stockpile since 2014. Samples were collected in 2014 and 2016 that show elevated concentrations of As, Cu, Pb, and Zn in street dust and in residents’ blood (Pb and urine (As samples. To interpret and analyze the spatial variability and likely sources of contamination, existent data of basement rocks and soil geochemistry in the city as well as public-domain airborne dust were studied. Additionally, a bioaccessibility assay of airborne dust was conducted and the chemical daily intake and hazard index were calculated to provide a preliminary health risk assessment in the vicinity of the port. The main conclusions indicate that the concentrations of Ba, Co, Cr, Mn, Ni, and V recorded from Antofagasta dust likely originate from intrusive, volcanic, metamorphic rocks, dikes, or soil within the city. However, the elevated concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, Mo, Pb, and Zn do not originate from these geologic outcrops, and are thus considered anthropogenic contaminants. The average concentrations of As, Cu, and Zn are possibly the highest in recorded street dust worldwide at 239, 10,821, and 11,869 mg kg−1, respectively. Furthermore, the contaminants As, Pb, and Cu exhibit the highest bioaccessibilities and preliminary health risk indices show that As and Cu contribute to elevated health risks in exposed chi