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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. ASSESSING AND MANAGING MERCURY FROM HISTORIC AND CURRENT MINING ACTIVITIES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mining activities in the US (not counting coal) produce between one and two billion tons of mine waste annually. Since many of the ore mines involve sulfide minerals, the production of acid mine drainage (AMD) is a common problem from these abandoned mine sites. The combination o...

  3. 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

  4. Spatial and seasonal variations in mercury methylation and microbial community structure in a historic mercury mining area, Yolo County, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holloway, J.M.; Goldhaber, M.B.; Scow, K.M.; Drenovsky, R.E.

    2009-01-01

    The relationships between soil parent lithology, nutrient concentrations, microbial biomass and community structure were evaluated in soils from a small watershed impacted by historic Hg mining. Upland and wetland soils, stream sediments and tailings were collected and analyzed for nutrients (DOC, SO4=, NO3-), Hg, MeHg, and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA). Stream sediment was derived from serpentinite, siltstone, volcanic rocks and mineralized serpentine with cinnabar, metacinnabar and other Hg phases. Soils from different parent materials had distinct PLFA biomass and community structures that are related to nutrient concentrations and toxicity effects of trace metals including Hg. The formation of MeHg appears to be most strongly linked to soil moisture, which in turn has a correlative relationship with PLFA biomass in wetland soils. The greatest concentrations of MeHg (> 0.5??ng g- 1 MeHg) were measured in wetland soils and soil with a volcanic parent (9.5-37????g g- 1 Hg). Mercury methylation was associated with sulfate-reducing bacteria, including Desulfobacter sp. and Desulfovibrio sp., although these organisms are not exclusively responsible for Hg methylation. Statistical models of the data demonstrated that soil microbial communities varied more with soil type than with season.

  5. Mercury Contamination and Bioaccumulation Associated with Historical Gold Mining in the Bear and Yuba River Watersheds, Sierra Nevada, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alpers, C. N.; Hunerlach, M. P.; Hothem, R. L.; May, J. T.; Taylor, H. E.; DeWild, J. F.; Olson, M. L.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Marvin-DiPasquale, M.

    2001-12-01

    Extensive use of mercury in the mining and recovery of gold during the late 19th and early 20th centuries has led to widespread mercury contamination of water, sediment, and biota in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California. The watersheds of the Bear and Yuba Rivers were selected for study by the U.S. Geological Survey and other federal, state, and local agencies on the basis of (1) results of previous studies of bioaccumulation, (2) observations of visible elemental mercury at numerous mine sites and in river sediments, and (3) extensive historical mining on federal lands and adjacent private lands. Of 53 unfiltered water samples analyzed for total recoverable mercury (Hg-T), 17 samples (32 percent) had concentrations in excess of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) aquatic-life criterion of 50 nanograms per liter (ng/L). Water flowing from two separate tunnels in one mining district had Hg-T concentrations greater than 100,000 ng/L, exceeding the EPA drinking-water standard of 2,000 ng/L. Monthly sampling of the Bear River near its mouth revealed monomethylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in unfiltered water samples greater than 0.4 ng/L during July-August 1999 and January 2000. Game fish were collected from 5 reservoirs and 14 stream sites during 1999 to assess the distribution of mercury in the food chain and to examine the potential risk for humans and wildlife. Of 141 fish fillet samples of black basses (Micropterus spp.), sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus and Lepomis cyanellus), black crappie (Poxomis nigromaculatus), channel catfish (Ictularus punctatus), brown trout (Salmo trutta), and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) analyzed for Hg-T, 52 percent exceeded the EPA criterion of 0.3 parts per million (ppm), wet basis. Eighty-nine percent of the bass had Hg-T greater than 0.3 ppm total mercury. Based on these data, three counties issued a public health notification recommending limited consumption of game fish from the Bear and Yuba watersheds

  6. 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

  7. Mercury concentrations in fish from a Sierra Nevada foothill reservoir located downstream from historic gold-mining operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saiki, Michael K.; Martin, Barbara A.; May, Thomas W.; Alpers, Charles N.

    2010-01-01

    This study examined mercury concentrations in whole fish from Camp Far West Reservoir, an 830-ha reservoir in northern California, USA, located downstream from lands mined for gold during and following the Gold Rush of 1848–1864. Total mercury (reported as dry weight concentrations) was highest in spotted bass (mean, 0.93 μg/g; range, 0.16–4.41 μg/g) and lower in bluegill (mean, 0.45 μg/g; range, 0.22–1.96 μg/g) and threadfin shad (0.44 μg/g; range, 0.21–1.34 μg/g). Spatial patterns for mercury in fish indicated high concentrations upstream in the Bear River arm and generally lower concentrations elsewhere, including downstream near the dam. These findings coincided with patterns exhibited by methylmercury in water and sediment, and suggested that mercury-laden inflows from the Bear River were largely responsible for contaminating the reservoir ecosystem. Maximum concentrations of mercury in all three fish species, but especially bass, were high enough to warrant concern about toxic effects in fish and consumers of fish.

  8. Mercury concentrations in fish from a Sierra Nevada foothill reservoir located downstream from historic gold-mining operations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saiki, Michael K; Martin, Barbara A; May, Thomas W; Alpers, Charles N

    2010-04-01

    This study examined mercury concentrations in whole fish from Camp Far West Reservoir, an 830-ha reservoir in northern California, USA, located downstream from lands mined for gold during and following the Gold Rush of 1848-1864. Total mercury (reported as dry weight concentrations) was highest in spotted bass (mean, 0.93 microg/g; range, 0.16-4.41 microg/g) and lower in bluegill (mean, 0.45 microg/g; range, 0.22-1.96 microg/g) and threadfin shad (0.44 microg/g; range, 0.21-1.34 microg/g). Spatial patterns for mercury in fish indicated high concentrations upstream in the Bear River arm and generally lower concentrations elsewhere, including downstream near the dam. These findings coincided with patterns exhibited by methylmercury in water and sediment, and suggested that mercury-laden inflows from the Bear River were largely responsible for contaminating the reservoir ecosystem. Maximum concentrations of mercury in all three fish species, but especially bass, were high enough to warrant concern about toxic effects in fish and consumers of fish.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. Mercury hazards from gold mining to humans, plants, and animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisler, R.

    2004-01-01

    Mercury contamination of the environment from historical and ongoing mining practices that rely on mercury amalgamation for gold extraction is widespread. Contamination was particularly severe in the immediate vicinity of gold extraction and refining operations; however, mercury--especially in the form of water-soluble methylmercury--may be transported to pristine areas by rainwater, water currents, deforestation, volatilization, and other vectors. Examples of gold mining-associated mercury pollution are shown for Canada, the United States, Africa, China, the Philippines, Siberia, and South America. In parts of Brazil, for example, mercury concentrations in all abiotic materials, plants, and animals--including endangered species of mammals and reptiles--collected near ongoing mercury-amalgamation gold mining sites were far in excess of allowable mercury levels promulgated by regulatory agencies for the protection of human health and natural resources. Although health authorities in Brazil are unable to detect conclusive evidence of human mercury intoxication, the potential exists in the absence of mitigation for epidemic mercury poisoning of the mining population and environs. In the United States, environmental mercury contamination is mostly from historical gold mining practices, and portions of Nevada remain sufficiently mercury-contaminated to pose a hazard to reproduction of carnivorous fishes and fish-eating birds. Concentrations of total mercury lethal to sensitive representative natural resources range from 0.1 to 2.0 ug/L of medium for aquatic organisms; from 2200 to 31,000 ug/kg body weight (acute oral) and 4000 to 40,000 ug/kg (dietary) for birds; and from 100 to 500 ug/kg body weight (daily dose) and 1000 to 5000 ug/kg diet for mammals. Significant adverse sublethal effects were observed among selected aquatic species at water concentrations of 0.03 to 0.1 ug Hg/L. For some birds, adverse effects--mainly on reproduction--have been associated with total

  13. 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.

  14. 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; Thodal, Carl E.; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark C.

    2017-01-01

    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.

  15. Mercury hazards from gold mining to humans, plants, and animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisler, Ronald

    2004-01-01

    Mercury contamination of the environment from historical and ongoing mining practices that rely on mercury amalgamation for gold extraction is widespread. Contamination was particularly severe in the immediate vicinity of gold extraction and refining operations; however, mercury, especially in the form of water-soluble methylmercury, may be transported to pristine areas by rainwater, water currents, deforestation, volatilization, and other vectors. Examples of gold mining-associated mercury pollution have been shown for Canada, the U.S., Africa, China, the Philippines, Siberia, and South America. In parts of Brazil, for example, mercury concentrations in all abiotic materials, plants, and animals, including endangered species of mammals and reptiles, collected near ongoing mercury amalgamation gold mining sites were far in excess of allowable mercury levels promulgated by regulatory agencies for the protection of human health and natural resources. Although health authorities in Brazil are unable to detect conclusive evidence of human mercury intoxication, the potential exists in the absence of mitigation for epidemic mercury poisoning of the mining population and environs. In the U.S., environmental mercury contamination is mostly from historical gold mining practices, and portions of Nevada remain sufficiently mercury contaminated to pose a hazard to reproduction of carnivorous fishes and fish-eating birds. Concentrations of total mercury lethal to sensitive representative natural resources range from 0.1 to 2.0 microg/L of medium for aquatic organisms; from 2,200 to 31,000 microg/kg BW (acute oral) and from 4,000 to 40,000 microg/kg (dietary) for birds; and from 100 to 500 microg/kg BW (daily dose) and from 1,000 to 5,000 microg/kg diet for mammals. Significant adverse sublethal effects were observed among selected aquatic species at water concentrations of 0.03-0.1 microg Hg/L. For some birds, adverse effects, mainly on reproduction, have been associated with

  16. BOUNDS ON SUBSURFACE MERCURY FLUX FROM THE SULPHUR BANK MERCURY MINE, LAKE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine (SBMM) in Lake County, California has been identified as a significant source of mercury to Clear Lake. The mine was operated from the 1860s through the 1950's. Mining started with surface operations, progressed to shaft mining, and later to open p...

  17. Mercury speciation in the Valdeazogues River-La Serena Reservoir system: influence of Almadén (Spain) historic mining activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berzas Nevado, Juan J; Rodríguez Martín-Doimeadios, Rosa C; Moreno, María Jiménez

    2009-03-15

    Mercury (Hg) speciation and partitioning have been investigated in a river-reservoir system impacted by the Almadén mining activities, the world's largest Hg district. This study is the first to simultaneously investigate Hg dynamics from above the mining district and into the La Serena Reservoir (3219 Hm(3)), being the third largest reservoir in Europe and the largest in Spain. Water, sediment and biota were sampled at different seasons during a 2-year study from the Valdeazogues River, which flows east-west from the mining District, to La Serena Reservoir. Simultaneously, a comprehensive study was undertaken to determine the influence of some major physico-chemical parameters that potentially influence the fate of Hg within the watershed. Concentrations of dissolved Hg in water were below 0.14 microg/L, whereas particulate Hg ranged from 0.1 to 87 microg/g, with significant seasonal variation. Total Hg concentrations varied from 7 to 74 microg/g in sediment from the Valdeazogues River, while in sediments from La Serena Reservoir were below 2 microg/g. On the other hand, methyl-Hg reached concentrations up to 0.3 ng/L in water and 6 ng/g in sediment from La Serena Reservoir, whereas maximum concentrations in Valdeazogues River were 5 ng/L and 880 ng/g in water and sediment, respectively. The distribution of Hg species in the Valdeazogues River-La Serena Reservoir system indicated a source of Hg from the mine waste distributed along the river. Total Hg in water was strongly correlated with total dissolved solids and chlorophyll a concentrations, whereas organic carbon and Fe concentrations seem to play a role in methylation of inorganic Hg in sediment. Total Hg concentrations were low in fish from Valdeazogues River (0.8-8.6 ng/g, wet weight) and bivalves from La Serena Reservoir (10-110 ng/g, wet weight), but most was present as methyl-Hg.

  18. Mercury in food items from the Idrija Mercury Mine area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miklavčič, Ana; Mazej, Darja; Jaćimović, Radojko; Dizdarevi, Tatjana; Horvat, Milena

    2013-08-01

    As a consequence of over 500 years of mining and smelting activities (1490-1995), and of its natural geological occurrence, the soil in the Idrija region is highly contaminated with Hg. In order to assess the present situation regarding the Hg levels in local food samples, concentrations of total mercury (THg) and monomethyl mercury (MeHg) were determined in selected vegetables, mushrooms and fish from the Idrija Hg mine area. Hg levels in the foodstuffs analysed were not very high but were elevated compared to the levels in food from non-contaminated areas. The study showed that THg accumulates in mushrooms (X=5680ng/g dry weight, Min=346ng/g dry weight, Max=17,100 dry weight) and chicory (X=1950ng/g dry weight, Min=86ng/g dry weight, Max=17,100ng/g dry weight). In addition, Se and Cd concentrations were determined by ICP-MS in those vegetable and mushroom species in which the highest Hg levels were found. The levels of Cd and Se were below the threshold levels. Based on data from previous studies, we can conclude that the levels of Hg in food have not diminished significantly during the past 15 years after closure of the Hg mine. Special attention should be given to vegetables such as chicory, representing a local seasonal vegetable eaten frequently. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-08-01

    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.

  20. Resource estimation from historical data: Mercury, a test case

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cargill, S.M.; Root, D.H.; Bailey, E.H.

    1980-01-01

    A simple technique based on historical records of tonnage and grade of ore produced provides a means for calculating how much of a mineral product will be available in the future at various average grades. Estimates made on this basis are independent of geologic considerations or changing economic and political factors, although they are based on mining history, which was largely determined by these factors. The relatively minor element, mercury, was used for the test case reported here, but the method has been found applicable to forecasts of resources for other mineral products. Mercury resources available in ore in which the average grade is as low as 0.1% are estimated to be 53 ??106kg (1.5 ??106flasks) for the United States and 1551 ??106kg (45 ??106flasks) for the world; this amount is more than adequate to meet predicted demand to the year 2000. The expectable price of mercury in 1978 dollars at this 0.1% grade is projected to be $58.75 per kg ($2,025 per flask), but at a 10% annual inflation rate, it would be more than $12,000 per flask. To satisfy just the projected U.S. demand for mercury by 2000, the price is calculated to be $48.96 per kg ($1,688 per flask) in 1978 dollars at an average annual grade of 0.12%. ?? 1980 Plenum Publishing Corporation.

  1. Fugitive Mercury Emissions From Nevada Gold Mines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, M. B.; Eckley, C. S.; Gustin, M.; Marsik, F.

    2008-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) can be released from point sources at gold mines (e.g. stacks associated with ore processing facilities) as well as from diffuse fugitive sources (e.g. waste rock dumps, heap leaches, etc). Fugitive Hg emissions have not been quantified for active gold mines and as such a large knowledge gap exists concerning the magnitude of total emissions from this source type. This study measured fugitive Hg emissions from two active gold mines in Northern Nevada. To contextualize the magnitude of the mine emissions with respect to those associated with natural surfaces, data were collected from undisturbed areas near the mines that are of similar geologic character. The initial results from this project have shown that there is a large range in surface Hg concentrations and associated emissions to the atmosphere from different surface types within a mine as well as between the two mines. At both mines, the lowest surface Hg concentrations and emissions were associated with the alluvium/overburden waste rock dumps. Surface Hg concentrations and emissions at nearby undisturbed sites were of similar magnitude. Surface concentrations and emissions were substantially higher from active heap leaches. In addition to the difference in fluxes for specific materials, measured emissions must be put within the context of material spatial extent and temporal variability. Here we compare Hg emission contributions from mining and undisturbed materials as a function of space and time (diel and seasonal), and illustrate the need for collection of these types of data in order to reduce uncertainties in understanding air-surface Hg exchange.

  2. Mercury Exposure in Children of the Wanshan Mercury Mining Area, Guizhou, China

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Du, Buyun; Li, Ping; Feng, Xinbin; Qiu, Guangle; Zhou, Jun; Maurice, Laurence

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate the mercury (Hg) exposure level of children located in a Hg mining area, total Hg concentrations and speciation were determined in hair and urine samples of children in the Wanshan Hg mining area, Guizhou Province, China...

  3. RECENT GEOCHEMICAL SAMPLING AND MERCURY SOURCES AT SULPHUR BANK MERCURY MINE, LAKE COUNTY, CA

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine (SBMM), located on the shore of Clear Lake in Lake County, California, has been identified as a significant source of mercury to the lake. Sulphur Bank was actively minded from the 1880's to the 1950's. Mining and processing operations at the Sulph...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Release of Mercury Mine Tailings from Mine Impacted Watersheds by Extreme Events Resulting from Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rytuba, J. J.

    2015-12-01

    An increase in intensity and frequency of extreme events resulting from climate change is expected to result in extreme precipitation events on both regional and local scales. Extreme precipitation events have the potential to mobilize large volumes of mercury (Hg) mine tailings in watersheds where tailings reside in the floodplain downstream from historic Hg mines. The California Hg mineral belt produced one third of the worlds Hg from over 100 mines from the 1850's to 1972. In the absence of environmental regulations, tailings were disposed of into streams adjacent to the mines in order to have them transported from the mine site during storm events. Thus most of the tailings no longer reside at the mine site. Addition of tailings to the streams resulted in stream aggradation, increased over-bank flow, and deposition of tailings in the floodplain for up to 25 kms downstream from the mines. After cessation of mining, the decrease in tailings entering the streams resulted in degradation, incision of the streams into the floodplain, and inability of the streams to access the floodplain. Thus Hg tailings have remained stored in the floodplain since cessation of mining. Hg phases in these tailings consist of cinnabar, metacinnabar and montroydite based on EXAFS analysis. Size analysis indicates that Hg phases are fine grained, less than 1 um. The last regional scale extreme precipitation events to effect the entire area of the California Hg mineral belt were the ARkStorm events of 1861-1862 that occurred prior to large scale Hg mining. Extreme regional ARkStorm precipitation events as well as local summer storms, such as the July 2006 flood in the Clear Creek Hg mining district, are expected to increase in frequency and have the potential to remobilize the large volume of tailings stored in floodplain deposits. Although Hg mine remediation has decreased Hg release from mine sites in a period of benign climate, no remediation efforts have addressed the large source of

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    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...

  8. 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.

  9. Mercury in small Illinois fishes: historical perspectives and current issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levengood, Jeffrey M; Soucek, David J; Taylor, Christopher A; Gay, David A

    2013-08-01

    Documenting long-term trends in mercury deposition and/or accumulation is important in setting regulatory benchmarks, modeling contaminant transfer and flux, measuring success of environmental controls, and even assigning responsibility for pollution. We conducted a study to compare mercury concentrations in small fishes from "high-mercury" and "low-mercury" regions of Illinois, as well as to examine historic patterns of mercury availability using preserved fishes. Mercury concentrations were greater in four species of small fishes collected from a stream in a "high-mercury" region than in those same taxa collected from a stream in a "low-mercury" area in Illinois. Mercury concentrations in blackstripe topminnows (Fundulus notatus) declined dramatically between 1900 and 1961/2006 in the "high-mercury" stream, presumably due reductions in mercury releases from local and regional sources. Preserved fish had an apparent increase in mercury concentrations for up to 12 months, which is consistent with changes in mass and loss of proteins observed in other studies, and we recommend that recent samples be preserved for at least 12 months before comparison with older fluid-preserved material. Based on our results, further studies of mercury in small fishes in Illinois streams appear warranted.

  10. Mercury-Contaminated Hydraulic Mining Debris in San Francisco Bay

    OpenAIRE

    Bouse, Robin M; Fuller, Christopher C.; Luoma, Sam; 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 mercury-contaminated sediment created by hydraulic gold mining in the Sierra Nevada, between 1852 and 1884, ended up over 250 kilometers (km) away in San Franci...

  11. 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...

  12. Historical methyl mercury in San Francisco Bay

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — San Francisco Bay, California is considered a mercury-impaired watershed. Elevated concentrations of mercury are found in water and sediment as well as fish and...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Environmental geochemistry studies in the area of Idrija mercury mine, Slovenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gosar, Mateja; Teršič, Tamara

    2012-01-01

    Five centuries of mining and processing of mercury ore in the Idrija area have resulted in widespread contamination of different environmental compartments. Environmental impacts on a regional and local scale, caused by atmospheric emissions from the Idrija ore roasting plant, were established in the investigations of mercury spatial distribution in soil and attic dust in 160 km(2) area. Very high values were determined in the Idrijca River valley, and they decrease exponentially with the distance from Idrija. Mercury concentrations in attic dust are higher than in surrounding soils and the attic dust/soil ratio changes with distance. Measurements of mercury in the air confirmed widespread dispersion of mercury and showed highly elevated mercury concentrations around roasting plant and mine ventilation shaft. Beside, systematic monitoring of mercury contents in the stream sediments has demonstrated that huge amounts of mercury are stored in areas where ancient overbank sediments were deposited, and there was no decrease in mercury concentration in active sediments during the last 15 years. Recently, interesting and extremely polluted locations of historical small-scale roasting sites in the Idrija surroundings were discovered. Ongoing geochemical study aims to determine the extreme pollution and significance of these sites for wider contamination of soils and aquatic systems. Presented studies have shown that Hg mining in Idrija caused intense pollution of local and regional environment including the aquatic systems in the Gulf of Trieste, which is seen as the final sink of a major part of the Hg stored in soils and river sediments in the Idrija area.

  16. Artisanal Mining of Gold with Mercury in Ghana

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    USER

    The main pathway of human exposure to this toxic metal is through the consumption of Hg contaminated fish as illustrated by the mass Hg poisoning in Minamata Bay and Agano River in Japan (D'Itri & D'Itri, 1977; Takizawa,1979) during the 1950s and 1960s. Gold mining with mercury. The mining sector has been identified ...

  17. Mercury pollution issues in mining districts (Armenia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saghatelyan, Armen; Sahakyan, Lilit; Belyaeva, Olga; Torosyan, Nver

    2015-04-01

    The issue of mercury (Hg) due to its chemical and geochemical peculiarities and a negative impact it produces on human health has a long history. Existence of international projects devoted to Hg research (AMAP Technical Background Report, 2013) and elaboration on a new convention to combat Hg pollution (http://www.mercuryconvention.org/Home/tabid/3360/Default.aspx) prove that Hg has already become a global concern. Presently, data on Armenia's area pollution with Hg available in international literature sources and reports are scarce and cover pollution sources only. According to published data (AMAP Technical Background Report, 2013), in 2009 summary emission of Hg on the entire territory of the Republic of Armenia made 222,723 kg, considerable shares of which fell on primary copper production (88,057 kg), cement production (57,094 kg), production of gold from large mines (46,728 kg), waste and other losses due to breakage and disposal in landfill (29,995 kg); besides, some quantities originated from amalgams, combustion of different-type fuel and garbage, and so on. One should mind, that these are calculated statistical data, which reflect neither a complete list of Hg pollution sources nor a realistic picture of levels of Hg pollution of different environmental compartments and risks. Local monitoring data on Hg pollution are not sufficient either. This abstract is aimed at revealing of Hg pollution problems in some of Armenia's mining regions through generalization of data on complex investigations implemented at the Center for Ecological-Noosphere Studies NAS RA between 2005 and 2011, and is focused on Hg pollution of different environmental compartments: water - atmosphere - soil - farm produce - atmospheric precipitation - human bio-substrates. The obtained data indicate that as a result of ore mining and processing Hg enters onto the surface, travels through air and water migration streams and finally brings to pollution of all environmental compartments

  18. Mercury Mining in Mexico: I. Community Engagement to Improve Health Outcomes from Artisanal Mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho, Andrea; Van Brussel, Evelyn; Carrizales, Leticia; Flores-Ramírez, Rogelio; Verduzco, Beatriz; Huerta, Selene Ruvalcaba-Aranda; Leon, Mauricio; Díaz-Barriga, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Mercury is an element that cannot be destroyed and is a global threat to human and environmental health. In Latin America and the Caribbean, artisanal and small-scale gold mining represents the main source of mercury emissions, releases, and consumption. However, another source of concern is the primary production of mercury. In the case of Mexico, in the past 2 years the informal production of mercury mining has increased 10-fold. Considering this scenario, an intervention program was initiated to reduce health risks in the mining communities. The program's final goal is to introduce different alternatives in line to stop the mining of mercury, but introducing at the same time, a community-based development program. The aim of this study was to present results from a preliminary study in the community of Plazuela, located in the municipality of Peñamiller in the State of Queretaro, Mexico. Total mercury was measured in urine and environmental samples using atomic absorption spectrometry by cold vapor technique. Urine samples were collected from children aged 6-14 years and who had lived in the selected area from birth. Urine samples were also collected from miners who were currently working in the mine. To confirm the presence of mercury in the community, mining waste, water, soil, and sediment samples were collected from those high-risk areas identified by members of the community. Children, women, and miners were heavily exposed to mercury (urine samples); and in agreement, we registered high concentrations of mercury in soils and sediments. Considering these results and taking into account that the risk perception toward mercury toxicity is very low in the community (mining is the only economic activity), an integral intervention program has started. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Bioaccumulation of mercury in benthic communities of a river ecosystem affected by mercury mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zizek, Suzana; Horvat, Milena; Gibicar, Darija; Fajon, Vesna; Toman, Mihael J

    2007-05-15

    The presence of mercury in the river Idrijca (Slovenia) is mainly due to 500 years of mercury mining in this region. In order to understand the cycling of mercury in the Idrijca ecosystem it is crucial to investigate the role of biota. This study is part of an ongoing investigation of mercury biogeochemistry in the river Idrijca, focusing on the accumulation and speciation of mercury in the lower levels of the food chain, namely filamentous algae, periphyton and macroinvertebrates. Mercury analysis and speciation in the biota and in water were performed during the spring, summer and autumn seasons at four locations on the river, representing different degrees of mercury contamination. Total (THg) and methyl mercury (MeHg) were measured. The results showed that the highest THg concentrations in biota correlate well with THg levels in sediments and water. The level of MeHg is spatially and seasonally variable, showing higher values at the most contaminated sites during the summer and autumn periods. The percentage of Hg as MeHg increases with the trophic level from water (0.1-0.8%), algae (0.5-1.3%), periphyton (1.6-8.8%) to macroinvertebrates (0.1-100%), which indicates active transformation, accumulation and magnification of mercury in the benthic organism of this heavily contaminated torrential river.

  20. 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.

  1. Artisanal mining of gold with mercury in Ghana | Donkor | West ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    West African Journal of Applied Ecology. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search · Current Issue · Archives · Journal Home > Vol 9, No 1 (2006) >. Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads. Username, Password, Remember me, or Register. Artisanal mining of gold with mercury in Ghana.

  2. Geological Study Collection of the Mercury Mine in Idrija

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Car, J.; Rezun, B.

    2004-01-01

    The collection and classification of various geological samples has a long tradition in the Idrija Mercury Mine. In the second half of the 19th century geological collection was prepared and arranged by M.V. Lipold. In 1956, a rich petrographic-palaeontological collection was created at the

  3. CHARACTERIZATION AND EH/PH-BASED LEACHING TESTS OF MERCURY-CONTAINING MINING WASTES FROM THE SULFUR BANK MERCURY MINE, LAKE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mine waste rock and roaster tailings were collected from the Sulfur Bank Mercury Mine (SBMM) located in Clearlake Oaks, California. The site has been under investigation as a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) site. Leaching profiles o...

  4. THE HERMAN PIT AND ITS ROLE IN MERCURY TRANSPORT AT THE SULPHUR BANK MERCURY MINE SUPERFUND SITE, CLEAR LAKE, CALIFORNIA

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine (SBMM) is an abandoned sulphur and cinnabar mine located on the eastern shore of the Oaks Arm of Clear Lake, Lake County, California. SBMM was one of the largest mercury producers in California and has been described as one of the most productive sh...

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohlander, Johan; Huber, Stella Maria; Schomaker, Michael; Heumann, Christian; Schierl, Rudolf; Michalke, Bernhard; Jenni, Oskar G; Caflisch, Jon; Muñoz, Daniel Moraga; von Ehrenstein, Ondine S; Radon, Katja

    2013-01-01

    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.

  7. 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

  8. Microbial mercury methylation in the Ngawha hot springs and the abandoned Puhipuhi mine, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gionfriddo, C. M.; Ogorek, J. M.; Thompson, C. D.; Power, J.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Stott, M. B.; Moreau, J. W.

    2011-12-01

    Hot springs and fumaroles release significant quantities of aqueous and gaseous mercury into the environment. Yet few studies have focused on the biogeochemical cycling of mercury in geothermal settings. In this study, we investigated the abundance, speciation, and partitioning of mercury in geothermal waters and sediments in the Ngawha geothermal field and Puhipuhi region of New Zealand. The Ngawha geothermal field contains over 20 hot springs with variable chemistry (pH 2.9 - 7.1, ORP 15.7 to 249.1 mV, 22-40.5°C), from which approximately 530 kg of mercury is released annually from deep geological sources, most of which remains in the local surficial waters and sediments. Puhipuhi is the site of an historic mercury mining operation located about 22 miles southeast of Ngawha. The mercury-bearing geological deposits at Ngawha and Puhipuhi were formed over the same period and are connected to the young basalt flows of the region. Puhipuhi no longer hosts active hot springs, but is transected by a stream that varies in chemistry (pH 5.1-7.2, ORP -3.8-115.3 mV, ~22°C). Total- and methylmercury concentrations were measured using ICP-MS and CVAFS. Preliminary analyses of dissolved total- and methylmercury levels across the hot springs ranged from 5-10,000 ng/L and 0.6-23.5 ng/L, respectively, indicating a wide range of environmental conditions exist and may support a diverse array of microbial communities. Due to their high mercury content, geothermal settings may hold clues about the evolution of microbial mercury resistance (detoxification response to environmental Hg), as the ancestral mer operon evolved in thermophilic bacteria such as Thermus thermophilus and Methylacidophilum infernorum. Thus, the Ngawha hot springs provide an opportunity to investigate the evolution of microbial responses to mercury. Adjacent sites often display radically different chemical traits, with implications for changes in microbial community structure and genetic responses to mercury

  9. 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.

  10. Mercury Benthic Flux: A Comparison Between 3 Mining-Impacted Water Bodies in the Western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Topping, B. R.; Kuwabara, J. S.; Marvin-Dipasquale, M. C.; Agee, J. L.; Kieu, L. H.; Flanders, J. R.; Parchaso, F.

    2004-12-01

    The legacy of mining in the Western United States has left an indelible environmental imprint on terrestrial and aquatic systems. On both sides of the Sierra Nevada mountain range (Sierras), mercury was used copiously in the amalgamation of gold and silver. Mercury deposits in close proximity to San Francisco Bay (e.g., the New Almaden mining district) provided much of the mercury for these processes. To evaluate mercury benthic flux, three geographically distinct water bodies were studied: Lahontan Reservoir (NV) on the eastern side of the Sierras, affected by historic gold and silver mining; Camp Far West Reservoir (CA) on the western side of the Sierras, down stream of historic hydraulic gold mining and processing; and South San Francisco Bay (CA), the estuarine component down stream of the New Almaden Mercury Mines. Average benthic flux of total-dissolved mercury was highest in Lahontan Reservoir ( ˜1400 pmol/m2/hr), followed by Camp Far West Reservoir ( ˜180 pmol/m2/hr), and lowest in South San Francisco Bay ( ˜50 pmol/m2/hr). In spite of this wide range of values, and the unique character of each watershed (e.g., forested vs. urbanized), all three systems exhibited quantitatively significant mercury benthic fluxes relative to riverine inputs. That is, areally averaged benthic fluxes (thus, expressed as annual loads) were of similar or greater magnitude relative to riverine loads. System-averaged values of dissolved methylmercury fluxes were similar for South San Francisco Bay (undetectable) and Camp Far West Reservoir (average of ˜0 pmol/m2/hr; some fluxes undetectable), and only slightly higher in Lahontan Reservoir ( ˜2 pmol/m2/hr). Similarly, system averaged potential rates of methylmercury production (by sulfate-reducing bacteria; as assessed by 203Hg(II) radiotracer studies) in the surficial sediment were not significantly different among the three locations. However, within-system variability was approximately an order of magnitude in each case

  11. Human hair mercury levels in the Wanshan mercury mining area, Guizhou Province, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ping; Feng, Xinbin; Qiu, Guangle; Shang, Lihai; Li, Guanghui

    2009-12-01

    The total mercury (T-Hg) and methyl mercury (Me-Hg) concentrations in the hair were measured to evaluate mercury (Hg) exposure for the residents in Da-shui-xi Village (DSX) and Xia-chang-xi Village (XCX) in the Wanshan Hg mining area, Guizhou Province, Southwestern China. The mean concentrations in the hair of DSX residents were 5.5 ± 2.7 μg/g and 1.9 ± 0.9 μg/g for T-Hg and Me-Hg, respectively. The concentrations in the hair of XCX residents were 3.3 ± 1.4 μg/g and 1.2 ± 0.5 μg/g for T-Hg and Me-Hg, respectively. Hair Me-Hg concentrations were significantly correlated to T-Hg (r = 0.42, P < 0.01) in the two sites; on average, hair Me-Hg concentration accounted for 40 and 44% of T-Hg for DSX and XCX residents, respectively. Age has no obvious correlation with hair Hg and the hair Hg levels showed a significant gender difference, with higher T-Hg and Me-Hg concentrations in the hair from males than females. The rice collected from the two sites showed high levels of T-Hg and Me-Hg concentration. The results indicated a certain Hg exposure for the residents in DSX and XCX in the Wanshan Hg mining area.

  12. Mercury Exposure in Children of the Wanshan Mercury Mining Area, Guizhou, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Buyun; Li, Ping; Feng, Xinbin; Qiu, Guangle; Zhou, Jun; Maurice, Laurence

    2016-11-08

    To evaluate the mercury (Hg) exposure level of children located in a Hg mining area, total Hg concentrations and speciation were determined in hair and urine samples of children in the Wanshan Hg mining area, Guizhou Province, China. Rice samples consumed by these same children were also collected for total mercury (THg) and methyl-mercury (MeHg) analysis. The geometric mean concentrations of THg and MeHg in the hair samples were 1.4 (range 0.50-6.0) μg/g and 1.1 (range 0.35-4.2) μg/g, respectively, while the geometric mean concentration of urine Hg (UHg) was 1.4 (range 0.09-26) μg/g Creatinine (Cr). The average of the probable daily intake (PDI) of MeHg via rice consumption was 0.052 (0.0033-0.39) µg/kg/day, which significantly correlated with the hair MeHg concentrations (r = 0.55, p exposure for children in this area. Furthermore, 18% (26/141) of the PDIs of MeHg exceeded the USEPA Reference Dose (RfD) of 0.10 µg/kg/day, indicating that children in this area are at a high MeHg exposure level. This paper for the first time evaluates the co-exposure levels of IHg and MeHg of children living in Wanshan mining area, and revealed the difference in exposure patterns between children and adults in this area.

  13. Mercury Exposure in Children of the Wanshan Mercury Mining Area, Guizhou, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buyun Du

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available To evaluate the mercury (Hg exposure level of children located in a Hg mining area, total Hg concentrations and speciation were determined in hair and urine samples of children in the Wanshan Hg mining area, Guizhou Province, China. Rice samples consumed by these same children were also collected for total mercury (THg and methyl-mercury (MeHg analysis. The geometric mean concentrations of THg and MeHg in the hair samples were 1.4 (range 0.50–6.0 μg/g and 1.1 (range 0.35–4.2 μg/g, respectively, while the geometric mean concentration of urine Hg (UHg was 1.4 (range 0.09–26 μg/g Creatinine (Cr. The average of the probable daily intake (PDI of MeHg via rice consumption was 0.052 (0.0033–0.39 µg/kg/day, which significantly correlated with the hair MeHg concentrations (r = 0.55, p < 0.01, indicating that ingestion of rice is the main pathway of MeHg exposure for children in this area. Furthermore, 18% (26/141 of the PDIs of MeHg exceeded the USEPA Reference Dose (RfD of 0.10 µg/kg/day, indicating that children in this area are at a high MeHg exposure level. This paper for the first time evaluates the co-exposure levels of IHg and MeHg of children living in Wanshan mining area, and revealed the difference in exposure patterns between children and adults in this area.

  14. The potential risk of environmental contamination by mercury contained in Polish coal mining waste

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomasz Antoszczyszyn

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper contains reference literature analysis concerning mercury content in Polish bituminous coal and post-mining waste as well as the impact of mercury content on the environment. The aim of the paper was to determine the occurrence of the risk of contamination of the environment with mercury compounds found in demolition bituminous coal landfills. Mercury, due to its toxic properties has been classified among the most dangerous substances to human health. There are three groups of sources of mercury release into the environment: natural, anthropogenic and remission. Coal mining, its processing and use in the energy sector has the greatest relevance regarding the pollution of the environment with mercury compounds in Poland. A review of reference literature shows that the average content of mercury in Polish bituminous coal varies within a wide range of 41–399 ppb, which is conditional on the origin, age and type of coal. The production of coal has led to a number of facilities in the form of structurally and age-varied landfills, heaps and mining waste dumps. The content of mercury in post-mining waste is in the range from approximately 55 to 380 ppb. The problem of environmental contamination with mercury has attracted considerable interest due to the effects that its concentration have in the biosphere. On the basis of the existing data it has been found that the content of mercury in soils in areas degraded by mining and processing of coal is even 10–16 times higher, compared to the geochemical background. It is necessary to conduct research in this area due to the limited results of research on mercury content in deposited waste from the preparation and flotation of Polish bituminous coals and the potential harmful effect of mercury on the environment. The paper is dedicated to the mercury content in waste from the extraction and processing of bituminous coal.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Transportation and transformation of mercury in a calcine profile in the Wanshan Mercury Mine, SW China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Runsheng; Gu, Chunhao; Feng, Xinbin; Zheng, Lirong; Hu, Ningning

    2016-12-01

    Calcination of Hg ores has resulted in serious contamination of mercury (Hg) in the environment. To understand the mobilization of Hg in the calcine pile, the speciation of Hg in a profile of a large calcine pile in the Wanshan Mercury Mine, SW China was investigated using the X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XANES), to understand the mobilization of Hg in the calcine pile. Higher concentrations of Hg were observed at the 30-50 cm depth of the profile, corresponding to a cemented layer. This layer is observed in the entire pile, and was formed due to cementation of calcines. Hg species in calcines include cinnabar (α-HgS), metacinnabar (β-HgS), elemental Hg(0), and minor mercuric chloride (HgCl2), but these Hg species show dramatic changes in the profile. Variations in Hg speciation suggest that extensive mobilization of Hg can occur during weathering processes. We show that the cemented layer can prevent the leaching of Hg and the emission of Hg(0) from the pile. High MeHg concentrations were found near the cemented layer, indicating Hg methylation occurs. This study provides important insights into the environmental risk of Hg in mining areas. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. Risk Factors for Mercury Exposure of Children in a Rural Mining Town in Northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohlander, Johan; Huber, Stella Maria; Schomaker, Michael; Heumann, Christian; Schierl, Rudolf; Michalke, Bernhard; Jenni, Oskar G.; Caflisch, Jon; Muñoz, Daniel Moraga; von Ehrenstein, Ondine S.; Radon, Katja

    2013-01-01

    Objective 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. Methods 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 75th percentile were made, adjusted for potential confounders. Results 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 (>75th 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. Conclusion 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. PMID:24278170

  20. 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.

  1. [Human mercury exposure and irregular menstrual cycles in relation to artisanal gold mining in Colombia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Villamizar, Laura Andrea; Jaimes, Diana Carolina; Manquián-Tejos, Adelaida; Sánchez, Luz Helena

    2015-08-01

    Artisanal mining commonly extracts gold with an amalgamation process that uses mercury. The reproductive effects from exposure to elemental mercury used in gold mining have not been sufficiently studied. To evaluate the effect of the exposure to elemental mercury used in gold mining on menstrual cycle regularity and the occurrence of miscarriages in Colombia. An analytical cross-sectional study was conducted. The participants were female residents of gold mining districts, with a history of exposure to elemental mercury. Menstrual regularity and the occurrence of miscarriages were compared between these women and an unexposed group. Exposure and outcome variables were registered based on a questionnaire which was evaluated for its test-retest reproducibility. Prevalence rates were calculated using a binomial model and goodness-of-fit was evaluated. A total of 72 women exposed to mercury and 121 unexposed women participated. The average time of exposure to mercury among exposed women was 19.58 ± 9.53 years. The adjusted prevalence of irregular menstruation over the last six months was higher in the group of women chronically exposed to mercury vapors (PR=1.59, 95% CI 0.93-2.73), while there was no difference in the proportion of women with a history of miscarriages. Exposure to elemental mercury used in artisanal gold mining may be associated with a higher prevalence of irregular menstrual cycles but not with the occurrence of miscarriage.

  2. Extractability and mobility of mercury from agricultural soils surrounding industrial and mining contaminated areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Ana Teresa; Rodrigues, Sónia Morais; Davidson, Christine M; Pereira, Eduarda; Duarte, Armando C

    2010-12-01

    This study focussed on a comparison of the extractability of mercury in soils with two different contamination sources (a chlor-alkali plant and mining activities) and on the evaluation of the influence of specific soil properties on the behaviour of the contaminant. The method applied here did not target the identification of individual species, but instead provided information concerning the mobility of mercury species in soil. Mercury fractions were classified as mobile, semi-mobile and non-mobile. The fractionation study revealed that in all samples mercury was mainly present in the semi-mobile phase (between 63% and 97%). The highest mercury mobility (2.7 mg kg(-1)) was found in soils from the industrial area. Mining soils exhibited higher percentage of non-mobile mercury, up to 35%, due to their elevated sulfur content. Results of factor analysis indicate that the presence of mercury in the mobile phase could be related to manganese and aluminium soil contents. A positive relation between mercury in the semi-mobile fraction and the aluminium content was also observed. By contrary, organic matter and sulfur contents contributed to mercury retention in the soil matrix reducing the mobility of the metal. Despite known limitations of sequential extraction procedures, the methodology applied in this study for the fractionation of mercury in contaminated soil samples provided relevant information on mercury's relative mobility. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. 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,

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esdaile, Louisa J; Chalker, Justin M

    2018-01-03

    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

  6. Initiatives to combat mercury use in artisanal small-scale gold mining: A review on issues and challenges

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Okonkwo, Jonathan O; Malehase, Tshia; Daso, Adegbenro P

    The Minamata Convention on mercury has received a number of criticisms and challenges that potentially hinder its progress on reducing and controlling mercury use and release by artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASSGM...

  7. Contextualising the topographic signature of historic mining, a scaling analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhardt, Liam

    2017-04-01

    Mining is globally one of the most significant means by which humans alter landscapes; we do so through erosion (mining), transport, and deposition of extracted sediments (waste). The iconic Dartmoor mountain landscape of SW England ( 700km2) has experienced over 1000 years of shallow (Cu & Sn) mining that has left a pervasive imprint on the landscape. The availability of high resolution digital elevation models (<=1m) and aerial photographs @12.5 cm resolution) combined with historic records of mining activity and output make this an ideal location to investigate the topographic signature of mining. Conceptually I ask the question: how much (digital elevation model) smoothing is required to remove the human imprint from this landscape ? While we may have entered the Anthropocene other gravity driven process have imparted distinct scale-dependant signatures. How might the human signature differ from these processes and how pervasive is it at the landscape scale? Spatial scaling analysis (curvature & semi-variance) was used to quantify the topographic signature of historic mining and to determine how it differs to a) natural landforms such as bedrock tors; and b) the morphology of biological activity (e.g. peat formation). Other forms of historic activity such as peat cutting and quarrying were also investigated. The existence of 400 years of mine activity archives also makes it possible to distinguish between the imprint of differing forms of mine technology and their spatio-temporal signature. Interestingly the higher technology 19th C mines have left a much smaller topographic legacy than Medieval miners; though the former had a much greater impact in terms of heavy metal contamination.

  8. GEOCHEMICAL EVOLUTION OF GROUND WATER AND TRANSPORT OF MERCURY AT THE SULPHUR BANK MERCURY MINE SUPERFUND SITE IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine, located on the shore of Clear Lake, Lake County, California, is a potential source for a modern-day mercury flux into the local aquatic ecosystem. Surface mining created the Herman Pit, a 9.3 ha open pit with a depth > 30 m, while overburden and pr...

  9. Historical Bibliography of Sea Mine Warfare

    Science.gov (United States)

    1976-01-01

    INRC:MAC:2033/ H 0O AL LIOc. Y T - Naval Stuc cies Board -j for c;ie Advisory Committee ) %q 7- Z2Z~’ ’ (0 lit SEP 13 9 ) u L National A yOf Sciences...Yale University Press, Vol. II 1914; New Haven. 14. Stokes, Donald; Lee Mines Magnetiquee Auraient pu Faire Perdue Za Guerre aux Allies; " Historia

  10. [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.

  11. 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.

  12. GEOCHEMICAL FEATURES OF WATER-ROCK INTERACTIONS AT THE SULPHUR BANK MERCURY MINE, LAKE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine on the eastern shore of Clear Lake is the source of poor quality acid mine drainage seeping into Clear Lake. Lateral and vertical geochemical trends in ground water composition point to a number of redox reactions taking place as a function of subsu...

  13. 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

    2018-01-01

    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.

  14. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    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. brazzer

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

    OpenAIRE

    Aniceto C. Orbeta; 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Influence of illegal gold mining on mercury levels in fish of north Sulawesi's Minahasa Peninsula, (Indonesia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kambey, J L; Farrell, A P; Bendell-Young, L I

    2001-01-01

    North Sulawesi's Minahasa Peninsula currently is experiencing intense illegal gold mining activity. It has been estimated that 200 t of mercury are used annually in Indonesia in the recovery of gold from the illegal mines. To date no study has assessed the environmental impact of this illegal activity on the nearby aquatic biota. To address this concern, we compared tissue mercury levels from several sites, including a reference site and a site near an illegal mine. Fish from the region of the illegal mine contained 30 times the mercury content of fish at the reference site. Moreover, whole fish tissue levels were four times those recommended by the World Health Organization for consumption restrictions and often two-fold higher than recommended for total restriction on fish consumption. The environmental and human health implications of these levels are of grave concern; citizen education programmes are required to alert indigenous peoples of the risks associated with mercury exposure and fish consumption guidelines put into place. A more comprehensive effort to identify major sources and effects are required. Such information can be used to determine the correct course of action that needs to be taken to close existing illegal mines and prevent future illegal mining activities.

  1. 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.

  2. Arsenic and mercury contamination related to historical goldmining in the Sierra Nevada, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alpers, Charles N.

    2017-01-01

    Arsenic (As) is a naturally occurring constituent in low-sulphide gold-quartz vein deposits, the dominant deposit type for lode mines in the Sierra Nevada Foothills (SNFH) gold (Au) province of California. Concentrations of naturally occurring mercury (Hg) in the SNFH Au province are low, but extensive use and loss of elemental Hg during amalgamation processing of ore from lode and placer Au deposits led to widespread contamination of Hg in the Sierra Nevada foothills and downstream areas, such as the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Bay. This review paper provides an overview of As and Hg contamination related to historical Au mining in the Sierra Nevada of California. It summarizes the geology, mineralogy, and geochemistry of the Au deposits, and provides information on specific areas where detailed studies have been done in association with past, ongoing, and planned remediation activities related to the environmental As and Hg contamination.Arsenic is a naturally occurring constituent in low-sulphide Au-quartz vein deposits, the dominant deposit type for lode mines in the Sierra Nevada Foothills (SNFH) Au province (Ashley 2002). Because of elevated concentrations of As in accessory iron-sulphide minerals including arsenopyrite (FeAsS) and arsenian pyrite (Fe(S,As)2), As is commonly a contaminant of concern in lode Au mine waste, including waste rock and mill tailings. The principal pathways of human As exposure from mine waste include ingestion of soil or drinking water, and inhalation of dust in contaminated areas (Mitchell 2014).Concentrations of naturally occurring Hg in the SNFH Au province are low, but extensive use and loss of elemental Hg during amalgamation processing of ore from lode and placer Au deposits (Churchill 2000) led to widespread contamination of Hg in the Sierra Nevada foothills and downstream areas, such as the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Bay (Alpers et al. 2005a). Conversion of Hg to monomethylmercury

  3. Remediation strategies for historical mining and smelting sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dybowska, Agnieszka; Farago, Margaret; Valsami-Jones, Eugenia; Thornton, Iain

    2006-01-01

    The environmental, social and economic problems associated with abandoned mine sites are serious and global. Environmental damage arising from polluted waters and dispersal of contaminated waste is a feature characteristic of many old mines in North America, Australia, Europe and elsewhere. Today, because of the efficiency of mining operations and legal requirements in many countries for prevention of environmental damage from mining operations, the release of metals to the environment from modern mining is low. However, many mineralized areas that were extensively worked in the 18th and 19th centuries and left abandoned after mining had ceased, have left a legacy of metal contaminated land. Unlike organic chemicals and plastics, metals cannot be degraded chemically or biologically into non-toxic and environmentally neutral constituents. Thus sites contaminated with toxic metals present a particular challenge for remediation. Soil remediation has been the subject of a significant amount of research work in the past decade; this has resulted in a number of remediation options currently available or being developed. Remediation strategies for metal/metalloid contaminated historical mining sites are reviewed and summarized in this article. It focuses on the current applications of in situ remediation with the use of soil amendments (adsorption and precipitation based methods are discussed) and phytoremediation (in situ plant based technology for environmental clean up and restoration). These are promising alternative technologies to traditional options of excavation and ex situ treatment, offering an advantage of being non-invasive and low cost. In particular, they have been shown to be effective in remediation of mining and smelting contaminated sites, although the long-term durability of these treatments cannot be predicted.

  4. 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.

  5. Characterization, mapping, and mitigation of mercury vapour emissions from artisanal mining gold shops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordy, Paul; Veiga, Marcello; Crawford, Ben; Garcia, Oseas; Gonzalez, Victor; Moraga, Daniel; Roeser, Monika; Wip, Dennis

    2013-08-01

    Artisanal miners sell their gold to shops that are usually located in the urban core, where the mercury-gold amalgam is burned to evaporate the mercury that was added during ore processing. People living and working near these gold shops are exposed to intermittent and extreme concentrations of mercury vapour. In the urban centres of Segovia, Colombia, and Andacollo, Chile, the average concentrations measured by mobile mercury vapour analyzer transects taken repeatedly over several weeks were 1.26 and 0.338μgm(-3), respectively. By World Health Organization standards, these towns are exposed to significant health hazard, and globally, the millions of miners, as well as non-miners who live near gold shops, are at serious risk of neurological and renal deficits. Measurements taken in Suriname, Ecuador and Peru reveal this to be a widespread phenomenon with unique regional variations and myriad attempts at remediation. Maps of average mercury concentrations show the spatial distribution of the hazard in relation to residential buildings and schools. Measurements from towers show the temporal variability of mercury concentrations, and suggest that large quantities of mercury are available for long-range atmospheric transport. Mercury mapping in Segovia in 2011 suggest a 10% reduction in airborne mercury concentrations over 2010, despite a 30% increase in gold production. This is attributable to the adoption of retorts by miners and regulations banning new processing centres to the rural periphery. This is the first full description of artisanal mining gold shop practices and of the character, quantity, and remediation of mercury emissions within urban mining centres. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Partnership on Reducing Mercury in Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernaudat L.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining Partnership area is an initiative to reduce global mercury pollution through coordinated voluntary actions. This partnership area, co-led by Natural Resources Defense Council and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, gathers the major actors in the sector, including governments, academia and civil society. The ASGM sector remains the largest demand sector for mercury globally (best global estimates put mercury use by the sector in the range of 1400 tonne/year in 2011. Virtually all of the mercury introduced in the process is released to the environment. This sector involves an estimated 10-20 million miners, and the numbers are likely increasing as the rising price of gold attracts additional poverty-driven miners. Serious long-term environmental health hazards exist for populations associated with or living downstream/wind from mining operations, often including indigenous peoples. The objective of the ASGM Partnership area is to minimize and where possible eliminate mercury uses and releases in artisanal and small scale gold mining. The presentation will outline the key challenges associated with the ASGM sector and summarize the activities under the Partnership to address those challenges.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...... 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....

  12. 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.

  13. 36 CFR 13.1904 - Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark (KNHL).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... and other mine openings; (c) Camping in or on any historic structure; and (d) Camping within the mill... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Kennecott Mines National... National Park and Preserve § 13.1904 Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark (KNHL). A map showing the...

  14. 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.

  15. Historical (1850–2010 mercury stable isotope inventory from anthropogenic sources to the atmosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruoyu Sun

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Mercury (Hg stable isotopes provide a new tool to trace the biogeochemical cycle of Hg. An inventory of the isotopic composition of historical anthropogenic Hg emissions is important to understand sources and post-emission transformations of Hg. We build on existing global inventories of anthropogenic Hg emissions to the atmosphere to develop the first corresponding historical Hg isotope inventories for total Hg (THg and three Hg species: gaseous elemental Hg (GEM, gaseous oxidized Hg (GOM and particulate-bound Hg (PBM. We compile δ202Hg and Δ199Hg of major Hg emissions source materials. Where possible, δ202Hg and Δ199Hg values in emissions are corrected for the mass dependent Hg isotope fractionation during industrial processing. The framework and Hg isotope inventories can be updated and improved as new data become available. Simulated THg emissions from all sectors between 1850s and 2010s generally show an increasing trend (−1.1‰ to −0.7‰ for δ202Hg, and a stable trend (−0.02‰ to −0.04‰ for Δ199Hg. Δ200Hg are near-zero in source materials and therefore emissions. The δ202Hg trend generally reflects a shift of historically dominant Hg emissions from 19th century Hg mining and liquid Hg0 uses in Au/Ag refining to 20th century coal combustion and non-ferrous metal production. The historical δ202Hg and Δ199Hg curves of GEM closely follow those of THg. The δ202Hg curves of GOM and PBM show no trends. Δ199Hg values for both GOM and PBM decrease from the 1850s to 1950s by ∼0.1‰, and then gradually rebound towards the 2010s. Our updated δ202Hg values (−0.76 ± 0.11 ‰, 1SD, n=9 of bulk emissions from passively degassing volcanoes overlap with δ202Hg of present-day anthropogenic THg emissions.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... and treatments are needed. ELEMENTAL MERCURY Inhaled elemental mercury poisoning may be difficult to treat. The person may ... metals from the body INORGANIC MERCURY For inorganic mercury poisoning, treatment often begins with supportive care. The person ...

  20. 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 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 ground surface.

  1. 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 soil screening level of 31 µg/g. Concentrations of Hg in soil gas collected at mined sites (690–82,000 ng/m3) were highly elevated compared to soil gas collected from baseline sites (1.2–77 ng/m3). However, air collected from mined areas at a height of 2 m above the ground surface contained concentrations of Hg (4.9–64 ng/m3) 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 ground surface.

  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. Informal gold mining and mercury pollution in Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Biller, Dan*DEC

    1994-01-01

    The Amazon region has been responsible for a major share of Brazilian gold production in recent years. The region has witnessed a sizable gold rush comparable only to the California gold rush last century. The gold rush has spawned a powerful informal mining sector and has attracted many people - some who have come to the region in search of wealth and some who were already there but were displaced from other, unsuccessful economic activities. What these people encounter at the mining sites a...

  4. 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

  5. COMPARISON OF DATA FROM SYNTHETIC LEACHATE AND DIRECT SAMPLING OF ACID DRAINAGE FROM MINE WASTES: IMPLICATIONS FOR MERCURY TRANSPORT AND WASTE MANAGEMENT

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine (SBMM) in Lake County, California operated from the 1860s through the 1950's. Mining for sulfur started with surface operations and progressed to shaft, then open pit techniques to obtain mercury. Mining has resulted in deposition of approximately ...

  6. Macroscopic and microscopic observations of particle-facilitated mercury transport from New Idria and Sulphur Bank mercury mine tailings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowry, G.V.; Shaw, S.; Kim, C.S.; Rytuba, J.J.; Brown, Gordon E.

    2004-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) release from inoperative Hg mines in the California Coast Range has been documented, but little is known about the release and transport mechanisms. In this study, tailings from Hg mines located in different geologic settings-New Idria (NI), a Si-carbonate Hg deposit, and Sulphur Bank (SB), a hot-spring Hg deposit-were characterized, and particle release from these wastes was studied in column experiments to (1) investigate the mechanisms of Hg release from NI and SB mine wastes, (2) determine the speciation of particle-bound Hg released from the mine wastes, and (3) determine the effect of calcinations on Hg release processes. The physical and chemical properties of tailings and the colloids released from them were determined using chemical analyses, selective chemical extractions, XRD, SEM, TEM, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy techniques. The total Hg concentration in tailings increased with decreasing particle size in NI and SB calcines (roasted ore), but reached a maximum at an intermediate particle size in the SB waste rock (unroasted ore). Hg in the tailings exists predominantly as low-solubility HgS (cinnabar and metacinnabar), with NI calcines having >50% HgS, SB calcines having >89% HgS, and SB waste rock having ???100% HgS. Leaching experiments with a high-ionic-strength solution (0.1 M NaCl) resulted in a rapid but brief release of soluble and particulate Hg. Lowering the ionic strength of the leach solution (0.005 M NaCl) resulted in the release of colloidal Hg from two of the three mine wastes studied (NI calcines and SB waste rock). Colloid-associated Hg accounts for as much as 95% of the Hg released during episodic particle release. Colloids generated from the NI calcines are produced by a breakup and release mechanism and consist of hematite, jarosite/alunite, and Al-Si gel with particle sizes of 10-200 nm. ATEM and XAFS analyses indicate that the majority (???78%) of the mercury is present in the form of HgS. SB calcines also

  7. 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.

  8. Mercury pollution on district of Dimembe river system North Sulawesi, Indonesia, due to traditional gold mining activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayhuan, D.; Atteng, O.; Dondokambey, A.; Randuk, M.

    2003-05-01

    Mercury contamination caused by the amalgamation of gold in small scale gold mining is a environmental problem. Small-scale gold mining (SSGM) is common in mineral endowed developing countries. It offers an important means of livehood and has served as a safety net in times of natural calamities or economic distress. In north Sulawesi Province alone, approximately 22,000 small-scale gold miners were active in 1998, and produced an estimated 10 tonnes of gold bullion. Activities of traditional / illegal gold mining (PETI) in Dimembe of district, which is located in Minahasa Regency, North Sulawesi Province. The major environmental concern associated with PETI in mercury pollution from processing of gold-bearing ore. In both the inorganic and organic forms, mercury is one of the most toxic substances to humans. One of the environmental pollution is water pollution on district of Dimembe river system that is probably caused by the use of mercury (Hg) in processing mine ore. This mercury is used in an iron rolling vessel, wllich is called tromol. Mercury concentration at employed in this operation reaches 1 kg out of 30 kg ore. Sampling stage was conducted at Warat river, downstream Taiawaan river, Merut river and Kadumut river on late April 2002 by BAPEDALDA team together with Health Laboratory staff. Material which were sampled was water. Sampling methods carried out were bottle sample immersed about 10 cm below the water surface. The analysis method used was mercury analyzer. The analysis result show that total concentration of mercury range from 1. 69 to 25. 54 ppb. This concentration is closed to Water Quality Standard IV Class that is 0.005 mg/L (Regulation Government No. 82/2001). The result of this research indicate that the district of Dimembe river system in the gold mining area have been contaminated by mercury.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 ...

  12. Transport and fate of mercury under different hydrologic regimes in polluted stream in mining area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yan; Larssen, Thorjørn; Vogt, Rolf D; Feng, Xinbin; Zhang, Hua

    2011-01-01

    Seepage from Hg mine wastes and calcines contains high concentrations of mercury (Hg). Hg pollution is a major environmental problem in areas with abandoned mercury mines and retorting units. This study evaluates factors, especially the hydrological and sedimentary variables, governing temporal and spatial variation in levels and state of mercury in streams impacted by Hg contaminated runoff. Samples were taken during different flow regimes in the Wanshan Hg mining area in Guizhou Province, China. In its headwaters the sampled streams/rivers pass by several mine wastes and calcines with high concentration of Hg. Seepage causes serious Hg contamination to the downstream area. Concentrations of Hg in water samples showed significant seasonal variations. Periods of higher flow showed high concentrations of total Hg (THg) in water due to more particles being re-suspended and transported. The concentrations of major anions (e.g., Cl-, F-, NO3- and SO4(2-)) were lower during higher flow due to dilution. Due to both sedimentation of particles and dilution from tributaries the concentration of THg decreased from 2100 ng/L to background levels (< 50 ng/L) within 10 km distance downstream. Sedimentation is the main reason for the fast decrease of the concentration, it accounts for 69% and 60% for higher flow and lower flow regimes respectively in the upper part of the stream. Speciation calculation of the dissolved Hg fraction (DHg) (using Visual MINTEQ) showed that Hg(OH)2 associated with dissolved organic matter is the main form of Hg in dissolved phase in surface waters in Wanshan (over 95%).

  13. Gaseous Oxidized Mercury Flux from Substrates Associated with Industrial Scale Gold Mining in Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, M. B.

    2015-12-01

    Gaseous elemental and oxidized mercury (Hg) fluxes were measured in a laboratory setting from substrate materials derived from industrial-scale open pit gold mining operations in Nevada, USA. Mercury is present in these substrates at a range of concentrations (10 - 40000 ng g-1), predominantly of local geogenic origin in association with the mineralized gold ores, but altered and redistributed to a varying degree by subsequent ore extraction and processing operations, including deposition of Hg recently emitted to the atmosphere from large point sources on the mines. Waste rock, heap leach, and tailings material usually comprise the most extensive and Hg emission relevant substrate surfaces. All three of these material types were collected from active Nevada mine sites in 2010 for previous research, and have since been stored undisturbed at the University of Nevada, Reno. Gaseous elemental Hg (GEM) flux was previously measured from these materials under a variety of conditions, and was re-measured in this study, using Teflon® flux chambers and Tekran® 2537A automated ambient air analyzers. GEM flux from dry undisturbed materials was comparable between the two measurement periods. Gaseous oxidized Hg (GOM) flux from these materials was quantified using an active filter sampling method that consisted of polysulfone cation-exchange membranes deployed in conjunction with the GEM flux apparatus. Initial measurements conducted within greenhouse laboratory space indicate that in dry conditions GOM is deposited to relatively low Hg cap and leach materials, but may be emitted from the much higher Hg concentration tailings material.

  14. Geochemistry and environmental threats of soils surrounding an abandoned mercury mine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bori, Jaume; Vallès, Bettina; Navarro, Andrés; Riva, Maria Carme

    2016-07-01

    The closure of mercury mining areas is generally associated with a release of Hg and other metals into the environment due to the abandonment of mining wastes. Because of their potential toxic properties, the mobilization of particulate and soluble metal species is of major concern. In the present study, the environmental risks posed by soils surrounding an abandoned mercury mining area in Valle del Azogue (Almeria, Spain) are assessed through the determination of physical-chemical parameters, the quantification of metal concentrations, and the application of aquatic and terrestrial ecotoxicity bioassays. Chemical analysis of soil samples revealed concentrations of Hg, As, Ba, Pb, Sb, and Zn above international intervention values. Results from terrestrial tests showed detrimental effects in all studied organisms (Eisenia foetida, Folsomia candida, and different plant species) and revealed the avoidance response of earthworms as the most sensitive endpoint. Surprisingly, the most toxic samples were not the ones with higher metal contents but the ones presenting higher electrical conductivity. Aquatic ecotoxicity tests with Vibrio fischeri, Raphidocelis subcapitata, Daphnia magna, and Danio rerio were in accordance with terrestrial tests, confirming the need to couple environmental chemistry with ecotoxicological tools for the proper assessment of metal-contaminated sites. In view of the results, a remediative intervention of the studied area is recommended.

  15. Human inorganic mercury exposure, renal effects and possible pathways in Wanshan mercury mining area, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ping; Du, Buyun; Chan, Hing Man; Feng, Xinbin

    2015-07-01

    Rice can accumulate methylmercury (MeHg) and rice consumption is the main route of MeHg exposure for the local population in Guizhou, China. However, inorganic Hg (IHg) load in human body is not comprehensively studied in highly Hg polluted areas such as Hg mining areas. This study is designed to evaluate human IHg exposure, related renal effects and possible pathways in Wanshan Hg mining area, Guizhou, Southwest China. Residents lived within 3 km to the mine waste heaps showed high Urine Hg (UHg) concentrations and the geometrical means (Geomean) of UHg were 8.29, 5.13, and 10.3 μg/g Creatinine (Cr) at site A, D, and E, respectively. It demonstrated a gradient of UHg concentrations with the distance from the pollution sources. A significantly positive correlation between paired results for UHg concentrations and serum creatinine (SCr) was observed in this study, but not for UHg and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). There are significant increases of SCr in two quartiles with high UHg concentrations. The results indicated that human IHg exposure may cause impairment of renal function. By calculation of Probable Daily Intake from different routes, we found that dietary intake is the main pathway of IHg exposure for the local population, rather than inhalation of Hg vapor. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Exposure to mercury in susceptible population groups living in the former mercury mining town of Idrija, Slovenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobal, Alfred B; Snoj Tratnik, Janja; Mazej, Darja; Fajon, Vesna; Gibičar, Darija; Miklavčič, Ana; Kocman, David; Kotnik, Jože; Sešek Briški, Alenka; Osredkar, Joško; Krsnik, Mladen; Prezelj, Marija; Knap, Črtomir; Križaj, Bojana; Liang, Lian; Horvat, Milena

    2017-01-01

    500 years of mercury (Hg) mining in the town of Idrija has caused severe pollution in Idrija and its surroundings. Following the closure of the mine in 1995, the environment remains contaminated with Hg. Sources of elemental-, inorganic- and methyl Hg exposure were identified, potential environmental level of exposure to Hg was evaluated and actual internal exposure to Hg was assessed in selected susceptible population groups comprising school-age children and pregnant women living in Idrija and in control groups from rural and urban environments. The study of pregnant women (n=31) was conducted between 2003 and 2008, and the study of school-age children (n=176) in 2008. Potential interaction of Hg with selenium (Se) in plasma was assessed in both study populations, while in pregnant women antioxidative enzyme activity (glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and catalase) in erythrocytes of maternal and cord blood was also assessed. Actual exposure to Hg as indicated by levels of Hg in children's blood (geometric mean (GM) 0.92µg/L), mother's blood (GM 1.86µg/L), children's urine (GM 1.08µg/g crea.), mother's urine (GM 2.51µg/L), children's hair (GM 241ng/g) and mother's hair (GM 251ng/g) was higher in the two study groups from Idrija than in the control groups from rural areas, but was still at the level of a "normal" population and reflects mainly exposure to elemental Hg (Hg°) from dental amalgam and, to a certain extent atmospheric Hg°. Furthermore, the internal doses of Hg received during pregnancy did not decrease the bioavailability of Se. Based on observation in children, the increase in Se protein expression is suggested to be a consequence of moderately elevated exposure to Hg°. The observed changes in activity of antioxidative enzymes, as biomarkers of oxidative stress, appear to be mainly associated with pregnancy per se and not with an increased exposure to Hg. In view of the continuing increased potential for Hg exposure and the low

  17. Gaseous Elemental Mercury and Total and Leached Mercury in Building Materials from the Former Hg-Mining Area of Abbadia San Salvatore (Central Italy).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaselli, Orlando; Nisi, Barbara; Rappuoli, Daniele; Cabassi, Jacopo; Tassi, Franco

    2017-04-15

    Mercury has a strong environmental impact since both its organic and inorganic forms are toxic, and it represents a pollutant of global concern. Liquid Hg is highly volatile and can be released during natural and anthropogenic processes in the hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere. In this study, the distribution of Gaseous Elemental Mercury (GEM) and the total and leached mercury concentrations on paint, plaster, roof tiles, concrete, metals, dust and wood structures were determined in the main buildings and structures of the former Hg-mining area of Abbadia San Salvatore (Siena, Central Italy). The mining complex (divided into seven units) covers a surface of about 65 ha and contains mining structures and managers' and workers' buildings. Nine surveys of GEM measurements were carried out from July 2011 to August 2015 for the buildings and structures located in Units 2, 3 and 6, the latter being the area where liquid mercury was produced. Measurements were also performed in February, April, July, September and December 2016 in the edifices and mining structures of Unit 6. GEM concentrations showed a strong variability in time and space mostly depending on ambient temperature and the operational activities that were carried out in each building. The Unit 2 surveys carried out in the hotter period (from June to September) showed GEM concentrations up to 27,500 ng·m -3 , while in Unit 6, they were on average much higher, and occasionally, they saturated the GEM measurement device (>50,000 ng·m -3 ). Concentrations of total (in mg·kg -1 ) and leached (in μg·L -1 ) mercury measured in different building materials (up to 46,580 mg·kg -1 and 4470 mg·L -1 , respectively) were highly variable, being related to the edifice or mining structure from which they were collected. The results obtained in this study are of relevant interest for operational cleanings to be carried out during reclamation activities.

  18. Gaseous Elemental Mercury and Total and Leached Mercury in Building Materials from the Former Hg-Mining Area of Abbadia San Salvatore (Central Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaselli, Orlando; Nisi, Barbara; Rappuoli, Daniele; Cabassi, Jacopo; Tassi, Franco

    2017-01-01

    Mercury has a strong environmental impact since both its organic and inorganic forms are toxic, and it represents a pollutant of global concern. Liquid Hg is highly volatile and can be released during natural and anthropogenic processes in the hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere. In this study, the distribution of Gaseous Elemental Mercury (GEM) and the total and leached mercury concentrations on paint, plaster, roof tiles, concrete, metals, dust and wood structures were determined in the main buildings and structures of the former Hg-mining area of Abbadia San Salvatore (Siena, Central Italy). The mining complex (divided into seven units) covers a surface of about 65 ha and contains mining structures and managers’ and workers’ buildings. Nine surveys of GEM measurements were carried out from July 2011 to August 2015 for the buildings and structures located in Units 2, 3 and 6, the latter being the area where liquid mercury was produced. Measurements were also performed in February, April, July, September and December 2016 in the edifices and mining structures of Unit 6. GEM concentrations showed a strong variability in time and space mostly depending on ambient temperature and the operational activities that were carried out in each building. The Unit 2 surveys carried out in the hotter period (from June to September) showed GEM concentrations up to 27,500 ng·m−3, while in Unit 6, they were on average much higher, and occasionally, they saturated the GEM measurement device (>50,000 ng·m−3). Concentrations of total (in mg·kg−1) and leached (in μg·L−1) mercury measured in different building materials (up to 46,580 mg·kg−1 and 4470 mg·L−1, respectively) were highly variable, being related to the edifice or mining structure from which they were collected. The results obtained in this study are of relevant interest for operational cleanings to be carried out during reclamation activities. PMID:28420130

  19. 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

  20. 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 %).

  1. 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.

  2. Mercury contamination from mine and natural sources in Harley Gulch, downstream from the Abbott and Turkey Run Mercury Mines, Lake County, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hothem, R. L.; Rytuba, J. J.; Goldstein, D.; Brussee, B.

    2011-12-01

    The Abbott and Turkey Run Mercury (Hg) mine area in central California has released Hg tailings into the Harley Gulch watershed since 1862. Harley Gulch flows into Cache Creek which is a significant source of Hg into San Francisco Bay Delta. Thermal mine water effluent emanating from the Turkey Run adit flows into the upper part of the watershed. Despite remediation efforts, Hg tailings and enriched sediment remain in the Harley Gulch wetlands and in the creek downstream from the mine area. Water, sediment, and biota have been sampled from below the mine area to 15 km downstream to the confluence with Cache Creek in order to assess the impact of Hg on water quality and biota. Two previously unrecognized natural sources of Hg in the watershed are connate groundwater with elevated levels of Hg, and biogenic sediment composed of phytoplankton that accumulates in the upper part of the watershed during the dry season. The connate groundwater source contains isotopically-heavy Mg-Ca-Cl-CO3-SO4 water that has elevated concentrations of Ba, W, Ti, and Hg. This water first enters Harley Gulch in the central part of the wetland immediately downstream from the mine area and continues to contribute water downstream for a distance of 1.5 km. It is both chemically and isotopically distinct from the thermal mine water effluent from the Turkey Run adit. The biogenic source consists of blooms of phytoplankton that accumulate to a thickness of up to 0.2 m. Phytoplankton have a large bioaccumulation factor of Hg and monomethyl mercury (MMeHg) that results in a high concentrations of Hg and MMeHg (Hg: 5-25 μg/g, MMeHg 5.2 ng/g) in the biogenic sediment. The tan biogenic sediment at the surface consists of living diatoms and below it is a layer of black reduced biogenic sediment consisting of diatom fragments with micron- to submicron-sized FeS, HgS, and barite grains. Sulfate-reducing bacteria reduce sulfate to sulfide in the pore waters of the biogenic sediment that reacts with

  3. Proof of concept for a passive sampler for monitoring of gaseous elemental mercury in artisanal gold mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Barros Santos, Elias; Moher, Paleah; Ferlin, Stacy; Fostier, Anne Hélène; Mazali, Italo Odone; Telmer, Kevin; Brolo, Alexandre Guimarães

    2017-11-28

    Mercury emissions from artisanal gold mining operations occurring in roughly 80 developing countries are a major workplace health hazard for millions of people as well as the largest contributor to global mercury pollution. There are no portable, cheap, and rapid methods able to inform workers or health practitioners of mercury exposure on site in remote locations. In this work, a proof of concept for a miniaturized mercury sampler, prepared by the direct reduction of gold into the porous nanostructures of Vycor glass (PVG), is introduced. Mercury retention on the PVG/Au sampler induces significant color changes, due to the formation of Au-Hg amalgam that affects the surface plasmon resonance characteristics of the material. The color change can potentially be quantified by the analysis of pictures obtained with a cell phone camera rapidly and onsite. Laboratory experiments showed the viability of using PVG/Au as passive sampler for monitoring of Hg°. PVG/Au samplers were then deployed in an artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) operations in Burkina Faso and it was able to indicate personal mercury exposures. The amount of mercury quantified in the samplers for all miners was higher than the current personal exposure limit set by the US Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

  4. The historical effects of coal mining on the hydrology of Appalachia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruffing, C. M.; Wreschnig, A. J.; Bain, D. J.; Hermans, C. M.; McCormack, S. M.; Urbanova, T.

    2009-12-01

    The Appalachian Mountains, a region known for its rich coal deposits, is also the headwaters to most important river systems draining to the Atlantic Ocean. Coal mined from the Appalachian’s was fundamental to the industrialization of the United States during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Deforestation and waste disposal associated with deep mining were common throughout the region. Anecdotal evidence suggests that historic coal mining had a significant influence on the region’s hydrology. There is a growing body of literature examining the effects of contemporary mining activity on hydrologic systems, but few studies have quantified historic impacts. This study examines the extent of coal mining activity in Appalachia during the first era of increased coal production (1865 - 1929). Areas within the region most affected by mining activity were identified using dates of published mine maps and coal production data for the region. Intensively mined areas were paired with relatively unaffected stream basins to address the influence of mining on hydrology, and particularly legacy effects. This study will inform future studies exploring common mine-related environmental issues in Appalachia such as acid mine drainage and subsidence.

  5. Mercury

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, Irma|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/41398625X

    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

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Application of environmental groundwater tracers at the Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engle, M.A.; Goff, F.; Jewett, D.G.; Reller, G.J.; Bauman, J.B.

    2008-01-01

    Boron, chloride, sulfate, ??D, ??18O, and 3H concentrations in surface water and groundwater samples from the Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine (SBMM), California, USA were used to examine geochemical processes and provide constraints on evaporation and groundwater flow. SBMM is an abandoned sulfur and mercury mine with an underlying hydrothermal system, adjacent to Clear Lake, California. Results for non-3H tracers (i.e., boron, chloride, sulfate, ??D, and ??18O) identify contributions from six water types at SBMM. Processes including evaporation, mixing, hydrothermal water input and possible isotopic exchange with hydrothermal gases are also discerned. Tritium data indicate that hydrothermal waters and other deep groundwaters are likely pre-bomb (before ???1952) in age while most other waters were recharged after ???1990. A boron-based steady-state reservoir model of the Herman Impoundment pit lake indicates that 71-79% of its input is from meteoric water with the remainder from hydrothermal contributions. Results for groundwater samples from six shallow wells over a 6-month period for ??D and ??18O suggests that water from Herman Impoundment is diluted another 3% to more than 40% by infiltrating meteoric water, as it leaves the site. Results for this investigation show that environmental tracers are an effective tool to understand the SBMM hydrogeologic regime. ?? Springer-Verlag 2007.

  10. Mercury pollution by gold mining in a global biodiversity hotspot, the Choco biogeographic region, Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palacios-Torres, Yuber; Caballero-Gallardo, Karina; Olivero-Verbel, Jesus

    2018-02-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a harmful pollutant released into the environment from gold mining activities, representing a risk to human health and the ecosystems. The aim of this study was to assess the levels of total Hg (T-Hg) in human hair, fish, sediments and air; and to determine fish consumption-based risks for T-Hg ingestion in the Choco biogeographic region, a global biodiversity hotspot located at the Colombian Pacific. Mercury concentrations in hair were measured in two locations, Quibdo, the state capital, and Paimado, a riverine community. The median T-Hg value in human hair in Quibdo was 1.26 μg/g (range: 0.02-116.40 μg/g), whereas in Paimado it was 0.67 μg/g (range: 0.07-6.47 μg/g). Mercury levels in examined locations were weakly associated with height (ρ = 0.145, P = 0.024). Air T-Hg levels in Quibdo were high inside gold shops being up to 200.9-fold greater than the background. Mercury concentrations in fish from Atrato River were above WHO limit (0.5 μg/g), with highest levels in Pseudopimelodus schultzi, Ageneiosus pardalis, Sternopygus aequilabiatus, Rhamdia quelen and Hoplias malabaricus, whereas the lowest appeared in Cyphocharax magdalenae and Hemiancistrus wilsoni. Based on fish consumption, these last two species offer low risk to human health. Sediment samples from fifty different sites of Atrato River showed low T-Hg concentrations, with little variability between stations. However, contamination factors revealed a moderate pollution in 44% of sampling sites along the river. In conclusion, Hg pollution is widespread in the Biogeographic Choco and governmental actions must be taken to protect the population and preserve its biodiversity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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

  12. 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 (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.

  13. 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.

  14. Mercury in the surrounding of old mining loads of Rudňany and Merník

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel Slančo

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The contribution assesses the load of selected components of the environment by mercury after more than one decade from closing of the mining and mineral processing operation in Rudňany and more than seven decades in Merník. In the vicinity of the former works the contents of mercury were observed in soils, assimilatory organs of plants and water sediments. In the case of Rudňany, the measured values were compared with the results obtained by sampling the thermal technological centres of Iron Ore Works during last years of their operation, i.e. in 1991 – 1993. A significant reduction of mercury contamination was detected in the assimilatory organs of the observed woody species. The values of mercury concentration in the soils and the water sediments confirm a persisting contamination of these environmental components in the vicinity of both works.

  15. Human Biomonitoring Data from Mercury Exposed Miners in Six Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining Areas in Asia and Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Baeuml

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: In artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM areas in many developing countries, mercury (Hg is used to extract gold from ore. Data of 1250 participants from Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe were combined to analyze the relation between exposure in ASGM areas and body burden. Methods: Four groups were selected relating to their intensity of contact with mercury: (i a non-exposed control group; (ii a low exposed group with participants only living in mining areas, but not working as miners; (iii a medium exposed group, miners living in exposed areas and working with mercury without smelting amalgam; and (iv a high exposed group, miners living in exposed areas and smelting amalgam. Results: Compared to the non-exposed control group, participants living and/ or miners working in highly exposed areas have significantly higher concentration of total mercury in urine, hair and blood (p-value < 0.001. The median mercury value in urine in the control group is < 0.2 µg/L. In the high exposed group of amalgam smelters, the median in urine is 12.0 µg/L. The median in blood in the control group is < 0.93 µg/L. The median level in blood of the high exposed group is 7.56 µg/L. The median for mercury in hair samples from the control group is 0.21 µg/g. In the high exposed group the median hair concentration is 2.4 µg/g hair. Mercury levels also differ considerably between the countries, reflecting a diverse background burden due to different fish eating habits and different work place methods. Conclusions: A high percentage of exposed individuals had levels above threshold values. These high levels of mercury are likely to be related with serious health problems.

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-15

    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)mgkg(-1) As and concentrations in stream sediments of up to 2.5×10(4)mgkg(-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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. HYDROGEOLOGICAL AND GEOCHEMICAL FACTORS INFLUENCING MERCURY FATE AND TRANSPORT AT THE SULPHUR BANK MERCURY MINE, LAKE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clear Lake, located approximately 150 km north of San Francisco in Lake County, is one of the largest fresh water lakes in the California. Elevated mercury levels were first identified in fish from Clear Lake in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Although naturally occurring mercury...

  3. Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... the dose, the duration, how you are exposed, personal traits and habits, and whether other chemicals are ... National Priorities List sites identified by the Environmental Protection ... inadequate human cancer data available for all forms of mercury. Mercuric chloride ...

  4. The influence of the scale of mining activity and mine site remediation on the contamination legacy of historical metal mining activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird, Graham

    2016-12-01

    Globally, thousands of kilometres of rivers are degraded due to the presence of elevated concentrations of potentially harmful elements (PHEs) sourced from historical metal mining activity. In many countries, the presence of contaminated water and river sediment creates a legal requirement to address such problems. Remediation of mining-associated point sources has often been focused upon improving river water quality; however, this study evaluates the contaminant legacy present within river sediments and attempts to assess the influence of the scale of mining activity and post-mining remediation upon the magnitude of PHE contamination found within contemporary river sediments. Data collected from four exemplar catchments indicates a strong relationship between the scale of historical mining, as measured by ore output, and maximum PHE enrichment factors, calculated versus environmental quality guidelines. The use of channel slope as a proxy measure for the degree of channel-floodplain coupling indicates that enrichment factors for PHEs in contemporary river sediments may also be the highest where channel-floodplain coupling is the greatest. Calculation of a metric score for mine remediation activity indicates no clear influence of the scale of remediation activity and PHE enrichment factors for river sediments. It is suggested that whilst exemplars of significant successes at improving post-remediation river water quality can be identified; river sediment quality is a much more long-lasting environmental problem. In addition, it is suggested that improvements to river sediment quality do not occur quickly or easily as a result of remediation actions focused a specific mining point sources. Data indicate that PHEs continue to be episodically dispersed through river catchments hundreds of years after the cessation of mining activity, especially during flood flows. The high PHE loads of flood sediments in mining-affected river catchments and the predicted changes to

  5. 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 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).

  6. 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.

  7. Assessment of environmental mercury discharge at a four-year-old artisanal gold mining area on Lombok Island, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krisnayanti, Baiq Dewi; Anderson, Christopher W N; Utomo, Wani Hadi; Feng, Xinbin; Handayanto, Eko; Mudarisna, Nurul; Ikram, Hadiman; Khususiah

    2012-10-26

    Indonesian artisanal and small-scale gold mining activities (ASGM) have been described for the islands of Borneo (Kalimantan) and Sulawesi. But the increased gold price over recent years has seen operations extend to the islands of Lombok and Sumbawa. For the current research, an environmental assessment was conducted across three new ASGM locations. Gold is recovered by miners through a two-stage process of whole-ore amalgamation and cyanidation. Waste (tailings) is discharged to land or sea with no concern for contaminants in the tailings. The gold grade of ore is up to 5000 mg kg(-1). The mean gold grade of the amalgamation tailings is 7 mg kg(-1), dropping to 1.2 mg kg(-1) for the cyanidation tailings. The mean mercury concentration of the amalgamation tailings is about 3000 mg kg(-1) and greater than 1600 mg kg(-1) for the cyanidation tailings. Samples of paddy rice grain collected adjacent to cyanidation tailings ponds showed methyl mercury concentrations greater than 100 ng g(-1). This is five times above the Chinese permissible level for total mercury in food crops. The mean total mercury concentration in hair of Lombok ASGM workers was greater than that in a non-exposed population; however there was no difference in methyl mercury concentration. This indicates the primary pathway of mercury exposure is inhalation of volatile mercury in the atmosphere. Future exposure may come from ingestion of methyl mercury contaminated rice where discharge of cyanide tailings to paddies continues. To protect the environment and to enhance the sustainability of ASGM, appropriate tailings management must be implemented. The gold grade of the tailings indicates that the residual value might be recoverable with appropriate technology. Ongoing research is investigating systems such as phytoextraction that might assist ASGM operators in Lombok and Sumbawa to improve their environmental performance.

  8. Ecosystem conceptual model- Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alpers, Charles N.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Foe, Chris; Klasing, Susan; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark C.; Slotton, Darell G.; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie

    2008-01-01

    Mercury has been identified as an important contaminant in the Delta, based on elevated concentrations of methylmercury (a toxic, organic form that readily bioaccumulates) in fish and wildlife. There are health risks associated with human exposure to methylmercury by consumption of sport fish, particularly top predators such as bass species. Original mercury sources were upstream tributaries where historical mining of mercury in the Coast Ranges and gold in the Sierra Nevada and Klamath-Trinity Mountains caused contamination of water and sediment on a regional scale. Remediation of abandoned mine sites may reduce local sources in these watersheds, but much of the mercury contamination occurs in sediments stored in the riverbeds, floodplains, and the Bay- Delta, where scouring of Gold-Rush-era sediment represents an ongoing source.Conversion of inorganic mercury to toxic methylmercury occurs in anaerobic environments including some wetlands. Wetland restoration managers must be cognizant of potential effects on mercury cycling so that the problem is not exacerbated. Recent research suggests that wettingdrying cycles can contribute to mercury methylation. For example, high marshes (inundated only during the highest tides for several days per month) tend to have higher methylmercury concentrations in water, sediment, and biota compared with low marshes, which do not dry out completely during the tidal cycle. Seasonally inundated flood plains are another environment experiencing wetting and drying where methylmercury concentrations are typically elevated. Stream restoration efforts using gravel injection or other reworking of coarse sediment in most watersheds of the Central Valley involve tailings from historical gold mining that are likely to contain elevated mercury in associated fines. Habitat restoration projects, particularly those involving wetlands, may cause increases in methylmercury exposure in the watershed. This possibility should be evaluated.The DRERIP

  9. 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: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy Impact factor: 2.958, year: 2016

  10. Preliminary study on mercury uptake by Rosmarinus officinalis L. (Rosemary) in a mining area (Mt. Amiata, Italy)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barghigiani, C.; Ristori, T. [Institute of Biophysics, Pisa (Italy)

    1995-04-01

    Among the different plants analyzed to assess environmental mercury contamination of mining areas, lichens are those most studied, followed by brooms together with pine, which was also used in other areas, and spruce. Other species, both naturally occurring and cultivated, have also been studied. This work reports on the results of mercury uptake and accumulation in rosemary in relation to metal concentrations in both air and soil. R. officinalis is a widespread endemic Mediterranean evergreen shrub, which in Italy grows naturally and is also cultivated as a culinary herb. This research was carried out in Tuscany (Italy), in the Mt. Amiata area, which is characterized by the presence of cinnabar (HgS) deposits and has been used for mercury extraction and smelting from Etruscan times until 1980, and in the country near the town of Pisa, 140 km away from Mt. Amiata. 16 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  11. Field investigation of a 100-year-old timber crib foundation at a historic copper mine

    Science.gov (United States)

    James Wacker; Xiping Wang; Douglas R. Rammer

    2010-01-01

    In June 2009, the authors conducted a comprehensive on-site evaluation of the timber crib foundation at Alaska’s Historic Kennecott Mine Concentration Mill Building. The primary goal of the 6-day inspection was to assess the physical conditions of the existing timber crib foundation and identify timber members and areas that have structural deficiencies. The inspection...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Basri

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available 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 < 0.05, and the concentrations in hair from 45 respondents exceeded the Human Biomonitoring I (HBM I threshold limit. Mercury concentrations were also elevated in the hair from the indirectly exposed group (median 7.64 μg/g hair, p < 0.05, and concentrations in hair from 24 respondents exceeded the HBM I threshold limits. Exposure to mercury during ASGM presents health risks and is harmful for the miners; mercury is also at hazardous levels for people who live in the mining area but who are not engaged in mercury-based gold extraction.

  15. 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.

  16. Environmental geochemistry of an abandoned mercury mine in Yanwuping, Guizhou Province, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Guangle; Feng, Xinbin; Meng, Bo; Zhang, Chao; Gu, Chunhao; Du, Buyun; Lin, Yan

    2013-08-01

    The distribution of mercury (Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in paddy soil and rice grain (polished), and Hg in surface waters and gaseous elemental Hg (GEM) in atmosphere at the Yanwuping Hg mining district (YMM), Guizhou Province, China was investigated. Results exhibited high total Hg (Hg(T)) and MeHg concentrations in soil at sites adjacent to calcine pile and tailings, and ranged from 5.6 to 240mgkg(-1) and 0.66 to 7.3μgkg(-1), respectively. Concentrations of Hg(T) in rice ranged from 10 to 45μgkg(-1), and high MeHg concentrations were also observed ranging from 3.2 to 39μgkg(-1). The elevated Hg(T) and MeHg concentrations in soil in the vicinity of calcine pile and tailings reflected in high MeHg concentrations in rice. Those data were significantly correlated with MeHg concentration in soil confirming that soil is the major source of MeHg in rice. The highest Hg concentrations in water, otherwise rather low, ranging from 3.8 to 51ngl(-1) for Hg(T) and of 0.14 to 2.7ngl(-1) for MeHg(T), were found at the proximity of calcine pile suggesting that untreated mine wastes are the principal source of Hg in the nearby area. Huge emissions of GEM were also detected from calcines affecting the whole area, ranging from 12 to 180ngm(-3) with an average of 46±35ngm(-3). The distribution patterns of Hg and MeHg observed in the environmental compartments suggest an elevated contamination of Hg in the region. Elevated high MeHg concentrations in rice might pose a potential health risk to local populations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. Sediment and Mercury Loads to Humbug Creek: A Sierra Nevada Tributary Impacted by the Malakoff Diggins Hydraulic Mine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monohan, C.; Brown, D. L.; Nepal, H.

    2016-12-01

    Mercury contaminated sediment from legacy gold mines in the Sierra continues to be a source of inorganic mercury (Hg) to the environment. The discharge from Malakoff Diggins, once one of the largest hydraulic mines in California, is a source of Hg and sediment to Humbug Creek. The purpose of this study was to estimate the load of particulate bound Hg and suspended sediment in Humbug Creek for Water Years 2012 and 2013. Grab samples were taken from baseflow conditions and from multiple storm events and analyzed for nonfiltered Hg, filtered Hg and total suspended sediment (TSS) (EPA 1669, EPA 1631, EPA 160.2). A stage discharge relationship was developed for the Humbug Creek gage station over a range of flow conditions. Samples were collected from Humbug Creek upstream of the Malakoff Diggins discharge point, from the discharge point and downstream of the discharge and Humbug Creek confluence at a stream gage. The annual load in Humbug Creek for suspended sediment and particulate bound Hg was calculated at the gage using relationships established with continuously monitored turbidity (15 min data) and grab samples of total suspended sediment (n = 25, R2 = 0.82) and particulate bound Hg (n = 15, R2 = 0.80). The annual load was 100-120 grams of particulate bound Hg and 475,000-575,000 kg of suspended sediment. For both water years, as much as half of the annual sediment load was from a single storm event during which 3-4g of particulate bound mercury was released per day. The contribution of mercury loads from legacy hydraulic gold mines should be quantified as it is a critical source control strategy for California Total Maximum Daily Load programs.

  20. Impact of abandoned mine waste on atmospheric respirable particulate matter in the historic mining district of Rio Tinto (Iberian Pyrite Belt).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez de la Campa, Ana M; de la Rosa, Jesús D; Fernández-Caliani, Juan C; González-Castanedo, Yolanda

    2011-11-01

    This work documents for the first time the levels and composition of atmospheric particulate matter in the historic mining district of Rio Tinto (Spain) to estimate the contribution and impact of resuspended particles from hazardous mine waste on air quality. The resuspended mine waste dust contributes notably (32%) to the total concentrations of toxic trace metals (Bi, As, Cu, Pb, Cd, Zn and Sb) into the atmosphere, with the consequent impact on public health. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. 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

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

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    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.

  3. Evaluation of the extent of contamination caused by historical mining in catchments of central Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Church, Stan E.; Fey, David L.; Wanty, Richard B.; Schmidt, Travis S.; Klein, T.L.; Rockwell, Barnaby W.; San Juan, Carma A.

    2010-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey conducted an assessment of stream water and sediment quality in central Colorado, an area of about 54,000 km2. The study area is focused on small tributary catchments in the Rocky Mountains. The Colorado Mineral belt, a northeast-trending mineralized zone that experienced base- and precious-metal mining at the beginning of the late 1800s and early 1900s, cuts diagonally across the geologic trend in the study area. The goal of this study was to compare water and sediment quality in background catchments with those which have been mined. Water and sediment data from 200 catchments, and data from macroinvertebrates from more than 100 catchments, provided ample data for evaluation of the effects of mining on water and sediment quality. Focused sampling was conducted during low-flow conditions in the summers of 2004-2007. Samples were collected from catchments that (1) were underlain largely by a single lithologic unit, (2) contained hydrothermally altered rock and had been prospected, and (3) contained historical mines. Geochemical data determined from catchments that did not contain hydrothermal alteration or historical mines met water-quality criteria and recommended sediment-quality guidelines and showed small variations in base-metal concentrations. Hydrothermal alteration and mineralization typically are associated with igneous rocks that have intruded older bedrock. Base-metal concentrations were elevated in sediment from catchments underlain by hydrothermally altered rock. Catchments affected by historical mining contained highly elevated base-metal concentrations. Classification of catchments on the basis of mineral deposit types proved to be an efficient and accurate method for discriminating catchments that had degraded water and sediment quality. Only about 4.5 percent of the study area has been affected by historical mining, whereas a larger portion of the study area is underlain by hydrothermally altered rock. Weathering of QSP

  4. Inventory of aquatic contaminant flux arising from historical metal mining in England and Wales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayes, W M; Potter, H A B; Jarvis, A P

    2010-08-01

    The impact of discharges from abandoned metal and ironstone mines has been a much studied form of aquatic pollution in recent decades. Few attempts however, have been made to accurately determine the overall contaminant mass flux arising from abandoned mine sites at scales above catchment level. Such assessments are critical to determine the significance of former mining to national, regional and ultimately global trace metal flux. This paper presents the most comprehensive national survey to date across England and Wales of the total pollution burden discharged at source from abandoned non-coal mine sites. 338 discharges have been identified (from 4923 known abandoned metal mines) and while concurrent flow and contaminant concentration records are only available for around 30% of these, significant quantities of metals (and As) have been quantified to be discharged. A minimum of 193 tonnes of Zn, 18.5 tonnes of Pb, 0.64 tonnes Cd, 19.1 tonnes of Cu, 551 tonnes Fe, 72 tonnes Mn and 5.1 tonnes As are released in water discharges from abandoned non-coal mines to the surface water environment of England and Wales each year. Precautionary extrapolation of mass fluxes based on the frequency distribution of measured concentration and flow data, for discharges with absent data, suggests that the actual total mass flux for these contaminants could be up to 41% higher. The mass flux of Pb released from mines exceeds that of all currently permitted discharges (e.g. active industrial sites and wastewater treatment works) to surface waters across England and Wales, while those of As, Cd and Zn are of a similar magnitude. These data put into context the enduring legacy of historic mining on the water environment, highlighting its significance relative to more highly regulated polluting sites. Comparison of the figures with estimates of global trace metal flux suggests that the national total identified here is significant on a global scale. 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights

  5. Disability Weights for Chronic Mercury Intoxication Resulting from Gold Mining Activities: Results from an Online Pairwise Comparisons Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steckling, Nadine; Devleesschauwer, Brecht; Winkelnkemper, Julia; Fischer, Florian; Ericson, Bret; Krämer, Alexander; Hornberg, Claudia; Fuller, Richard; Plass, Dietrich; Bose-O'Reilly, Stephan

    2017-01-10

    In artisanal small-scale gold mining, mercury is used for gold-extraction, putting miners and nearby residents at risk of chronic metallic mercury vapor intoxication (CMMVI). Burden of disease (BoD) analyses allow the estimation of the public health relevance of CMMVI, but until now there have been no specific CMMVI disability weights (DWs). The objective is to derive DWs for moderate and severe CMMVI. Disease-specific and generic health state descriptions of 18 diseases were used in a pairwise comparison survey. Mercury and BoD experts were invited to participate in an online survey. Data were analyzed using probit regression. Local regression was used to make the DWs comparable to the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study. Alternative survey (visual analogue scale) and data analyses approaches (linear interpolation) were evaluated in scenario analyses. A total of 105 participants completed the questionnaire. DWs for moderate and severe CMMVI were 0.368 (0.261-0.484) and 0.588 (0.193-0.907), respectively. Scenario analyses resulted in higher mean values. The results are limited by the sample size, group of interviewees, questionnaire extent, and lack of generally accepted health state descriptions. DWs were derived to improve the data basis of mercury-related BoD estimates, providing useful information for policy-making. Integration of the results into the GBD DWs enhances comparability.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Natural and historic heritage of the Bochnia Salt Mine (South Poland

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    Janusz Wiewiorka

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The Bochnia Salt Mine, presented in this paper, is situated ca. 40 km E of Cracow, in the southern part of the Neogene Carpathian Foredeep, close to the Carpathian edge. In this region the rock-salt deposits formed as a result of the Late Miocene folding and local tectonic thickening of Badenian evaporites. The Bochnia deposit, situated in the almost vertical N limb of the Bochnia Anticline, stretches ca. 7 km WE, but only 15-200 m NS. Salt mining in Bochnia began in the thirteenth c. and continued until 1990. The historic part of the mine, since 1995 operated by a company supplying health and tourism services, is an officially listed monument of historic heritage. Legal protection also comprises 27 sites of key value for the geology of the deposit. These documentation sites record the whole profile of the evaporite series and the adjacent beds, main and minor tectonic structures, as well as mineralogical curiosities, such as fibrous halite and enterolithic anhydrite. For some years, efforts have been made to enter the Bochnia Salt Mine, in 2008 visited by over 140 000 tourists, on the UNESCO World List of Cultural and Natural Heritage.

  9. Mercury Contamination of Cattle in Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Bombana, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia

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    Basri

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The industrial mining sector is one of the main contributors to environmental damage and toxic metal pollution, although some contamination originates from natural geological sources. Due to their position at the top of the food chain, cattle tend to bioaccumulate mercury (Hg in their bodies. We used analyses of cattle hair samples to investigate Hg contamination in cattle farmed within and outside of an artisanal and small-scale gold-mining area in Bombana, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. We also examined the factors that might have influenced the toxicity, such as the environmental conditions, sex, and age of the cattle. A total of 63 hair samples were analyzed by particle-induced X-ray emission spectrometry. The mean Hg concentration was significantly higher in hair from cattle farmed within the artisanal and small-scale gold mining area (11.44 μg/g hair than in those farmed outside the area (2.89 μg/g hair, p < 0.05. A possible cause of this is contamination by mercury persistent in terrestrial food chain. The results indicates that the level of toxic metals such as Hg need to be controlled in food sources to protect human health, especially in Bombana, Indonesia.

  10. 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

  11. [Mercury (and...) through the centuries].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kłys, Małgorzata

    2010-01-01

    Mercury has a long history, fascinating in its many aspects. Through the centuries--from ancient times to the present day--the metal in its various forms, also known under the name "quicksilver", accompanied the man and was used for diversified purposes. Today, mercury is employed in manufacturing thermometers, barometers, vacuum pumps and explosives. It is also used in silver and gold mining processes. Mercury compounds play a significant role in dentistry, pharmaceutical industry and crop protection. The contemporary use of mercury markedly decreases, but historically speaking, the archives abound in materials that document facts and events occurring over generations and the immense intellectual effort aiming at discovering the true properties and mechanisms of mercury activity. Mercury toxicity, manifested in destruction of biological membranes and binding of the element with proteins, what disturbs biochemical processes occurring in the body, was discovered only after many centuries of the metal exerting its effect on the lives of individuals and communities. For centuries, mercury was present in the work of alchemists, who searched for the universal essence or quintessence and the so-called philosopher's stone. In the early modern era, between the 16th and 19th centuries, mercury was used to manufacture mirrors. Mercury compounds were employed as a medication against syphilis, which plagued mankind for more than four hundred years--from the Middle Ages till mid 20th century, when the discovery of penicillin became the turning point. This extremely toxic therapy resulted in much suffering, individual tragedies, chronic poisonings leading to fatalities and dramatic sudden deaths. In the last fifty years, there even occurred attempts of mentally imbalanced individuals at injecting themselves with metallic mercury, also as a performance-enhancing drug. Instances of mass mercury poisoning occurred many times in the past in consequence of eating food products

  12. Mercury ores from the New Idria Mining District, California: Geochemical and stable isotope studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boctor, N. Z.; Shieh, Y. N.; Kullerud, G.

    1987-06-01

    The mercury ores of the New Idria Mining District are composed of metacinnabar and cinnabar with minor amounts of stibnite and iron disulfides. Metacinnabar from the main ore zone at the New Idria Mine contains Fe as a major impurity (0.96 to 2.80 wt.%), whereas that from the CO veins contains both Se (0.30 to 6.15 wt.%) and Fe (0.13 to 1.18 wt.%) in solid solution. The impurity content varies within the same specimen and within individual crystals as well and demonstrates lack of chemical equilibrium. Impurities tend to concentrate at the interfaces between metacinnabar and cinnabar in partly transformed crystals, thus increasing the barrier to nucleation of cinnabar and retarding or prohibiting any further transition of metacinnabar. Most of the pyrite and marcasite crystallized earlier than cinnabar and in rare cases contain nuclei of framboidal pyrite. Pyrite and marcasite crystallized as discrete phases and the latter does not show evidence of transition to pyrite. Dolomite shows normal marine carbonate δ 18O (24.6 to 29.7‰) and δ 13C (-1.7 to 2.5‰) values. Quartz displays δ 18O ranging from 18.5 to 21.5‰, distinctly lower than the associated dolomites, suggesting that the two minerals may have formed at two different stages. The range of δ 34S values for metacinnabar (0.0 to 3.2‰) overlaps with that of cinnabar (1.3 to 4.4‰). The δ 34S for pyrite ranges from 3.1 to 13.0‰; pyrite with framboidal nuclei shows the highest δ 34S values. The sulfur isotope data also suggest the lack of isotopic equilibrium. The source of C in the ore-forming fluids was marine carbonates leached from the Franciscan sediments. The source of S is uncertain because of lack of knowledge of the isotopic composition of total sulfur. It is likely that mixed sources of sulfur leached from sulfides in the host rocks and magmatic sulfur are involved.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

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    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

  16. Human exposure to mercury in artisanal small-scale gold mining areas of Kedougou region, Senegal, as a function of occupational activity and fish consumption

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    Niane, B.; Guédron, Stéphane (ed.); Moritz, R.; Cosio, C.; Ngom, P.M.; Deverajan, N.; Pfeifer, H.R.; Pote, J.

    2015-01-01

    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 s...

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

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    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

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

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    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.

  19. 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

  20. Size fractionation in mercury-bearing airborne particles (HgPM 10) at Almadén, Spain: Implications for inhalation hazards around old mines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Teresa; Higueras, Pablo; Jones, Tim; McDonald, Iain; Gibbons, Wes

    Almadén has a >2000y mining history and an unprecedented legacy of mercury contamination. Resuspended airborne particles were extracted from mine waste (Las Cuevas), retort site soil (Almadenejos), and urban car park dust (Almadén), separated into fine (PM 10) and coarse (PM >10 μm ) fractions, analysed for mercury using ICP-MS, and individual HgPM characterised using SEM. Cold extractable mercury concentrations in PM 10 range from 100 to 150 μg g -1 (car parks), to nearly 6000 μg g -1 (mine waste), reaching a world record of 95,000 μg g -1 above the abandoned retort at Almadenejos where ultrafine HgPM have pervaded the brickwork and soil and entered the food chain: edible wild asparagus stem material from here contains 35-65 μg g -1 Hg, and pig hair from animals living, inhaling and ingesting HgPM 10 at the site yielded 8-10 μg g -1. The PM 10 fraction (dusts easily wind transported and deeply inhaled) contains much more mercury than the coarser fraction. The contribution of HgPM 10 to ecosystem contamination and potential human health effects around old mercury mines has been underestimated.

  1. 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.

  2. Relationship between localization of gold mining areas and hair mercury levels in people from Bolivar, north of Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivero-Verbel, Jesús; Caballero-Gallardo, Karina; Marrugo Negrete, Jose; Negrete-Marrugo, José

    2011-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a heavy metal that, once in the environment, is bioaccumulated and biomagnified through food chain impacting ecosystems. The aim of this study was to evaluate total Hg (T-Hg) concentrations in individuals along Cauca and Magdalena Rivers in Colombia, where most gold mining activities take place. A total of 1,328 hair samples were collected and analyzed for T-Hg using atomic absorption spectroscopy. T-Hg concentrations ranged from 0.01 to 20.14 μg/g. Greatest levels were detected in La Raya (5.27 ± 0.32 μg/g), Achi (2.44 ± 0.22 μg/g), and Montecristo (2.20 ± 0.20 μg/g), places that are located near gold mines. Concentrations decreased with the distance from main mining areas. Only 0.75% of the individuals had T-Hg levels above 10 μg/g. Men had significantly higher T-Hg levels than women, and correlation analysis revealed moderately weak but significant relationships between T-Hg and weight (R = 0.111, P metal. Changing technologies to Hg-free mining, monitoring, and educational programs are necessary to protect health of people living near Colombian rivers.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. Gold Mining in Ecuador: A Cross-Sectional Assessment of Mercury in Urine and Medical Symptoms in Miners from Portovelo/Zaruma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schutzmeier, Paul; Berger, Ursula; Bose-O'Reilly, Stephan

    2016-12-30

    Mercury is a toxic metal and is used in small scale gold mining. In Portovelo, Ecuador, mercury has been an environmental and health problem for decades. The target of this study was to assess the mercury concentration in the urine of miners from Portovelo/Zaruma to establish a prevalence of high values. Eight hundred and sixty-five (865) urine samples were collected and analysed for their mercury content, using cold vapor atom absorption spectroscopy. The prevalence of high mercury values (>25 μg/L) was estimated. Forty-four (44) miners with mercury levels >15 μg/L filled in a questionnaire for characteristics and possible confounders, and were examined for intoxication symptoms to establish the ten points medical score sum. The median urine value was 1.8 μg/L; 78.3% of miners were below 7 μg/L and were not at risk of an intoxication, whereas 5.9% of miners exceeded the limit of 25 μg/L and were probable to experience intoxication symptoms. The medical score sum had a range of 2 to 8 points with a median of 6. The low prevalence of high mercury concentrations shows that the politics and techniques to eliminate the use of mercury are being successfully implemented. Further studies are needed to identify factors enabling this process.

  6. Elevated mercury exposure and neurochemical alterations in little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) from a site with historical mercury contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nam, Dong-Ha; Yates, David; Ardapple, Pedro; Evers, David C; Schmerfeld, John; Basu, Niladri

    2012-05-01

    Despite evidence of persistent methylmercury (MeHg) contamination in the South River (Virginia, USA) ecosystem, there is little information concerning MeHg-associated neurological impacts in resident wildlife. Here we determined mercury (Hg) concentrations in tissues of insectivorous little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) collected from a reference site and a MeHg-contaminated site in the South River ecosystem. We also explored whether neurochemical biomarkers (monoamine oxidase, MAO; acetylcholinesterase, ChE; muscarinic acetylcholine receptor, mAChR; N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, NMDAR) previously shown to be altered by MeHg in other wildlife were associated with brain Hg levels in these bats. Concentrations of Hg (total and MeHg) in tissues were significantly higher (10-40 fold difference) in South River bats when compared to reference sites. Mean tissue mercury levels (71.9 ppm dw in liver, 7.14 ppm dw in brain, 132 ppm fw in fur) in the South River bats exceed (sub)-clinical thresholds in mammals. When compared to the South River bats, animals from the reference site showed a greater ability to demethylate MeHg in brain (33.1% of total Hg was MeHg vs. 65.5%) and liver (8.9% of total Hg was MeHg vs. 50.8%) thus suggesting differences in their ability to detoxify and eliminate Hg. In terms of Hg-associated neurochemical biomarker responses, interesting biphasic responses were observed with an inflection point between 1 and 5 ppm dw in the brain. In the reference bats Hg-associated decreases in MAO (r = -0.61; p exposures, differences in Hg metabolism, and the importance of the aforementioned neurochemicals in multiple facets of animal health, altered or perhaps even a lack of expected neurochemical responses in Hg-contaminated bats raise questions about the ecological and physiological impacts of Hg on the bat population as well as the broader ecosystem in the South River.

  7. 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

  8. Historic Mining and Agriculture as Indicators of Occurrence and Abundance of Widespread Invasive Plant Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calinger, Kellen; Calhoon, Elisabeth; Chang, Hsiao-Chi; Whitacre, James; Wenzel, John; Comita, Liza; Queenborough, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic disturbances often change ecological communities and provide opportunities for non-native species invasion. Understanding the impacts of disturbances on species invasion is therefore crucial for invasive species management. We used generalized linear mixed effects models to explore the influence of land-use history and distance to roads on the occurrence and abundance of two invasive plant species (Rosa multiflora and Berberis thunbergii) in a 900-ha deciduous forest in the eastern U.S.A., the Powdermill Nature Reserve. Although much of the reserve has been continuously forested since at least 1939, aerial photos revealed a variety of land-uses since then including agriculture, mining, logging, and development. By 2008, both R. multiflora and B. thunbergii were widespread throughout the reserve (occurring in 24% and 13% of 4417 10-m diameter regularly-placed vegetation plots, respectively) with occurrence and abundance of each varying significantly with land-use history. Rosa multiflora was more likely to occur in historically farmed, mined, logged or developed plots than in plots that remained forested, (log odds of 1.8 to 3.0); Berberis thunbergii was more likely to occur in plots with agricultural, mining, or logging history than in plots without disturbance (log odds of 1.4 to 2.1). Mining, logging, and agriculture increased the probability that R. multiflora had >10% cover while only past agriculture was related to cover of B. thunbergii. Proximity to roads was positively correlated with the occurrence of R. multiflora (a 0.26 increase in the log odds for every 1-m closer) but not B. thunbergii, and roads had no impact on the abundance of either species. Our results indicated that a wide variety of disturbances may aid the introduction of invasive species into new habitats, while high-impact disturbances such as agriculture and mining increase the likelihood of high abundance post-introduction.

  9. Historic Mining and Agriculture as Indicators of Occurrence and Abundance of Widespread Invasive Plant Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kellen Calinger

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic disturbances often change ecological communities and provide opportunities for non-native species invasion. Understanding the impacts of disturbances on species invasion is therefore crucial for invasive species management. We used generalized linear mixed effects models to explore the influence of land-use history and distance to roads on the occurrence and abundance of two invasive plant species (Rosa multiflora and Berberis thunbergii in a 900-ha deciduous forest in the eastern U.S.A., the Powdermill Nature Reserve. Although much of the reserve has been continuously forested since at least 1939, aerial photos revealed a variety of land-uses since then including agriculture, mining, logging, and development. By 2008, both R. multiflora and B. thunbergii were widespread throughout the reserve (occurring in 24% and 13% of 4417 10-m diameter regularly-placed vegetation plots, respectively with occurrence and abundance of each varying significantly with land-use history. Rosa multiflora was more likely to occur in historically farmed, mined, logged or developed plots than in plots that remained forested, (log odds of 1.8 to 3.0; Berberis thunbergii was more likely to occur in plots with agricultural, mining, or logging history than in plots without disturbance (log odds of 1.4 to 2.1. Mining, logging, and agriculture increased the probability that R. multiflora had >10% cover while only past agriculture was related to cover of B. thunbergii. Proximity to roads was positively correlated with the occurrence of R. multiflora (a 0.26 increase in the log odds for every 1-m closer but not B. thunbergii, and roads had no impact on the abundance of either species. Our results indicated that a wide variety of disturbances may aid the introduction of invasive species into new habitats, while high-impact disturbances such as agriculture and mining increase the likelihood of high abundance post-introduction.

  10. Historic Mining and Agriculture as Indicators of Occurrence and Abundance of Widespread Invasive Plant Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calinger, Kellen; Calhoon, Elisabeth; Chang, Hsiao-chi; Whitacre, James; Wenzel, John; Comita, Liza; Queenborough, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic disturbances often change ecological communities and provide opportunities for non-native species invasion. Understanding the impacts of disturbances on species invasion is therefore crucial for invasive species management. We used generalized linear mixed effects models to explore the influence of land-use history and distance to roads on the occurrence and abundance of two invasive plant species (Rosa multiflora and Berberis thunbergii) in a 900-ha deciduous forest in the eastern U.S.A., the Powdermill Nature Reserve. Although much of the reserve has been continuously forested since at least 1939, aerial photos revealed a variety of land-uses since then including agriculture, mining, logging, and development. By 2008, both R. multiflora and B. thunbergii were widespread throughout the reserve (occurring in 24% and 13% of 4417 10-m diameter regularly-placed vegetation plots, respectively) with occurrence and abundance of each varying significantly with land-use history. Rosa multiflora was more likely to occur in historically farmed, mined, logged or developed plots than in plots that remained forested, (log odds of 1.8 to 3.0); Berberis thunbergii was more likely to occur in plots with agricultural, mining, or logging history than in plots without disturbance (log odds of 1.4 to 2.1). Mining, logging, and agriculture increased the probability that R. multiflora had >10% cover while only past agriculture was related to cover of B. thunbergii. Proximity to roads was positively correlated with the occurrence of R. multiflora (a 0.26 increase in the log odds for every 1-m closer) but not B. thunbergii, and roads had no impact on the abundance of either species. Our results indicated that a wide variety of disturbances may aid the introduction of invasive species into new habitats, while high-impact disturbances such as agriculture and mining increase the likelihood of high abundance post-introduction. PMID:26046534

  11. The Tree-Ring Mercury Record of Gold Mining in the Klondike, Central Yukon Territory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clackett, S.; Porter, T. J.; Lehnherr, I.

    2016-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) is an atmospherically mixed pollutant of global concern with the potential to become toxic methyl-Hg (MeHg) is some environments. Accurate projections of future health impacts caused by Hg pollution will partly depend on changes in the atmospheric Hg pool, but knowledge of natural Hg variability is limited by a lack of long term monitoring data, which precludes a robust analysis of how it may evolve in the future. Natural archives such as lake sediments, ice cores and tree-rings have the potential to fill this knowledge gap. Tree-rings may be ideally suited for this purpose since they are annually resolved, they span multiple centuries in some areas, and cover large portions of the Earth's surface. Few studies have evaluated tree-ring Hg, and generally agree tree-rings are a passive archive for local Hg emissions. However, further studies are needed to validate this hypothesis. An ideal site to test this proxy is Bear Creek in the Klondike where the Hg amalgamation method was used during the period 1918-1966 to recover fine gold from placer ore. Gaseous Hg was lost to the local environment during operations, as is confirmed by high soil Hg concentrations at the site today. Local trees would have been exposed to the elevated Hg emissions. We measured tree-ring Hg at Bear Creek to determine if historical Hg trends are preserved. Our preliminary results from a single tree reveal that: (1) peak tree-ring Hg coincides with Bear Creek operations; (2) the lowest tree-ring Hg is observed during the pre-industrial control period (1870-1880); and (3) post-Bear Creek operations (1970-2010) coincides with intermediate tree-ring Hg levels, presumably due to higher Hg global backgrounds in recent decades. Additional trees are being analysed to determine if this result is robust, and will provide important insights on the reliability of this proxy for reconstructing long-term atmospheric Hg at local and potentially broader spatial scales.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Evidence of Historical Mining Impacts on Saltmarshes from east Cornwall, UK

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iurian, Andra-Rada; Taylor, Alex; Millward, Geoff; Blake, William

    2016-04-01

    In landscapes with extensive mining history, saltmarshes can become sinks for contaminants that are vulnerable to release with sea-level rise and increased storminess. Given the prolonged residence time of heavy metals in the environment, data is urgently required to contextualise the impacts of past and present mining and pollution events and provide a baseline against which to assess Water Framework Directive (WFD) (2000/60/EC) compliance within an integrated catchment management framework. The geology of east Cornwall, UK (with intrusions of granite into the surrounding sedimentary rocks) was favourable for a prosperous mining industry, although large scale operations did not start until about 1830. Tin, cooper, lead and tungsten were the most important ores in the region. In order to quantify the spatial and temporal extent of contamination from past mining, sediment cores were collected from three saltmarshes, namely: Antony Marsh and Treluggan Marsh on the Lower Basin of River Lynher, and Port Eliot Marsh on the Lower Basin of River Tiddy. Core sections at 1 cm intervals were analysed by gamma-ray spectrometry for Pb-210, Ra-226, Cs-137 and Am-241, and the well-established Constant Rate of Supply (CRS) model was employed to derive Pb-210 geochronology with bomb-derived Cs-137 and Am-241 as independent chronological markers. The geochronological data provided the sedimentary accumulation and temporal context for the study. In terms of sediment quality with respect to mining pollution, core sections were analysed using Q-ICP-MS techniques and, additionally, WD-XRF instrumentation at Plymouth University. Measurements were performed for target elements that are normally associated with mining and smelting activities (e.g. Pb, Cu, Sn, Zn, Cr, Cd, etc.), and lithogenic elements (e.g. Fe, Al, Ti) that allow enrichment factors for the anthropogenically-derived elements to be determined. The grain size distribution was determined to identify storminess events and to

  16. 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

  17. Distribution of mercury in several environmental compartments in an aquatic ecosystem impacted by gold mining in northern Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marrugo-Negrete, Jose; Benitez, Luis Norberto; Olivero-Verbel, Jesús

    2008-08-01

    Mercury (Hg) used in gold amalgamation is a major source of contamination in developing countries. Water, sediments, plankton, fish, and human samples from Grande Marsh, a Hg-polluted marsh located in the south of Bolívar, municipality of Montecristo, Colombia, were collected during both the rainy and the dry seasons (2003-2006), at three different sampling sites, and analyzed for total Hg (T-Hg) content. Water, sediment, seston, phytoplankton, and zooplankton T-Hg concentrations were 0.33 +/- 0.03 microg/L, 0.71 +/- 0.03, 1.20 +/- 0.06, 0.52 +/- 0.03, and 0.94 +/- 0.05 microg/g dry weight (wt), respectively. T-Hg levels in these compartments were highly pair-correlated (p pollution from gold mining around Grande Marsh has permeated the food web, and currently levels in fish represent a serious concern for human health.

  18. Holocene floodplain sedimentation in Central Europe and the impact of historic mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raab, T.; Huerkamp, K.; Voelkel, J.

    2008-12-01

    In most parts of Europe, the Late Quaternary evolution of floodplain environments is the result of interactions between natural and human factors. Land-use changes, during the Neolithic, such as deforestation and the introduction of agriculture affected the stratigraphy of river sediments due to soil erosion on the slopes and alluvial deposition of fine-grained sediments in the floodplains. Beside agriculture mining must be also considered as an important factor controlling the Late Holocene floodplain evolution. Prehistoric and historic metal mining activities caused landscape degradation, such as vegetation clearance which increased the rate of soil erosion especially via hillslope gullying. During the Late Middle Ages, East Bavaria, Germany and the Vils River Valley in particular were one of the leading regions for the iron industry in Central Europe. Two hundred ironworks used 378 000 m3 of wood per annum allowing the production of 9000 tons of iron during the "golden age" of mining in the 15th century. Since the late 19th century the role of the iron industry in East Bavaria has decreased rapidly. The intensive historic mining activities on the Vils River floodplain should have affected the river structure as well as the fluvial dynamics, in particular via the construction of ironworks and associated weirs. Further floodplain sedimentation is thought to have been influenced by the mining-induced soil erosion occurring in the catchment and primary on the slopes. The nature and extent of these changes have not been investigated to date. Analysis of 288 percussion drillings with depths of up to 7 m and a 120 m long excavator section provide new and detailed information on the Late Pleistocene to Late Holocene floodplain evolution. The generalised sequence of the Vils River floodplain is built up of five units representing facies of different genesis (rock/saprolite, gravel, sand, loam, peat) which are identified by physical, chemical and mineralogical parameters

  19. 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.

  20. MERCURY FATE AND TRANSPORT IN GROUND WATER AT AN ABANDONED MINE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clear Lake, one of California's largest freshwater lakes located approximately 150 km north of San Francisco, is an important natural, economic, and cultural resource for the surrounding community. Elevated mercury levels in fish, first identified in the late 1970s, have been a ...

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. A survey of metal concentrations in marine sediment cores in the vicinity of an old mercury-mining area in Karaburun, Aegean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozkan, Ebru Yesim; Buyukisik, Hasan Baha; Kontas, Aynur; Turkdogan, Mert

    2017-05-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the historical trends of metal concentrations in coastal sediments in the vicinity of an inactive mining area, find background values and contamination levels of metals around the Karaburun peninsula, and then search for other sources of mercury in marine sediment cores using multivariate statistical analysis and report the potential ecological risks from that metal contamination. Surface sediment samples were taken from seven stations. Water depths were less than 20 m (coastal area) at stations KB07 and KB08. The depths at stations KB01, KB02, and KB03 were between 20 and 40 m, and stations KB05 and KB06 were more than 40 m (open area). In surface sediments at depths between 20 and 40 m, Mo, Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni, Co, Fe, Cd, Ti, Zr, Sn, As, Y, and Hg levels revealed higher contamination factors (C f ) compared to those of the coastal and open areas. Also, sediment samples were taken for historical records at stations KB01 and KB02 for 2012. Metal concentrations of Cu, Zn, Ni, Co, As, Sb, Cr, Ba, Ti, Al, and Hg in the sediment core samples were significantly higher during the Holocene (~5700 BC to 2000 B.C.) and Medieval Warm periods (~1000 A.D. to 1400 A.D.) and tended to decrease towards the Little Ice Age (2200 B.C. to the birth of Jesus Christ). Background concentration of Hg in sediment was found as 1.67 μg/g around the Karaburun peninsula. Average EF values higher than 20 were identified for As, Hg, Sb, and Ca. Ni and Hg levels were found above the PEL values. It was determined that the accumulation effect of Hg coming from the mafic rocks due to erosion in the marine environment was higher than that of Hg coming from the mine. The factor analyses showed an association between Hg, Ni, and Co. This reveals the importance of the contribution of mafic rocks reaching the marine environment by wave erosion. According to the factor analyses, high concentrations of Pb, Zn, Cd, As, Sb, Ba, Ti, and Zr were detected in the

  4. 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

    binding in the historic and new mine tailings (produced from bedrock in the area) have been undertaken in this study. Acid and base extraction experiments provided desorption curves of mine tailing suspensions as a function of pH (0.5-12.7), and showed that Cu was more easily desorbed in the historic mine...... 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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 Hg0 and Hg2+ in river water showed similar variations as that observed for the T-Hg concentration. The highest Hg0 concentration of 3.2 μg L-1 can be attributed to the waste inflow from work sites. The presence of Hg0 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-Hg in paddy

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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 urban soil. Based on the risk assessment, arsenic was found to be the element posing the greatest risk.

  11. Historical mining of soil nitrogen was a likely source of atmospheric nitrous oxide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, E. A.

    2009-12-01

    Prior to the advent of use of synthetic nitrogen (N) fertilizers, agricultural expansion was often followed by depletion of soil carbon and N stocks. While the mining of soil N permits a period of productive agriculture, it may also result in transfers of soil N to groundwater, surface water, and the atmosphere. Atmospheric nitrous oxide (N2O) concentrations have been increasing since the industrial revolution and currently account for 6% of total anthropogenic radiative forcing. Microbial production in soils is the dominant N2O source. The use of synthetic N fertilizers alone cannot account for the historical trends of atmospheric concentrations of N2O, because the increase in atmospheric N2O began well before N fertilizers were widely used. Here, I analyze atmospheric concentrations, industrial sources of N2O, and fertilizer and manure production since 1860. Prior to 1960, agricultural expansion, including livestock production, appears to have caused globally significant mining of soil N, fuelling a steady increase in atmospheric N2O. Post 1960, the rate of the increase rose, due to accelerating use of synthetic N fertilizers. Using a regression model, I show that 2% of manure N and 2.5% of fertilizer N were converted to N2O between 1860 and 2005; these percentage contributions explain the entire pattern of increasing N2O concentrations over this period. Consideration of processes that re-concentrate soil N, such as manure production by livestock, improved hind-casting of N2O emissions. Any process in the past, present, or future that causes either accumulation or depletion of N reservoirs in soils or sediments could affect N2O emissions. As animal protein consumption in human diets increases globally, management of manure will be an important component of future mitigation efforts to reduce anthropogenic N2O sources.

  12. Assessment of Rock Mass Stability in the Historic Area of Levels IV-V of the "Wieliczka" Salt Mine

    Science.gov (United States)

    d'Obyrn, Kajetan; Hydzik-Wiśniewska, Joanna

    2017-03-01

    As a result, of more than 700 years of exploitation in the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a network of underground workings spreading over eleven levels was created. All mine workings of significant historic and natural qualities and the majority of functional mine workings designated to be preserved are located on levels I to V. The most precious of them, available to tourists, are located in the central part of the Mine on levels I-III. The Mine is not anticipating to make levels IV, Kołobrzeg and V available for a wider range of visitors, even though there are historically and naturally precious workings in those areas as well. The most valuable of the mine workings come from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and were exploited mainly in a bed of fore-shaft salt, Spiza salt and the oldest ones. The characteristic feature of these excavations, distinguish them from the chambers located on the levels I-III, is the room-and-pillar system that had been used there. Mine workings exploited in this system measure up to 100 metres in length, and the unsupported pillars standing between the chambers measuring 4-10 metres in width were remained. The described above levels, including levels of VI-IX are to provide a stable support for the workings located higher up. The remaining part of the mine, with the exception of the function workings, is designated for liquidation by backfilling. The article presents an assessment of stability of the mine workings, located on levels IV-V, and their impact on the surrounding rock mass and the land surface. The analysis was based on geodetic measurements and numerical calculations for strain state of rock mass surrounding the mine workings, in actual conditions and after partial backfilling, and forecast of the rock stability factor after the end of backfilling. The assessment stability factor in the vicinity of excavations at levels IV-V was based on the results of spatial numerical analysis covering the entire central area of the mine

  13. Environmental impact of toxic metals and metalloids from the Muñón Cimero mercury-mining area (Asturias, Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loredo, Jorge; Ordóñez, Almudena; Alvarez, Rodrigo

    2006-08-25

    This paper presents the results of the sampling surveys carried out in order to evaluate the environmental problems associated to La Soterraña, an abandoned Hg mine in Asturias, north of Spain. In particular, this paper overviews the impact of mining and metallurgical activities on terrestrial and aquatic environments. The wastes generated during the mining activity (ore extraction and processing) and later accumulated on the ground, contain great amount of sulphides, becoming potentially acid-generating. Consequently, the mobility of heavy metals and other ecotoxic elements is enhanced. Wastes are generally located close to watercourses and on very steep hillsides, where they are exposed to oxidative weathering, posing a significant risk due to the release of ecotoxic elements to the environment. Background levels were determined at sites, which had not been directly affected by mercury mining. A multielemental geochemical study of mining wastes, soils, stream sediments, water and air samples collected in the area of influence of the old mining and metallurgical works was carried out. Total Hg and As concentrations in soils reach values up to 502 and 19,940 mg kg(-1), respectively, 500 and 2000 times higher than the local background levels. The effects of mining seem to be intense both in waters and stream sediments, as well as in the local atmosphere, whose Hg content is 10 times higher than the background level in the area. Therefore, the target carcinogenic risk was exceeded for As and Hg in La Soterraña site.

  14. 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.

  15. 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 < 30 mg kg- 1; As < 17 mg kg- 1). Bulk sediment samples recovered from the river channel and overbank deposits also show elevated concentrations of Pb ( 110 mg kg- 1), Zn ( 140-320 mg kg- 1), Ag ( 3 mg kg- 1), and Hg ( 0.4 mg kg- 1). Using the mine-waste deposit as a chronological marker shows that sedimentation rates increased from 0.2 mm yr- 1 in the early Holocene, to 5.5-26.8 mm yr- 1 following the 1907 flood. Downstream trends in the thickness of the flood deposit show that local-scale geomorphic factors are a significant influence on the deposition of mine waste in such events. Storage of mine waste is greatest in the upstream reaches of the floodplain. The volume of mine waste estimated to be stored in the Ohinemuri floodplain is 1.13 M m3, an order of magnitude larger than recent well-publicised tailings-dam failures, such as the 1996 South America Porco, 2000 Romanian Baia Mare and Baia Borsa accidents, and constituted, and was recognised at the time, a significant geomorphological and environmental event. The mine-waste material remains in the floodplain today, representing a sizable legacy store of contaminant metals and metalloids that pose a long-term risk to the Ohinemuri and Waihou ecosystems.

  16. Metal(loid)s in sediment, lobster and mussel tissues near historical gold mine sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Tony R; Grant, Jon

    2015-12-15

    Previous studies near historical gold mining districts in Nova Scotia have identified significant enrichment of metal(loid)s in coastal marine sediments. Most of this inventory is buried below biologically active zones, although in some areas arsenic has bioaccumulated in marine biota resulting in localised bivalve shellfish closures. Isaacs Harbour is poised for future industrial development, but before potential impacts are predicted, current marine baseline conditions must be determined. To address this gap, this study established a baseline using surface sediments and biota (mussel and lobster tissues), to provide a broader picture of metal(loid)s in the marine environment. Results confirmed previous studies showing that most sediment metal(loid) concentrations still exceeded Canadian Marine Sediment Quality Guidelines, and also provided evidence of Canadian Food Inspection Agency fish tissue exceedances of arsenic in lobster and lead in mussel tissues indicating that some bioaccumulation of legacy contaminants in marine biota continues to the present day. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Atmospheric deposition of mercury and cadmium impacts on topsoil in a typical coal mine city, Lianyuan, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jie; Feng, Chunting; Zeng, Guangming; Zhong, Minzhou; Gao, Xiang; Li, Xiaodong; He, Xinyue; Li, Xin; Fang, Yilong; Mo, Dan

    2017-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) and cadmium (Cd) in the atmosphere from coal combustion emissions play an important role in soil pollution. Therefore, the purposes of this study were to quantitatively evaluate the atmospheric Hg and Cd deposition and to determine the influence of atmospheric deposition on Hg and Cd contents in surface soil in a typical coal mine city. Atmospheric deposition samples were collected from May 2015 to May 2016 at 17 sites located in industrial, agricultural and forest areas in the Lianyuan city. Atmospheric Hg and Cd deposition fluxes in the different land use types showed high variability. Curvilinear regression analysis suggested that the atmospheric Hg deposition fluxes were positively related with Hg contents in soils (R2 = 0.86359, P atmospheric Cd deposition fluxes were also positively correlated with Cd contents in soils when the site LY02, LY04 and LY05 (all belong to agricultural land) were not included in the fitting (R2 = 0.82458, P atmospheric deposition will increase rapidly in the next 30 years, and the mean value of the increment will reach 2.6007 and 33.344 mg kg-1. After 30 years, the Hg and Cd concentration will increase slowly. The present study advocates that much attention should be paid to the potential ecological hazards in soil resulting from the atmospheric Hg and Cd deposition. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Neurodevelopment outcomes in children exposed to organic mercury from multiple sources in a tin-ore mine environment in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, Rejane C; Bernardi, José V E; Abreu, Luciana; Dórea, José G

    2015-04-01

    Methylmercury (from fresh-water fish) and ethylmercury [from thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs)] are the most prevalent source of neurotoxic exposure during early life in families consuming fish and using these vaccines. But children living in Amazonian mining environments are exposed to additional toxic metals in waste materials. We studied mercury (Hg) exposure and neurodevelopment in 294 children (105 boys and 189 girls) from Bom Futuro (Rondonia, Brazil), the epicenter of a tin-ore open-pit mine. Hair-Hg (HHg) concentrations and total ethylmercury (from TCVs) were taken from infants and respective mothers during pregnancy. We used bivariate analysis to determine the effect of sex and linear mixed models to assess the association of prenatal and postnatal organic Hg exposures with children's Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID) as psychomotor developmental index and mental developmental index (MDI) at 6 and 24 months of age as well as milestones achievements (age of walking and age of talking). Significant differences between boys and girls were observed for both MDI score (p = 0.0073) and MDI score (p = 0.0288) at 6 months but not at 24 months. Regression analysis showed that only in boys was there a significant interaction between MDI score with family income (β = 0.288, p = 0.018) and with birth weight (β = -0.216, p = 0.036) at 6 months; at 24 months, however, only boys showed a significant association of both MDI score (β = -0.222, p = 0.045) and MDI score (β = -0.222, p = 0.045) with neonatal HHg. In boys, age of walking was associated with HHg (β = 0.188, p = 0.019) and breastfeeding (β = -0.282, p = 0.000), whereas for girls, age of walking was only associated with breastfeeding (β = -0.275, p = 0.001). In this mining environment, with only a weak association for prenatal Hg exposure, there was a significant sex difference in neurodevelopment, with boys showing more sensitivity related to BSID delays.

  19. 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

  20. A comparison of results from a hydrologic transport model (HSPF) with distributions of sulfate and mercury in a mine-impacted watershed in northeastern Minnesota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berndt, Michael E; Rutelonis, Wes; Regan, Charles P

    2016-10-01

    The St. Louis River watershed in northeast Minnesota hosts a major iron mining district that has operated continuously since the 1890s. Concern exists that chemical reduction of sulfate that is released from mines enhances the methylation of mercury in the watershed, leading to increased mercury concentrations in St. Louis River fish. This study tests this idea by simulating the behavior of chemical tracers using a hydrologic flow model (Hydrologic Simulation Program FORTRAN; HSPF) and comparing the results with measured chemistry from several key sites located both upstream and downstream from the mining region. It was found that peaks in measured methylmercury (MeHg), total mercury (THg), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and dissolved iron (Fe) concentrations correspond to periods in time when modeled recharge was dominated by active groundwater throughout the watershed. This helps explain why the timing and size of the MeHg peaks was nearly the same at sites located just upstream and downstream from the mining region. Both the modeled percentages of mine water and the measured sulfate concentrations were low and computed transit times were short for sites downstream from the mining region at times when measured MeHg reached its peak. Taken together, the data and flow model imply that MeHg is released into groundwater that recharges the river through riparian sediments following periods of elevated summer rainfall. The measured sulfate concentrations at the upstream site reached minimum concentrations of approximately 1 mg/L just as MeHg reached its peak, suggesting that reduction of sulfate from non-point sources exerts an important influence on MeHg concentrations at this site. While mines are the dominant source of sulfate to sites downstream from them, it appears that the background sulfate which is present at only 1-6 mg/L, has the largest influence on MeHg concentrations. This is because point sourced sulfate is transported generally under oxidized

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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; 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.

  4. Adverse Impact of the Historic Mining Activities on the Enviroment in Malé Karpaty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Jozef

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available During 1999 – 2001 the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic has financed the geological work „Evaluation of the Adverse Impact of Mining Activities on the Environment in the Region of Malé Karpaty“. Results and recommendations of the work in this contribution are discussed.Mineral resources, such as pyrit – pyrhotite deposits, hydrothermal metal ore deposits (Au – Ag, pyrit – Cu, Pb – Ag, Zn, Sb, hydrothermal deposits of barytes and manganesian ore deposits are situated in mining districts of Malé Karpaty. The exploitation of these deposits has been already finished. The deposits of limestone, building stones, earth and clay were or are quarried. The underground mined deposits were divided into 6 mining districts: Kuchyòa, Pernek, Pezinok, Modra, Èastá, and Borinka – Jabloòové. The impact of surface and underground mining on the environment was examined on 353 underground mining object and 117 quarries.The most important processes were studied: pollution of surface and groundwaters, soils and sediments, normal radioactivity of land, degradation of lands, ecological stability, disturbance of the ground, contemporary land-use influence, adverse effects on rocks, flora and fauna, and atmosphere. The mining waste disposals, underground mining works and mining objects, and quarries were investigated.According to the intensity of adverse impact on the environment, the mining objects in the region of Malé Karpaty were divided into 4 groups. Fifty seven mining objects and 87 quarries were recommended to the remedial treatment.The implementation of nature protection measures will eliminate or considerably reduce the damage done to the environment.Proposal of methodics for evaluation of the adverse impact of mining activities on the environment was elaborated as a part of the geological work.

  5. Contamination of wild-grown edible mushrooms by heavy metals in a former mercury-mining area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Árvay, Július; Tomáš, Ján; Hauptvogl, Martin; Kopernická, Miriama; Kováčik, Anton; Bajčan, Daniel; Massányi, Peter

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the contamination of six edible wild species of mushrooms (Boletus pulverulentus, Cantharellus cibarius, Lactarius quietus, Macrolepiota procera, Russula xerampelina and Suillus grevillei) by heavy metals (Hg, Cd, Pb, Zn, Cu, Ni, Cr, Co, Mn and Fe). Mushroom samples were collected from sites contaminated by emissions from mining and processing of polymetallic ores in operation during the period 1969-1993 in Rudňany, southeast Slovakia. The four study sites spanned up to a 5-km distance from the emission source. The collected mushroom samples were analyzed using Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry and/or Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry with graphite furnace. Mercury, Cd and, in some samples, also Pb present the highest risks in terms of contamination of the food chain following subsequent consumption. The content of two metals in the dry matter (dm) of the mushrooms exceeded the limits set by the European Union (EU; Cd: 0.5 mg/kg dm, Pb: 1.0 mg/kg dm). The highest mean contents of the eight metals recorded for S. grevillei were 52.2, 2.15, 107, 104, 2.27, 2.49, 81.6 and 434 mg/kg dm for Hg, Pb, Zn, Cu, Ni, Cr, Mn and Fe, respectively. The highest content of Cd was recorded in M. procera (3.05 mg/kg dm) and that of Co in L. quietus (0.90 mg/kg dm). The calculated weekly intake for Hg, Pb and Cd shows that regular consumption of mushrooms from the studied area poses risks to human health.

  6. Mercury content in the fur of jaguars (Panthera onca from two areas under different levels of gold mining impact in the Brazilian Pantanal

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    JOARES A. MAY JÚNIOR

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The Pantanal is the largest inland wetland in the world and is under increasing anthropogenic threats, including long-term regionally intensive gold mining practices. Gold mining activities are known to cause the release of harmful pollutants such as mercury (Hg to the surrounding environment. Jaguars (Panthera onca (Linnaeus, 1758 are apex predators, and therefore show great potential to accumulate Hg by biomagnification. We hypothesize that total Hg content in the fur of jaguars from two sites within the Brazilian Pantanal would be significantly different as a function of distance from active gold mining operations. The Hg content was determined by fluorescence spectrometry. The mean ± SD Hg content in jaguars from the study site influenced by gold mining (SB was compared to jaguars sampled in the area free of gold mining activities (CA using a one-way ANOVA. The mean Hg content in jaguars from SB (673.0 ± 916.8 µg g-1 is significantly different from jaguars sampled in CA (29.7 ± 23.3 µg g-1, p = 0.03. The maximum recorded content of Hg was 2,010.4 ± 150.5 µg g-1, highest level ever recorded in a wild animal. The data indicate that Hg is an important threat to jaguars within at-risk regions of the Pantanal.

  7. Mercury content in the fur of jaguars (Panthera onca) from two areas under different levels of gold mining impact in the Brazilian Pantanal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    May, Joares A; Quigley, Howard; Hoogesteijn, Rafael; Tortato, Fernando R; Devlin, Allison; Carvalho, Rui M DE; Morato, Ronaldo G; Sartorello, Leonardo R; Rampim, Lilian E; Haberfeld, Mario; Paula, Rogério C DE; Zocche, Jairo José

    2017-08-17

    The Pantanal is the largest inland wetland in the world and is under increasing anthropogenic threats, including long-term regionally intensive gold mining practices. Gold mining activities are known to cause the release of harmful pollutants such as mercury (Hg) to the surrounding environment. Jaguars (Panthera onca (Linnaeus, 1758)) are apex predators, and therefore show great potential to accumulate Hg by biomagnification. We hypothesize that total Hg content in the fur of jaguars from two sites within the Brazilian Pantanal would be significantly different as a function of distance from active gold mining operations. The Hg content was determined by fluorescence spectrometry. The mean ± SD Hg content in jaguars from the study site influenced by gold mining (SB) was compared to jaguars sampled in the area free of gold mining activities (CA) using a one-way ANOVA. The mean Hg content in jaguars from SB (673.0 ± 916.8 µg g-1) is significantly different from jaguars sampled in CA (29.7 ± 23.3 µg g-1), p = 0.03. The maximum recorded content of Hg was 2,010.4 ± 150.5 µg g-1, highest level ever recorded in a wild animal. The data indicate that Hg is an important threat to jaguars within at-risk regions of the Pantanal.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Historical mineral collections in the silver mining town of Kongsberg, Norway

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nordrum, F.S.; Berg, B.I.

    2004-01-01

    The discovery of native silver deposits at Kongsberg, Norway, in 1623 created interest for silver specimens and mineral collecting, also among mining officers. Large collections were donated by J. Hiort, M.T. Brünnich and J. Esmark to the Mining Academy at Kongsberg. The Academy’s collections were

  11. 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

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    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

  12. Flood-related contamination in catchments affected by historical metal mining: an unexpected and emerging hazard of climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foulds, S A; Brewer, P A; Macklin, M G; Haresign, W; Betson, R E; Rassner, S M E

    2014-04-01

    Floods in catchments affected by historical metal mining result in the remobilisation of large quantities of contaminated sediment from floodplain soils and old mine workings. This poses a significant threat to agricultural production and is preventing many European river catchments achieving a 'good chemical and ecological status', as demanded by the Water Framework Directive. Analysis of overbank sediment following widespread flooding in west Wales in June 2012 showed that flood sediments were contaminated above guideline pollution thresholds, in some samples by a factor of 82. Most significantly, silage produced from flood affected fields was found to contain up to 1900 mg kg(-1) of sediment associated Pb, which caused cattle poisoning and mortality. As a consequence of climate related increases in flooding this problem is likely to continue and intensify. Management of contaminated catchments requires a geomorphological approach to understand the spatial and temporal cycling of metals through the fluvial system. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. [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

  14. 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

  15. Peru Mercury Inventory 2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, William E.; Sandoval, Esteban; Yepez, Miguel A.; Howard, Howell

    2007-01-01

    In 2004, a specific need for data on mercury use in South America was indicated by the United Nations Environmental Programme-Chemicals (UNEP-Chemicals) at a workshop on regional mercury pollution that took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mercury has long been mined and used in South America for artisanal gold mining and imported for chlor-alkali production, dental amalgam, and other uses. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides information on domestic and international mercury production, trade, prices, sources, and recycling in its annual Minerals Yearbook mercury chapter. Therefore, in response to UNEP-Chemicals, the USGS, in collaboration with the Economic Section of the U.S. Embassy, Lima, has herein compiled data on Peru's exports, imports, and byproduct production of mercury. Peru was selected for this inventory because it has a 2000-year history of mercury production and use, and continues today as an important source of mercury for the global market, as a byproduct from its gold mines. Peru is a regional distributor of imported mercury and user of mercury for artisanal gold mining and chlor-alkali production. Peruvian customs data showed that 22 metric tons (t) of byproduct mercury was exported to the United States in 2006. Transshipped mercury was exported to Brazil (1 t), Colombia (1 t), and Guyana (1 t). Mercury was imported from the United States (54 t), Spain (19 t), and Kyrgyzstan (8 t) in 2006 and was used for artisanal gold mining, chlor-alkali production, dental amalgam, or transshipment to other countries in the region. Site visits and interviews provided information on the use and disposition of mercury for artisanal gold mining and other uses. Peru also imports mercury-containing batteries, electronics and computers, fluorescent lamps, and thermometers. In 2006, Peru imported approximately 1,900 t of a wide variety of fluorescent lamps; however, the mercury contained in these lamps, a minimum of approximately 76 kilograms (kg), and in

  16. Mercury Bioaccumulation on Tadpoles of a Gold Mining Zone in Dagua River, Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca, Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oscar Dario Hernandez Cordoba

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Amphibians, particularly larval stages, are strongly sensitive to pollutants, so they have become useful indicators to assesshow 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 μg/g for high impact zone and from 0.07 to 0.17μg/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 ofbiomonitoring and bioremediation programs in the area,taking in consideration that tadpoles species used here, weremainly first order consumers, and when their mercuryconcentrations are incorporated into the food chain, thesecontaminant loads will produce biomagnification processes.  Bioacumulación de mercurio en larvas de anuros en la zona afectada por la minería de oro en el Río Dagua, Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca. Los anfibios, particularmente en sus estados larvales, tienen una gran sensibilidad  a la concentración de contaminantes; por lo que se han convertido en una herramienta indicadora para evaluar cómo las diferentes actividades humanas afectan  los ecosistemas acuáticos. Debido a esto se utilizaron larvas de anuros como bioindicadores en la zona del medio Dagua, en Zaragoza, donde la actividad minera, ha liberado contaminantes al río Dagua (Metales

  17. Relics of manual rock disintegration in historical underground spaces and their presentation in mining tourism

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Pavel Hronček; Pavol Rybár

    2016-01-01

    ... Štiavnica Mining Museum. We offer examples of relics after the manual disintegration of rocks in the underground, according to the development of the technology of the disintegration and hardness of rocks...

  18. MS Excel File describing groundwater quality for historic in situ recovery (ISR) uranium mines in Texas.

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — In situ recovery (ISR) uranium mining is a technique in which uranium is extracted by a series of injection and recovery wells developed in a permeable sandstone...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-11-01

    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. Copyright 2004 Elsevier Ltd.

  20. 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.

  1. Calculation of the mercury accumulation in the Idrijca River alluvial plain sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zibret, Gorazd; Gosar, Mateja

    2006-09-01

    From the historic literature on the Idrija mercury mine, it is evident that part of the smelting and mining waste was dumped into the Idrijca River. This waste was transported downstream during floods. The amount of mercury which has accumulated in the alluvial sediments of the Idrijca River until the present was studied. Mapping of Holocene river terraces of the Idrijca River was performed in order to estimate the volume of the alluvial sediment. For the purpose of the assessment of the mercury concentration, we sampled the alluvial sediments on different levels and performed an analysis of variance. The greatest variability is between the floodplain and terraces inside the same alluvial plain. Considering this fact, which determined the methodology employed for calculation, we estimated that about 2029 tons of mercury is stored in the Idrijca River alluvial sediments.

  2. Evaluation of mercury stress in plants from the Almadén mining district by analysis of phytochelatins and their Hg complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dago, Àngela; González, Inmaculada; Ariño, Cristina; Martínez-Coronado, Alba; Higueras, Pablo; Díaz-Cruz, José Manuel; Esteban, Miquel

    2014-06-03

    To evaluate plant response to Hg stress, glutathione, phytochelatins, and their Hg complexes were analyzed using HPLC with amperometric detection in samples of Asparagus acutifolius grown in the Almadén mining district (Ciudad Real, Spain), one of the most Hg-contaminated sites in the world. Soils of the Almadén mining district, and specifically from the Almadenejos zone, are highly contaminated, with some zones having values above 4,000 μg Hg g(-1) soil. Although soils have an extremely high concentration of mercury, generally less than 2% is available for plants, as is shown by various soil extractions simulating bioavailability. In plants, Hg concentration increases depending on the content of Hg in soils. In addition, Hg levels in roots are higher than in aerial parts, which is a strategy of plants for protecting their more sensitive aerial parts from the deleterious effects of metal stress. The total content of phytochelatins (PCs) and their complexes are directly related with the amount of mercury in soils. These findings highlight the important role of thiol compounds and their metal complexes in capturing and fixing Hg from soils, giving plants the capacity to deal with the heavy metal toxicity of polluted soils.

  3. 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.

  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 (geoelectrical profile and interpolated between the single profiles using the BERT algorithm. Taking into account the wooded areas of the 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. 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.

  6. Mercury Content in Wetland Rice Soil and Water of Two Different Seasons at Small-scale Gold Mine Processing Areas

    OpenAIRE

    T. Sugianti; F. Zulhaedar; Batubara, S F

    2016-01-01

    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: 2011methods. The data was collected and processed in a simple statisticpresented descriptively, in order to obtain information...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Arsenic mobilization from historically contaminated mining soils in a continuously operated bioreactor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rajpert, Liwia; Kolvenbach, Boris A.; Ammann, Erik M.; Hockmann, Kerstin; Nachtegaal, Maarten; Eiche, Elisabeth; Schäffer, Andreas; Corvini, Philippe Francois Xavier; Skłodowska, Aleksandra; Lenz, Markus

    2016-01-01

    Concentrations of soil arsenic (As) in the vicinity of the former Złoty Stok gold mine (Lower Silesia, southwest Poland) exceed 1000 μg g-1 in the area, posing an inherent threat to neighboring bodies of water. This study investigated continuous As mobilization under reducing

  10. Size-dependent characterisation of historical gold mine wastes to examine human pathways of exposure to arsenic and other potentially toxic elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Rachael; Dowling, Kim; Pearce, Dora C; Florentine, Singarayer; Bennett, John W; Stopic, Attila

    2016-10-01

    Abandoned historical gold mining wastes often exist as geographically extensive, unremediated, and poorly contained deposits that contain elevated levels of As and other potentially toxic elements (PTEs). One of the key variables governing human exposure to PTEs in mine waste is particle size. By applying a size-resolved approach to mine waste characterisation, this study reports on the proportions of mine waste relevant to human exposure and mobility, as well as their corresponding PTE concentrations, in four distinct historical mine wastes from the gold province in Central Victoria, Australia. To the best of our knowledge, such a detailed investigation and comparison of historical mining wastes has not been conducted in this mining-affected region. Mass distribution analysis revealed notable proportions of waste material in the readily ingestible size fraction (≤250 µm; 36.1-75.6 %) and the dust size fraction (≤100 µm; 5.9-45.6 %), suggesting a high potential for human exposure and dust mobilisation. Common to all mine waste types were statistically significant inverse trends between particle size and levels of As and Zn. Enrichment of As in the finest investigated size fraction (≤53 µm) is of particular concern as these particles are highly susceptible to long-distance atmospheric transport. Human populations that reside in the prevailing wind direction from a mine waste deposit may be at risk of As exposure via inhalation and/or ingestion pathways. Enrichment of PTEs in the finer size fractions indicates that human health risk assessments based on bulk contaminant concentrations may underestimate potential exposure intensities.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The Mt. Diwata study on the Philippines 1999--assessing mercury intoxication of the population by small scale gold mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drasch, G; Böse-O'Reilly, S; Beinhoff, C; Roider, G; Maydl, S

    2001-02-21

    The region of Diwalwal, dominated by Mt. Diwata, is a gold rush area on Mindanao (Philippines) where approximately 15000 people live. The fertile plain of Monkayo is situated downstream, where people grow crops such as rice and bananas; locally caught fish is eaten frequently. The ore is dug in small-scale mines and ground to a powder by ball-mills while still in Diwalwal. The gold is then extracted by adding liquid mercury (Hg), forming gold-amalgam. To separate the gold from the Hg, in most cases the amalgam is simply heated in the open by blow-torches. A high external Hg burden of the local population must be assumed. To evaluate the internal Hg burden of the population and the extent of possible negative health effects, 323 volunteers from Mt. Diwalwal, Monkayo and a control group from Davao were examined by a questionnaire, neurological examination and neuro-psychological testing. Blood, urine and hair samples were taken from each participant and analyzed for total Hg. A statistical evaluation was possible for 102 workers (occupationally Hg burdened ball-millers and amalgam-smelters), 63 other inhabitants from Mt. Diwata ('only' exposed from the environment), 100 persons, living downstream in Monkayo, and 42 inhabitants of Davao (serving as controls). The large volume of data was reduced to yes/no decisions. Alcohol as a possible bias factor was excluded (level of alcohol consumption and type, see Section 4.4). Each factor with a statistically significant difference of at least one exposed group to the control group was included in a medical score (0-21 points). In each of the exposed groups this score was significantly worse than in the control group (median control, 3; downstream, 9; Mt. Diwata, non-occupational exposed, 6; Hg workers, 10). In comparison to the surprisingly high Hg concentration in blood (median, 9.0 microg/l; max, 31.3) and in hair (2.65 microg/g; max, 34.7) of the control group, only the workers show elevated levels: Hg-blood median 11

  14. 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.

  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. Waste heaps left by historical Zn-Pb ore mining are hotspots of species diversity of beech forest understory vegetation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woch, Marcin W; Stefanowicz, Anna M; Stanek, Małgorzata

    2017-12-01

    Metalliferous mining and smelting industries are associated with very high levels of heavy metal(loid) contamination of the environment. Heavy metals have been proved to significantly influence the species diversity and composition of grassland communities, but little is known on their effects on forest understory vegetation. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the presence of small heaps of waste rock left by historical Zn-Pb ore mining on understory vegetation. The heaps are scattered over vast areas of beech forests in southern Poland. Three types of study plots were established: (1) on waste heaps themselves, (2) in their vicinity (5-10m from the foot of the heaps, with no waste rock but potentially influenced by the heaps through drainage water), and (3) at least 100m from the foot of the heaps (pseudo-control). In all plots vegetation parameters, i.e., plant species number, cover and community composition, life forms and strategies, as well as basic soil properties were assessed. Although the heaps contained high concentrations of metals, namely Cd, Pb and Zn, they were characterised by higher cover and diversity of understory vegetation, including ancient forest and endangered species, in comparison to their surroundings. They were also characterised by the distinct species composition of their plant communities. This might have resulted from the beneficial influence of high pH and Ca content originating from waste rock composed of dolomite and calcite, as well as from increased habitat heterogeneity, e.g. soil skeleton and steeper slopes. Another important factor influencing the richness and composition of understory was tree cover, which relates to the light transmissibility of the canopy. Our study proved that the disturbance brought about by the former mining and processing of metal ores led to the formation of species-rich understory with high frequency and cover of naturally-valuable species. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B

  17. 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.

  18. WATER-ROCK INTERACTIONS INFLUENCING MERCURY FATE AND TRANSPORT FROM AN ABANDONED MINE SITE TO AN ADJACENT AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clear Lake, located 150 km north of San Francisco, is one of the largest fresh water lakes in California and is an important economic resource for the region. Elevated mercury levels in fish in Clear Lake were identified in the late 1970s, resulting in a fish consumption advisor...

  19. Arsenic mineralogy and mobility in the arsenic-rich historical mine waste dump.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filippi, Michal; Drahota, Petr; Machovič, Vladimír; Böhmová, Vlasta; Mihaljevič, Martin

    2015-12-01

    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 (pH3.8) has elevated concentrations of As with an average value of about 2.9 mg L(-1). Aqueous As is highly correlated with pH (R2=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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Trace metal contamination of mineral spring water in an historical mining area in regional Victoria, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Rachael; Dowling, Kim

    2013-11-01

    Significant global consumption of spring and mineral water is fuelled by perceived therapeutic and medicinal qualities, cultural habits and taste. The Central Victorian Mineral Springs Region, Australia comprises approximately 100 naturally effervescent, cold, high CO2 content springs with distinctive tastes linked to a specific spring or pump. The area has a rich settlement history. It was first settled by miners in the 1840s closely followed by the first commercial operations of a health resort 1895. The landscape is clearly affected by gold mining with geographically proximal mine waste, mullock heaps or tailings. Repeated mineral springs sampling since 1985 has revealed elevated arsenic concentrations. In 1985 an arsenic concentration five times the current Australian Drinking Water Guideline was recorded at a popular tourist spring site. Recent sampling and analyses have confirmed elevated levels of heavy metals/metalloids, with higher concentrations occurring during periods of low rainfall. Despite the elevated levels, mineral water source points remain accessible to the public with some springs actively promoting the therapeutic benefits of the waters. In light of our analysis, the risk to consumers (some of whom are likely to be negatively health-affected or health-compromised) needs to be considered with a view to appropriate and verified analyses made available to the public.

  1. Evidence of historical mining inferred from metal concentration of alluvial sediments in the Bernese Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Filipe; Schulte, Lothar

    2017-04-01

    Metal pollution is normally associated with modern day industrialization. However, evidences of anthropogenic metal pollution date back to the Palaeolithic, were the domestication of fire contributed to an increase of trace metals released from the burning wood. Large-scale metal pollution started during the Roman period with the increase of mining and smelting activities. The production of metals during this period was quite rudimentary and highly polluting, contributing to a raise of metal concentrations in the atmosphere and subsequently in sediments and soils. Towards the modern period, production methods were improved, especially since the industrial revolution, but continued to release pollutants to the environment. The aim of this study is to identify periods of increased mining activity though the analysis of sedimentary records. For this purpose, we study the geochemical response of trace metals in sedimentary cores from the Aare and Lütschine delta plains, located at the Bernese Alps. The focus of this analysis is the detection of metal concentration anomalies from the last 3000 years. The analysis is based on the X-Ray Fluorescence (AVATECH XRF core scanner) response of the chemical elements copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and lead (Pb) contained in eight cores with depths down to 10 meter. All data was filtered in order to remove the noise from natural processes such as the increase of trace metal concentrations in organic rich horizons and to select the highest peaks of these metals. Results show similar trends in all the analysed cores and indicate three major pulses of trace metal concentration during the Roman Period, Early Medieval Age and a general increase of metal concentration during the Modern era, which can evidence mining and smelting activities. Periods of lower trace metal concentrations and shifts in concentration trends relate accurately with central Europe social and economic transitions, migratory events and significant demographic variations

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. Application of ameliorative and adaptive approaches to revegetation of historic high altitude mining waste

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bellitto, M.W.; Williams, H.T.; Ward, J.N.

    1999-07-01

    High altitude, historic, gold and silver tailings deposits, which included a more recent cyanide heap leach operation, were decommissioned, detoxified, re-contoured and revegetated. Detoxification of the heap included rinsing with hydrogen peroxide, lime and ferric chloride, followed by evaporation and land application of remaining solution. Grading included the removal of solution ponds, construction of a geosynthetic/clay lined pond, heap removal and site drainage development. Ameliorative and adaptive revegetation methodologies were utilized. Revegetation was complicated by limited access, lack of topsoil, low pH and evaluated metals concentrations in the tailings, and a harsh climate. Water quality sampling results for the first year following revegetation, indicate reclamation activities have contributed to a decrease in metals and sediment loading to surface waters downgradient of the site. Procedures, methodologies and results, following the first year of vegetation growth, are provided.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

    Physical and biogeochemical characteristics of the aquatic environment that affect growth dynamics of phytoplankton and the zooplankton communities that depend on them may also affect uptake of methylmercury (MeHg) into the pelagic food web of oligotrophic reservoirs. We evaluated changes in the quality and quantity of suspended particulate material, zooplankton taxonomy, and MeHg concentrations coincident with seasonal changes in water storage of a mining-impacted reservoir in northern California, USA. MeHg concentrations in bulk zooplankton increased from 4 ng??g-1 at low water to 77 ?? 6.1 ng??g-1 at high water and were positively correlated with cladoceran biomass (r = 0.66) and negatively correlated with rotifer biomass (r = -0.65). Stable isotope analysis revealed overall higher MeHg concentrations in the pelagic-based food web relative to the benthic-based food web. Statistically similar patterns of trophic enrichment of MeHg (slopes) for the pelagic and benthic food webs and slightly higher MeHg concentrations in zooplankton than in benthic invertebrates suggest that the difference in MeHg bioaccumulation among trophic pathways is set at the base of the food webs. These results suggest an important role for plankton dynamics in driving the MeHg content of zooplankton and ultimately MeHg bioaccumulation in top predators in pelagic-based food webs. ?? 2008 NRC.

  9. 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.

  10. Mineral resource of the month: mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ,

    2012-01-01

    The article offers information on mercury, a mineral commodity used in industrial and small-scale gold mining applications. Mercury has been reported to be used for amalgamation with gold since the Roman times. Mercury from cinnabar from Almadén, Spain has been used by Romans and has been continued to be used through the Middle Ages and the Colonial era.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Mercury in the blue tilapia Oreochromis aureus from a dam located in a mining region of NW Mexico: seasonal variation and percentage weekly intake (PWI).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruelas-Inzunza, J; Rojas-Ruiz, E; Spanopoulos-Hernández, M; Barba-Quintero, G

    2015-05-01

    Uptake of mercury (Hg) through fish consumption is one of the key aspects of the Hg cycle in the aquatic ecosystems. In tropical latitudes, biomonitoring of Hg in freshwater reservoirs is scarce. The objectives of the study were to determine Hg distribution in muscle, liver, and kidney of blue tilapia Oreochromis aureus from a dam located in a mining region of northwest Mexico, to define temporal variations of Hg concentrations in fish collected during the dry and rainy seasons, and to estimate the percentage weekly intake (PWI) of Hg through fish consumption considering the individual weekly intake of fish in Mexico and the provisional tolerable weekly intake of Hg (5 μg kg(-1) body weight). The sequence of Hg concentrations was liver > kidney > muscle during the rainy season and kidney > liver > muscle during the dry season. Levels of Hg were significantly higher (p PWI in the dry season (5.41) was higher than in the rainy season (1.80). Though collected fish were adults, Hg levels in the edible portion are not harmful to consumers, even during the dry season that Hg levels were higher.

  19. total mercury concentration in common fish species of lake victoria ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mercury concentration in all fish species was generally lower than ... mercury vapour or eat Hg-contaminated food ... influence of gold mining on Hg discharge ... Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes). Fish species that were collected are Lates.

  20. Reconstruction of historical land use of the Sokolov Region as the basis for the recovery of land affected by surface mining

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trpakova, I.; Trpak, P.; Sklenicka, P.; Skalos, J.; Engstova, B. [Czech Univ. of Life Sciences, Prague, (Czech Republic). Faculty of Environmental Sciences

    2010-07-01

    The reconstruction of the historical land use of 50 historical cadastral areas disturbed by surface mining in Bohemia was discussed in this paper. This included a comparison of statistical and geographic information system (GIS) data of three cadastral areas. The paper described the use of landscape at the time of stable cadastre from 1841 to 1842. The purpose of the study was to use the results as the basis for the Sokolovsko brown coal basin reclamation. Specifically, the paper discussed the material, methodology, sources and tracked parameters. It was found that the essential type of Sokolov landscape after 1840 were brooks, rivers, ponds, springs, wetlands, and peat-bogs. It was the essential stabilizing element that was later followed by meadows and pastures together with forests. It was concluded that the old maps and the land use statistic data were an appropriate source for reconstruction of historical land use if the entry data were processed and interpreted correctly. 39 refs., 2 figs.

  1. 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 (Cf), index of geoaccumulation (Igeo) 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, Cf and Igeo 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 children

  2. Quantifying uranium transport rates and storage of fluvially eroded mine tailings from a historic mine site in the Grand Canyon Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skalak, K.; Benthem, A. J.; Walton-Day, K. E.; Jolly, G.

    2015-12-01

    The Grand Canyon region contains a large number of breccia pipes with economically viable uranium, copper, and silver concentrations. Mining in this region has occurred since the late 19th century and has produced ore and waste rock having elevated levels of uranium and other contaminants. Fluvial transport of these contaminants from mine sites is a possibility, as this arid region is susceptible to violent storms and flash flooding which might erode and mobilize ore or waste rock. In order to assess and manage the risks associated with uranium mining, it is important to understand the transport and storage rates of sediment and uranium within the ephemeral streams of this region. We are developing a 1-dimensional sediment transportation model to examine uranium transport and storage through a typical canyon system in this region. Our study site is Hack Canyon Mine, a uranium and copper mine site, which operated in the 1980's and is currently experiencing fluvial erosion of its waste rock repository. The mine is located approximately 40km upstream from the Colorado River and is in a deep, narrow canyon with a small watershed. The stream is ephemeral for the upper half of its length and sediment is primarily mobilized during flash flood events. We collected sediment samples at 110 locations longitudinally through the river system to examine the distribution of uranium in the stream. Samples were sieved to the sand size and below fraction (<2mm) and uranium was measured by gamma-ray spectroscopy. Sediment storage zones were also examined in the upper 8km of the system to determine where uranium is preferentially stored in canyon systems. This information will quantify the downstream transport of constituents associated with the Hack Canyon waste rock and contribute to understanding the risks associated with fluvial mobilization of uranium mine waste.

  3. 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

  4. Evaluation of wetland methyl mercury export as a function of experimental manipulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustin, Mae Sexauer; Chavan, Prithviraj V; Dennett, Keith E; Marchand, Eric A; Donaldson, Susan

    2006-01-01

    Mercury associated with natural enrichment, historic mining, and ore processing is a contaminant of concern in watersheds of the western USA. In this region, water is a highly managed resource and wetlands, known to be important sites of methyl mercury production, are often an integral component of watersheds. This study applied controlled manipulations of four replicated experimental wetland designs with different water and soil mercury concentrations to determine the potential impacts on methyl mercury export. Wetlands were manipulated by drying and wetting, changing hydraulic retention time, and adding sulfate and nitrate to influent waters. In a summer drying and wetting manipulation, an immediate increase in total methyl mercury release was observed with rewetting, however, concentrations decreased quickly. Drying all wetlands over the winter and rewetting in the spring resulted in high net methyl mercury output relative to that observed before drying. Net methyl mercury output was not influenced by changes in hydraulic retention time from 4 to 8 h or to 30 min, or by increasing the nitrate concentration from 0.1 to 10 mg L(-1). The addition of sulfate to the inlet waters of two mesocosms to increase concentrations from approximately 100 to 250 mg L(-1) did not result in a clear effect on methyl mercury output, most likely due to sulfate concentrations being higher than optimal for methyl mercury production. Despite the lack of response to sulfate amendments, the change in sulfate concentration between the inlet and outlet of the mesocosms and temperature were the parameters best correlated with methyl mercury outputs.

  5. 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

  6. Inorganic: the other mercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risher, John F; De Rosa, Christopher T

    2007-11-01

    There is a broad array of mercury species to which humans may be exposed. While exposure to methylmercury through fish consumption is widely recognized, the public is less aware of the sources and potential toxicity of inorganic forms of mercury. Some oral and laboratory thermometers, barometers, small batteries, thermostats, gas pressure regulators, light switches, dental amalgam fillings, cosmetic products, medications, cultural/religious practices, and gold mining all represent potential sources of exposure to inorganic forms of mercury. The route of exposure, the extent of absorption, the pharmacokinetics, and the effects all vary with the specific form of mercury and the magnitude and duration of exposure. If exposure is suspected, a number of tissue analyses can be conducted to confirm exposure or to determine whether an exposure might reasonably be expected to be biologically significant. By contrast with determination of exposure to methylmercury, for which hair and blood are credible indicators, urine is the preferred biological medium for the determination of exposure to inorganic mercury, including elemental mercury, with blood normally being of value only if exposure is ongoing. Although treatments are available to help rid the body of mercury in cases of extreme exposure, prevention of exposure will make such treatments unnecessary. Knowing the sources of mercury and avoiding unnecessary exposure are the prudent ways of preventing mercury intoxication. When exposure occurs, it should be kept in mind that not all unwanted exposures will result in adverse health consequences. In all cases, elimination of the source of exposure should be the first priority of public health officials.

  7. Soils from sites of historical metal mining in western Małopolska (S Poland are strongly contaminated with Zn, Pb and Cd

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanowicz A. M.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Concentrations of Cd, Pb and Zn in soils developed at 63 sites of historical metal mining in western Małopolska (S Poland were estimated. Heavy metal concentrations were measured with an atomic absorption spectrometer after wet digestion in hot HClO4 (total forms, extraction in 0.1 M BaCl2 (exchangeable forms or in water (water-soluble forms. Basic soil properties such as texture, C, N, Ca contents and pH were also measured. Total concentrations of Cd in soil varied from 4.4 to 392, Pb from 72.8 to 16931 and Zn from 322 to 41860 mg kg−1. Exchangeable Cd, Pb and Zn extended from 0 to 19.3 %, from 0 to 0.2 % and from 0 to 3.5 % of the total metal forms, respectively, indicating that Cd is the most mobile and potentially bioavailable metal. In turn, water-soluble metal forms did not exceed 1 % of the total. Our study showed that soils developed at sites of historical metal mining are severely polluted with heavy metals. Old heaps threaten not only the environment, but also local inhabitants, as they are often located in a close proximity to houses or agricultural fields.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Environmental arsenic contamination and its health effects in a historic gold mining area of the Mangalur greenstone belt of Northeastern Karnataka, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborti, Dipankar; Rahman, Mohammad Mahmudur; Murrill, Matthew; Das, Reshmi; Siddayya; Patil, S.G.; Sarkar, Atanu; Dadapeer, H.J.; Yendigeri, Saeed; Ahmed, Rishad; Das, Kusal K.

    2014-01-01

    This report summarizes recent findings of environmental arsenic (As) contamination and the consequent health effects in a community located near historic gold mining activities in the Mangalur greenstone belt of Karnataka, India. Arsenic contents in water, hair, nail, soil and food were measured by FI-HG-AAS. Elemental analyses of soils were determined by ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry). Of 59 tube-well water samples, 79% had As above 10 μg L−1 (maximum 303 μg L−1). Of 12 topsoil samples, six were found to contain As greater than 2000 mg kg−1 possibly indicating the impact of mine tailings on the area. All hair and nail samples collected from 171 residents contained elevated As. Arsenical skin lesions were observed among 58.6% of a total 181 screened individuals. Histopathological analysis of puncture biopsies of suspected arsenical dermatological symptoms confirmed the diagnosis in 3 out of 4 patients. Based on the time-course of arsenic-like symptoms reported by the community as well as the presence of overt arsenicosis, it is hypothesized that the primary route of exposure in the study area was via contaminated groundwater; however, the identified high As content in residential soil could also be a significant source of As exposure via ingestion. Additional studies are required to determine the extent as well as the relative contribution of geologic and anthropogenic factors in environmental As contamination in the region. This study report is to our knowledge one of the first to describe overt arsenicosis in this region of Karnataka, India as well as more broadly an area with underlying greenstone geology and historic mining activity. PMID:23228450

  11. Investigations on the "Extreme" Microbial Methane Cycle within the Sediments of an Acidic Impoundment of the Inactive Sulfur Bank Mercury Mine: Herman Pit, Clear Lake, California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oremland, R. S.; Baesman, S. M.; Miller, L. G.; Wei, J. H. C.; Welander, P. V.

    2014-12-01

    The inactive Sulfur Bank Mercury Mine is located in a volcanic region having geothermal flow and gas inputs into the Herman Pit impoundment. The acidic (pH 2 - 4) waters of the Herman Pit are permeated by hundreds of continuous flow gas seeps that contain CO2, H2S and CH4. We sampled one seep and found it to be composed of 95 % CO2 and 5 % CH4, in agreement with earlier measurements. Only a trace of ethane (10 - 20 ppm) was found and propane was below detection, resulting in a high CH4/C2H6 + C3H8 ratio of > 5,000, while the δ13CH4 and the δ13CO2 were respectively - 24 and - 11 per mil. Collectively, these results suggested a complex origin for the methane, being made up of a thermogenic component resulting from pyrolysis of buried organics, along with an active methanogenic portion. The relatively 12C-enriched value for the CO2 suggested a reworking of the ebullitive methane by methanotrophic bacteria. We found that dissolved methane in the collected water from 2-4 m depth was high (~ 400 µM), which would support methanotrophy in the lake's aerobic biomes. We therefore tested the ability of bottom sediments to consume methane by conducting aerobic incubations of slurried bottom sediments. Methane was removed from the headspace of live slurries, and subsequent additions of methane to the headspace over the course of 2-3 months resulted in faster removal rates suggesting a buildup of the population of methanotrophs. This activity could be transferred to an artificial medium originally devised for the cultivation of acidophilic iron oxidizing bacteria (Silverman and Lundgren, 1959; J. Bacteriol. 77: 642 - 647), suggesting the possibility of future cultivation of acidophilic methanotrophs. A successful extraction of some hopanoid compounds from the sediments was achieved, although the results were too preliminary at the time of this writing to identify any hopanoids specifically linked to methanotrophic bacteria. Further efforts to amplify functional genes for

  12. Mercury concentrations in water resources potentially impacted by coal-fired power stations and artisanal gold mining in Mpumalanga, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Williams, CR

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available 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...

  13. Distribution of mercury in the environment at Almaden, Spain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hildebrand, S.G.; Huckabee, J.W.; Diaz, F.S.; Janzen, S.A.; Solomon, J.A.; Kumar, K.D.

    1980-10-01

    An ecological survey of the concentration and distribution of mercury in terrestrial and aquatic systems near the mercury mine at Almaden, Spain, was initiated in 1974. Field studies were completed in 1977, and chemical analyses were completed in 1979. Sample collection at Almaden followed a trophic-level approach in which certain compartments were sampled at a given instant in time (fall 1974, fall 1975, spring 1976, fall 1976, spring 1977). Mean total mercury concentration in terrestrial plants (8 taxa combined) ranged from >100 ..mu..g/g within 0.5 km of the mine to 1 ..mu..g/g 20 km distant from the mine. Different plant species had different affinities for mercury, but moss species usually had higher total mercury concentration than vascular plants. Woody plants were lower in mercury concentration than forbs. Total mercury concentration in muscle, brain, kidney, and liver tissue from mice was highest at a station near the stream receiving liquid effluent from the mine (mean total mercury at this station ranging from 0.18 ..mu..g/g in muscle to 4.74 ..mu..g/g in kidney). Approximately 15 to 30% of total mercury in mouse tissue was in the methylated form. Total mercury concentration in muscle tissue from house sparrows varied inversely with distance from the mine, with highest concentrations exceeding 0.1 ..mu..g/g. Approximately 1 to 4% of total mercury in sparrow muscle was in the methylated form.

  14. Technogenic magnetic particles in soils as evidence of historical mining and smelting activity: A case of the Brynica River Valley, Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magiera, Tadeusz; Mendakiewicz, Maria; Szuszkiewicz, Marcin; Jabłońska, Mariola; Chróst, Leszek

    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 25cm. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. mercury contamination in domestic ducks in geita, northwest tanzania

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mgina

    Mercury in the Livers of Tropical. Dolphins. Anal. Lett. 41(9): 1691 –. 1699. Kinabo C and Lyimo E 2002 Preliminary studies of mercury contamination in various food crops cultivated at Mgusu. Artisanal Mining Village in Geita,. Tanzania. Proceedings, International. Workshop on Health and Environmental. Effects of Mercury.

  16. 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 ...

  17. [Mercury poisoning].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bensefa-Colas, L; Andujar, P; Descatha, A

    2011-07-01

    Mercury is a widespread heavy metal with potential severe impacts on human health. Exposure conditions to mercury and profile of toxicity among humans depend on the chemical forms of the mercury: elemental or metallic mercury, inorganic or organic mercury compounds. This article aims to reviewing and synthesizing the main knowledge of the mercury toxicity and its organic compounds that clinicians should know. Acute inhalation of metallic or inorganic mercury vapours mainly induces pulmonary diseases, whereas chronic inhalation rather induces neurological or renal disorders (encephalopathy and interstitial or glomerular nephritis). Methylmercury poisonings from intoxicated food occurred among some populations resulting in neurological disorders and developmental troubles for children exposed in utero. Treatment using chelating agents is recommended in case of symptomatic acute mercury intoxication; sometimes it improves the clinical effects of chronic mercury poisoning. Although it is currently rare to encounter situations of severe intoxication, efforts remain necessary to decrease the mercury concentration in the environment and to reduce risk on human health due to low level exposure (dental amalgam, fish contamination by organic mercury compounds…). In case of occupational exposure to mercury and its compounds, some disorders could be compensated in France. Clinicians should work with toxicologists for the diagnosis and treatment of mercury intoxication. Copyright © 2010 Société nationale française de médecine interne (SNFMI). Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  18. Mercury Geochemistry of Gold Placer Tailings, Sediments, Bedrock, and Waters in the Lower Clear Creek Area, Shasta County, California - Report of Investigations, 2001-2003

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashley, Roger P.; Rytuba, James J.

    2008-01-01

    Clear Creek, one of the major tributaries of the upper Sacramento River, drains the eastern Trinity Mountains. Alluvial plain and terrace gravels of lower Clear Creek, at the northwest edge of the Sacramento Valley, contain placer gold that has been mined since the Gold Rush by various methods including hydraulic mining and dredging. In addition, from the 1950s to the 1980s aggregate-mining operations removed gravel from the lower Clear Creek flood plain. Since Clear Creek is an important stream for salmon production, a habitat restoration program is underway to repair damage from mining and improve conditions for spawning. This program includes moving dredge tailings to increase the area of spawning gravel and to fill gravel pits in the flood plain, raising the concern that mercury lost to these tailings in the gold recovery process may be released and become available to biota. The purposes of our study are to identify sources, transport, and dispersal of mercury in the lower Clear Creek area and identify environments in which bioavailable methylmercury is produced. Analytical data acquired include total mercury and methylmercury concentrations in sediments, tailings, and water. Mercury concentrations in bedrock and unmined gravels in and around the mined area are low and are taken to represent background concentrations. Bulk mercury values in placer mining tailings range from near-background in coarse dry materials to more than 40 times background in sands and silts exposed to mercury in sluices. Tailings are entrained in flood-plain sediments and active stream sediments; consequently, mercury concentrations in these materials range from background to about two to three times background. Mercury in sediments and tailings is associated with fine size fractions. The source of most of this mercury is historical gold mining in the Clear Creek watershed. Although methylmercury levels are low in most of these tailings and sediments, flood-plain sediment in shallow

  19. 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.

  20. Sorption of inorganic mercury on soils from Ankobra basin in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Understanding the adsorption of mercury on soil from aqueous solution is necessary for tracing the fate of mercury in the environment. This study was undertaken to predict the fate of mercury emitted from artisanal gold mining activities within the Ankobra basin. Total mercury (THg) concentrations were determined in soils ...

  1. High thallium concentrations in soils from sites of historical Ag, Pb, and Zn mining in western Małopolska (S Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Woch M. W.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to assess thallium concentration in topsoil originating from sites of historical mining of Ag, Pb and Zn in western Małopolska (S Poland. Soil samples were collected from 63 sites, sieved, ground and digested in hot HClO4. Thallium concentration was measured with an atomic absorption spectrometer. Thallium concentrations averaged 20.84 mg kg-1 and varied from 4.42 to 49.82 mg kg-1. In all studied soils they exceeded values typical for uncontaminated soils (0.02 to 2.8 mg Tl kg-1. This indicates that Tl contamination may threaten the environment and public health. Routine monitoring of Tl contamination in southern Poland is required.

  2. Temporal variation and the effect of rainfall on metals flux from the historic Beatson mine, Prince William Sound, Alaska, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stillings, L.L.; Foster, A.L.; Koski, R.A.; Munk, L.; Shanks, Wayne C.

    2008-01-01

    Several abandoned Cu mines are located along the shore of Prince William Sound, AK, where the effect of mining-related discharge upon shoreline ecosystems is unknown. To determine the magnitude of this effect at the former Beatson mine, the largest Cu mine in the region and a Besshi-type massive sulfide ore deposit, trace metal concentration and flux were measured in surface run-off from remnant, mineralized workings and waste. Samples were collected from seepage waters; a remnant glory hole which is now a pit lake; a braided stream draining an area of mineralized rock, underground mine workings, and waste piles; and a background location upstream of the mine workings and mineralized rock. In the background stream pH averaged ???7.3, specific conductivity (SC) was ???40 ??S/cm, and the aqueous components indicative of sulfide mineral weathering, SO4 and trace metals, were at detection limits or lower. In the braided stream below the mine workings and waste piles, pH usually varied from 6.7 to 7.1, SC varied from 40 to 120 ??S/cm, SO4 had maximum concentrations of 32 mg/L, and the trace metals Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn showed maximum total acid extractable concentrations of 186, 5.9, 6.2 and 343 ??g/L, respectively. With an annual rainfall of ???340 cm (estimated from the 2006 water year) it was expected that rain water would have a large effect on the chemistry of the braided stream draining the mine site. A linear mixing model with two end members, seepage water from mineralized rock and background water, estimated that the braided stream contained 10-35% mine drainage. After rain events the braided stream showed a decrease in pH, SC, Ca + Mg, SO4, and alkalinity, due to dilution. The trace metals Ni and Zn followed this same pattern. Sodium + K and Cl did not vary between the background and braided stream, nor did they vary with rainfall. At approximately 2 and 3 mg/L, respectively, these concentrations are similar to concentrations found in rainfall on the coasts of

  3. Chronic mercury exposure in Late Neolithic/Chalcolithic populations in Portugal from the cultural use of cinnabar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emslie, Steven D.; Brasso, Rebecka; Patterson, William P.; Carlos Valera, António; McKenzie, Ashley; Maria Silva, Ana; Gleason, James D.; Blum, Joel D.

    2015-10-01

    Cinnabar is a natural mercury sulfide (HgS) mineral of volcanic or hydrothermal origin that is found worldwide. It has been mined prehistorically and historically in China, Japan, Europe, and the Americas to extract metallic mercury (Hg0) for use in metallurgy, as a medicinal, a preservative, and as a red pigment for body paint and ceramics. Processing cinnabar via combustion releases Hg0 vapor that can be toxic if inhaled. Mercury from cinnabar can also be absorbed through the gut and skin, where it can accumulate in organs and bone. Here, we report moderate to high levels of total mercury (THg) in human bone from three Late Neolithic/Chalcolithic (5400-4100 B.P.) sites in southern Portugal that were likely caused by cultural use of cinnabar. We use light stable isotope and Hg stable isotope tracking to test three hypotheses on the origin of mercury in this prehistoric human bone. We traced Hg in two individuals to cinnabar deposits near Almadén, Spain, and conclude that use of this mineral likely caused mild to severe mercury poisoning in the prehistoric population. Our methods have applications to bioarchaeological investigations worldwide, and for tracking trade routes and mobility of prehistoric populations where cinnabar use is documented.

  4. Cohort mortality study of roofing granule mine and mill workers. Part I: Estimation of historical crystalline silica exposures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewett, Paul; Morey, Sandy Z; Holen, Brian M; Logan, Perry W; Olsen, Geary W

    2012-01-01

    A study was conducted to construct a job exposure matrix for the roofing granule mine and mill workers at four U.S. plants. Each plant mined different minerals and had unique departments and jobs. The goal of the study was to generate accurate estimates of the mean exposure to respirable crystalline silica for each cell of the job exposure matrix, that is, every combination of plant, department, job, and year represented in the job histories of the study participants. The objectives of this study were to locate, identify, and collect information on all exposure measurements ever collected at each plant, statistically analyze the data to identify deficiencies in the database, identify and resolve questionable measurements, identify all important process and control changes for each plant-department-job combination, construct a time line for each plant-department combination indicating periods where the equipment and conditions were unchanged, and finally, construct a job exposure matrix. After evaluation, 1871 respirable crystalline silica measurements and estimates remained. The primary statistic of interest was the mean exposure for each job exposure matrix cell. The average exposure for each of the four plants was 0.042 mg/m(3) (Belle Mead, N.J.), 0.106 mg/m(3) (Corona, Calif.), 0.051 mg/m(3) (Little Rock, Ark.), and 0.152 mg/m(3) (Wausau, Wis.), suggesting that there may be substantial differences in the employee cumulative exposures. Using the database and the available plant information, the study team assigned an exposure category and mean exposure for every plant-department-job and time interval combination. Despite a fairly large database, the mean exposure for > 95% of the job exposure matrix cells, or specific plant-department-job-year combinations, were estimated by analogy to similar jobs in the plant for which sufficient data were available. This approach preserved plant specificity, hopefully improving the usefulness of the job exposure matrix.

  5. Basic Information about Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Your Environment Contact Us Share Basic Information about Mercury On this page: What is mercury? Emissions of ... Consumer products that traditionally contain mercury What is Mercury? Mercury is a naturally-occurring chemical element found ...

  6. Data Mining in Child Welfare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoech, Dick; Quinn, Andrew; Rycraft, Joan R.

    2000-01-01

    Examines the historical and larger context of data mining and describes data mining processes, techniques, and tools. Illustrates these using a child welfare dataset concerning the employee turnover that is mined, using logistic regression and a Bayesian neural network. Discusses the data mining process, the resulting models, their predictive…

  7. Pollution Status and Mercury Sedimentation in Small River Near Amalgamation and Cyanidation Units of Talawaan-Tatelu Gold Mining, North Sulawesi

    OpenAIRE

    T M Palapa; Maramis, A A

    2015-01-01

    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 unit...

  8. Mercury in Stream Sediments in the Sierra Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphreys, R. D.; Tuffly, M. F.

    2001-12-01

    Mercury lost during California's gold rush is still found in Sierra Nevada rivers and streams. Mercury droplets and gold-mercury amalgam are found in stream bedrock fissures and along stream bedrock in watersheds that were subjected to intense hydraulic gold mining. Recreational gold miners report finding mercury puddles, sometimes containing mercury by the pound, on stream bedrock. The poster depicts where and how mercury was found and its spatial relationship to major hydraulic mines and dredge fields. Additional sampling is planned. Other studies are investigating the biological consequences of legacy mercury on the aquatic food chain. The positions of all confirmed locations were recorded and corrected using Trimble or CMT Global Positioning Systems (GPS). In the few instances were GPS positions could not be recorded, positions were determined by hand plotting from UGSG 7.5 minute topographic map.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2009-06-02

    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 approximately 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.

  11. Mining Subsidence-generated legacy sediments in a Mid-European low-order stream floodplain as an archive for historic human activity and flooding events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchty-Lemke, Michael; Lehmkuhl, Frank; Frings, Roy; Henkel, Sebastian; Schwarzbauer, Jan

    2015-04-01

    Legacy sediments, which were deposited as a consequence of mining subsidence in a floodplain area, can be used as an archive for human activity and past flooding. The morphodynamics of the Wurm River, a low-order stream in the Lower Rhine Embayment at the border between Germany and the Netherlands, is significantly influenced by a long colliery history, which caused alterations in the natural river landscape. In addition, substances which are transported via municipal wastewaters as well as contaminants emitted by specific regional industries were deposited in the floodplain sediments. This study aims at the reconstruction of human activity and past flooding events derived from geochemical and sedimentological data for different time slices within the 20st century. The spatial and chronological distribution of contaminants is investigated on the basis of several sections and drilling cores along the middle reaches of the Wurm River. Sections within mining subsidence areas and outside of those are compared regarding their sedimentation rates and element contents. Additional information is gathered from digital terrain models, historical documents such as the Tranchot map (early 19th century), and interviews of contemporary witnesses. Sedimentation rates derived from Cs-137 measurements allow a temporal assignment of the legacy sediments. A section within a segment of the Siegfried Line (Westwall), constructed in 1939, that crosses the Wurm River shows a significant increase in sedimentation rates in contrast to the floodplain area that is unaffected by subsidence processes. Furthermore, source-specific contaminants can be used to refine the stratigraphy, since source and period of emission are known. The evaluation of past flooding events is supported by numerical modeling of flood scenarios, which provides detailed information about flooded areas depending on the discharge, particularly for the areas which are under influence of mining subsidence. Besides the

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Mercury in the national parks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pritz, Colleen Flanagan; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Krabbenhoft, David

    2014-01-01

    One thing is certain: Even for trained researchers, predicting mercury’s behavior in the environment is challenging. Fundamentally it is one of 98 naturally occurring elements, with natural sources, such as volcanoes, and concentrated ore deposits, such as cinnabar. Yet there are also human-caused sources, such as emissions from both coal-burning power plants and mining operations for gold and silver. There are elemental forms, inorganic or organic forms, reactive and unreactive species. Mercury is emitted, then deposited, then re-emitted—thus earning its mercurial reputation. Most importantly, however, it is ultimately transferred into food chains through processes fueled by tiny microscopic creatures: bacteria.

  16. 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

  17. Signs and symptoms of mercury-exposed gold miners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bose-O'Reilly, Stephan; Bernaudat, Ludovic; Siebert, Uwe; Roider, Gabriele; Nowak, Dennis; Drasch, Gustav

    2017-03-30

    Gold miners use mercury to extract gold from ore adding liquid mercury to the milled gold-containing ore. This results in a mercury-gold compound, called amalgam. Miners smelt this amalgam to obtain gold, vaporizing it and finally inhaling the toxic mercury fumes. The objective was to merge and analyze data from different projects, to identify typical signs and symptoms of chronic inorganic mercury exposure. Miners and community members from various artisanal small-scale gold mining areas had been examined (Philippines, Mongolia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Indonesia). Data of several health assessments were pooled. Urine, blood and hair samples were analyzed for mercury (N = 1252). Questionnaires, standardized medical examinations and neuropsychological tests were used. Participants were grouped into: Controls (N = 209), living in an exposed area (N = 408), working with mercury as panners (N = 181), working with mercury as amalgam burners (N = 454). Chi2 test, linear trend test, Mann-Whitney test, Kruskal-Wallis test, correlation coefficient, Spearman's rho, and analysis of variance tests were used. An algorithm was used to define participants with chronic mercury intoxication. Mean mercury concentrations in all exposed subgroups were elevated and above threshold limits, with amalgam burners showing highest levels. Typical symptoms of chronic metallic mercury intoxication were tremor, ataxia, coordination problems, excessive salivation and metallic taste. Participants from the exposed groups showed poorer results in different neuropsychological tests in comparison to the control group. Fifty-four percent of the high-exposed group (amalgam burners) were diagnosed as being mercury-intoxicated, compared to 0% within the control group (Chi2 p mercury intoxication, with tremor, ataxia and other neurological symptoms together with a raised body burden of mercury was clinically diagnosed in exposed people in artisanal small-scale mining areas. The mercury exposure needs to be

  18. Mercury and Pregnancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Home > Pregnancy > Is it safe? > Mercury and pregnancy Mercury and pregnancy E-mail to a friend Please ... vision problems. How can you be exposed to mercury? Mercury has several forms: It can be a ...

  19. Mercury, Vaccines, and Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Jeffrey P.

    2008-01-01

    The controversy regarding the once widely used mercury-containing preservative thimerosal in childhood vaccines has raised many historical questions that have not been adequately explored. Why was this preservative incorporated in the first place? Was there any real evidence that it caused harm? And how did thimerosal become linked in the public mind to the “autism epidemic”? I examine the origins of the thimerosal controversy and their legacy for the debate that has followed. More specifically, I explore the parallel histories of three factors that converged to create the crisis: vaccine preservatives, mercury poisoning, and autism. An understanding of this history provides important lessons for physicians and policymakers seeking to preserve the public’s trust in the nation’s vaccine system. PMID:18172138

  20. Mercury toxicity and neurodegenerative effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carocci, Alessia; Rovito, Nicola; Sinicropi, Maria Stefania; Genchi, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is among the most toxic heavy metals and has no known physiological role in humans. Three forms of mercury exist: elemental, inorganic and organic. Mercury has been used by man since ancient times. Among the earliest were the Chinese and Romans, who employed cinnabar (mercury sulfide) as a red dye in ink (Clarkson et al. 2007). Mercury has also been used to purify gold and silver minerals by forming amalgams. This is a hazardous practice, but is still widespread in Brazil's Amazon basin, in Laos and in Venezuela, where tens of thousands of miners are engaged in local mining activities to find and purify gold or silver. Mercury compounds were long used to treat syphilis and the element is still used as an antiseptic,as a medicinal preservative and as a fungicide. Dental amalgams, which contain about 50% mercury, have been used to repair dental caries in the U.S. since 1856.Mercury still exists in many common household products around the world.Examples are: thermometers, barometers, batteries, and light bulbs (Swain et al.2007). In small amounts, some organo mercury-compounds (e.g., ethylmercury tiosalicylate(thimerosal) and phenylmercury nitrate) are used as preservatives in some medicines and vaccines (Ballet al. 2001).Each mercury form has its own toxicity profile. Exposure to Hg0 vapor and MeHg produce symptoms in CNS, whereas, the kidney is the target organ when exposures to the mono- and di-valent salts of mercury (Hg+ and Hg++, respectively)occur. Chronic exposure to inorganic mercury produces stomatitis, erethism and tremors. Chronic MeHg exposure induced symptoms similar to those observed in ALS, such as the early onset of hind limb weakness (Johnson and Atchison 2009).Among the organic mercury compounds, MeHg is the most biologically available and toxic (Scheuhammer et a!. 2007). MeHg is neurotoxic, reaching high levels of accumulation in the CNS; it can impair physiological function by disrupting endocrine glands (Tan et a!. 2009).The most

  1. Exposição humana ao mercúrio na Amazônia brasileira: uma perspectiva histórica Human exposure to mercury in the Brazilian Amazon: a historical perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aguinaldo Gonçalves

    2004-12-01

    dignidade na saúde e de uma ética pública pioneira no Brasil.The objective of the present article was to present the most important data generated by a multicentric study carried out by Brazilian researchers who, with the support of national and international institutions, worked during the 1990s to describe human exposure to mercury in gold mining areas in the Brazilian Amazon. Three sets of procedures were followed with residents of the Tocantins and Xingu river basins: (1 clinical examination, based on a standardized protocol and performed by a single researcher, in order to identify five basic levels of contamination; (2 determination of mercury levels in blood, hair, and urine, using atomic absorption spectrophotometry (Xingu Project; and (3 investigation of genotoxicity by using four cytogenetic indicators. During the first stage, 41 individuals were studied. Mercury was found in miners and their family members. Contamination was significantly associated with occupation and showed a differential correlation with genotoxicity indicators. After that, the Xingu project, which encompassed 625 individuals, focused on 417 Kayapó natives from the Gorotire and Djudjetiktire villages; 142 miners; and 66 riverine individuals (ribeirinhos. The highest levels of methylmercury in hair and total mercury in blood and urine were found among the Indian population. Contamination with inorganic forms of mercury was also observed in the blood, hair, and urine of Indians. Following a specific recommendation from the World Health Organization, special attention was given to pregnant Gorotire and Djudjetiktire women, who, although not directly exposed to mercury vapors, showed considerable levels of mercury intoxication. Despite this worrisome scenario, a number of social achievements in the 1990s point to new standards of dignity in health care and of social ethics in Brazil that could benefit everyone, including the victims of environmental injury.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. Mercury exposure in a low-income community in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oosthuizen, M A; John, J; Somerset, V

    2010-06-01

    To establish whether a specific community in a gold mining area, with potentially associated small-scale gold mining activities, was exposed to mercury. The community was situated in Mpumalanga, where some potential sources of mercury emissions may have an impact. Adults >or=18 years were considered eligible. Biological monitoring, supported by questionnaires, was applied. Thirty respondents completed the questionnaire which covered demographics, energy use, food and water consumption, neurological symptoms, and confounders such as alcohol consumption and brain injuries. Mercury levels were determined in 28 urine and 20 blood samples of these respondents. Three (15%) of the blood samples exceeded the guideline (mercury in urine (mercury through small-scale gold mining activities. As primary health facilities will be the first point of entry for individuals experiencing symptoms of mercury poisoning, South African primary health care workers need to take cognisance of mercury exposure as a possible cause of neurological symptoms in patients.

  6. 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

  7. Comparative study of mercury speciation in commercial fishes of the Brazilian Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez Martín-Doimeadios, R C; Berzas Nevado, J J; Guzmán Bernardo, F J; Jiménez Moreno, M; Arrifano, G P F; Herculano, A M; do Nascimento, J L M; Crespo-López, M E

    2014-06-01

    Mercury is responsible for serious episodes of environmental pollution throughout the world, especially in the Amazon. This toxicity has led regulatory agencies to focus on fish as the target organism for protecting the health of humans and other sensitive organisms. Unfortunately, in the Amazon area, different sampling strategies and the wide variety of sampling areas and fish species make it extremely difficult to determine relationships across geographic regions or over time to ascertain historical trends. Thus, the aim of this work was to achieve three main objectives: a comparative study of mercury contamination in fish of Itaituba (Tapajós, located downstream of the largest gold-mining region in Amazon) and Belém (an area non-exposed to mercury pollution of anthropogenic origin), perform an analysis of inorganic mercury (IHg) versus monomethylmercury (MeHg) contents, and, finally, compare mercury contamination in Tapajós over time. Five piscivorous species were obtained in Itaituba and Belém. Also, four non-piscivorous species were collected in Itaituba. For the first time, mercury speciation showed that (1) current MeHg levels in piscivorous species in Tapajós are higher than those of the non-exposed area, (2) piscivorous species from Itaituba (dourada, filhote, and sarda) contained mercury levels above the World Health Organization safety limit (~17%) and/or above the US Environmental Protection Agency tissue residue criterion (40%), (3) increased MeHg is usually accompanied by increased IHg, and (4) the mean total mercury concentrations for piscivorous species in Itaituba were within the same range and, associated uncertainties as those previously reported, although a remarkable decreasing trend over time was observed for mean total Hg concentrations in non-piscivorous species from Itaituba. The present study supports the importance of continuous monitoring of both populations in the Amazon Rivers. Our results will better assist the development of

  8. Mercury-contaminated sediments in the North Bay: A legacy of the Gold Rush

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaffe, Bruce E.

    2001-01-01

    A legacy of the Gold Rush is mercury-contaminated sediments in the Bay. Miners used mercury to extract gold from tailings during the gold rush. A large amount of this mercury (some estimates are as great as 10,000 tons) was lost during extraction to the watershed during the gold rush era. This mercury-contaminated hydraulic mining debris made its way to the Bay.

  9. An Epidemiological Study of Mercury Sensitization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuhiro Sato

    1997-01-01

    Full Text Available Mercury sensitization has been historically in question and may be related to recent increases of type I allergic diseases. To clarify the epidemiological factors of mercury sensitization, we investigated factors relating to mercury sensitization in 215 medical students. Their allergic symptoms, family histories and lifestyles were studied by questionnaire. Patch tests were performed with HgCI2 (0.05% aq. and NiS04 (5% aq.. Anti- Dermatophagoides and anti-Crypfomeria pollen IgE antibodies in sera were also measured. Urinary mercury concentrations were measured in 25 mercury sensitized and 44 non-sensitized subjects (controls. Hair mercury concentrations were also measured in 19 sensitized and 22 non-sensitized subjects. While the positive rate of nickel was 6.0% (13/215, that of mercury was high (13.0%; 28/215. The subjects' individual histories of allergic rhinitis, eczema, urticaria and allergic conjunctivitis were significantly associated with family histories of these conditions (P<0.01, P<0.005 and P<0.005, respectively, as reported in the literature. However, no allergen- specific antibody positivity or past history of allergic disease was associated with mercury sensitization. Mercury sensitized subjects had experienced eczema caused by cosmetics, shampoos, soaps and haircreams significantly more frequently (P<0.05. The history of mercurochrome usage was not associated with mercury sensitization. The number of teeth treated with metals in mercury sensitized subjects was significantly higher than that in the control group (6.8±4.3 vs 4.8±1; P<0.05. There were significant differences in urinary mercury concentrations (specific gravity adjusted levels between mercury sensitized subjects and non-sensitized subjects (2.0±0.9 and 1.3±0.6 (xg/L, respectively; P<0.001. There were also significant differences in hair mercury concentrations between mercury sensitized and non-sensitized subjects (2.0±0.9 and 1.2±0.5 μg/g, respectively; P<0

  10. Assessment of characteristics and remedial alternatives for abandoned mine drainage : case study at Staple Bend Tunnel unit of Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site, Cambria County, Pennsylvania, 2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cravotta,, Charles A.

    2005-01-01

    This report describes field, laboratory, and computational methods that could be used to assess remedial strategies for abandoned mine drainage (AMD). During April-June, 2004, the assessment process was applied to AMD from bituminous coal deposits at a test site in the Staple Bend Tunnel Unit of Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site (ALPO-SBTU) in Cambria County, Pennsylvania. The purpose of this study was (1) to characterize the AMD quantity and quality within the ALPO-SBTU test site; (2) to evaluate the efficacy of limestone or steel slag for neutralization of the AMD on the basis of reaction-rate measurements; and (3) to identify possible alternatives for passive or active treatment of the AMD. The data from this case study ultimately will be used by the National Park Service (NPS) to develop a site remediation plan. The approach used in this study could be applicable at other sites subject to drainage from abandoned coal or metal mines.During April 2004, AMD from 9 sources (sites1, 1Fe, Fe, 2, 3, 3B, 5, 6, and 7) at the ALPO-SBTU test site had a combined flow rate of 1,420 gallons per minute (gal/min) and flow-weighted averages for pH of 3.3, net acidity of 55 milligrams per liter (mg/L) as CaCO3, and concentrations of dissolved sulfate, aluminum, iron, and manganese of 694 mg/L, 4.4 mg/L, 0.74 mg/L, and 1.2 mg/L, respectively. These pH, net acidity, sulfate, and aluminum values exceed effluent criteria for active mines in Pennsylvania.During April-June 2004, limestone and steel slag that were locally available were tested in the laboratory for their composition, approximate surface area, and potential to neutralize samples of the AMD. Although the substrates had a similar particle-size distribution and identical calcium content (43 percent as calcium oxide), the limestone was composed of crystalline carbonates and the slag was composed of silicate glass and minerals. After a minimum of 8 hours contact between the AMD and limestone or steel slag in

  11. Mercury and drought along the lower Carson River, Nevada: IV. Snowy egret post-fledging dispersal, timing of migration and survival, 2002–2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henny, Charles J.; Hill, Elwood F.; Grove, Robert A.; Chelgren, Nathan; Haggerty, Patricia K.

    2017-01-01

    This telemetry study is an extension of our 1997–2006 research on historical mercury contamination on snowy egrets (Egretta thula) up to ~ 20 days of age. Findings from initial studies at the mercury-contaminated Carson River colony at Lahontan Reservoir (LR) and a similar-sized reference (REF) colony on the Humboldt River included mercury-related physiological, biochemical, histopathological and reproductive effects up to ~20 days of age; with poor water years (2000–04), i.e., reduced prey availability, exacerbating effects. Herein, we compare timing of dispersal and migration at LR vs. REF, but the primary question now addressed is “whether survival of young mercury-exposed snowy egrets from LR would be further compromised beyond ~20 days of age? ” Based upon telemetry signals until 90–110 days of age (including dead bird counts and survival rate estimates), we conclude that mercury did not further compromise survival. Dead bird counts and survival rate estimates included time in the colony when fed by adults, plus the critical period when young dispersed from the colony to forage independently. The extended drought during this 3-year study was most critical in 2002 when production of ~20 d old egrets at LR was only 0.24 young/nest. In 2002, survival rates were low at both colonies and we documented the highest counts of dead egrets for both colonies. We suggest the losses in 2002 beyond 20 days of age were more a function of prey availability influenced by drought than exposure to mercury, especially at LR, because higher mercury concentrations, higher survival rates and fewer dead birds were documented at LR in 2003 when water conditions improved. Furthermore, total mercury (THg) in blood in 2003 was more than double 2002 (geometric mean, 3.39 vs 1.47 µg/g wet weight (ww). This higher THg exposure at LR in 2003 was associated with a redistribution of parent and post-dispersal feeding activities upstream (where there was higher mercury from historic

  12. Mercury and drought along the lower Carson River, Nevada: IV. Snowy egret post-fledging dispersal, timing of migration and survival, 2002-2004.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henny, Charles J; Hill, Elwood F; Grove, Robert A; Chelgren, Nathan D; Haggerty, Patricia K

    2017-01-01

    This telemetry study is an extension of our 1997-2006 research on historical mercury contamination on snowy egrets (Egretta thula) up to ~ 20 days of age. Findings from initial studies at the mercury-contaminated Carson River colony at Lahontan Reservoir (LR) and a similar-sized reference (REF) colony on the Humboldt River included mercury-related physiological, biochemical, histopathological and reproductive effects up to ~20 days of age; with poor water years (2000-04), i.e., reduced prey availability, exacerbating effects. Herein, we compare timing of dispersal and migration at LR vs. REF, but the primary question now addressed is "whether survival of young mercury-exposed snowy egrets from LR would be further compromised beyond ~20 days of age? " Based upon telemetry signals until 90-110 days of age (including dead bird counts and survival rate estimates), we conclude that mercury did not further compromise survival. Dead bird counts and survival rate estimates included time in the colony when fed by adults, plus the critical period when young dispersed from the colony to forage independently. The extended drought during this 3-year study was most critical in 2002 when production of ~20d old egrets at LR was only 0.24 young/nest. In 2002, survival rates were low at both colonies and we documented the highest counts of dead egrets for both colonies. We suggest the losses in 2002 beyond 20 days of age were more a function of prey availability influenced by drought than exposure to mercury, especially at LR, because higher mercury concentrations, higher survival rates and fewer dead birds were documented at LR in 2003 when water conditions improved. Furthermore, total mercury (THg) in blood in 2003 was more than double 2002 (geometric mean, 3.39 vs 1.47µg/g wet weight (ww). This higher THg exposure at LR in 2003 was associated with a redistribution of parent and post-dispersal feeding activities upstream (where there was higher mercury from historic mining

  13. 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 ...

  14. Mercury and selenium in fish of Fountain Creek, Colorado (USA): possible sources and implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmo, D R; Herrmann, S J; Carsella, J S; McGarvy, C M; Foutz, H P; Herrmann-Hoesing, L M; Gregorich, J M; Turner, J A; Vanden Heuvel, B D

    2016-01-01

    Fountain Creek in Colorado USA is a major tributary that confluences with the Arkansas River at Pueblo, Colorado, the result being the tributary's influence on Arkansas River water quality affecting down-stream users. In a previous study, we found that bryophytes (aquatic plants) accumulated selenium in Fountain Creek watershed and this finding prompted us to investigate the extent of the metalloid in the whole-body tissues of fish. One hundred 11 fish (six species) were collected and analyzed for Se by inductively-coupled plasma emission mass spectrometry. Analysis of all analytical data also showed mercury in all of the fish whole bodies and selected tissues. There was a general increase in selenium but a decrease in mercury in fish with downstream travel-distance. The highest whole-body selenium was in Pueblo, Colorado (3393 µg/kg, dry weight; 906 µg/kg, wet weight); the highest mercury in fish was in the Monument Creek tributary north of Colorado Springs, Colorado (71 µg/kg, dry weight; 19 µg/kg, wet weight). In four tissues of 11 female fish captured, selenium was highest in the livers at eight sites but highest in the ovaries at three sites. Mercury was highest in the epaxial muscle at all sites. Selenium availability could be due to the watershed lithology and land uses; however, mercury could be carried by atmospheric deposition from coal-fired power plants and historic mining activities. Selenium in fish tissues and water samples were compared to U.S. national water quality criteria.

  15. Sediment from hydraulic mining detained by Englebright and small dams in the Yuba basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, L. Allan

    2005-10-01

    Recent initiatives to find ways to reintroduce anadromous fish to the Central Valley of California have identified the Yuba River as one of the best potential watersheds for expanding spawning habitat of spring-run chinook salmon and steelhead trout. Salmon spawning in the Yuba River would require substantial modifications or removal of Englebright Dam, a large dam (86 million m3 capacity) built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1941. An extensive on-going feasibility study by local, state, and federal organizations, therefore, is examining aspects of various dam-treatment scenarios that range from no action to complete dam removal. This paper examines the extraordinary history of the watershed and resulting conditions pertinent to the feasibility of altering Englebright Dam. It seeks to accomplish four goals. First, historical geomorphic changes in the watershed are outlined that influence the physical context of the feasibility study. The Yuba watershed is centered in the hydraulic gold-mining region made famous by G.K. Gilbert (Gilbert, G.K., 1917. Hydraulic-mining débris in the Sierra Nevada. U.S. Geol. Survey Prof. Paper 105 154 pp.), and Englebright Dam was built as a débris dam to control the sediment from hydraulic mining. Second, recent findings of high concentrations of mercury in sediment and fish tissues in the watershed are briefly reviewed. Much mercury was applied during the 20th century. Third, historic data on 20th century hydraulic mining are presented that document numerous small dams built in the Yuba basin to detain mining sediment. Finally, field measurements of the texture and lithology of modern bed materials in the Yuba River basin are presented that demonstrate reworked sediment from mining is an important component of the modern sediment load and fine spawning gravels. The complex anthropogenic geomorphic changes in the Yuba basin present a challenge with regards to responsible treatment of Englebright Dam. If toxic sediment is

  16. 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.

  17. A review of mercury exposure among artisanal small-scale gold miners in developing countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristensen, Anders Kasper Bruun; Thomsen, Jane Frølund; Mikkelsen, Sigurd

    2014-08-01

    Extraction of gold using mercury has been a way out of poverty for millions of people in developing countries. Artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM) has expanded during the last decades and is often carried out under primitive conditions. Thus, workers in this industry may be exposed to high levels of mercury and suffer from toxic effects from mercury exposure. The objective of this review was to provide an outline of the studies available on elemental mercury exposure among artisanal small-scale gold miners. Searching the PubMed and Embase databases, 26 studies with a total of 3,005 exposed subjects and 442 controls across 14 different developing countries were found. Urine mercury levels were used as biomarkers of exposure. In general, the urine mercury levels were elevated and a considerable proportion of workers had urine mercury levels above existing guidelines. Exposed subjects were stratified into residents, miners, millers, smelters, and refiners, who by work task content were expected to be increasingly exposed to mercury. This group order did show a clear trend of increasing mercury levels. Mercury levels differed substantially between studies. Possible explanations include dissimilarities in gold extraction methods, use of protective devices, and selection of participants. This review provides evidence that artisanal gold miners and residents of the mining sites are exposed to mercury vapour to an extent where acute and long-term toxic effects of mercury are likely. Interventions aimed at reducing exposure and emission of mercury from ASGM are needed.

  18. 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.

  19. Mercury flow through an Asian rice-based food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abeysinghe, Kasun S; Qiu, Guangle; Goodale, Eben; Anderson, Christopher W N; Bishop, Kevin; Evers, David C; Goodale, Morgan W; Hintelmann, Holger; Liu, Shengjie; Mammides, Christos; Quan, Rui-Chang; Wang, Jin; Wu, Pianpian; Xu, Xiao-Hang; Yang, Xiao-Dong; Feng, Xinbin

    2017-10-01

    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. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Mercury in the environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goldwater, L.J.

    1971-05-01

    The global mercury cycle is diagrammed, and the movement of mercury in aquatic food chains is discussed. The methylation mechanisms in aquatic systems are diagrammed and discussed. The mercury flow in US society is diagrammed; the diagram shows the percentage contribution of various sources to the environment. Atmospheric levels of mercury are graphed, and the concentration of mercury in foodstuffs from various parts of the world are tabulated. The possibility of chromosome damage caused by mercury is briefly treated. 7 figures, 1 table.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Mercury exanthem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vena, G A; Foti, C; Grandolfo, M; Angelini, G

    1994-10-01

    We have observed 9 male patients with a generalized rash following the topical use of an over-the-counter antiparasitic powder (MOM), containing ammoniated (11.2 g%) and metallic (4.2 g%) mercury, to treat phthiriasis (lice infestation). Primary and intensely erythemato-exudative lesions of the pubic region and genitals were associated with inverted erythema of the upper inner thighs and, in severe cases, involvement of the face, neck, trunk and major flexures. Eruptions included exanthematic, papulo-vesicular, purpuric and erythema-multiforme-like clinical pictures. 7 of the 9 cases presented with general malaise and pyrexia. A positive patch test reaction to ammoniated mercury was observed in all cases. There are probably 3 routes of powder exposure behind this type of rash: (i) direct skin contact; (ii) airborne skin contact; (iii) inhalation.

  4. What is the amount of mercury accumulated in the Idrijca River overbank sediments?

    OpenAIRE

    Gorazd Žibret; Mateja Gosar

    2005-01-01

    Part of mine tailings and roasted ore remains of the Idrija mercury mine was deposited in the bed of the Idrijca River that transported the load downstream at high waters. It was deposited in alluvial sediments of the Idrijca and Soča Rivers, and in the Trieste Bay,essentially contributing to mercury pollution of environment. The goal of the reported research was to estimate the mercury amount accumulated in the Idrijca alluvial deposits.This was attained by multiplying the mercury contents i...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 : (...

  11. The 2016 Transit of Mercury and the Solar Parallax

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Backhaus, Udo; Gährken, Bernd; Schneider, Glenn

    2017-10-01

    We observed the 9 May 2016 transit of Mercury with the 1.6-m New Solar Telescope of the Big Bear Solar Observatory of the New Jersey Institute of Technology in California and with smaller telescopes in Germany. The solar granulation behind the silhouette of Mercury can be aligned, showing Mercury's parallax. From these observations, the value of the solar parallax can be determined, showing historical parallels. As a second method of making the parallactic shift of Mercury visible and the distance to the sun measurable, we aligned photos taken with telescopes of shorter focal lengths, for instance, by using the prominent sunspots.

  12. 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.

  13. Biomarkers of mercury exposure at a mercury recycling facility in Ukraine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, Herman Jones; Kozlov, Kostj; Buckley, Jessie Poulin; Centeno, Jose; Jurgenson, Vera; Kolker, Allan; Conko, Kathryn; Landa, Edward; Panov, Boris; Panov, Yuri; Xu, Hanna

    2008-08-01

    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 microg/g-Cr (urine), 2.58 microg/L (blood), 3.95 microg/g (hair), and 1.16 microg/g (nails). Occupational category was significantly correlated (p 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Signs and symptoms of mercury-exposed gold miners

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephan Bose-O'Reilly

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: Gold miners use mercury to extract gold from ore adding liquid mercury to the milled gold-containing ore. This results in a mercury-gold compound, called amalgam. Miners smelt this amalgam to obtain gold, vaporizing it and finally inhaling the toxic mercury fumes. The objective was to merge and analyze data from different projects, to identify typical signs and symptoms of chronic inorganic mercury exposure. Material and Methods: Miners and community members from various artisanal small-scale gold mining areas had been examined (Philippines, Mongolia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Indonesia. Data of several health assessments were pooled. Urine, blood and hair samples were analyzed for mercury (N = 1252. Questionnaires, standardized medical examinations and neuropsychological tests were used. Participants were grouped into: Controls (N = 209, living in an exposed area (N = 408, working with mercury as panners (N = 181, working with mercury as amalgam burners (N = 454. Chi2 test, linear trend test, Mann-Whitney test, Kruskal-Wallis test, correlation coefficient, Spearman’s rho, and analysis of variance tests were used. An algorithm was used to define participants with chronic mercury intoxication. Results: Mean mercury concentrations in all exposed subgroups were elevated and above threshold limits, with amalgam burners showing highest levels. Typical symptoms of chronic metallic mercury intoxication were tremor, ataxia, coordination problems, excessive salivation and metallic taste. Participants from the exposed groups showed poorer results in different neuropsychological tests in comparison to the control group. Fifty-four percent of the high-exposed group (amalgam burners were diagnosed as being mercury-intoxicated, compared to 0% within the control group (Chi2 p < 0.001. Conclusions: Chronic mercury intoxication, with tremor, ataxia and other neurological symptoms together with a raised body burden of mercury was clinically diagnosed in

  16. Mercury Quick Facts: Health Effects of Mercury Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercury Quick Facts Health Effects of Mercury Exposure What is Elemental Mercury? Elemental (metallic) mercury is the shiny, silver-gray metal found in thermometers, barometers, and thermostats and other ...

  17. Historical record of trace elements (1983-2007) in scales from Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar): Study of past metal contamination from a copper mine (Ulla River, NW Iberian Peninsula).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cobelo-García, Antonio; Morán, Paloma; Almécija, Clara; Caballero, Pablo

    2017-12-01

    The chemical composition of fish scales has been reported to reflect the composition of the waters in which fish have been resident, therefore having the potential for the assessment of temporal trends in watershed water quality. Here we studied the historical (1983-2007) metal contamination in the Ulla river (NW Iberian Peninsula) watershed - impacted by a Cu mine that was in operation from 1973 until 1988 - by means of the analysis of major and trace elements in salmon scales. Results indicate the presence of a significant contamination for several metals (especially Cu, Au, Ag, Sb, Zn) during the 1980's. Concentrations of Cu in salmon scales during the influence of the mine (1983-1990) were 20 ± 5 μg/g, exceeding the values for the recent years (1995-2007): 1.8 ± 0.4 μg/g. Concentrations for Au in these two periods were 31 ± 12 and 2.1 ± 1.2 ng/g; for Ag: 21 ± 4 and 4 ± 2 ng/g; for Sb: 48 ± 21 and 15 ± 4 ng/g; and for Zn: 133 ± 16 and 93 ± 10 μg/g. The estimated concentrations of dissolved copper during the operation of the mine indicate a scenario of toxic effects due to sensory impairments in the salmon, and a reduction in scales calcification. The results presented here demonstrate that the analysis of trace elements in archived fish scales is a suitable tool for the reconstruction of the past contamination in aquatic systems, and it can be also used as a non-lethal approach for biomonitoring purposes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Determination of mercury atmospheric origin in French Guianese soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guedron, S.; Grimaldi, C.; Chauve, C.; Grimaldi, M.

    2003-05-01

    Mercury pollution is a preoccupying environmental problem affecting French Guiana ecosystems. Mercury (Hg) concentrations found in fei-rallitic soils of the dense Guianese forest are high and variable. Natural Hg geochemical background is the result of a long telm accumulation from two sources in the soil, in situ, weathering ofparental material and atmospheric inputs from oceans principally. Abnormally high levels of mercury are related to gold-mining activities. To evaluate the proportion of mercury from weathering processes and from atmospheric inputs, we used a mass balance calculation based on trace elements. This approach reveals that even in areas considered to be natural environments, the proportion of Hg derived from weathering appears to be negligible compared to the atmospheric origin. Soils located close to gold-mining sites are strongly affected by mercury pollution. Pellehatioll and accumulation of atmospheric inputs as well as Hg redistribution in soil profiles depend on the hydrodynamical propeliies, redox conditions and the quality and quantity of carrier phases. Key-words: Mercury, soils, atmospheric inputs, geochemical background, pollution, gold-mining.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Regional distribution of mercury in sediments of the main rivers of French Guiana (Amazonian basin)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Laperche, Valérie; Hellal, Jennifer; Maury-Brachet, Régine; Joseph, Bernard; Laporte, Pierre; Breeze, Dominique; Blanchard, François

    2014-01-01

    Use of mercury (Hg) for gold-mining in French Guiana (up until 2006) as well as the presence of naturally high background levels in soils, has led to locally high concentrations in soils and sediments...

  4. Arsenic in residential soil and household dust in Cornwall, south west England: potential human exposure and the influence of historical mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middleton, Daniel R S; Watts, Michael J; Beriro, Darren J; Hamilton, Elliott M; Leonardi, Giovanni S; Fletcher, Tony; Close, Rebecca M; Polya, David A

    2017-04-19

    Exposure to arsenic (As) via residential soil and dust is a global concern, in regions affected by mining or with elevated concentrations present in underlying geology. Cornwall in south west England is one such area. Residential soil (n = 127) and household dust (n = 99) samples were collected from across Cornwall as part of a wider study assessing exposure to environmental As. Samples were analysed for total As (soil and dust samples) and human ingestion bioaccessible As (soil samples from properties with home-grown produce). Arsenic concentrations ranged from 12 to 992 mg kg(-1) in soil and 3 to 1079 mg kg(-1) in dust and were significantly higher in areas affected by metalliferous mineralisation. Sixty-nine percent of soils exceeded the 37 mg kg(-1) Category 4 Screening Level (C4SL), a generic assessment criteria for As in residential soils in England, which assumes 100% bioavailability following ingestion. The proportion of exceedance was reduced to 13% when the bioavailability parameter in the CLEA model was changed to generate household specific bioaccessibility adjusted assessment criteria (ACBIO). These criteria were derived using bioaccessibility data for a sub-set of individual household vegetable patch soils (n = 68). Proximity to former As mining locations was found to be a significant predictor of soil As concentration. This study highlights the value of bioaccessibility measurements and their potential for adjusting generic assessment criteria.

  5. 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

  6. Characterization of limestone reacted with acid-mine drainage in a pulsed limestone bed treatment system at the Friendship Hill National Historical Site, Pennsylvania, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammarstrom, J.M.; Sibrell, P.L.; Belkin, H.E.

    2003-01-01

    Armoring of limestone is a common cause of failure in limestone-based acid-mine drainage (AMD) treatment systems. Limestone is the least expensive material available for acid neutralization, but is not typically recommended for highly acidic, Fe-rich waters due to armoring with Fe(III) oxyhydroxide coatings. A new AMD treatment technology that uses CO2 in a pulsed limestone bed reactor minimizes armor formation and enhances limestone reaction with AMD. Limestone was characterized before and after treatment with constant flow and with the new pulsed limestone bed process using AMD from an inactive coal mine in Pennsylvania (pH = 2.9, Fe = 150 mg/l, acidity = 1000 mg/l CaCO3). In constant flow experiments, limestone is completely armored with reddish-colored ochre within 48 h of contact in a fluidized bed reactor. Effluent pH initially increased from the inflow pH of 2.9 to over 7, but then decreased to 6 during operation. Limestone removed from a pulsed bed pilot plant is a mixture of unarmored, rounded and etched limestone grains and partially armored limestone and refractory mineral grains (dolomite, pyrite). The ???30% of the residual grains in the pulsed flow reactor that are armored have thicker (50- to 100-??m), more aluminous coatings and lack the gypsum rind that develops in the constant flow experiment. Aluminium-rich zones developed in the interior parts of armor rims in both the constant flow and pulsed limestone bed experiments in response to pH changes at the solid/solution interface. ?? 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Characterization of limestone reacted with acid-mine drainage in a pulsed limestone bed treatment system at the Friendship Hill National Historical Site, Pennsylvania, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hammarstrom, J.M.; Sibrell, P.L.; Belkin, H.E. [US Geological Survey, Reston, VA (United States)

    2003-11-01

    Armoring of limestone is a common cause of failure in limestone-based acid-mine drainage (AMD) treatment systems. Limestone is the least expensive material available for acid neutralization, but is not typically recommended for highly acidic, Fe-rich waters due to armoring with Fe(III) oxyhydroxide coatings. A new AMD treatment technology that uses CO{sub 2} in a pulsed limestone bed reactor minimizes armor formation and enhances limestone reaction with AMD. Limestone was characterized before and after treatment with constant flow and with the new pulsed limestone bed process using AMD from an inactive coal mine in Pennsylvania (pH = 2.9, Fe = 150 mg/l, acidity 1000 mg/l CaCO{sub 3}). In constant flow experiments, limestone is completely armored with reddish-colored ochre within 48 h of contact in a fluidized bed reactor. Effluent pH initially increased from the inflow pH of 2.9 to over 7, but then decreased to {lt}4 during the 48 h of contact. Limestone grains developed a rind of gypsum encapsulated by a 10- to 30-mum thick, Fe-Al hydroxysulfate coating. Armoring slowed the reaction and prevented the limestone from generating any additional alkalinity in the system. With the pulsed flow limestone bed process, armor formation is largely suppressed and most limestone grains completely dissolve resulting in an effluent pH of {gt}6 during operation. Limestone removed from a pulsed bed pilot plant is a mixture of unarmored, rounded and etched limestone grains and partially armored limestone and refractory mineral grains (dolomite, pyrite). Aluminium-rich zones developed in the interior parts of armor rims in both the constant flow and pulsed limestone bed experiments in response to pH changes at the solid/solution interface.

  8. 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

  9. [Mercury contact dermatitis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camarasa, J G; Huguet, J; Alomar, A; Calderon, P G

    1983-01-01

    Eight female patients with contact allergy to Mercury were studied with the L. T. T. and the Histamine degranulation test of basophiles. In the eight cases the L. T. T. was specific. P. H. A. (an inspecific lymphocyte stimulator lectin) and the Histamine degranulation basophile test, were used as controls. Thirty subjects were used as controls. All of them were negative to the patch test with mercury at 0,5% in petrolatum. No atopic antecedents were among them and their families. No once case of lymphocyte activity to mercury was observed. Mercury acetate solutions at: 12,5 ng/ml. 25 ng/ml and 5 ng/ml were employed. This salt was the unique useful for the L. T. T. practice. Extremely difficulties for the solubilization of mercury bichloride, mercury oxide, phenyl mercury and ammoniated mercury, impaired the L. T. T. with these salts.

  10. Mercury exposure and malaria prevalence among gold miners in Pará, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silbergeld Ellen K.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Economic development, including resource extraction, can cause toxic exposures that interact with endemic infectious diseases. Mercury is an immunotoxic metal used in the amalgamation of gold, resulting in both occupational exposures and environmental pollution. A cross-sectional medical survey was conducted in 1997 on 135 garimpeiros in Para, Brazil, because of their risks of both mercury exposure and malaria transmission. Mean levels of blood and urine mercury were well above non-exposed background levels. Twenty-six subjects had malaria parasitemia: Health symptoms consistent with mercury exposure were reported, but neither symptoms nor signs correlated with mercury levels in blood or urine. We did not find a dose response relationship between mercury exposure and likelihood of prevalent malaria infection, but there was a possible reduction in acquisition of immunity that may be associated with conditions in gold mining, including mercury exposure.

  11. Mercury in Your Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basic information about mercury, how it gets in the air, how people are exposed to it and health effects associated with exposure; what EPA and other organizations are doing to limit exposures; what citizens should know to minimize exposures and to reduce mercury in the environment; and information about products that contain mercury.

  12. Laying Waste to Mercury: Inexpensive Sorbents Made from Sulfur and Recycled Cooking Oils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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; Ippolito, Samuel J; Lewis, David A; Quinton, Jamie S; Ellis, Amanda V; Johs, Alexander; Bernardes, Gonçalo J L; Chalker, Justin M

    2017-08-01

    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 mercury pollution is imminent. It is therefore critical to provide inexpensive and scalable mercury sorbents. The research herein addresses this need by introducing low-cost mercury sorbents made solely from sulfur and unsaturated cooking oils. A porous version of the polymer was prepared by simply synthesising the polymer in the presence of a sodium chloride porogen. The resulting material is a rubber that captures liquid mercury metal, mercury vapour, inorganic mercury bound to organic matter, and highly toxic alkylmercury compounds. Mercury removal from air, water and soil was demonstrated. Because sulfur is a by-product of petroleum refining and spent cooking oils from the food industry are suitable starting materials, these mercury-capturing polymers can be synthesised entirely from waste and supplied on multi-kilogram scales. This study is therefore an advance in waste valorisation and environmental chemistry. © 2017 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

  13. Trace Metal Contamination in Water from Abandoned Mining and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Fiifi Baidoo

    Trace Metal Contamination in Water from Abandoned Mining and Non-Mining areas in the Northern Parts of the Ashanti. Gold Belt, Ghana. C. Tay1* and F. W. Y. Momade2. 1 CSIR-Water Research ...... within the Ashanti gold belt is gold recovery using mercury amalgamation as practiced by small- scale miners. Evidence of ...

  14. Mercury in the sediments of Vembanad Lake, western coast of India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohan, Mahesh; Chandran, M S Shylesh; Jayasooryan, K K; Ramasamy, E V

    2014-06-01

    Mercury, a global pollutant, is popping up in places where it was never expected before and it burdens in sediments and other non-biological materials. It is estimated to have increased up to five times the pre-human level due to anthropogenic activities. Vembanad backwaters, one of the largest Ramsar site in India, which have extraordinary importance for its hydrological function, are now considered as one of the mercury hot spots in India. In this study, surface sediment samples of Vembanad Lake and nearshore areas have been seasonally analysed for total mercury and methyl mercury concentrations while the core sediment samples were analysed for total mercury. The results showed that the northern part of the lake was more contaminated with mercury than the southern part. The mercury concentration was relatively high in the subsurface sediment samples, indicating the possibility of historic industrial mercury deposition. A decreasing trend in the mercury level towards the surface in the core sediment was also observed. The geochemical parameters were also analysed to understand the sediment mercury chemistry. Anoxic conditions, pH and organic carbon, sulphur and Fe determined the presence of various species of mercury in the sediments of Vembanad Lake. The prevailing physical and geochemical conditions in Vembanad Lake have indicated the chances of chemical transformation of mercury and the potential hazard if the deposited mercury fractions are remobilised.

  15. Anthropogenic mercury emissions from 1980 to 2012 in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Ying; Deng, Meihua; Li, Tingqiang; Japenga, Jan; Chen, Qianqian; Yang, Xiaoe; He, Zhenli

    2017-07-01

    China was considered the biggest contributor for airborne mercury in the world but the amount of mercury emission in effluents and solid wastes has not been documented. In this study, total national and regional mercury emission to the environment via exhaust gases, effluents and solid wastes were accounted with updated emission factors and the amount of goods produced and/or consumed. The national mercury emission in China increased from 448 to 2151 tons during the 1980-2012 period. Nearly all of the emissions were ended up as exhaust gases and solid wastes. The proportion of exhaust gases decreased with increasing share of solid wastes and effluents. Of all the anthropogenic sources, coal was the most important contributor in quantity, followed by mercury mining, gold smelting, nonferrous smelting, iron steel production, domestic wastes, and cement production, with accounting for more than 90% of the total emission. There was a big variation of regional cumulative mercury emission during 1980-2012 in China, with higher emissions occurred in eastern areas and lower values in the western and far northern regions. The biggest cumulative emission occurred in GZ (Guizhou), reaching 3974 t, while the smallest cumulative emission was lower than 10 t in XZ (Tibet). Correspondingly, mercury accumulation in soil were higher in regions with larger emissions in unit area. Therefore, it is urgent to reduce anthropogenic mercury emission and subsequent impact on ecological functions and human health. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  16. Assessment of mercury in the Savannah River Site environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kvartek, E.J.; Carlton, W.H.; Denham, M.; Eldridge, L.; Newman, M.C.

    1994-09-01

    Mercury has been valued by humans for several millennia. Its principal ore, cinnabar, was mined for its distinctive reddish-gold color and high density. Mercury and its salts were used as medicines and aphrodisiacs. At SRS, mercury originated from one of the following: as a processing aid in aluminum dissolution and chloride precipitation; as part of the tritium facilities` gas handling system; from experimental, laboratory, or process support facilities; and as a waste from site operations. Mercury is also found in Par Pond and some SRS streams as the result of discharges from a mercury-cell-type chlor-alkali plant near the city of Augusta, GA. Reactor cooling water, drawn from the Savannah River, transported mercury onto the SRS. Approximately 80,000 kg of mercury is contained in the high level waste tanks and 10,000 kg is located in the SWDF. Additional quantities are located in the various seepage basins. In 1992, 617 wells were monitored for mercury contamination, with 47 indicating contamination in excess of the 0.002-ppm EPA Primary Drinking Water Standard. More than 20 Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) reports and publications pertinent to mercury (Hg) have been generated during the last two decades. They are divided into three groupings: SRS-specific studies, basic studies of bioaccumulation, and basic studies of effect. Many studies have taken place at Par Pond and Upper Three Runs Creek. Mercury has been detected in wells monitoring the groundwater beneath SRS, but not in water supply wells in excess of the Primary Drinking Water Limit of 0.002 ppm. There has been no significant release of mercury from SRS to the Savannah River. While releases to air are likely, based on process knowledge, modeling of the releases indicates concentrations that are well below the SCDHEC ambient standard.

  17. Longwall mining

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-03-14

    As part of EIA`s program to provide information on coal, this report, Longwall-Mining, describes longwall mining and compares it with other underground mining methods. Using data from EIA and private sector surveys, the report describes major changes in the geologic, technological, and operating characteristics of longwall mining over the past decade. Most important, the report shows how these changes led to dramatic improvements in longwall mining productivity. For readers interested in the history of longwall mining and greater detail on recent developments affecting longwall mining, the report includes a bibliography.

  18. Mercury exposure among artisanal gold miners in Madre de Dios, Peru: a cross-sectional study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yard, Ellen E; Horton, Jane; Schier, Joshua G; Caldwell, Kathleen; Sanchez, Carlos; Lewis, Lauren; Gastaňaga, Carmen

    2012-12-01

    Exposure to mercury, a toxic metal, occurs primarily from inhaling mercury vapors or consuming methylmercury-contaminated fish. One third of all anthropogenic mercury emissions worldwide are from artisanal gold mining, which uses mercury to extract gold. Although recent reports suggest that the Madre de Dios region in Peru (with >30,000 artisanal miners) has extensive mercury contamination, residents had never been assessed for mercury exposure. Thus, our objective was to quantify mercury exposure among residents of an artisanal mining town in Madre de Dios and to assess risk factors for exposure. We conducted a cross-sectional assessment of 103 residents of an artisanal gold mining town in July 2010. Each participant provided a urine and blood sample and completed a questionnaire assessing potential exposures and health outcomes. We calculated geometric mean (GM) urine total mercury and blood methylmercury concentrations and compared log-transformed concentrations between subgroups using linear regression. One third (34.0 %) of participants were gold miners. All participants had detectable urine total mercury (GM, 5.5 μg/g creatinine; range, 0.7-151 μg/g creatinine) and 91 % had detectable blood methylmercury (GM, 2.7 μg/L; range, 0.6-10 μg/L); 13 participants (13 %) reported having kidney dysfunction or a neurological disorder. Urine total mercury concentrations were higher among people who heated gold-mercury amalgams compared with people who never heated amalgams (p mercury exposure may be widespread in Huaypetue.

  19. vegetation structure and heavy metal uptake by plants in the mining

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mgina

    mining-impacted and non mining-impacted areas of the southern Lake Victoria basin. The vegetation of the wetlands was stratified into riverine ... mercury released from artisanal gold mining operations in the LVGF is of environmental ..... U and Wittman GTW 1979 Metal pollution in the aquatic environment. Springer, Berlin.

  20. Dynamic mass balance model for mercury in the St. Lawrence River near Cornwall, Ontario, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lessard, Charlotte R; Poulain, Alexandre J; Ridal, Jeffrey J; Blais, Jules M

    2014-12-01

    A dynamic mass balance model was developed for the St. Lawrence River near Cornwall, Ontario that predicts and hindcasts mercury concentrations and fluxes in three forms, elemental Hg (Hg(0)), divalent mercury (Hg(2+)), and methyl mercury (MeHg), in a six compartment environment (air, water, porewater, sediment, periphyton, and benthic invertebrates). Our objective was to construct a dynamic mass balance model for mercury in the St. Lawrence River near Cornwall, Ontario based on the framework and results of a steady-state mass balance model developed previously for this site. The second objective was to estimate industrial mercury emissions based on mercury residues deposited in sediments prior to 1970, the year when regulations were implemented to reduce mercury pollution in the environment. We compiled mercury concentrations, fluxes, and transformation rates from previous studies completed in this section of the river (area of approximately 100km(2)) to develop the model. Estimated mercury concentrations in all media were similar to measured data (R(2)=0.99), with only minor exceptions, providing a satisfactory overall description of the mercury loadings and transformation rates of the different mercury species. The estimated historical emissions prior to 1970 from local industries along the Cornwall waterfront were approximately 400kgyear(-1). A storm sewer discharge of 5000m(3)/day resulted in a significant increase in mercury concentrations, particularly in sediment (617ngg(-1) to 624ngg(-1); p=0.004). Model results suggest that discharges of mercury from sources such as local industries and storm sewers have an impact on mercury in media such as sediment and water. This model should provide a basis for predicting and hindcasting mercury concentrations in other river environments as well, because it considers three distinct forms of mercury, and contains environmental media common to all rivers, including some (e.g. periphyton) not typically included in

  1. Mercury and methyl mercury ratios in caimans (Caiman crocodilus yacare) from the Pantanal area, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, L M; Nunes, V da S; Amaral, M C do A; Oliveira, A C; Hauser-Davis, R A; Campos, R C

    2011-02-01

    The Pantanal region is the largest floodplain area in the world and of great biological importance due to its unique flora and fauna. This area is continuously undergoing increasing anthropogenic threats, and has also experienced mercury contamination associated with gold mining and other anthropogenic activities. Pantanal caimans are top-level predators, and, as such, show great potential to accumulate mercury (Hg) by biomagnification. In this study 79 specimens from four locations in the Pantanal were analyzed for total Hg and methyl mercury (MeHg) by cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry. Total Hg contents ranged from 0.02 to 0.36 µg g(-1) (ww), and most specimens presented MeHg ratios above 70%. One of the sites, impacted by anthropogenic activities, presented significantly higher total Hg in comparison to three less impacted sites, supporting the hypothesis that caimans can, in fact, be considered effective bioindicators of ecosystem health.

  2. Neurodevelopment of Infants in a Mercury Contaminated Crea in Zimbabwe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bose-O’Reilly S.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available In Kadoma in Zimbabwe small-scale gold mining is widespread. Mothers and their infants are exposed in the mining communities to the toxic inorganic mercury vapors from processing the ore using elemental mercury. Methyl-mercury is a well known neurotoxin and endangers the regular development of children. This study examined the influence of exposure to elemental mercury for breast fed infants in Kadoma. 121 mother-child pairs were selected, 40 from a non-exposed control area, 81 from the exposed area in Kadoma. Urine, hair and breast milk was analyzed for total mercury. Mainly urine and breast milk levels were significantly higher for the exposed infants. The infants were clinically examined, and their developmental status assessed. In relation to the exposure markers in urine and breast milk several developmental parameters showed statistically significant negative results, such as the capability of infants to sit, crawl or stand at a certain age. These analyzes indicate that a higher body burden with elemental mercury decreases the speed of a regular development of infants.

  3. A review of mercury exposure among artisanal small-scale gold miners in developing countries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Anders Kasper Bruun; Thomsen, Jane Frølund; Mikkelsen, Sigurd

    2014-01-01

    Extraction of gold using mercury has been a way out of poverty for millions of people in developing countries. Artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM) has expanded during the last decades and is often carried out under primitive conditions. Thus, workers in this industry may be exposed to high...... levels of mercury and suffer from toxic effects from mercury exposure. The objective of this review was to provide an outline of the studies available on elemental mercury exposure among artisanal small-scale gold miners....

  4. Residential mercury contamination in adobe brick homes in Huancavelica, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagan, Nicole; Robins, Nicholas; Hsu-Kim, Heileen; Halabi, Susan; Espinoza Gonzales, Ruben Dario; Richter, Daniel deB; Vandenberg, John

    2013-01-01

    This is the first study of adobe brick contamination anywhere in the world. Huancavelica, Peru is the site of historic cinnabar refining and one of the most mercury (Hg) contaminated urban areas in the world. Over 80% of homes in Huancavelica are constructed with adobe bricks made from Hg contaminated soil. In this study we measured total Hg concentrations in adobe brick, dirt floor, surface dust, and air samples from the interior of 60 adobe brick houses located in four neighborhoods. Concentrations of total Hg in adobe bricks, dirt floors, and surface dust ranged from 8.00 to 1070 µg/g, 3.06 to 926 µg/g, and 0.02 to 9.69 µg/wipe, respectively, with statistically significant differences between the four neighborhoods. Concentrations of Hg in adobe brick and dirt floor samples in Huancavelica were orders of magnitude higher than in Ayacucho, a non-mining town in Peru. A strong correlation exists between total Hg concentrations in adobe bricks and dirt floors which confirms that adobe bricks were being made on-site and not purchased from an off-site source. A strong correlation between surface dust and adobe bricks and dirt floors indicates that walls and floors serve as indoor sources of Hg contamination. Elemental Hg vapor concentrations were below detection (adobe bricks, may be a substantial source of residential Hg exposure in silver or gold refining communities where Hg is produced or used for amalgamation in artisanal gold production.

  5. Brazil — Mercury contamination in the Amazon | IDRC - International ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    2011-01-11

    Jan 11, 2011 ... Maureen Johnson. Brazilian and Canadian researchers seeking to find the source of mercury contamination in the Amazon came to a startling conclusion: agricultural practices rather than gold mining were most to blame. Supported by Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the ...

  6. Mercury associated neurochemical response in Arctic barnacle goslings (Branta leucopsis)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brink, van den Nico W.; Scheiber, Isabella B.R.; Jong, de Margje E.; Braun, Anna; Arini, Adeline; Basu, Niladri; Berg, van den Hans; Komdeur, Jan; Loonen, Maarten J.J.E.

    2018-01-01

    There remains great concern over mercury pollution in the Arctic, though relatively little is known about impacts on biota that inhabit Arctic terrestrial systems. To help address this, the current study was performed with barnacle goslings (Branta leucopsis) from a coal mine-impacted site and a

  7. sorption of inorganic mercury on soils from ankobra basin in the south

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    dmosman.admin

    small-scale mining activities using amalgama- tion as their main technique. Mercury contami- nation of the environment from gold mining using Hg in the amalgamation step has already been postulated as one of the worst environ- mental problems (Melamed and Villas Boas,. 1998). It has been estimated that, 5 tonnes of.

  8. Annual emissions of mercury to the atmosphere from natural sources in Nevada and California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coolbaugh, M.F.; Gustin, M.S.; Rytuba, J.J.

    2002-01-01

    The impact of natural source emissions on atmospheric mercury concentrations and the biogeochemical cycle of mercury is not known. To begin to assess this impact, mercury emissions to the atmosphere were scaled up for three areas naturally enriched in mercury: the Steamboat Springs geothermal area, Nevada, the New Idria mercury mining district, California, and the Medicine Lake volcano, California. Data used to scale up area emissions included mercury fluxes, measured in-situ using field flux chambers, from undisturbed and disturbed geologic substrates, and relationships between mercury emissions and geologic rock types, soil mercury concentrations, and surface heat flux. At select locations mercury fluxes were measured for 24 h and the data were used to adjust fluxes measured at different times of the day to give an average daily flux. This adjustment minimized daily temporal variability, which is observed for mercury flux because of light and temperature effects. Area emissions were scaled spatially and temporally with GIS software. Measured fluxes ranged from 0.3 to approximately 50 ng m-2 h-1 at undisturbed sites devoid of mercury mineralization, and to greater than 10,000 ng m-2 h-1 from substrates that were in areas of mercury mining. Area-averaged fluxes calculated for bare soil at Steamboat Springs, New Idria, and Medicine Lake of 181, 9.2, and 2 ng m-2 h-1, respectively, are greater than fluxes previously ascribed to natural non-point sources, indicating that these sources may be more significant contributors of mercury to the atmosphere than previously realized.

  9. Mercury Calibration System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    John Schabron; Eric Kalberer; Joseph Rovani; Mark Sanderson; Ryan Boysen; William Schuster

    2009-03-11

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Performance Specification 12 in the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) states that a mercury CEM must be calibrated with National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST)-traceable standards. In early 2009, a NIST traceable standard for elemental mercury CEM calibration still does not exist. Despite the vacature of CAMR by a Federal appeals court in early 2008, a NIST traceable standard is still needed for whatever regulation is implemented in the future. Thermo Fisher is a major vendor providing complete integrated mercury continuous emissions monitoring (CEM) systems to the industry. WRI is participating with EPA, EPRI, NIST, and Thermo Fisher towards the development of the criteria that will be used in the traceability protocols to be issued by EPA. An initial draft of an elemental mercury calibration traceability protocol was distributed for comment to the participating research groups and vendors on a limited basis in early May 2007. In August 2007, EPA issued an interim traceability protocol for elemental mercury calibrators. Various working drafts of the new interim traceability protocols were distributed in late 2008 and early 2009 to participants in the Mercury Standards Working Committee project. The protocols include sections on qualification and certification. The qualification section describes in general terms tests that must be conducted by the calibrator vendors to demonstrate that their calibration equipment meets the minimum requirements to be established by EPA for use in CAMR monitoring. Variables to be examined include linearity, ambient temperature, back pressure, ambient pressure, line voltage, and effects of shipping. None of the procedures were described in detail in the draft interim documents; however they describe what EPA would like to eventually develop. WRI is providing the data and results to EPA for use in developing revised experimental procedures and realistic acceptance criteria based on

  10. Perception of mercury contamination by Brazilian adolescents in a gold mining community: an ethnographic approach Percepção da contaminação por mercúrio entre adolescentes de uma comunidade em área de garimpo de ouro: uma abordagem etnográfica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Novais

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available This study used ethnographic methods to examine the perception of mercury contamination by adolescents in the mining community of Pocon��, 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.Foram utilizados métodos etnográficos para avaliar a percepção de adolescentes escolares sobre a contaminação por mercúrio na cidade de Poconé, Mato Grosso, Brasil. Na Fase I, 53 estudantes (13 a 16 anos de idade de seis escolas do ensino fundamental apresentaram aos pesquisadores temas sobre saúde pública que geraram palavras-chave para a Fase II (cartões-estímulo. Mercúrio foi citado por quatro dos quinze grupos (26% formados por dois a cinco estudantes. Na Fase II, os pesquisadores realizaram entrevistas semi-estruturadas e cartões-estímulo em 31 estudantes para avaliar atitudes sobre mercúrio que geraram um modelo etnomédico. A falta de consenso evidenciada neste modelo revelou que enquanto alguns estudantes percebiam o

  11. Comparison of atmospheric mercury (Hg) among Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan during 2000-2008.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Guor-Cheng; Wu, Yuh-Shen; Chang, Tai-Hua

    2009-03-15

    The paper reviewed studies about total gaseous mercury, atmospheric particulate of mercury and average dry deposition fluxes of mercury in Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan. This study compared sample collection and analytical methods for mercury in Asian countries. Analytical results indicated that the primary mercury sources are anthropogenic source (for example coal burning) and high temperature processes. This study also elucidates the sources, analytical tools, and the average concentrations for atmospheric mercury (Hg) for these Asian countries during 2000-2008. This study indicated that the total gaseous mercury concentrations were higher in urban area than that in suburban area in Asian countries (Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan). As for the seasonal variations, in general, the average total gaseous mercury concentrations were higher in winter than that in summer especially in China. In addition, the average total gaseous mercury concentrations were higher in mining areas than that in the rest of the other areas. And the total gaseous mercury concentrations were decreasing as this distance increasing. These phenomena revealed that the total gaseous mercury concentrations are reduced by long-distance transportation especially in the main land of China.

  12. Mercury and methylmercury concentrations and loads in the Cache Creek watershed, California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domagalski, Joseph L; Alpers, Charles N; Slotton, Darell G; Suchanek, Thomas H; Ayers, Shaun M

    2004-07-05

    Concentrations and loads of total mercury and methylmercury were measured in streams draining abandoned mercury mines and in the proximity of geothermal discharge in the Cache Creek watershed of California during a 17-month period from January 2000 through May 2001. Rainfall and runoff were lower than long-term averages during the study period. The greatest loading of mercury and methylmercury from upstream sources to downstream receiving waters, such as San Francisco Bay, generally occurred during or after winter rainfall events. During the study period, loads of mercury and methylmercury from geothermal sources tended to be greater than those from abandoned mining areas, a pattern attributable to the lack of large precipitation events capable of mobilizing significant amounts of either mercury-laden sediment or dissolved mercury and methylmercury from mine waste. Streambed sediments of Cache Creek are a significant source of mercury and methylmercury to downstream receiving bodies of water. Much of the mercury in these sediments is the result of deposition over the last 100-150 years by either storm-water runoff, from abandoned mines, or continuous discharges from geothermal areas. Several geochemical constituents were useful as natural tracers for mining and geothermal areas, including the aqueous concentrations of boron, chloride, lithium and sulfate, and the stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen in water. Stable isotopes of water in areas draining geothermal discharges showed a distinct trend toward enrichment of (18)O compared with meteoric waters, whereas much of the runoff from abandoned mines indicated a stable isotopic pattern more consistent with local meteoric water.

  13. Mercury from chlor-alkali plants: measured concentrations in food product sugar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hightower Jane

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Mercury cell chlor-alkali products are used to produce thousands of other products including food ingredients such as citric acid, sodium benzoate, and high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is used in food products to enhance shelf life. A pilot study was conducted to determine if high fructose corn syrup contains mercury, a toxic metal historically used as an anti-microbial. High fructose corn syrup samples were collected from three different manufacturers and analyzed for total mercury. The samples were found to contain levels of mercury ranging from below a detection limit of 0.005 to 0.570 micrograms mercury per gram of high fructose corn syrup. Average daily consumption of high fructose corn syrup is about 50 grams per person in the United States. With respect to total mercury exposure, it may be necessary to account for this source of mercury in the diet of children and sensitive populations.

  14. Five Hundred Years of Mercury Exposure and Adaptation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lombardi, Guido [Laboratorio de Paleopatología, Cátedra Pedro Weiss, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru; Lanzirotti, Antonio [CARS, The University of Chicago, Bulding 434A, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Argonne, IL 60439, USA; Qualls, Clifford [Departments of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA; Socola, Francisco [Department of Medicine, Jackson Memorial Hospital, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33124, USA; Ali, Abdul-Mehdi [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA; Appenzeller, Otto [Department of Neurology, New Mexico Health Enhancement and Marathon Clinics Research Foundation, Albuquerque, NM 87122, USA

    2012-01-01

    Mercury is added to the biosphere by anthropogenic activities raising the question of whether changes in the human chromatin, induced by mercury, in a parental generation could allow adaptation of their descendants to mercury. We review the history of Andean mining since pre-Hispanic times in Huancavelica, Peru. Despite the persistent degradation of the biosphere today, no overt signs of mercury toxicity could be discerned in present day inhabitants. However, mercury is especially toxic to the autonomic nervous system (ANS). We, therefore, tested ANS function and biologic rhythms, under the control of the ANS, in 5 Huancavelicans and examined the metal content in their hair. Mercury levels varied from none to 1.014 ppm, significantly less than accepted standards. This was confirmed by microfocused synchrotron X-ray fluorescence analysis. Biologic rhythms were abnormal and hair growth rate per year, also under ANS control, was reduced (P<0.001). Thus, evidence of mercury’s toxicity in ANS function was found without other signs of intoxication. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis of partial transgenerational inheritance of tolerance to mercury in Huancavelica, Peru. This would generally benefit survival in the Anthropocene, the man-made world, we now live in.

  15. Five Hundred Years of Mercury Exposure and Adaptation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guido Lombardi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Mercury is added to the biosphere by anthropogenic activities raising the question of whether changes in the human chromatin, induced by mercury, in a parental generation could allow adaptation of their descendants to mercury. We review the history of Andean mining since pre-Hispanic times in Huancavelica, Peru. Despite the persistent degradation of the biosphere today, no overt signs of mercury toxicity could be discerned in present day inhabitants. However, mercury is especially toxic to the autonomic nervous system (ANS. We, therefore, tested ANS function and biologic rhythms, under the control of the ANS, in 5 Huancavelicans and examined the metal content in their hair. Mercury levels varied from none to 1.014 ppm, significantly less than accepted standards. This was confirmed by microfocused synchrotron X-ray fluorescence analysis. Biologic rhythms were abnormal and hair growth rate per year, also under ANS control, was reduced (P<0.001. Thus, evidence of mercury’s toxicity in ANS function was found without other signs of intoxication. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis of partial transgenerational inheritance of tolerance to mercury in Huancavelica, Peru. This would generally benefit survival in the Anthropocene, the man-made world, we now live in.

  16. Mercury emissions from coal combustion in Silesia, analysis using geostatistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zasina, Damian; Zawadzki, Jaroslaw

    2015-04-01

    Data provided by the UNEP's report on mercury [1] shows that solid fuel combustion in significant source of mercury emission to air. Silesia, located in southwestern Poland, is notably affected by mercury emission due to being one of the most industrialized Polish regions: the place of coal mining, production of metals, stone mining, mineral quarrying and chemical industry. Moreover, Silesia is the region with high population density. People are exposed to severe risk of mercury emitted from both: industrial and domestic sources (i.e. small household furnaces). Small sources have significant contribution to total emission of mercury. Official and statistical analysis, including prepared for international purposes [2] did not provide data about spatial distribution of the mercury emitted to air, however number of analysis on Polish public power and energy sector had been prepared so far [3; 4]. The distribution of locations exposed for mercury emission from small domestic sources is interesting matter merging information from various sources: statistical, economical and environmental. This paper presents geostatistical approach to distibution of mercury emission from coal combustion. Analysed data organized in 2 independent levels: individual, bottom-up approach derived from national emission reporting system [5; 6] and top down - regional data calculated basing on official statistics [7]. Analysis, that will be presented, will include comparison of spatial distributions of mercury emission using data derived from sources mentioned above. Investigation will include three voivodeships of Poland: Lower Silesian, Opole (voivodeship) and Silesian using selected geostatistical methodologies including ordinary kriging [8]. References [1] UNEP. Global Mercury Assessment 2013: Sources, Emissions, Releases and Environmental Transport. UNEP Chemicals Branch, Geneva, Switzerland, 2013. [2] NCEM. Poland's Informative Inventory Report 2014. NCEM at the IEP-NRI, 2014. http

  17. Text Mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trybula, Walter J.

    1999-01-01

    Reviews the state of research in text mining, focusing on newer developments. The intent is to describe the disparate investigations currently included under the term text mining and provide a cohesive structure for these efforts. A summary of research identifies key organizations responsible for pushing the development of text mining. A section…

  18. Speciation and bioaccessibility of mercury in adobe bricks and dirt floors in Huancavelica, Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background: Huancavelica, Peru, a historic cinnabar refining site, is one of the most mercury (Hg) contaminated urban areas in the world. Residents’ exposures are amplified because residents build their adobe brick homes from contaminated soil. Objectives: The objectives of th...

  19. Mercury in Fish of the American and Bear River Watershed Reservoirs: Tissue Analysis and Strategies for Minimizing Exposure at Lake Clementine and Rollins Reservoir, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeble-Toll, A. K.; Monohan, C.; Brown, D. L.; Pearson, G.

    2016-12-01

    The primary pathway of human exposure to mercury is the consumption of contaminated fish. Identification of patterns of fish tissue mercury levels are a key mechanism for understanding risk drivers and human exposure potential. Site-specific fish tissue data aid the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) in the development of consumption advisories. This research consists of Year 1 of a three year project to collect fish data from six reservoirs downstream of historic hydraulic mines in the Cosumnes, American, Bear, Yuba watershed region. Angler survey data informed sampling to ensure that commonly caught and consumed species were harvested from Lake Clementine and Rollins Reservoir and was used to evaluate posted fish consumption advice as a mechanism for protecting human health. A total of 72 samples from four species groups were collected in 2015. Geometric mean THg (ppm, wet weight) were highest for black bass at both Lake Clementine (n = 8, THg = 0.40) and Rollins Reservoir (n = 26, THg = 0.54), with a significant positive relationship between fish total length and THg at both water bodies (Lake Clementine: rho = 0.85, pmercury (Hg) sources at legacy gold mines results in reduced human exposure risk at downstream water bodies.

  20. Microbial cycling of mercury in contaminated pelagic and wetland sediments of San Pablo Bay, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marvin-DiPasquale, M. C.; Agee, J.L.; Bouse, R.M.; Jaffe, B.E.

    2003-01-01

    San Pablo Bay is an estuary, within northern San Francisco Bay, containing elevated sediment mercury (Hg) levels because of historic loading of hydraulic mining debris during the California gold-rush of the late 1800s. A preliminary investigation of benthic microbial Hg cycling was conducted in surface sediment (0-4 cm) collected from one salt-marsh and three open-water sites. A deeper profile (0-26 cm) was evaluated at one of the open-water locations. Radiolabeled model Hg-compounds were used to measure rates of both methylmercury (MeHg) production and degradation by bacteria. While all sites and depths had similar total-Hg concentrations (0.3-0.6 ppm), and geochemical signatures of mining debris (as eNd, range: -3.08 to -4.37), in-situ MeHg was highest in the marsh (5.4??3.5 ppb) and ??? 0.7 ppb in all open-water sites. Microbial MeHg production (potential rate) in 0-4 surface sediments was also highest in the marsh (3.1 ng g-1 wet sediment day-1) and below detection (San Pablo Bay represent important zones of MeHg production, more so than similarly Hg-contaminated adjacent open-water areas. This has significant implications for this and other Hg-impacted systems, where wetland expansion is currently planned.

  1. The source and fate of sediment and mercury in the Tapajós River, Pará, Brazilian Amazon: Ground- and space-based evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telmer, Kevin; Costa, Maycira; Simões Angélica, Rômulo; Araujo, Eric S; Maurice, Yvon

    2006-10-01

    We present results of mercury (Hg) in surface waters and soils and an analysis of satellite imagery from the Tapajós River basin, Brazilian Amazon, and the Reserva Garimpeira do Tapajós, the legal gold mining district of the basin. Hg bound to suspended sediment was roughly 600 and 200 times the concentration of dissolved Hg per litre of water, in impacted and pristine areas, respectively. Suspended sediments thus represent the major pathway of river-borne Hg. Median concentrations of Hg in suspended load from both impacted and pristine waters were 134 ppb, and 80% of samples were below 300ppb-in the range of naturally occurring surficial materials in the tropics. Regionally, riverine Hg fluxes were proportional to the concentration of total suspended solids. This shows that the dominant source of Hg is the sediment itself rather than anthropogenic mercury discharge from the small-scale mines. To independently test this conclusion, a mass balance was performed. A conservative calculation of the annual export of mercury (Hg) from the Creporí River (a minimum) was 1.6 tonnes for the year 1998-it could be significantly larger. This amount of Hg is difficult to account for by anthropogenic discharge alone, confirming that enhanced physical erosion caused by sluicing and dredging operations is the dominant source of Hg. We therefore conclude that gold mining operations are primarily responsible for elevated Hg concentrations. The dominant source of contamination is not, however, the loss of Hg in the gold amalgamation process. Rather, the disturbance and mobilization of large quantities of Hg-rich sediment and floodplain soil into the water column during mining operations is the source of contamination. These findings shift the focus of remediation and prevention efforts away from Hg control toward soil and sediment erosion control. The minimization or elimination of Hg losses in the mining process remains important for the health of local peoples and environments

  2. The materials flow of mercury in the economies of the United States and the world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sznopek, John L.; Goonan, Thomas G.

    2000-01-01

    Although natural sources of mercury exist in the environment, measured data and modeling results indicate that the amount of mercury released into the biosphere has increased since the beginning of the industrial age. Mercury is naturally distributed in the air, water, and soil in minute amounts, and can be mobile within and between these media. Because of these properties and the subsequent impacts on human health, mercury was selected for an initial materials flow study, focusing on the United States in 1990. This study was initiated to provide a current domestic and international analysis. As part of an increased emphasis on materials flow, this report researched changes and identified the associated trends in mercury flows; it also updates statistics through 1996. In addition to domestic flows, the report includes an international section, because all primary mercury-producing mines are currently foreign, 86 percent of the mercury cell sector of the worldwide chlor-alkali industry is outside the United States, there is a large international mercury trade (1,395 t 1 in 1996), and environmental regulations are not uniform or similarly enforced from country to country. Environmental concerns have brought about numerous regulations that have dramatically decreased both the use and the production of mercury since the late 1980?s. Our study indicates that this trend is likely to continue into the future, as the world eliminates the large mercury inventories that have been stockpiled to support prior industrial processes and products.

  3. Source Apportionment of Atmospheric Mercury Using Positive Matrix Factorization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, L. M.; Perry, K. D.; Abbott, M. L.

    2008-12-01

    A growing problem in the western United States is the widespread contamination of remote lakes by the atmospheric transport and deposition of mercury. Because methylmercury is known to bioaccumulate within the food chain, even small amounts of mercury introduced into an aquatic ecosystem can result in fish that are unsuitable for human consumption. The problem is complex because many natural and anthropogenic sources of mercury exist within the western United States (e.g., coal combustion, cement production, wildfires, mining activities, and emissions from naturally enriched soils and geothermal areas). Mercury can also be transported intercontinental distances (e.g., Asian coal combustion) under appropriate meteorological conditions. Thus, any mercury source apportionment study must be able to distinguish between these disparate source types. In this study, we measured gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), reactive gaseous mercury (RGM), and particulate mercury (HgP) with a Tekran system near Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir in south-central Idaho. These measurements were made during a series of one-month-long, intensive operation periods (IOPs) in the winter, spring, and summer of 2008. In each IOP, we also made coincident size- and time-resolved aerosol elemental composition measurements using an 8-stage rotating drum impactor and synchrotron X-ray fluorescence (SXRF) analysis. The SXRF analysis provided aerosol elemental concentration measurements with 3-hour time resolution. The Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) receptor model was applied to the high-resolution, aerosol elemental composition data from each IOP to determine the temporal variability of the contributing source types based on the calculated source profiles. A multiple linear regression (MLR) technique was then used to apportion the measured mercury concentrations to the source types identified by the PMF analysis.

  4. Global Mercury Assessment

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    in dentistry, of which about 70-100 tonnes (i.e. 20-. 30%) likely enters the solid waste stream. In the production of vinyl chloride monomer, information is still lacking on the lifecycle and eventual fate of the mercury catalyst. Most of this production occurs in China, and about 800 tonnes of mercury is thought to have been used ...

  5. Mercury exposure in Ireland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cullen, Elizabeth; Evans, David S; Davidson, Fred

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Monitoring of human exposure to mercury is important due to its adverse health effects. This study aimed to determine the extent of mercury exposure among mothers and their children in Ireland, and to identify factors associated with elevated levels. It formed part of the Demonstration...

  6. Mercury's shifting, rolling past

    OpenAIRE

    Trulove, Susan

    2008-01-01

    Patterns of scalloped-edged cliffs or lobate scarps on Mercury's surface are thrust faults that are consistent with the planet shrinking and cooling with time. However, compression occurred in the planet's early history and Mariner 10 images revealed decades ago that lobate scarps are among the youngest features on Mercury. Why don't we find more evidence of older compressive features?

  7. Mercury Remediation Technology Development for Lower East Fork Poplar Creek - FY 2016 Progress Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dickson, Johnbull O. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Smith, John G. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC); Mehlhorn, Tonia L. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC); Peterson, Mark J. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC); Lowe, Kenneth Alan [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC); Watson, David B. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC); Brooks, Scott C. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC); Morris, Jesse G. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC); Mayes, Melanie [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC); Johs, Alexander [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC); Mathews, Teresa J. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC); McManamay, Ryan A. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC); DeRolph, Christopher R. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC); Poteat, Monica D. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC); Olsen, Todd A. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC); Eller, Virginia A. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC); Gonez Rodriguez, Leroy [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). BioEnergy Science Center (BESC)

    2017-07-01

    Mercury remediation is a high priority for the US Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM), especially at and near the Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12) where historical mercury use has resulted in contaminated buildings, soils, and downstream surface waters. To address mercury contamination of East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC), the DOE has adopted a phased, adaptive management approach to remediation, which includes mercury treatment actions at Y-12 in the short-term and research and technology development (TD) to evaluate longer-term solutions in the downstream environment (US Department of Energy 2014).

  8. Role of Data Mining in CRM

    OpenAIRE

    R. Uma Maheswari; S. Saravana Mahesan; Dr. Tamilarasan; A. K. Subramani

    2014-01-01

    Data mining allows extracting valuable information from the historical data and predicting outcomes of future situations. CRM considers the customer as the centre point, which values the customers of the organization. This article explores the various data mining techniques and its impact on CRM to redefine business processes and strategies.

  9. What is the amount of mercury accumulated in the Idrijca River overbank sediments?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gorazd Žibret

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Part of mine tailings and roasted ore remains of the Idrija mercury mine was deposited in the bed of the Idrijca River that transported the load downstream at high waters. It was deposited in alluvial sediments of the Idrijca and Soča Rivers, and in the Trieste Bay,essentially contributing to mercury pollution of environment. The goal of the reported research was to estimate the mercury amount accumulated in the Idrijca alluvial deposits.This was attained by multiplying the mercury contents in sediments by their weight. For calculation of this amount the Idrijca Holocene sediments in the terrace systems from Idrija to confluence of Bača river into it were mapped. For assessing the spatial distributionof mercury contents in sediments the alluvial floodplains were sampled according to an analysis-of-variance sampling design. This was important for establishing the amounts of mercury also in alluvial deposits that were not sampled. The analysis of varianceindicated the mercury contents in alluvium to be the most dependent upon the position of the material within the alluvial plain, i.e. either on the most polluted floodplain, on the first or on some higher terrace. By considering this indication and the mapping resultswe estimated the amount of mercury accumulated in the Idrijca river alluvial sediments from Idrija to the confluence of Bača at 2029 tons.

  10. Mercury poisoning in wildlife

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, G.H.; Fairbrother, Anne; Locke, Louis N.; Hoff, Gerald L.

    1996-01-01

    Mercury is an intriguing contaminant because it has complex chemical properties, a wide range of harmful effects, and an infinite persistence in the environment. Die-offs of wildlife due to mercury have occurred in many countries, especially before mercury seed dressings were banned. Today, most mercury problems are associated with aquatic environments. Methylmercury, the most toxic chemical form, attacks many organ systems, but damage to the central nervous system is most severe. Harmful wet-weight concentrations of mercury, as methylmercury, in the tissues of adult birds and mammals range from about 8-30 ppm in the brain, 20-60 ppm in liver, 20-60 ppm in kidney, and 15-30 ppm in muscle. Young animals may be more sensitive.

  11. Organic selenium supplementation increases mercury excretion and decreases oxidative damage in long-term mercury-exposed residents from Wanshan, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yu-Feng; Dong, Zeqin; Chen, Chunying; Li, Bai; Gao, Yuxi; Qu, Liya; Wang, Tianchen; Fu, Xin; Zhao, Yuliang; Chai, Zhifang

    2012-10-16

    Due to a long history of extensive mercury mining and smelting activities, local residents in Wanshan, China, are suffering from elevated mercury exposure. The objective of the present study was to study the effects of oral supplementation with selenium-enriched yeast in these long-term mercury-exposed populations. One hundred and three volunteers from Wanshan area were recruited and 53 of them were supplemented with 100 μg of organic selenium daily as selenium-enriched yeast while 50 of them were supplemented with the nonselenium-enriched yeast for 3 months. The effects of selenium supplementation on urinary mercury, selenium, and oxidative stress-related biomarkers including malondialdehyde and 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine were assessed. This 3-month selenium supplementation trial indicated that organic selenium supplementation could increase mercury excretion and decrease urinary malondialdehyde and 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine levels in local residents.

  12. Ecosystem Responses to Changed Atmospheric Mercury Load: Results from Seven Years of Mercury Loading to Lake 658

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmour, C.; Harris, R.; Kelly, C.; Rudd, J.; Amyot, M.; Hurley, J.; Babiarz, C.; Paterson, M.; Blanchfield, P.; Beaty, K.; Sandilands, K.; Hintelmann, H.; Krabbenhoft, D.; Tate, M.; Lindberg, S.; Southworth, G.; St. Louis, V.; Graydon, J.

    2009-05-01

    The response of fish methylmercury concentrations to changes in mercury deposition has been difficult to establish because sediments/soils contain large pools of historical contamination, and many factors in addition to deposition affect fish mercury. To test directly the response of fish contamination to changing mercury deposition, we are conducting the METAALICUS study, a whole-ecosystem experiment, increasing the mercury load to a lake and its watershed by the addition of enriched stable mercury isotopes. The isotopes allowed us to distinguish between experimentally applied mercury and mercury already present in the ecosystem and to examine bioaccumulation of mercury deposited to different parts of the watershed. Loading began in 2001 and ended in 2007. In this paper we will present mercury and methylmercury budgets for the study lake for the entire 7 year loading period. Overall, we increased the total Hg load to L658 and its watershed by roughly a factor of 3. However, we only increased the Hg load the lake itself by about 2X, since, during the seven years of addition, almost none of the Hg spike deposited to the watershed was transported all the way to the lake. Spike Hg concentrations in lake water rose each year during the open-water loading period and declined rapidly each winter. Methylmercury production in the lake responded rapidly to changes in mercury load during the first year of addition. After about 3 years, the increase in MeHg in lake water and in surface sediments slowed, suggesting that MeHg production was approaching a new level, or different rate, in response to the increased Hg load. We will discuss major input and loss terms for newly deposited Hg, the timing and proportionality of response, the timing and locations of MeHg production within the lake.

  13. Heavy metal concentrations in shallow marine sediments affected by submarine tailings disposal and artisanal gold mining, Buyat-Ratototok district, North Sulawesi, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edinger, Evan N.; Siregar, P. Raja; Blackwood, George M.

    2007-04-01

    Trace element concentrations in shallow marine sediments of the Buyat-Ratototok district of North Sulawesi, Indonesia, are affected by submarine disposal of industrial gold mine tailings and unregulated dumping of tailings and wastewater from small-scale gold mining using mercury amalgamation. Industrial mine tailings contained 590 690 ppm arsenic, 490 580 ppm antimony, and 0.8 5.8 ppm mercury. Tailings-affected sediment As and Sb concentrations were 20 30 times higher than in muddy sediments not contaminated with tailings, and 50 60 times higher than pre-mining average. Highest mercury concentrations were observed in sediments affected by small-scale mining using mercury amalgamation (5 29 ppm). Concentrations of most other trace elements were comparable in sediments affected by both types of mining and were slightly higher than regional averages for sediments collected before the onset of industrial mining. Elevated concentrations of both As and Sb in approximately equal proportions suggest tailings dispersal of at least 3.5 km. Mercury released from artisanal gold mining dispersed up to 4 km from river mouths. Slight increases in concentrations of non-mercury trace elements in areas affected by artisanal mining over pre-industrial mining concentrations were probably caused by increased rates of erosion.

  14. Getting Mercury out of Schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999

    This guide was prepared while working with many Massachusetts schools to remove items that contain mercury and to find suitable alternatives. It contains fact sheets on: mercury in science laboratories and classrooms, mercury in school buildings and maintenance areas, mercury in the medical office and in medical technology classrooms in vocational…

  15. Air Contamination by Mercury, Emissions and Transformations-a Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gworek, Barbara; Dmuchowski, Wojciech; Baczewska, Aneta H; Brągoszewska, Paulina; Bemowska-Kałabun, Olga; Wrzosek-Jakubowska, Justyna

    2017-01-01

    The present and future air contamination by mercury is and will continue to be a serious risk for human health. This publication presents a review of the literature dealing with the issues related to air contamination by mercury and its transformations as well as its natural and anthropogenic emissions. The assessment of mercury emissions into the air poses serious methodological problems. It is particularly difficult to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic emissions and re-emissions from lands and oceans, including past emissions. At present, the largest emission sources include fuel combustion, mainly that of coal, and "artisanal and small-scale gold mining" (ASGM). The distinctly highest emissions can be found in South and South-East Asia, accounting for 45% of the global emissions. The emissions of natural origin and re-emissions are estimated at 45-66% of the global emissions, with the largest part of emissions originating in the oceans. Forecasts on the future emission levels are not unambiguous; however, most forecasts do not provide for reductions in emissions. Ninety-five percent of mercury occurring in the air is Hg(0)-GEM, and its residence time in the air is estimated at 6 to 18 months. The residence times of its Hg(II)-GOM and that in Hgp-TPM are estimated at hours and days. The highest mercury concentrations in the air can be found in the areas of mercury mines and those of ASGM. Since 1980 when it reached its maximum, the global background mercury concentration in the air has remained at a relatively constant level.

  16. Mercury in Bituminous Coal Used in Polish Power Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burmistrz, Piotr; Kogut, Krzysztof

    2016-09-01

    Poland is a country with the highest anthropogenic mercury emission in the European Union. According to the National Centre for Emissions Management (NCEM) estimation yearly emission exceeds 10 Mg. Within that approximately 56% is a result of energetic coal combustion. In 121 studied coal samples from 30 coal mines an average mercury content was 112.9 ppb with variation between 30 and 321 ppb. These coals have relatively large contents of chlorine and bromine. Such chemical composition is benefitial to formation of oxidized mercury Hg2+, which is easier to remove in Air Pollution Control Devices. The Hgr/Qir (mercury content to net calorific value in working state) ratio varied between 1.187 and 13.758 g Hg · TJ-1, and arithmetic mean was 4.713 g Hg · TJ-1. Obtained results are close to the most recent NCEM mercury emission factor of 1.498 g Hg · TJ-1. Value obtained by us is more reliable that emission factor from 2011 (6.4 g Hg · TJ-1), which caused overestimation of mercury emission from energetic coal combustion.

  17. Mercury concentration in fish from Piracicaba River (Minas Gerais, Brazil).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arantes, I A; Pinto, M T C; Mangabeira, P A; Grenier-Loustalot, M F; Veado, M A R V; Oliveira, A H

    2009-09-01

    Mercury emissions from some upstream gold mining areas and recent findings of high natural Hg levels in sediments motivated studies on the Hg cycle in the Minas Gerais state. The study presents the total mercury amount found in Geophagus brasiliensis' muscular tissue (wet weight) and sediments from Piracicaba River. Mercury was analyzed using acid digestion followed by determination of total mercury by cold vapour atomic absorption spectrophotometry. This study was also complemented with the analysis of the limnological parameters (water temperature, conductivity, total dissolved solids, suspended particles, pH, dissolved oxygen, maximum depth, photic index and total carbon). The mercury concentration in sediments samples was higher than the mercury concentration in muscular tissue of fish. The lowest Hg level measured in fish was 0.0147 microg g( - 1), while the highest was 0.101 microg g( - 1). In the sediment samples, the lowest and highest levels were 0.02 microg g( - 1) and 0.16 microg g( - 1), respectively. The Hg concentrations in fish and sediment were both under the maximum limit permitted by the World Health Organization.

  18. Sentinel Mining

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Middelfart, Morten

    into geography dimension) combined with a decrease in the money invested in customer support for laptop computers (drilldown into product dimension) is observed. The work leading to this thesis progressed from algorithms for regular sentinel mining with only one source and one target measure, into algorithms...... progression in the efficiency of sentinel mining, where the latest bitmap-based algorithms, that also take advantage of modern CPUs, are 3–4 orders of magnitude faster than the first SQL-based sentinel mining algorithm. This work also led to the industrial implementation of sentinel mining in the commercial...

  19. Mercury's Dynamic Magnetic Tail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slavin, James A.

    2010-01-01

    The Mariner 10 and MESSENGER flybys of Mercury have revealed a magnetosphere that is likely the most responsive to upstream interplanetary conditions of any in the solar system. The source of the great dynamic variability observed during these brief passages is due to Mercury's proximity to the Sun and the inverse proportionality between reconnection rate and solar wind Alfven Mach number. However, this planet's lack of an ionosphere and its small physical dimensions also contribute to Mercury's very brief Dungey cycle, approx. 2 min, which governs the time scale for internal plasma circulation. Current observations and understanding of the structure and dynamics of Mercury's magnetotail are summarized and discussed. Special emphasis will be placed upon such questions as: 1) How much access does the solar wind have to this small magnetosphere as a function of upstream conditions? 2) What roles do heavy planetary ions play? 3) Do Earth-like substorms take place at Mercury? 4) How does Mercury's tail respond to extreme solar wind events such coronal mass ejections? Prospects for progress due to advances in the global magnetohydrodynamic and hybrid simulation modeling and the measurements to be taken by MESSENGER after it enters Mercury orbit on March 18, 2011 will be discussed.

  20. The toxicology of mercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarkson, T W

    1997-01-01

    The major physical forms of mercury to which humans are exposed are mercury vapor, Hg0, and methylmercury compounds, Ch3HgX. Mercury vapor emitted from both natural and anthropogenic sources is globally distributed in the atmosphere. It is returned as a water-soluble form in precipitation and finds its way into bodies of fresh and ocean water. Land run-off also accounts for further input into lakes and oceans. Inorganic mercury, present in water sediments, is subject to bacterial conversion to methylmercury compounds that are bioaccumulated in the aquatic food chain to reach the highest concentration in predatory fish. Human exposure to mercury vapor is from dental amalgam and industries using mercury. Methylmercury compounds are found exclusively in seafood and freshwater fish. The health effects of mercury vapor have been known since ancient times. Severe exposure results in a triad of symptoms, erethism, tremor, and gingivitis. Today, we are concerned with more subtle effects such as preclinical changes in kidney function and behavioral and cognitive changes associated with effects on the central nervous system. Methylmercury is a neurological poison affecting primarily brain tissue. In adults, brain damage is focal affecting the function of such areas as the cerebellum (ataxia) and the visual cortex (constricted visual fields). Methylmercury also at high doses can cause severe damage to the developing brain. Today the chief concern is with the more subtle effects arising from prenatal exposure such as delayed development and cognitive changes in children.

  1. Mercury Remediation Technology Development for Lower East Fork Poplar Creek - FY 2015 Progress Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peterson, Mark J. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division; Brooks, Scott C. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division; Mathews, Teresa J. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division; Mayes, Melanie [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division; Johs, Alexander [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division; Watson, David B. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division; Poteat, Monica D. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Smith, John [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division; Mehlhorn, Tonia [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division; Lester, Brian [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division; Morris, Jesse [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division; Lowe, Kenneth [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division; Dickson, Johnbull O. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Eller, Virginia [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); DeRolph, Christopher R. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division

    2016-04-01

    Mercury remediation is a high priority for the US Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) because of large historical losses of mercury within buildings and to soils and surface waters at the Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12). Because of the extent of mercury losses and the complexities of mercury transport and fate in the downstream environment, the success of conventional options for mercury remediation in lower East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC) is uncertain. A phased, adaptive management approach to remediation of surface water includes mercury treatment actions at Y-12 in the short-term and research and technology development (TD) to evaluate longer-term solutions in the downstream environment (US Department of Energy 2014b).

  2. Mercury exposure associated with altered plasma thyroid hormones in the declining western pond turtle (Emys marmorata) from California mountain streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Erik; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Sparling, Donald; Blumenshine, Steve

    2014-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a global threat to wildlife health that can impair many physiological processes. Mercury has well-documented endocrine activity; however, little work on the effects of Hg on the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) in aquatic wildlife exists despite the fact that it is a sensitive endpoint of contaminant exposure. An emerging body of evidence points to the toxicological susceptibility of aquatic reptiles to Hg exposure. We examined the endocrine disrupting potential of Hg in the western pond turtle (Emys marmorata), a long-lived reptile that is in decline throughout California and the Pacific Northwest. We measured total Hg (THg) concentrations in red blood cells (RBCs) and plasma T3 and T4 of turtles from several locations in California that have been impacted by historic gold mining. Across all turtles from all sites, the geometric mean and standard error THg concentration was 0.805 ± 0.025 μg/g dry weight. Sampling region and mass were the strongest determinants of RBC THg. Relationships between RBC THg and T3 and T4 were consistent with Hg-induced disruption of T4 deiodination, a mechanism of toxicity that may cause excess T4 levels and depressed concentrations of biologically active T3.

  3. Mercury analysis in hair

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Esteban, Marta; Schindler, Birgit K; Jiménez-Guerrero, José A

    2015-01-01

    assurance program (QAP) for assessing mercury levels in hair samples from more than 1800 mother-child pairs recruited in 17 European countries. To ensure the comparability of the results, standard operating procedures (SOPs) for sampling and for mercury analysis were drafted and distributed to participating.......20-0.71 and 0.80-1.63) per exercise. The results revealed relative standard deviations of 7.87-13.55% and 4.04-11.31% for the low and high mercury concentration ranges, respectively. A total of 16 out of 18 participating laboratories the QAP requirements and were allowed to analyze samples from the DEMOCOPHES...

  4. Mercury Bioaccumulation in the Brazilian Amazonian Tucunares (Cichla sp., Cichlidae, Perciformes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Josefina Reyna Kurtz

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available There are emissions of mercury to the atmosphere, soil and rivers of the Brazilian Amazon stem from many sources. Once in the atmosphere, the metal is oxidized and immediately deposited. In the water, the transformation to methylmercury takes place mostly by the action of microorganisms. The formation of methylmercury increases the dispersion and bioavailability of the element in the aquatic environment. Methylmercury can be assimilated by plankton and enters the food chain. The concentration of mercury increases further up in the trophic levels of the chain and reaches the highest values in carnivorous fishes like tucunare. Therefore, mercury emissions cause the contamination of natural resources and increase risks to the health of regular fish consumers. The objective of this work was to study the bioaccumulation of mercury in tucunares (Cichla sp., top predators of the food chain. The fishes were collected at two locations representative of the Amazonian fluvial ecosystem, in the state of Pará, Brazil, in 1992 and 2001. One location is near a former informal gold mining area. The other is far from the mining area and is considered pristine. Average values of total mercury concentration and accumulation rates for four different collection groups were compared and discussed. Tucunares collected in 2001 presented higher mercury contents and accumulated mercury faster than tucunares collected in 1992 notwithstanding the decline of mining activities in this period. The aggravation of the mercury contamination with time not only in an area where informal gold mining was practiced but also far from this area is confirmed.

  5. Aquatic Contaminant and Mercury Simulation Modules Developed for Hydrologic and Hydraulic Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-07-01

    1991. Abiotic reduction of mercury by humic substances in aquatic system - an important process for mercury cycle. Water, Air, Soil Pollution 56...from a variety of human activities involving the mining, processing, or use of substances that contain toxics. There are different types of sources...no evidence that competition effects the adsorption of the substance onto the DOC in the range of environmentally relevant DOC concentrations in

  6. 700 years reconstruction of mercury and lead atmospheric deposition in the Pyrenees (NE Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corella, J. P.; Valero-Garcés, B. L.; Wang, F.; Martínez-Cortizas, A.; Cuevas, C. A.; Saiz-Lopez, A.

    2017-04-01

    Geochemical analyses in varved lake sediment cores (Lake Montcortès, Pre-Pyrenees) allowed reconstruction of mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) atmospheric deposition over the past seven centuries in the Pyrenees (NE Spain). Accumulation Rates (AR) from the Middle Ages to the Industrial Period ranged from 2500 to 26130 μg m2.y-1 and 15-152 μg m2.y-1 for Pb and Hg respectively. Significant metal pollution started ca CE 1550 during a period of increased exploitation of ore resources in Spain. Colder and humid conditions in the Pyrenees during the Little Ice Age may have also favoured Hg and Pb atmospheric deposition in the lake. Therefore, the interplay between increased rainfall (wet deposition) and mining activities in the Iberian Peninsula has driven Hg and Pb AR during the Pre-industrial Period. More recently, the use of leaded gasoline in Europe in the mid-20th century may explain the highest Pb AR between CE 1953 and 1971. The highest Hg AR occurred in CE 1940 synchronous with the highest Hg production peak in Almadén mining district (southern Spain) and the Second World War. The record of Hg enrichment in Lake Montcortès shows a decrease during the last decades in Western Europe similar to other regional records and global emission models. This study highlights the exceptional quality of varved sequences to tease apart pollutants depositional mechanisms, identify historical periods of increased atmospheric pollution and provide a historical context for pollutant baseline values to make correct assessments of recent (atmospheric) pollution in lake ecosystems.

  7. Mine Warfare History and Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    1975-07-01

    off, it released a spring-driven plunger which struck a " fulminating charge," thus exploding the mine. The discovery of fulminate of mercury (Hg(0NC...2> had been reported to the Royal Society in 1800 by Edward Charles Howard, FRS (brother of the 12th Duke of Norfolk). The use of fulminate of mer...generally a mixture of the two ( fulminate and potassium chlorate) in a small tube impacted at the closed end, the open end being in contact with

  8. Exposure of Small-Scale Gold Miners in Prestea to Mercury, Ghana, 2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mensah, Ebenezer Kofi; Afari, Edwin; Wurapa, Frederick; Sackey, Samuel; Quainoo, Albert; Kenu, Ernest; Nyarko, Kofi Mensah

    2016-01-01

    Small-scale gold miners in Ghana have been using mercury to amalgamate gold for many years. Mercury is toxic even at low concentration. We assessed occupational exposure of small-scale gold miners to mercury in Prestea, a gold mining town in Ghana. We conducted a cross-sectional study in which we collected morning urine samples from 343 small-scale gold miners and tested for elemental mercury. Data on small-scale gold miner's socio-demographics, adverse health effects and occupational factors for mercury exposure were obtained and analyzed using SPSS Version 16 to determine frequency and percentage. Bivariate analysis was used to determine occupational factors associated with mercury exposure at 95% confidence level. The mean age of the small-scale gold miners was 29.5 ±9.6 years, and 323(94.20%) were males. One hundred and sixty (46.65%) of the small-scale gold miners had urine mercury above the recommended exposure limit (mercury exposure among those who have previously worked at other small-scale gold mines (χ2=4.96, p=0.03). The use of personal protective equipment among the small-scale gold miners was low. Retorts, which are globally recommended for burning amalgam, were not found at mining sites. A large proportion of small-scale gold miners in Prestea were having mercury exposure in excess of occupational exposure limits, and are at risk of experiencing adverse health related complications. Ghana Environmental Protection Agency should organize training for the miners.

  9. Database for content of mercury in Polish brown coal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jastrząb, Krzysztof

    2018-01-01

    Poland is rated among the countries with largest level of mercury emission in Europe. According to information provided by the National Centre for Balancing and Management of Emissions (KOBiZE) more than 10.5 tons of mercury and its compounds were emitted into the atmosphere in 2015 from the area of Poland. Within the scope of the BazaHg project lasting from 2014 to 2015 and co-financed from the National Centre of Research and Development (NCBiR) a database was set up with specification of mercury content in Polish hard steam coal, coking coal and brown coal (lignite) grades. With regard to domestic brown coal the database comprises information on coal grades from Brown Coal Mines of `Bełchatów', `Adamów', `Turów' and `Sieniawa'. Currently the database contains 130 records with parameters of brown coal, where each record stands for technical analysis (content of moisture, ash and volatile particles), elemental analysis (CHNS), content of chlorine and mercury as well as net calorific value and combustion heat. Content of mercury in samples of brown coal grades under test ranged from 44 to 985 μg of Hg/kg with the average level of 345 μg of Hg/kg. The established database makes up a reliable and trustworthy source of information about content of mercury in Polish fossils. The foregoing details completed with information about consumption of coal by individual electric power stations and multiplied by appropriate emission coefficients may serve as the background to establish loads of mercury emitted into atmosphere from individual stations and by the entire sector of power engineering in total. It will also enable Polish central organizations and individual business entities to implement reasonable policy with respect of mercury emission into atmosphere.

  10. Geochemical assessment of Hg pollution in gold mining sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues-Filho, S.; Villas Bôas, R. C.

    2003-05-01

    The increasing societal demand for actions and strategies towards sustainability of small-scale gold mining in developing countries has led experts to face the challenge of managing the harzards associated with mercury pollution from active and abandoned mine sites. Mercury pollution in drainage systems and its health effects are the most frequent subjects on environmental researchs dealing with small-scale gold mining worldwide. Also, filling of river beds with mineral matter originated from runoff of abandoned mining waste piles and tailings generally causes both silting of waterways and elevation of Hg concentrations in the environment. This paper summarizes the main results concerning the assessment of Hg pollution in Amazon drainage systems accomplished by the authors in the last decade in Brazil.

  11. Mercury in the Tapajós River basin, Brazilian Amazon: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berzas Nevado, J J; Rodríguez Martín-Doimeadios, R C; Guzmán Bernardo, F J; Jiménez Moreno, M; Herculano, A M; do Nascimento, J L M; Crespo-López, M E

    2010-08-01

    This paper presents a review about mercury contamination and human exposure in the Tapajós River basin (Brazil), one of the major tributaries of the Amazon impacted by traditional gold mining from the mid 1980s. The most recent review in this region was published more than ten years ago and since then many articles about environment and especially human populations have revealed new aspects of mercury toxicology. Additionally, new biomarkers of mercury exposure and toxicity have been studied in these populations. However, there are still many open, about both mercury's biogeochemical cycle and mercury health risks. Further environmental and human risk research directions are proposed. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The modernisation of mining

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ritchken, E

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available This presentation discusses the modernisation of mining. The presentation focuses on the mining clusters, Mining Challenges, Compliance versus Collaboration, The Phakisa, The Mining Precinct & the Mining Hub also Win-Win Beneficiation: Iron...

  13. Mercury CEM Calibration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    John F. Schabron; Joseph F. Rovani; Susan S. Sorini

    2007-03-31

    The Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) which was published in the Federal Register on May 18, 2005, requires that calibration of mercury continuous emissions monitors (CEMs) be performed with NIST-traceable standards. Western Research Institute (WRI) is working closely with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to facilitate the development of the experimental criteria for a NIST traceability protocol for dynamic elemental mercury vapor generators. The traceability protocol will be written by EPA. Traceability will be based on the actual analysis of the output of each calibration unit at several concentration levels ranging from about 2-40 ug/m{sup 3}, and this analysis will be directly traceable to analyses by NIST using isotope dilution inductively coupled plasma/mass spectrometry (ID ICP/MS) through a chain of analyses linking the calibration unit in the power plant to the NIST ID ICP/MS. Prior to this project, NIST did not provide a recommended mercury vapor pressure equation or list mercury vapor pressure in its vapor pressure database. The NIST Physical and Chemical Properties Division in Boulder, Colorado was subcontracted under this project to study the issue in detail and to recommend a mercury vapor pressure equation that the vendors of mercury vapor pressure calibration units can use to calculate the elemental mercury vapor concentration in an equilibrium chamber at a particular temperature. As part of this study, a preliminary evaluation of calibration units from five vendors was made. The work was performed by NIST in Gaithersburg, MD and Joe Rovani from WRI who traveled to NIST as a Visiting Scientist.

  14. To Mercury dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkin, Yu. V.; Ferrandiz, J. M.

    Present significance of the study of rotation of Mercury considered as a core-mantle system arises from planned Mercury missions. New high accurate data on Mercury's structure and its physical fields are expected from BepiColombo mission (Anselmi et al., 2001). Investigation of resonant rotation of Mercury, begun by Colombo G. (1966), will play here main part. New approaches to the study of Mercury dynamics and the construction of analytical theory of its resonant rotation are suggested. Within these approaches Mercury is considered as a system of two non-spherical interacting bodies: a core and a mantle. The mantle of Mercury is considered as non-spherical, rigid (or elastic) layer. Inner shell is a liquid core, which occupies a large ellipsoidal cavity of Mercury. This Mercury system moves in the gravitational field of the Sun in resonant traslatory-rotary regime of the resonance 3:2. We take into account only the second harmonic of the force function of the Sun and Mercury. For the study of Mercury rotation we have been used specially designed canonical equations of motion in Andoyer and Poincare variables (Barkin, Ferrandiz, 2001), more convenient for the application of mentioned methods. Approximate observational and some theoretical evaluations of the two main coefficients of Mercury gravitational field J_2 and C22 are known. From observational data of Mariner-10 mission were obtained some first evaluations of these coefficients: J_2 =(8± 6)\\cdot 10-5(Esposito et al., 1977); J_2 =(6± 2)\\cdot 10-5and C22 =(1.0± 0.5)\\cdot 10-5(Anderson et al., 1987). Some theoretical evaluation of ratio of these coefficients has been obtained on the base of study of periodic motions of the system of two non-spherical gravitating bodies (Barkin, 1976). Corresponding values of coefficients consist: J_2 =8\\cdot 10-5and C22 =0.33\\cdot 10-5. We have no data about non-sphericity of inner core of Mercury. Planned missions to Mercury (BepiColombo and Messenger) promise to

  15. Soil-plant mercury concentrations in the Idrijca river terraces (Slovenia)

    OpenAIRE

    Mateja Gosar

    2004-01-01

    The subjects of research are mercury contents in plants and soils on river terraces in the lower reaches of the Idrijca River. Samples of averaged meadow forage and plaintain (Plantago lanceolata) contain from 0.055 to 0.220 mg Hg/kg in dry matter. In comparison to samples from Idrija in the 1970's these contents are relatively low with respect to mercury in soil. They are similar to those established in the surroundings of the abandoned Podljubelj mercury mine. However, with respect to conte...

  16. Miners’ tacit knowledge:a unique resource for developing human-oriented lean mining culture in deep mines

    OpenAIRE

    Sanda, Mohammed-Aminu; Johansson, Jan; Johansson, Bo

    2011-01-01

    This research explored the significance of retaining aspects of traditional mining culture attributes as value-adding waste in the introduction of lean mining. The purpose was to understand the influences that aspects of human practices derived from miners’ tacit knowledge, and reinforced by traditional mining culture, could have in the molding of a lean culture to facilitate the introduction and sustenance of the lean mining philosophy. Historical and actual data were collected and analyzed ...

  17. 30 CFR 872.21 - What are historic coal funds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... INTERIOR ABANDONED MINE LAND RECLAMATION MONEYS AVAILABLE TO ELIGIBLE STATES AND INDIAN TRIBES § 872.21 What are historic coal funds? (a) “Historic coal funds” are moneys provided under section 402(g)(5) of... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false What are historic coal funds? 872.21 Section...

  18. Talus Lex: Regulatory Approaches to Reducing Mercury Concentrations in San Francisco Bay Fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abu-Saba, D. E.; Flegal, D. R.; Ganguli, P. M.; Whyte, D. C.; Mumley, D. E.; Mason, D. P.

    2001-12-01

    The history of mercury in California is recorded in the sediments of San Francisco Bay. The Bay is downstream of 40 percent of the land area of California. Its watershed receives 80 percent of the rainfall in the State, because it rains more in the north. Three billion kilograms of sediments are annually flushed from the Central Valley watershed and deposited in San Francisco Bay. Because mercury preferentially binds to sediments, we calculate mercury loads to the Bay by considering how various sources affect mercury concentrations in Bay sediments. During and after the Gold Rush, over seventy thousand tons of mercury was produced in Coast Range cinnabar mines. Much of this mercury was used as quicksilver to extract gold from placer formations in the Sierra foothills, and later in the production of munitions, electronics, health care and commercial products. Today, we can see the legacy of mining sources, from both remote and local watersheds, superimposed on air deposition, the climate and geography of California, heavily managed water supply and flood control projects, wetland restoration and rehabilitation, urbanization, wastewaster discharge and water reclamation. We already regulate wastewater and urban runoff through issuance of permits and waste discharge requirements. We can regulate mercury inputs from inoperative mines by demonstrating the link between mercury-polluted sediments and violation of existing numeric water quality objectives. We can use the same approach to regulate the disposal of mercury-containing electronic devices. But to reduce mercury levels in fish, we will also have to consider controllable water quality factors that promote mercury methylation in the aquatic ecosystem. Some of these water quality factors are already subject to regulation. For example, we can show that mercury methylation in the northern reach of the Bay increases when dissolved oxygen drops below 6 mg/L; current regulations require dissolved oxygen concentrations of

  19. Residential mercury contamination in adobe brick homes in Huancavelica, Peru.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Hagan

    Full Text Available This is the first study of adobe brick contamination anywhere in the world. Huancavelica, Peru is the site of historic cinnabar refining and one of the most mercury (Hg contaminated urban areas in the world. Over 80% of homes in Huancavelica are constructed with adobe bricks made from Hg contaminated soil. In this study we measured total Hg concentrations in adobe brick, dirt floor, surface dust, and air samples from the interior of 60 adobe brick houses located in four neighborhoods. Concentrations of total Hg in adobe bricks, dirt floors, and surface dust ranged from 8.00 to 1070 µg/g, 3.06 to 926 µg/g, and 0.02 to 9.69 µg/wipe, respectively, with statistically significant differences between the four neighborhoods. Concentrations of Hg in adobe brick and dirt floor samples in Huancavelica were orders of magnitude higher than in Ayacucho, a non-mining town in Peru. A strong correlation exists between total Hg concentrations in adobe bricks and dirt floors which confirms that adobe bricks were being made on-site and not purchased from an off-site source. A strong correlation between surface dust and adobe bricks and dirt floors indicates that walls and floors serve as indoor sources of Hg contamination. Elemental Hg vapor concentrations were below detection (<0.5 µg/m(3 in most homes; however in homes with detectable levels, concentrations up to 5.1 µg/m(3 were observed. No statistically significant differences in Hg vapor measurements were observed between neighborhoods. This study demonstrates that building materials used widely in developing communities, such as adobe bricks, may be a substantial source of residential Hg exposure in silver or gold refining communities where Hg is produced or used for amalgamation in artisanal gold production.

  20. Process mining

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van der Aalst, W.M.P.; Rubin, V.; Verbeek, H.M.W.

    2010-01-01

    Process mining includes the automated discovery of processes from event logs. Based on observed events (e.g., activities being executed or messages being exchanged) a process model is constructed. One of the essential problems in process mining is that one cannot assume to have seen all possible...... behavior. At best, one has seen a representative subset. Therefore, classical synthesis techniques are not suitable as they aim at finding a model that is able to exactly reproduce the log. Existing process mining techniques try to avoid such “overfitting” by generalizing the model to allow for more...

  1. Mercury Emissions: The Global Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercury emissions are a global problem that knows no national or continental boundaries. Mercury that is emitted to the air can travel thousands of miles in the atmosphere before it is eventually deposited back to the earth.

  2. Microenvironmental exposure to mercury vapor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stopford, W.; Bundy, S.D.; Goldwater, L.J.; Bittikofer, J.A.

    1978-05-01

    Work area and breathing zone samples were collected in a factory utilizing metallic mercury and analyzed for mercury vapor content. Breathing zone samples averaged several fold higher in concentration than concurrent area samples, reflecting a ''microenvironmental'' exposure to mercury vapor, presumably from contaminated clothing and hands. Blood and corrected total urine mercury values correlated well with the average microenvironmental exposure level for each worker. Measurements of unbound mercury in urine samples were sensitive at picking up minimal exposures. Excessive amounts of unbound mercury were not found in the urine, even with wide day-to-day swings in microenvironmental mercury vapor levels, suggesting that the human body can adapt to a chronic, moderate exposure to mercury vapor.

  3. An assessment of mine legacies and how to prevent them

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pacheco Cueva, Vladimir

    of AMD is felt well beyond the mining district and the costs of prevention and remediation were found to be significant. Apart from environmental legacies, the mine also left a number of socio-economic legacies including: limited access to non-polluted water that results in San Sebastian residents...... devoting a high proportion of their income in obtaining water, lost opportunities due to the cessation of mining, uncertain land tenure situation and increasing growth of ASGM activities that exacerbate already existing environmental pollution due to use of mercury. The study also found that the state......The study seeks to enrich the growing literature on mine legacies by examining a case study of a small abandoned mine in Latin America. Using a combination of Rapid Rural Appraisal and secondary source analysis, this study assessed some of the most damaging legacies of the San Sebastian mine...

  4. FROM DATA MINING TO BEHAVIOR MINING

    OpenAIRE

    ZHENGXIN CHEN

    2006-01-01

    Knowledge economy requires data mining be more goal-oriented so that more tangible results can be produced. This requirement implies that the semantics of the data should be incorporated into the mining process. Data mining is ready to deal with this challenge because recent developments in data mining have shown an increasing interest on mining of complex data (as exemplified by graph mining, text mining, etc.). By incorporating the relationships of the data along with the data itself (rathe...

  5. Mercury-induced motor and sensory neurotoxicity: systematic review of workers currently exposed to mercury vapor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fields, Cheryl A; Borak, Jonathan; Louis, Elan D

    2017-11-01

    The neurotoxicity of elemental mercury (Hg 0 ) is well-recognized, but it is uncertain whether and for how long neurotoxicity persists; among studies that evaluated previously exposed workers, only one examined workers during and also years after exposure ceased. The aim of this review is to document the type, frequency, and dose-relatedness of objective neurological effects in currently exposed mercury workers and thereby provide first approximations of the effects one would have expected in previously exposed workers evaluated during exposure. We systematically reviewed studies of neurotoxicity in currently exposed mercury workers identified by searching MEDLINE (1950-2015), government reports, textbook chapters, and references cited therein; dental cohorts were not included. Outcomes on physical examination (PE), neurobehavioral (NB) tests, and electrophysiological studies were extracted and evaluated for consistency and dose-relatedness. Forty-five eligible studies were identified, comprising over 3000 workers chronically exposed to a range of Hg 0 concentrations (0.002-1.7 mg/m 3 ). Effects that demonstrated consistency across studies and increased frequency across urine mercury levels (200 μg/L, while NB testing is more appropriate for those with lower U Hg levels. They also provide benchmarks to which findings in workers with historical exposure can be compared.

  6. Social big data mining

    CERN Document Server

    Ishikawa, Hiroshi

    2015-01-01

    Social Media. Big Data and Social Data. Hypotheses in the Era of Big Data. Social Big Data Applications. Basic Concepts in Data Mining. Association Rule Mining. Clustering. Classification. Prediction. Web Structure Mining. Web Content Mining. Web Access Log Mining, Information Extraction and Deep Web Mining. Media Mining. Scalability and Outlier Detection.

  7. Sources of Mercury to East Fork Poplar Creek Downstream from the Y-12 National Security Complex: Inventories and Export Rates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Southworth, George R [ORNL; Greeley Jr, Mark Stephen [ORNL; Peterson, Mark J [ORNL; Lowe, Kenneth Alan [ORNL; Ketelle, Richard H [ORNL; Floyd, Stephanie B [ORNL

    2010-02-01

    East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, has been heavily contaminated with mercury (also referred to as Hg) since the 1950s as a result of historical activities at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Y-12 National Security Complex (formerly the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant and hereinafter referred to as Y-12). During the period from 1950 to