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Sample records for mercury mining activities

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Mercury speciation in the Mt. Amiata mining district (Italy): interplay between urban activities and mercury contamination

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    Rimondi, Valentina; Bardelli, Fabrizio; Benvenuti, Marco; Costagliola, Pilario; Gray, John E.; Lattanzi, Pierfranco

    2014-01-01

    A fundamental step to evaluate the biogeochemical and eco-toxicological significance of Hg dispersion in the environment is to determine speciation of Hg in solid matrices. In this study, several analytical techniques such as scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), sequential chemical extractions (SCEs), and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XANES) were used to identify Hg compounds and Hg speciation in samples collected from the Mt. Amiata Hg mining district, southern Tuscany, Italy. Different geological materials, such as mine waste calcine (retorted ore), soil, stream sediment, and stream water suspended particulate matter were analyzed. Results show that the samples were generally composed of highly insoluble Hg compounds such as sulphides (HgS, cinnabar and metacinnabar), and more soluble Hg halides such as those associated with the mosesite group. Other moderately soluble Hg compounds, HgCl2, HgO and Hg0, were also identified in stream sediments draining the mining area. The presence of these minerals suggests active and continuous runoff of soluble Hg compounds from calcines, where such Hg compounds form during retorting, or later in secondary processes. Specifically, we suggest that, due to the proximity of Hg mines to the urban center of Abbadia San Salvatore, the influence of other anthropogenic activities was a key factor for Hg speciation, resulting in the formation of unusual Hg-minerals such as mosesite.

  4. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murao, Satoshi [Geological Survey of Japan, AIST, Higashi 1-1-1, No. 7, Tsukuba 305-8567 (Japan)]. E-mail: s.murao@aist.go.jp; Naito, Kazuki [Geological Survey of Japan, AIST, Higashi 1-1-1, No. 7, Tsukuba 305-8567 (Japan); Dejidmaa, Gunchin [Geological Information Center, Mineral and Petroleum Resources Authority of Mongolia, State Building No. 5, Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia); Sie, Soey H. [CSIRO, P.O. Box 136, North Ryde, NSW 1670 (Australia)

    2006-08-15

    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.

  6. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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 < 0.01) but not with the other biomarkers of renal function. A multiple regression model was applied to explore the relationship of eGFR levels and Hg concentrations. However, no association was found between the prevalence of reduced eGFR (<71.96 mL/min/1.73 m 2 ) and the B-Hg or U-Hg levels after adjustment for covariates. Nevertheless, it was observed that having B-Hg levels above 10 µg Hg/L decreased the eGFR by 1.7 mL/min/1.73 m 2 (confidence interval 95% -5.1 to 1.7) compared to having levels below 2.0 µg Hg/L. Our results found no support for kidney damage associated with Hg vapour exposure in ongoing artisanal gold mining, whose population has a level of Hg exposure from low to moderate (B-Hg from 3.4 to 11.0 µg/L and U-Hg from 1.3 to 9.6 µg/g creatinine).

  10. 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.

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

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    Robin M Bouse

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available 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 Francisco Bay; an example of the far-reaching extent of contamination from such activities. A combination of radionuclide dating, bathymetric reconstruction, and geochemical tracers were used to distinguish the hydraulic mining sediment from sediment deposited in the bay before hydraulic mining started (pre-Gold Rush sediment and sediment deposited after hydraulic mining stopped (modern sediment. Three San Francisco Bay cores were studied as well as source material from the abandoned hydraulic gold mines and river sediment between the mines and bay. Isotopic and geochemical compositions of the core sediments show a geochemical shift in sediment deposited during the time of hydraulic mining. The geochemical shift is characterized by a decrease in εNd, total organic carbon (TOC, Sr and Ca concentrations, Ca/Sr, and Ni/Zr; and, an increase in 87Sr/86Sr, Al/Ca, Hg concentrations, and quartz/plagioclase. This shift is in the direction of the geochemical signature of sediments from rivers and gold mines in hydraulic mining areas. Mixing calculations using Nd isotopes and concentrations estimate that the hydraulic mining debris comprises up to 56% of the sediment in core sediments deposited during the time of hydraulic mining. The surface sediment of cores taken in 1990 were found to contain up to 43% hydraulic mining debris, reflecting a continuing remobilization and redistribution of the debris within the bay and transport from the watershed. Mercury concentrations in pre

  12. 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.

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

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    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

  14. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Environmental contamination and risk assessment of mercury from a historic mercury mine located in southwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yonghua

    2013-02-01

    A field survey of mercury pollution in environmental media and human hair samples obtained from residents living in the area surrounding the Chatian mercury mine (CMM) of southwestern China was conducted to evaluate the health risks of mercury to local residents. The results showed that mine waste, and tailings in particular, contained high levels of mercury and that the maximum mercury concentration was 88.50 μg g(-1). Elevated mercury levels were also found in local surface water, paddy soil, and paddy grain, which may cause severe health problems. The mercury concentration of hair samples from the inhabitants of the CMM exceeded 1.0 μg g(-1), which is the limit recommended by the US EPA. Mercury concentrations in paddy soil were positively correlated with mercury concentrations in paddy roots, stalks, and paddy grains, which suggested that paddy soil was the major source of mercury in paddy plant tissue. The average daily dose (ADD) of mercury for local adults and preschool children via oral exposure reached 0.241 and 0.624 μg kg(-1) body weight per day, respectively, which is approaching or exceeds the provisional tolerable daily intake. Among the three oral exposure routes, the greatest contributor to the ADD of mercury was the ingestion of rice grain. Open-stacked mine tailings have resulted in heavy mercury contamination in the surrounding soil, and the depth of appreciable soil mercury concentrations exceeded 100 cm.

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

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    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.

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

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    J. Wang

    2013-10-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Without Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  4. 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.

  5. Distribution and Speciation of Mercury in Mine Waste Dumps

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hojdová, Maria; Navrátil, Tomáš; Rohovec, Jan

    2008-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Artisanal Mining of Gold with Mercury in Ghana

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    USER

    Abstract. The paper examines the environmental impact of artisanal mining of gold with mercury (Hg) in Ghana. In spite of its positive socio- economic contributions, it is well known that artisanal mining of gold contributes in no small measure to land degradation, loss of biodiversity and natural resources, deforestation, water ...

  12. 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

  13. 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 and quantitat......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....

  14. 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.

  15. Mining legacy across a wetland landscape: high mercury in Upper Peninsula (Michigan) rivers, lakes, and fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerfoot, W Charles; Urban, Noel R; McDonald, Cory P; Zhang, Huanxin; Rossmann, Ronald; Perlinger, Judith A; Khan, Tanvir; Hendricks, Ashley; Priyadarshini, Mugdha; Bolstad, Morgan

    2018-03-29

    A geographic enigma is that present-day atmospheric deposition of mercury in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is low (48%) and that regional industrial emissions have declined substantially (ca. 81% reduction) relative to downstate. Mercury levels should be declining. However, state (MDEQ) surveys of rivers and lakes revealed elevated total mercury (THg) in Upper Peninsula waters and sediment relative to downstate. Moreover, Western Upper Peninsula (WUP) fish possess higher methyl mercury (MeHg) levels than Northern Lower Peninsula (NLP) fish. A contributing explanation for elevated THg loading is that a century ago the Upper Peninsula was a major industrial region, centered on mining. Many regional ores (silver, copper, zinc, massive sulfides) contain mercury in part per million concentrations. Copper smelters and iron furnace-taconite operations broadcast mercury almost continuously for 140 years, whereas mills discharged tailings and old mine shafts leaked contaminated water. We show that mercury emissions from copper and iron operations were substantial (60-650 kg per year) and dispersed over relatively large areas. Moreover, lake sediments in the vicinity of mining operations have higher THg concentrations. Sediment profiles from the Keweenaw Waterway show that THg accumulation increased 50- to 400-fold above modern-day atmospheric deposition levels during active mining and smelting operations, with lingering MeHg effects. High MeHg concentrations are geographically correlated with low pH and dissolved organic carbon (DOC), a consequence of biogeochemical cycling in wetlands, characteristic of the Upper Peninsula. DOC can mobilize metals and elevate MeHg concentrations. We argue that mercury loading from mining is historically superimposed upon strong regional wetland effects, producing a combined elevation of both THg and MeHg in the Western Upper Peninsula.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  18. Could an abandoned mercury mine area be cropped?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocio, Millán; Elvira, Esteban; Pilar, Zornoza; María-José, Sierra

    2013-08-01

    The Almadén area (Spain) is known for its high natural mercury background as well as for the anthropogenic impact due to mining activities. After the end of these activities, appropriate alternative use of the soil has to be found, and agricultural activities stand out as an environmentally-friendly and potentially profitable alternative, giving to the soil a sustainable use without risks for human or animal health according to current legislation. Experiments performed at different scales (involving hydroponics, growth in pots and lysimeters) allow recommendations to be made regarding the adequacy of cultivation of different crops for animal or human consumption before they are sown in the field. Regarding crops for animal feeding, mercury accumulation in vegetative organs represents a higher potential risk for animals. Nevertheless, seeds and fruits can be used, both for human and animal consumption. Finally, this work will lead the way to obtain a scientific basis for elaborating a list of recommendations on sustainable and safe alternative land use, according to current international legislation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Atmospheric mercury emission from artisanal mercury mining in Guizhou Province, Southwestern China

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    Mercury (Hg) mining is an important anthropogenic source of atmospheric Hg emissions. The Guizhou Province in Southwestern China is a region with extensive artisanal mercury mining (AMM), but little Hg emission data from this area is available. Using a mass balance method, we estimated emission factors from artisanal mercury mining in Wuchuan mercury mining area (WMMA) and Gouxi area (GX). Average emission factors were 18.2% in WMMA (ranging from 6.9% to 32.1%) and 9.8% in GX (ranging from 6.6% to 14.5%), respectively, which were 2.2-36.4 times higher than the literature values used to estimate Hg emission from Hg mining. Furthermore, the average Hg emission factor of AMM in WMMA was much higher than that in GX, indicating that double condensation processes practiced in GX resulted in higher recoveries and lower emission factors compared to single condensation process applied in WMMA. Atmospheric Hg emission was estimated to be 3.7-9.6 metric tons in 2004 for WMMA and 1.3-2.7 metric tons in 2006 for GX, indicating artisanal Hg mining was an important atmospheric Hg emission source in the study area.

  2. Industrial and natural sources of gaseous elemental mercury in the Almadén district (Spain): an updated report on this issue after the ceasing of mining and metallurgical activities in 2003 and major land reclamation works.

    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

  3. Total mercury loadings in sediment from gold mining and conservation areas in Guyana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Joniqua; Trotz, Maya A; Thomas, Ken; Omisca, Erlande; Chiu, Hong Ting; Halfhide, Trina; Akiwumi, Fenda; Michael, Ryan; Stuart, Amy L

    2011-08-01

    The Low Carbon Development Strategy proposed in June 2009 by the government of Guyana in response to the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries program has triggered evaluation of forest-related activities, thereby acting as a catalyst for improvements in Guyana's small- to medium-scale gold mining industry. This has also shed light on areas committed to conservation, something that has also been handled by Non Governmental Organizations. This paper compares water quality and mercury concentrations in sediment from four main areas in Guyana, two that are heavily mined for gold using mercury amalgamation methods (Arakaka and Mahdia) and two that are considered conservation areas (Iwokrama and Konashen). Fifty-three sediment and soil mercury loadings ranged from 29 to 1,200 ng/g and averaged 215 ± 187 ng/g for all sites with similar averages in conservation and mining areas. Sediment loadings are within the range seen in French Guiana and Suriname, but conservation area samples had higher loadings than the corresponding uncontaminated baselines. Type of ore and location in the mining process seemed to influence mercury loadings. Mercury sediment loadings were slightly positively correlated with pH (correlation coefficient = 0.2; p value < 0.001) whereas no significant correlations were found with dissolved oxygen or turbidity.

  4. Mercury speciation in piscivorous fish from mining-impacted reservoirs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuwabara, J.S.; Arai, Y.; Topping, B.R.; Pickering, I.J.; George, G.N.

    2007-01-01

    Guadalupe Reservoir (GUA), California, and Lahontan Reservoir (LAH), Nevada, U.S. are both affected either directly or indirectly by the legacy of gold and silver mining in the Sierra Nevada during the nineteenth century. Analysis of total mercury in fish from these lentic systems consistently indicate elevated concentrations (>1 ??g??g-1 wet weight; hereinafter, all concentrations are reported as wet weight unless indicated otherwise) well above the U.S. Environmenal Protection Agency's human consumption advisory level for fish (hybrid striped bass from GUA and LAH were performed to determine predominant chemical species of mercury accumulated by these high-trophic-level piscivores that are exposed to elevated mercury through trophic transfer in mining-impacted lentic systems. Despite distinct differences in mercury source, the proximity of the source, and concentrations of complexing ligands, results of XANES analysis clearly indicated that mercury accumulated in these individual fish from the two reservoirs were dominated by methylmercury cysteine complexes. These findings are consistent with results from commercial fish species inhabiting marine environments which are presumed to include differing mercury sources (e.g., atmospheric, hydrothermal, or benthic). The dominance of methylmercury cysteine complexes in muscle tissues of fish obtained from such contrasting environments and exposure conditions suggests that a generic toxicological model for the consumption of fish could be applicable over a wide range of ecologic settings. ?? 2007 American Chemical Society.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-05-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Evidence of Mercurial Contamination and Denundation Downstream of New Idria Mercury Mine, San Benito County, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letsinger, H. E.; Sharma, R. K.; Weinman, B.

    2014-12-01

    California's Central Valley water quality and soils are essential to the survival of the valley's communities and agriculture. Therefore, detection of possible contaminants within the valley streams and soils are paramount to the protection of this land and the people that depend upon it. Here we explore the impact of the contaminated stream beds near the New Idria Mercury Mine site, San Benito County, California. Previous work by Ganguli et al. (2000) has been done in this area to determine the mercury levels associated with the water that flows near the ghost town of New Idria. We performed geochemical analyses on the finer bed sediments from channels draining the area, as well as the coarser sediments taken from along the channel banks, to determine mercury transport downriver from the source. Using a novel application of tau, a mass transfer coefficient typically used in critical zone studies or soil production and weathering rates, we determine downstream weathering, accumulation, and transport of mercury. Our initial geochemical data showed higher tau values upstream as well as within the banks of the contaminated streambed and a greater accumulation of mercury near the pollution source (i.e., mine tailings, (τ ~ 103)). Tau results also show elevated mercurial levels existing downstream, with accumulations in mid- (τ ~ 102) and down-stream (τ ~ 10) reaches. Combining tau results with more traditional indices of chemical weathering (CIA) support consistent overall Hg-weathering processes with low levels of chemical weathering and higher dominance of coupled physical-anthropogenic weathering.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    S. Bose-O'Reilly; R. Schierl; D. Nowak; U. Siebert; J.F. William; F.T. Owi; Y.I. Ir

    2016-01-01

    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 mercur...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biagya, Robert Yakubu

    2002-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-07

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Industrial and natural sources of gaseous elemental mercury in the Almadén district (Spain): An updated report on this issue after the ceasing of mining and metallurgical activities in 2003 and major land reclamation works

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Higueras, Pablo; María Esbrí, José; Oyarzun, Roberto; Llanos, Willans; Martínez-Coronado, Alba

    2013-01-01

    Two events during the last decade had major environmental repercussions in Almadén town (Spain). First it was the ceasing of activities in the mercury mine and metallurgical facilities in 2003, and then the finalization of the restoration works on the main waste dump in 2008. The combination of both events brought about a dramatic drop in the emissions of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) to the atmosphere. Although no one would now call the Almadén area as ‘mercury-free’, the GEM levels have fallen beneath international reference safety levels for the first time in centuries. This has been a major breakthrough because in less than one decade the site went from GEM levels in the order of “tens of thousands” to mere “tens” nanogram per cubic meter. Although these figures are per se a remarkable achievement, they do not mark the end of the environmental concerns in the Almadén district. Two other sites remain as potential environmental hazards. (1) The Las Cuevas mercury storage complex, a partially restored ex-mining site where liquid mercury is being stored. The MERSADE Project (LIFE—European Union) has tested the Las Cuevas complex as a potential site for the installation of a future European prototype safe deposit of surplus mercury from industrial activities. Despite restoration works carried out in 2004, the Las Cuevas complex can still be regarded as hotspot of mercury contamination, with high concentrations above 800 μg g −1 Hg soil and 300 ng m −3 Hg gas . However, as predicted by air contamination modeling using the ISC-AERMOD software, GEM concentrations fade away in a short distance following the formation of a NW–SE oriented narrow plume extending for a few hundred meters from the complex perimeter. (2) Far more dangerous from the human health perspective is the Almadenejos area, hosting the small Almadenejos village, the so-called Cerco de Almadenejos (CDA; an old metallurgical precinct), and the mines of La Nueva Concepción, La

  1. 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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Higueras, Pablo, E-mail: pablo.higueras@uclm.es [Departamento de Ingeniería Geológica y Minera, Escuela Universitaria Politécnica de Almadén, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Plaza M. Meca 1, 13400 Almadén (Spain); Instituto de Geología Aplicada (IGeA), Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Plaza M. Meca 1, 13400 Almadén (Spain); María Esbrí, José [Departamento de Ingeniería Geológica y Minera, Escuela Universitaria Politécnica de Almadén, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Plaza M. Meca 1, 13400 Almadén (Spain); Instituto de Geología Aplicada (IGeA), Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Plaza M. Meca 1, 13400 Almadén (Spain); Oyarzun, Roberto; Llanos, Willans [Instituto de Geología Aplicada (IGeA), Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Plaza M. Meca 1, 13400 Almadén (Spain); Departamento de Cristalografía y Mineralogía, Facultad de Ciencias Geológicas, Universidad Complutense, 28040 Madrid (Spain); Martínez-Coronado, Alba [Instituto de Geología Aplicada (IGeA), Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Plaza M. Meca 1, 13400 Almadén (Spain); and others

    2013-08-15

    Two events during the last decade had major environmental repercussions in Almadén town (Spain). First it was the ceasing of activities in the mercury mine and metallurgical facilities in 2003, and then the finalization of the restoration works on the main waste dump in 2008. The combination of both events brought about a dramatic drop in the emissions of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) to the atmosphere. Although no one would now call the Almadén area as ‘mercury-free’, the GEM levels have fallen beneath international reference safety levels for the first time in centuries. This has been a major breakthrough because in less than one decade the site went from GEM levels in the order of “tens of thousands” to mere “tens” nanogram per cubic meter. Although these figures are per se a remarkable achievement, they do not mark the end of the environmental concerns in the Almadén district. Two other sites remain as potential environmental hazards. (1) The Las Cuevas mercury storage complex, a partially restored ex-mining site where liquid mercury is being stored. The MERSADE Project (LIFE—European Union) has tested the Las Cuevas complex as a potential site for the installation of a future European prototype safe deposit of surplus mercury from industrial activities. Despite restoration works carried out in 2004, the Las Cuevas complex can still be regarded as hotspot of mercury contamination, with high concentrations above 800 μg g{sup −1} Hg{sub soil} and 300 ng m{sup −3} Hg{sub gas}. However, as predicted by air contamination modeling using the ISC-AERMOD software, GEM concentrations fade away in a short distance following the formation of a NW–SE oriented narrow plume extending for a few hundred meters from the complex perimeter. (2) Far more dangerous from the human health perspective is the Almadenejos area, hosting the small Almadenejos village, the so-called Cerco de Almadenejos (CDA; an old metallurgical precinct), and the mines of La

  2. Mercury as a serious health hazard for children in gold mining areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bose-O'Reilly, Stephan; Lettmeier, Beate; Gothe, Raffaella Matteucci; Beinhoff, Christian; Siebert, Uwe; Drasch, Gustav

    2008-05-01

    In many developing countries, mercury is used to extract gold from ore in small-scale mining areas. Exposure through mercury in these small-scale mining communities is a serious health hazard, especially to the children living and working there. Many children begin working with immediate contact to mercury from the very early age of seven. In Indonesia and Zimbabwe, 166 children were clinically examined for mercury. The mercury concentration in the blood, urine, and hair was analyzed. Compared to the control groups, the exposed children showed typical symptoms of mercury intoxication, such as ataxia. The children working with mercury had high levels of this substance in the various biomonitors. The exposure derives mainly from the liquid mercury used to bind gold, forming an amalgam. The amalgam is heated and the smelting amalgam releases mercury vapor plus the wanted gold. Mercury vapor in contrast to liquid mercury is highly toxic. This elemental, vaporized mercury is the main form of exposure. Since in over 50 countries children live in small-scale gold mining areas and are exposed in a similar way to mercury, immediate action is needed to reduce this severe chemical health hazard for children. Child labor with hazardous substances such as mercury must be stopped.

  3. 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.

  4. Mining activities at Neyveli

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boopathy, P.V.; Rathinavel, R.

    1993-01-01

    Mining activities at lignite areas around Neyveli are described. Measures taken to safeguard the environment from despoliation of land, air pollution, noise pollution and effluents are described. (M.G.B.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-07-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qiu Guangle; Feng Xinbin; Wang Shaofeng; Shang Lihai

    2006-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. Accumulation of mercury and cadmium in rice from paddy soil near a mercury mine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, W C; Ouyang, Y; Ye, Z H

    2014-11-01

    Paddy soil and rice (Oryza sativa L.) in the Wanshan mining area in Guizhou Province, China, have been contaminated by toxic trace metals such as cadmium (Cd) and mercury (Hg). The present study examined correlations between the types and physicochemical parameters of the soil and the contents of trace metals and the different forms of Hg in rice. The health risks of consuming contaminated rice from the Wanshan mining area were also assessed. Sequential extraction procedures were used to investigate the chemical behavior of Hg in the soil. The results showed that Hg and Cd were the most abundant trace metals in the Wanshan mining area. The toxic methylmercury (MeHg) content was substantial in brown rice, and the total amounts of total Hg (THg), diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid-Hg, and water-soluble Hg varied in the rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere soils. An antagonistic interaction between Mn in brown rice, straw, and husk and MeHg in brown rice was also shown. An analysis of calculated dietary intake, target hazard quotients, and hazard indexes showed a potential risk of transferring Hg, MeHg, and Cd to humans when rice from the Wanshan mining area is consumed. Therefore, it must be concluded that consuming contaminated rice near the Wanshan mining area is a potential threat to human health. © 2014 SETAC.

  16. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. [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.

  20. The "CHILD" framework for the study of artisanal mercury mining communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Brussel, Evelyn; Carrizales, Leticia; Flores-Ramirez, Rogelio; Camacho, Andrea; Leon-Arce, Mauricio; Diaz-Barriga, Fernando

    2016-03-01

    In this paper, our group reports the use of a new framework in sites contaminated with mercury. This is significant because under the Minamata Convention on Mercury each Party shall endeavor to develop appropriate strategies for identifying and assessing sites contaminated by mercury or mercury compounds. This new approach, the "CHILD" framework has five steps: i) Community-based risk characterization; ii) Habilitation; iii) Intervention; iv) Laws and Regulation; and v) Development. We are using this framework in three mercury artisanal mining sites, and preliminary results are depicted in this report.

  1. High activity carbon sorbents for mercury capture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stavropoulos George G.

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available High efficiency activated carbons have been prepared for removing mercury from gas streams. Starting materials used were petroleum coke, lignite, charcoal and olive seed waste, and were chemically activated with KOH. Produced adsorbents were primarily characterized for their porosity by N2 adsorption at 77 K. Their mercury retention capacity was characterized based on the breakthrough curves. Compared with typical commercial carbons, they have exhibited considerably enhanced mercury adsorption capacity. An attempt has been made to correlate mercury entrapment and pore structure. It has been shown that physical surface area is increased during activation in contrast to the mercury adsorption capacity that initially increases and tends to decrease at latter stages. Desorption of active sites may be responsible for this behavior.

  2. 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,

  3. 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

  4. 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 %).

  5. [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.

  6. Human co-exposure to mercury vapor and methylmercury in artisanal mercury mining areas, Guizhou, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ping; Feng, Xinbin; Shang, Lihai; Qiu, Guangle; Meng, Bo; Zhang, Hua; Guo, Yanna; Liang, Peng

    2011-03-01

    Mercury (Hg) concentrations were determined in human urine and hair samples from Gouxi (GX, n=25) and Laowuchang (LWC, n=18), Tongren, Guizhou, China, to evaluate human exposure from artisanal Hg mining. Geometric means of urinary Hg (U-Hg) were 216 and 560 μg g(-1) Creatinine (μg g(-1) Cr) for artisanal mining workers from GX and LWC, respectively, and clinical symptoms (finger tremor) were observed in three workers. The means of hair Me-Hg concentrations were 4.26 μg g(-1) (1.87-10.6 μg g(-1)) and 4.55 μg g(-1) (2.29-9.55 μg g(-1)) for the population in GX and LWC, respectively. Significant relationship was found between estimated rice Me-Hg intake and hair Me-Hg levels (r=0.73, p<0.001). Co-exposure to Hg vapor and Me-Hg may pose health risks for the study population. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ikingura, Justinian R.

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Israel, Danilo C.; Asirot, Jasminda

    2002-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. USING THE SULFUR POLYMER STABILIZATION SOLIDIFICATION PROCESS TO TREAT RESIDUAL MERCURY WASTES FROM GOLD MINING OPERATIONS.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    BOWERMAN,B.ADAMS,J.KALB,P.WAN,R.Y.LEVIER,M.

    2003-02-24

    Large quantities of mercury are generated as a by-product during the processing of gold ore following mining operations. Newmont Mining Corporation (NMC), which operates some of the world's largest gold mines, sought a method to permanently ''retire'' its mercury by-products, thereby avoiding potential environmental liability. Sulfur Polymer Stabilization-Solidification (SPSS) is an innovative technology developed at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) for treatment of mercury and mercury contaminated materials, such as soil, sludge and debris. BNL conducted a treatability study to determine the potential applicability of SPSS for treatment of Newmont mercury, and the treated product passed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) test for toxicity. The SPSS process has been shown to be effective on radioactive and nonradioactive mercury and mercury-contaminated materials with a pilot-scale batch system capable of producing 0.03 m{sup 3} (1 ft{sup 3}) per batch. Engineering scale-up issues are discussed and material property tests addressing these issues are described.

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aubrey L. Langeland

    2017-03-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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...

  2. Mercury residues in free-grazing cattle and domestic fowl form the artisanal gold mining area of Geita district, Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chibunda, R T; Janssen, C R

    2009-11-01

    Environmental contamination with mercury from artisanal gold mines in Tanzania has been widely reported. People living around mining villages keep domestic animals which are allowed to feed freely in mercury-contaminated areas. This study investigated Hg accumulation in the liver and muscle tissue of cattle and domestic fowl reared in mining villages. Total mercury levels up to 436 and 820 microg/kg wet weight were found in liver samples taken from cattle and domestic fowl, respectively. Significantly higher mercury concentrations were found in liver samples collected at mining villages (p<0.05) than those taken from the reference area. While mercury concentrations in liver samples exceeded the acceptable maximum concentrations for humans set in the Netherlands and Poland, the Hg concentrations in muscle were below the limits of most countries. It is recommended that the keeping of freely grazing cattle and domestic fowl in or around artisanal gold mines should be avoided.

  3. Long-range effect of cyanide on mercury methylation in a gold mining area in southern Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guimaraes, Jean Remy Davée; Betancourt, Oscar; Miranda, Marcio Rodrigues; Barriga, Ramiro; Cueva, Edwin; Betancourt, Sebastián

    2011-11-01

    Small-scale gold mining in Portovelo-Zaruma, Southern Equador, performed by mercury amalgamation and cyanidation, yields 9-10 t of gold/annum, resulting in annual releases of around 0.65 t of inorganic mercury and 6000 t of sodium cyanide in the local river system. The release of sediments, cyanide, mercury, and other metals present in the ore such as lead, manganese and arsenic significantly reduces biodiversity downstream the processing plants and enriches metals in bottom sediments and biota. However, methylmercury concentrations in sediments downstream the mining area were recently found to be one order of magnitude lower than upstream or in small tributaries. In this study we investigated cyanide, bacterial activity in water and sediment and mercury methylation potentials in sediments along the Puyango river watershed, measured respectively by in-situ spectrophotometry and incubation with (3)H-leucine and (203)Hg(2+). Free cyanide was undetectable (mangrove areas have been converted to shrimp farming. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. 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.

  5. Mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T M Palapa

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles Elias

    2013-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    MAY JÚNIOR, JOARES A.; QUIGLEY, HOWARD; HOOGESTEIJN, RAFAEL; TORTATO, FERNANDO R.; DEVLIN, ALLISON; CARVALHO JÚNIOR, RUI M. DE; MORATO, RONALDO G.; SARTORELLO, LEONARDO R.; RAMPIM, LILIAN E.; HABERFELD, MARIO; PAULA, ROGÉRIO C. DE; ZOCCHE, JAIRO JOSÉ

    2017-01-01

    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...

  10. BLM Colorado Mining Claims Active

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — Shapefile Format –This data set consists of active mining claim records extracted from BLM’s LR2000 database. These records contain case attributes as well as legal...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-13

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

  12. Mercury and methylmercury contamination related to artisanal gold mining, Suriname

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, John E.; Labson, Victor F.; Weaver, Jean N.; Krabbenhoft, David P.

    2002-12-01

    Elemental Hg-Au amalgamation mining practices are used widely in many developing countries resulting in significant Hg contamination of surrounding ecosystems. We have measured total Hg and methyl-Hg concentrations in sediment and water collected from artisanal Au mines and these are the first Hg speciation data from such mines in Suriname. Total Hg and methyl-Hg contents in mine-waste sediment and water are elevated over local uncontaminated baselines. Total Hg (10-930 ng/L) and methyl-Hg (0.02-3.8 ng/L) are highly elevated in mine waters. Increasing total Hg contents in discharged mine waters correlate with increasing water turbidity indicating that most Hg transport is on suspended particulates. Our Hg results are similar to those found in artisanal Au mines in the Amazon basin, where Hg contamination has led to adverse effects on tropical ecosystems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mozhgon Rajaee

    2015-09-01

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

  15. Mercury use in artisanal small-scale gold mining threatens human health: measures to describe and reduce the health risk

    OpenAIRE

    Steckling, Nadine

    2016-01-01

    **Background:** Mercury is used in more than 70 countries to extract gold in artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM). The application of mercury is simple and plays a key role in the livelihood for more than 16 million gold miners. Mercury is added to the crushed ore and builds an amalgam with the gold it contains. The amalgam is then smelted, the mercury evaporates, and gold remains. The amalgam smelting is the main source of mercury exposure in ASGM. ASGM is the largest anthropogenic sourc...

  16. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  1. 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, p<0.05). An individual's occupation category was associated with level of knowledge (x²=22.82, p=<0.001). Individuals involved in mining (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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hennig, Walther

    2004-01-01

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

  6. Mercury residues and productivity in osprey and grebes from a mine-dominated ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Daniel W; Suchanek, Thomas H; Eagles-Smith, Collin A; Cahill, Thomas M

    2008-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) and reproduction and status of Western and Clark's Grebes (Aechmophorus sp.) and Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) were studied from 1992 through 2001 and then less intensely through 2006 at Clear Lake, California, USA. Remediation to reduce Hg loading from the Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine was initiated in 1992. Mercury in grebe feathers declined monotonically from approximately 23 mg/kg dry mass (DM) in 1967-1969 to 1 mg/kg in 2003, but then increased to 7 mg/kg in 2004-2006. Mercury in Osprey feathers varied similarly, with mean values of 20 mg/kg DM in 1992, declining to a low of 2 mg/kg in 1998, but increasing to 23 mg/kg in 2003, and 12 mg/kg in 2006. Mercury in Osprey feathers at our reference site (Eagle Lake, California) remained low (1-8 ppm) throughout the entire period, 1992-2003. Grebe productivity at Clear Lake improved from approximately 0.1 to 0.5 fledged young per adult during the latter part of the study when human disturbance was prevented. At that period in time, improved productivity did not differ from our reference site at Eagle Lake. Human disturbance, however, as a co-factor made it impossible to evaluate statistically subtle Hg effects on grebe productivity at Clear Lake. Osprey reproduced sufficiently to maintain increasing breeding numbers from 1992 to 2006. Mercury in Clear Lake water, sediments, invertebrates, and fish did not decline from 1992 to 2003, but a shift in trophic structure induced by an introduced planktivorous fish species may have caused significant alterations in Hg concentrations in several species of prey fishes that may have produced concomitant changes in Osprey and grebe Hg exposure. The temporary declines observed in grebe and Osprey feather residues in the late 1990s, with coincidental improvements in reproductive performance, however, could not be attributed to remediation at the mine site.

  7. Forest ecosystem and mining activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Badrinath, S.D.; Chakraborty, A.; Khan, S.

    1994-01-01

    The Indian sub-continent has a tremendous diversity of plant and animal species. About 80,000 species of animals and 15,000 species of flowering plants have so far been described from India. Profound changes have taken place in this era, the changes driven by an unprecedented level of human demands for the resources. One major crisis is the loss of biological diversity. Tropical moist forest tracts harbouring the bulk of this diversity is of main concern. Many countries largely from tropical belts have been identified as megadiversity countries, for biodiversity conservation. India is one of them. Conserving India's heritage of biodiversity is a great challenge, with large biomass needs of its huge rural population and exploding resource demands of its growing urban-industrial-intensive agricultural sector. One such major impact on the biological diversity is mining. Main environmental problems of mining are deforestation, land damage, visual intrusion, and disturbance of hydrological systems. Opencast mining, specially with multi-seam or steep deposits involves creation of external overburden dumps which destroys further lands and causes visual intrusion. The present paper highlights a few case studies carried out to understand the biological environmental impact assessment due to mining activity and also discusses the management plan for eco-restoration of the mined areas and degraded lands. 3 refs., 4 figs., 4 tabs

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer J Swenson

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacqueline R. Gerson

    2018-01-01

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

  12. Mercury in soil and perennial plants in a mining-affected urban area from Northwestern Romania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senilă, Marin; Levei, Erika A; Senilă, Lăcrimioara R; Oprea, Gabriela M; Roman, Cecilia M

    2012-01-01

    The mercury (Hg) concentrations were evaluated in soils and perennial plants sampled in four districts of Baia Mare city, a historical mining and ore processing center in Northwestern Romania. The results showed that the Hg concentration exceeded the guideline value of 1.0 mg kg(-1) dry weight (dw) established by the Romanian Legislation, in 24 % of the analyzed soil samples, while the median Hg concentration (0.70 mg kg(-1) dw) was lower than the guideline value. However, Hg content in soil was generally higher than typical values in soils from residential and agricultural areas of the cities all over the world. The median Hg concentration was 0.22 mg kg(-1) dw in the perennial plants, and exceeded the maximum level of Hg (0.10 mg kg(-1)) established by European Directive 2002/32/EC for plants used in animal feed in order to prevent its transfer and further accumulation in the higher levels of food chain. No significant correlations were found between soil Hg and other analyzed metals (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn) resulted from the non-ferrous smelting activities, probably due to the different physicochemical properties, that led to different dispersion patterns.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  16. Radon concentrations in the air of Slovene (Yugoslavia) underground mines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kobal, I.; Vaupotic, J.; Udovc, J.; Burger, J.; Stropnik, B.

    1990-01-01

    Radon-222 was measured in the air active underground mines in Slovenia, Yugoslavia, comprising one mercury mine, one lead mine, and six coal mines. Scintillation cells were used for measurement of radon. The highest concentration of 77 kBqm -3 was found in the Mezica lead mine, while the concentration in the Idrija mercury mine was usually below 1 kBq m -3 ; concentrations in coal mines seldom exceeded 0.5 kBq m -3

  17. Assessment of mercury and methylmercury in water, sediment, and biota in Sulphur Creek in the vicinity of the Clyde Gold Mine and the Elgin Mercury Mine, Colusa County, California

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    At the request of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, we performed a study during April–July 2010 to characterize mercury (Hg), monomethyl mercury (MMeHg), and other geochemical constituents in sediment, water, and biota at the Clyde Gold Mine and the Elgin Mercury Mine, located in neighboring subwatersheds of Sulphur Creek, Colusa County, California. This study was in support of a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act - Removal Site Investigation. The investigation was in response to an abatement notification from the California Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board to evaluate the release of Hg from the Clyde and Elgin mines. Samples of water, sediment, and biota (aquatic macroinvertebrates) were collected from sites upstream and downstream from the two mine sites to evaluate the level of Hg contamination contributed by each mine to the aquatic ecosystem. Physical parameters, as well as dissolved organic carbon, total Hg (HgT), and MMeHg were analyzed in water and sediment. Other relevant geochemical constituents were analyzed in sediment, filtered water, and unfiltered water. Samples of aquatic macroinvertebrates from each mine were analyzed for HgT and MMeHg. The presence of low to moderate concentrations of HgT and MMeHg in water, sediment, and biota from the Freshwater Branch of Sulphur Creek, and the lack of significant increases in these concentrations downstream from the Clyde Mine indicated that this mine is not a significant source of Hg to the watershed during low flow conditions. Although concentrations of HgT and MMeHg were generally higher in samples of sediment and water from the Elgin Mine compared to the Clyde Mine, concentrations in comparable biota from the two mine areas were similar. It is likely that highly saline effluent from nearby hot springs contribute more Hg to the West Fork of Sulphur Creek than the mine waste material at the Elgin Mine.

  18. Colloid-Facilitated Hg Transport from New Idria and Sulfur Bank Mercury Mine Tailings

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-12-01

    Mercury contamination in aquatic environments poses significant health risks for both human and aquatic life. Mercury release from inoperative mines in the California Coast range has been documented, but little is known about the release and transport mechanisms. Transport of Hg and other heavy metals by colloids has been implicated in a number of studies, so colloidal Hg may constitute a significant fraction of total Hg released from mines. In this study, mine wastes were characterized using analytical and spectroscopic techniques, and column experiments were performed using selected Hg-mining wastes. Our objectives were to determine (1) the significance of colloid-facilitated Hg transport from selected mine sites, and (2) the effect of primary mineral composition and ore processing on the Hg release potential. Tailings (calcines and waste rock) from the New Idria (NI) and Sulfur Bank (SB) Hg mines in CA were dry sieved into 9 size fractions, and the physical and chemical properties of each fraction were determined using CVAFS, ICP-AES, XRD, BET, SEM/EDAX, ATEM, and EXAFS. Total Hg concentration increased with decreasing particle size in calcines (NI and SB), but reached a maximum at an intermediate particle size range in the SB waste rock. Also, there was not a distinct inverse relationship between particle surface area and Hg concentration, suggesting that Hg is not present primarily as a sorbed species. XRD results indicate differences in the primary matrix minerals for samples from each location, and ATEM analysis of the dp<45 micron size fraction indicated the presence of HgS as well as an amorphous Si/Al-containing phase. SEM and ATEM revealed that the NI particles are aggregates of sub-micron size particles, suggesting that colloid release and migration through the column are likely. Hg-EXAFS results indicate that more than 50% of the Hg in the NI samples and more than 89% of the Hg in the SB samples consists of low-solubility HgS species rather than

  19. Tailings From Mining Activities, Impact on Groundwater, and Remediation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khalid Al-Rawahy

    2001-12-01

    Full Text Available Effluent wastes from mining operations and beneficiation processes are comprized mostly of the following pollutants: total suspended solids (TTS, alkalinity or acidity (pH, settleable solids, iron in ferrous mining, and dissolved metals in nonferrous mining. Suspended solids consist of small particles of solid pollutants that resist separation by conventional means. A number of dissolved metals are considered toxic pollutants. The major metal pollutants present in ore mining and beneficiation waste waters include arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, and zinc. Tailings ponds are used for both the disposal of solid waste and the treatment of waste-water streams. The supernatant decanted from these ponds contains suspended solids and, at times, process reagents introduced to the water during ore beneficiation. Leakage of material from tailings pond into groundwater is one possible source of water pollution in the mining industry. Percolation of waste-water from impoundment may occur if tailings ponds are not properly designed. This paper addresses potential groundwater pollution due to effluent from mining activities, and the possible remediation options.

  20. 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

  1. Determination of mercury in dentists through Neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Padilla M, M.A.; Granados C, F.

    1999-01-01

    It was determined the mercury levels in urine through Neutron activation analysis to 25 dentists who have been exposed to mercury by several time periods, because of the routine manipulations of amalgams. The determined concentrations of mercury were less to 10 μ g Hg/l of urine. The results were founded inside the safety limits reported in the literature. The mercury levels in the dentists are associated with a wide variety of factors that contribute to their exposure as: number of years of dental practice, number of amalgams manipulated between others. (Author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N Muddarisna

    2015-04-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  5. Mercury

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, Irma

    2017-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ikingura, Justinian R.

    2002-01-01

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

  7. 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).

  8. Activation calculation of the EURISOL mercury target

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rapp, B.; David, J.C.; Blideanu, V.; Dore, D.; Ridikas, D.; Thiolliere, N

    2006-08-15

    We have used MCNPX coupled to CINDER to estimate the production of radioactive nuclides in the EURISOL 4 MW liquid mercury target during a 40 years'lifetime of the installation. The calculations have been done with different intra-nuclear cascade and fission evaporation model combinations. A benchmark exercise has allowed a better understanding of differences seen between these models for the creation of tritium and fission products. To obtain a realistic production yield for tritium gas in proton induced spallation reactions, we recommend using the ISABEL-RAL model, while both CEM2k and BERTINI-RAL overestimate the production rate above 1 GeV incident proton. The best combinations of models to calculate the residual nuclei production are those using ABLA fission-evaporation model, CEM2k or combinations using RAL model are giving too broad mass distributions when compared to available data. An extensive list of radio-nuclides was obtained and is available on tabular format, we show that the 4 nuclei whose contributions to the total activity of the mercury target (after 40 years of irradiation) are the most important are the following: -) 1 day after shutdown: Y{sup 91} (15%), Y{sup 90} (13%), Hg{sup 197} (6%) and Sr{sup 89} (5%); -) 1 year after shutdown: H{sup 3} (19%), Y{sup 90} (17%), Sr{sup 90} (17%) and Nb{sup 93*} (10%); -) 10 years after shutdown: Y{sup 90} (22%), Sr{sup 90} (22%), H{sup 3} (18%) and Nb{sup 93*} (14%); and -) 100 years after shutdown: Mo{sup 93} (34%), Nb{sup 93*} (32%), Pt{sup 193} (9%) and Y{sup 90} (8%). (A.C.)

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-15

    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, urban and industrial areas was fractionated in organometallic forms; mobile; semi-mobile; and non-mobile forms as well as HCl-extractable Hg. The in vitro bioaccessibility of Hg was obtained by extracting soils with (1) a simulated human gastric fluid (pH1.5), and (2) a simulated human lung fluid (pH7.4). Total soil Hg concentrations ranged from 0.72 to 1.8 mg kg(-1) (urban areas), 0.28 to 94 mg kg(-1) (industrial area) and 0.92 to 37 mg kg(-1) (mining areas). Both organometallic Hg as well as 0.1M HCl extractable Hg were lower (urban and industrial soils (average 5.0-6.6% of total Hg) compared to mining soils. Such differences were related to levels of mobile Hg species in urban and industrial soils compared to mining soils. These results strengthen the need to measure site-specific Hg fractionation when determining Hg bioaccessibility. Results also show that ingestion and/or inhalation of Hg from soil particles can contribute up to 8% of adult total Hg intake when compared to total Hg intake via consumption of contaminated fish and animal products from contaminated areas. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Role of organic acids in promoting colloidal transport of mercury from mine tailings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slowey, A.J.; Johnson, S.B.; Rytuba, J.J.; Brown, Gordon E.

    2005-01-01

    A number of factors affect the transport of dissolved and paniculate mercury (Hg) from inoperative Hg mines, including the presence of organic acids in the rooting zone of vegetated mine waste. We examined the role of the two most common organic acids in soils (oxalic and citric acid) on Hg transport from such waste by pumping a mixed organic acid solution (pH 5.7) at 1 mL/min through Hg mine tailings columns. For the two total organic acid concentrations investigated (20 ??M and 1 mM), particle-associated Hg was mobilized, with the onset of paniculate Hg transport occurring later for the lower organic acid concentration. Chemical analyses of column effluent indicate that 98 wt % of Hg mobilized from the column was paniculate. Hg speciation was determined using extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy, showing that HgS minerals are dominant in the mobilized particles. Hg adsorbed to colloids is another likely mode of transport due to the abundance of Fe-(oxyhydr)oxides, Fe-sulfides, alunite, and jarosite in the tailings to which Hg(II) adsorbs. Organic acids produced by plants are likely to enhance the transport of colloid-associated Hg from vegetated Hg mine tailings by dissolving cements to enable colloid release. ?? 2005 American Chemical Society.

  14. Determination of mercury in food by neutron activation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anand, S.J.S.

    1976-01-01

    Determination of mercury in food samples has been carried out by neutron activation followed by chemical separation to remove the interfering activities of copper, zinc etc. Chemical separation was carried out using anion exchange resin (DOWEX 1x8). Mercury was determined by counting 77 keV γ-rays of 197 Hg on a NaI(Tl) crystal in conjunction with a 400-channel pulse-height analyser. Levels of mercury in the following foods are tabulated: rice, wheat, pulses, millets, leafy vegetables, flower, carrot, potato, tomato, onion, chilli powder, sugar, tea leaves, milk. (T.I.)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kwateng, I.K.

    2010-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... build up in fish, shellfish, and animals that eat fish. The nervous system is sensitive to all forms of mercury. Exposure to high levels can damage the brain and kidneys. Pregnant women can pass the mercury in their bodies to their babies. It is important to protect your family from ...

  18. Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... has set a limit of 2 parts of mercury per billion parts of drinking water (2 ppb). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set a maximum permissible level of 1 part of methylmercury in a million ... of 0.1 milligram of organic mercury per cubic meter of workplace air (0.1 ...

  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 determination in natural waters using neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cagnone, M.; Marques, R.O.

    1994-01-01

    Available as short communication only. An analytical method for quantitative determination of Mercury traces in river and sea water is proposed. The neutron activation method and radiochemical separation of Mercury by developing of C L 4 Hg -2 complex, and their chromatographic separation using anionic exchange resin Dowex 1 X 8 of 400 mesh is used. The quantitative determination is done by gamma spectrometric analysis. The selection limits reached with this method showed that this is an amenable procedure in routine mercury determination in the ppb level, specially useful in the environmental contamination analysis. (author). 3 refs, 2 figs, 1 tab

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ...

  3. Arsenic, cadmium, and mercury in cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagititolium) and watercocoyam (Colocasia esculenta) in Tarkwa a mining community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Essumang, D K; Dodoo, D K; Obiri, S; Yaney, J Y

    2007-10-01

    Cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagititolium) and Watercocoyam (Colocasia esculenta) have gained increased importance in the diets of majority of people in developing countries such as Ghana. The concentration levels of arsenic, cadmium, and mercury in Cocoyam (X. sagititolium) and Watercocoyam (C. esculenta) in Tarkwa and its surrounding villages a mining community in Ghana were measured in this study. From the results of the study, the levels of arsenic, cadmium and mercury in X. sagititolium and C. esculenta were higher than the WHO recommended levels. These root tubers absorb or uptake toxic chemicals from the soil as a result of the mining operations. This means that, the consumption of X. sagititolium and C. esculenta by humans from such environments may pose a serious health risk. There is therefore the need for a concerted effort by all to minimize the negative impact of gold mining in the study area.

  4. Activity recognition from minimal distinguishing subsequence mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iqbal, Mohammad; Pao, Hsing-Kuo

    2017-08-01

    Human activity recognition is one of the most important research topics in the era of Internet of Things. To separate different activities given sensory data, we utilize a Minimal Distinguishing Subsequence (MDS) mining approach to efficiently find distinguishing patterns among different activities. We first transform the sensory data into a series of sensor triggering events and operate the MDS mining procedure afterwards. The gap constraints are also considered in the MDS mining. Given the multi-class nature of most activity recognition tasks, we modify the MDS mining approach from a binary case to a multi-class one to fit the need for multiple activity recognition. We also study how to select the best parameter set including the minimal and the maximal support thresholds in finding the MDSs for effective activity recognition. Overall, the prediction accuracy is 86.59% on the van Kasteren dataset which consists of four different activities for recognition.

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Thomas; Rumengan, Inneke; Sahami, Ali

    2018-02-26

    The post-depositional geochemical behaviour of mercury and arsenic in submarine mine tailings from the Mesel Gold Mine in Buyat Bay, North Sulawesi, Indonesia was assessed by in situ sampling of tailings porewaters using dialysis arrays and seawater and fish monitoring. Under steady-state conditions one year after cessation of tailings discharge, the calculated arsenic efflux incrementally added 0.8 μg/L of arsenic to the overlying seawater. The mercury efflux across the tailings-seawater interface was negligible. The arsenic and mercury concentration in seawater bottom samples monitored biannually during a 9-year post-closure program were 1.54 μg/L and closure monitoring had mean mercury and arsenic concentrations consistently below the FAO/WHO CODEX, and Australian and New Zealand National Food Standards, respectively. The results of the porewater, seawater and fish tissue demonstrate that the arsenic and mercury-bearing bearing compounds in the tailings are geochemically stable. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Environmental laws for mining activities in Provincia de San Juan (Argentina), gravel mines exploitation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramirez, M.; Carrascosa, H.

    2007-01-01

    This paper analyses San Juan Province - Argentina prevailing environmental legislation for mining activity and gravel mines. The study focuses the subject from a mining engineering point of view. (author)

  12. 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.

  13. Mercury in soils and plants in an abandoned cinnabar mining area (SW Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Sánchez, A; Murciego, A; Alvarez-Ayuso, E; Regina, I Santa; Rodríguez-González, M A

    2009-09-15

    An abandoned cinnabar mining area located in the South-West of Spain has been studied with the aim of assessing its mercury pollution level and enhancing the knowledge about the Hg soil/plant relationship. To do so, soils and plants were sampled near an inactive smelter and around two mining sites present in this area. Critical total Hg concentrations were found in the close environs of pollutant sources. These also show high levels of elemental Hg (up to 8 mg kg(-1)), but quite low exchangeable Hg contents (0.008-0.038 mg kg(-1)). Most plant specimens display in their aboveground tissues Hg concentrations comprised in the range 0.1-10 mg kg(-1), with a great proportion (50%) showing critical levels. Greater Hg contents were found in plant specimens growing in soils with higher elemental Hg concentrations. The plant species displaying the greatest Hg levels are either perennial species of small-medium size and/or showing medium-highly corrugated leaves, or annual plants of small size. Marrubium vulgare L., Bromus madritensis L. and Trifolium angustifolium L. are the plant species with the highest Hg contents (37.6, 12.7 and 9.0 mg kg(-1), respectively). Leaf specific surface seems an important feature in the atmospheric Hg uptake by plants.

  14. The application of direct smelting of gold concentrates as an alternative to mercury amalgamation in small-scale gold mining operations in Ghana

    OpenAIRE

    Amankwah, R.K.; Styles, M.T.; Nartey, R.S.; Al-Hassan, S.

    2010-01-01

    Mercury is used in small-scale mining to amalgamate gold particles, facilitating their separation from heavy sands. The negative environmental/health-related effects of mercury in mining communities in Ghana and other countries have generated research interest into development of safer alternatives. This study tested direct smelting as an alternative to amalgamation. In laboratory investigations, direct smelting yielded 99.8% recovery against 97% for amalgamation. A locally-...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-25

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

  16. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ikingura, Justinian R.

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakakibara, Masayuki; Sera, Koichiro

    2017-02-08

    The rapid expansion of the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) industry in developing countries has marginalized the local communities in poverty, and resulted in occupational exposure to mercury via the gold extraction process. We investigated the mercury exposure of the mining workers lived inside and outside the mining area. Based on the occupations of the contributors, the hair samples were divided into three subgroups: directly exposed, indirectly exposed, and a control. A total of 81 hair samples were analyzed by particle-induced X-ray emission spectrometry. The median mercury concentration was highest in the hair from the directly exposed group (12.82 μg/g hair) (control group median: 4.8 μg/g hair, p < 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basri; Sakakibara, Masayuki; Sera, Koichiro

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:29051439

  1. The Necessity of Public Relations for Sustainable Mining Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hyunbock; Ji, Sangwoo

    2015-04-01

    This paper reports research about the necessity of image making for sustainable mine developments in the Republic of Korea. One of the big risks in mining activities is mining area residents opposing mine developments and operations. Analysis of the media reports on disputes between mining companies and residents can determine causes of opposing mine developments, dispute process, and influences of disputes on processes of mining projects. To do this, civil complaints from 2009 to 2012 and 24 media reports since 2000 on opposing mining activities are analyzed. And, to analyze difficulties of mining companies, the survey is conducted to target to mining companies. 57 representatives of mining companies are participated in the survey. The result of analysis cited that the major reasons of anti-mining activities are environmental degradation and reduced agricultural productivity. And specifically because of water pollution (50%), crop damages (33%), and mining dust pollution (21%), communities of mining area are against mine developments and operations. However, 25% of residents have experience of the damage caused by mining activities and the remaining 75% of residents opposing mining activities simply have anxiety about mining pollution. In the past, construction-oriented, environment-unfriendly mining projects had lasted. And while mine reclamation had been postponed in abandoned mines, mining area residents had suffered from mining pollution. So, mining area residents are highly influenced by the prejudice that mining activities are harmful to mining area communities. Current mining projects in South Korea, unlike the past mining activity, focus on minimizing environmental damage and contributing to mining area communities financially. But, in many case of disputes between mining companies and mining area residents, the both cannot reach an agreements because of the negative prejudice. Moreover, some communities categorically refuse any mining activity. On the

  2. 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.

  3. Mercury mass measurement in fluorescent lamps via neutron activation analysis

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Viererbl, L.; Vinš, M.; Lahodová, Z.; Fuksa, A.; Kučera, Jan; Koleska, M.; Voljanskij, A.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 116, NOV (2015), s. 56-59 ISSN 0969-806X R&D Projects: GA TA ČR TA01010237; GA MŠk LM2011019 Institutional support: RVO:61389005 Keywords : fluorescent lamp * mercury measurement * neutron activation analysis * research reactor Subject RIV: BG - Nuclear, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Colliders Impact factor: 1.207, year: 2015

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. Cycle mining in active database environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seitzer, Jennifer; Buckley, James P.

    2000-04-01

    Traditional data mining algorithms identify patterns in data that are not explicit. These patterns are denoted in the form of IF-THEN rules (IF antecedent THEN consequent), where the antecedent and consequent are logical conjunctions of propositions or first-order predicates. Generally, the mined rules apply to all time periods and specify no temporal interval between antecedent detection and consequent firing. Cycle mining algorithms identify meta-patterns of these associations depicting inferences forming cyclic chains of rule dependencies. Because traditional rules comprise these cycles, the mined cycles also apply to all time periods and do not currently possess the temporal interval of applicability. An active database is one that responds to stimuli in real time, operating in the event-condition-action (ECA) paradigm where a specific event is monitored, a condition is evaluated, and one or more actions are taken. The actions often involve real-time modification of the database. In this paper, we introduce the concepts and present algorithms for mining rules with firing intervals, and intervals of applicability. Using an active database environment, we describe a real time framework that incorporates the active database concept in order to ascertain previously undefined cycles in data over a specific time interval and thereby introduce the concept of interval of discovery. Comprised of discovered rules with firing intervals and intervals of applicability, the encompassing discovered cycles also possess a variation of these attributes. We illustrate this framework with an example from an E-commerce endeavor where data is mined for rules with firing intervals and intervals of applicability, which amalgamate to form a cycle in its interval of discovery. We describe the computer system INDED, the author's implementation of cycle mining, which we are currently interfacing to an active Oracle database using triggers and PL/SQL stored procedures.

  7. Human exposure to mercury due to small scale gold mining in northern Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Straaten, P

    2000-10-02

    In northern Tanzania large numbers of small scale miners use mercury in the gold extraction process causing contamination of the environment and risks to human health. Human exposure to Hg was assessed in populations in and around small scale gold mining camps by means of human hair and urine surveys. We also determined Hg concentration in fish in aquatic bodies close to these camps. Urinary Hg testing in three communities showed that 36% of the gold miners working with amalgam exceeded the WHO guideline concentration of 50 microg Hg/g creatinine. Data from a hair survey of fishermen and farmers confirm that at present, the fish-eating population close to the southern tip of Lake Victoria is at low risk with regard to Hg exposure. Concentrations in fish were low and > 90% of the hair samples from the fish-eating population were below 2 microg/g T-Hg. Highest Hg concentrations in fish caught along the southern shores of Lake Victoria and in rivers draining from gold processing sites were detected in lungfish species (Protopterus aethiopicus), and lowest Hg concentrations in tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus and Tilapia zilii).

  8. Mercury Inhibits Soil Enzyme Activity in a Lower Concentration than the Guideline Value.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahbub, Khandaker Rayhan; Krishnan, Kannan; Megharaj, Mallavarapu; Naidu, Ravi

    2016-01-01

    Three soil types - neutral, alkaline and acidic were experimentally contaminated with nine different concentrations of inorganic mercury (0, 5, 10, 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300 mg/kg) to derive effective concentrations of mercury that exert toxicity on soil quality. Bioavailability of mercury in terms of water solubility was lower in acidic soil with higher organic carbon. Dehydrogenase enzyme activity and nitrification rate were chosen as indicators to assess soil quality. Inorganic mercury significantly inhibited (p mercury contents (EC10) were found to be less than the available safe limits for inorganic mercury which demonstrated inadequacy of existing guideline values.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Feasibility of mercury removal from simulated flue gas by activated chars made from poultry manures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Increased emphasis on reduction of mercury emissions from coal fired electric power plants has resulted in environmental regulations that may in the future require application of activated carbons as mercury sorbents for mercury removal. At the same time, the quantity of poultry manure generated eac...

  11. 36 CFR 292.47 - Mining activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Mining activities. 292.47 Section 292.47 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE NATIONAL... common varieties of gravel, sand, or stone, may be used only within the HCNRA for the purpose of...

  12. Determination of mercury in biologycal samples by radiochemical neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suc, N.V.

    1989-01-01

    The radiochemical neutron activation analysis was applied to determine contents of mercury in biological samples. Samples were digested in mixing of H 2 SO 4 and HNO 3 acid. After extraction of mercury by Ni-Ditiodietylphosphoric acid in carbontetrachloride, mercury was back extracted by 5% KI solution. Contents of mercury from five samples of fish was determined by this method. The accuracy of the method was checked by comparing it with NBS standard samples and results are good agreement

  13. 30 CFR 75.1711-3 - Openings of active mines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Openings of active mines. 75.1711-3 Section 75.1711-3 Mineral Resources MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR COAL MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH MANDATORY SAFETY STANDARDS-UNDERGROUND COAL MINES Miscellaneous § 75.1711-3 Openings of...

  14. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chaparro Garnica, Helkin Claudio Martin

    2004-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Mercury methylation and bacterial activity associated to tropical phytoplankton

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coelho-Souza, Sergio A.; Guimaraes, Jean R.D.; Mauro, Jane B.N.; Miranda, Marcio R.; Azevedo, Sandra M.F.O.

    2006-01-01

    The methylated form of mercury (Hg), methylmercury (MeHg), is one of the most toxic pollutants. Biotic and/or abiotic methylation, often associated to sulfate-reducing bacteria metabolism, occurs in aquatic environments and in many tropical areas, mostly in the periphyton associated to floating macrophyte roots. Data about mercury methylation by phytoplankton are scarce and the aim of this study was to verify the biotic influence in the methylation process in Microcystis aeruginosa and Sineccocystis sp. laboratory strains and in natural populations of phytoplankton from two different aquatic systems, the mesotrophic Ribeirao das Lajes reservoir and hypereutrophic oligohaline Jacarepagua lagoon, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil. Adapted radiochemical techniques were used to measure sulfate-reduction, mercury methylation and bacterial activity in phytoplankton samples. Methyl- 203 Hg formation from added inorganic 203 Hg and 3 H-Leucine uptake were measured by liquid scintillation as well as sulfate-reduction, estimated as H 2 35 S produced from added Na 2 35 SO 4 . There was no significant difference in low methylation potentials (0.37%) among the two cyanobacterium species studied in laboratory conditions. At Ribeirao das Lajes reservoir, there was no significant difference in methylation, bacterial activity and sulfate-reduction of surface sediment between the sampling points. Methylation in sediments (3-4%) was higher than in phytoplankton (1.5%), the opposite being true for bacterial activity (sediment mean 6.6 against 150.3 nmol gdw -1 h -1 for phytoplankton samples). At Jacarepagua lagoon, an expressive bacterial activity (477.1 x 10 3 nmol gdw -1 h -1 at a concentration of 1000 nM leucine) and sulfate-reduction (∼21% H 2 35 S trapped) associated to phytoplankton (mostly cyanobacteria M. aeruginosa) was observed, but mercury methylation was not detected

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-03-15

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

  20. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Mining and mining authorities in Saarland 2016. Mining economy, mining technology, occupational safety, environmental protection, statistics, mining authority activities. Annual report; Bergbau und Bergbehoerden im Saarland 2016. Bergwirtschaft, Bergtechnik, Arbeitsschutz, Umweltschutz, Statistiken, Taetigkeiten der Bergbehoerden. Jahresbericht

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2016-07-01

    The annual report of the Saarland Upper Mining Authority provides an insight into the activities of mining authorities. Especially, the development of the black coal mining, safety and technology of mining as well as the correlation between mining and environment are stressed.

  6. 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.

  7. Mining activities and arsenic in a Baja California Sur watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alejandro Naranjo-Pulido; Alfredo Ortega-Rubio; Baudillo Acost-Vargas; Lia Rodriguez-Mendez; Marcos Acevedo-Beltran; Cerafina Arguelles-Mendez

    2000-01-01

    Mining is one of the most important sources of income for the Baja California Sur state. This state is the second most important area for mineral (gold, silver, copper) and non-mineral (salt) mining activities in the Mexican Republic. In the San Antonio-El Triunfo region, mineral-mining activities flourished during the 19th century. Tons of debris containing a high...

  8. 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.

  9. Effects of 500-year mercury mining and milling on cancer incidence in the region of Idrija, Slovenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zadnik, Vesna; Pompe-Kirn, Vera

    2007-09-01

    The aim of the study was to determine whether the 500-year of mercury mining and milling in the Idrija region in Slovenia and the resulting environmental pollution with mercury and smelting wastes containing radon, has caused an increased cancer risk of the inhabitants. The polluted and the non-polluted parts of the region were defined. Cancer incidence from the two regions was compared. Cancer incidence among miners was investigated separately. In the polluted area male and female cancer incidence was higher than in the non-polluted area. Miners had an excess of incidence of total cancer, of oral and pharyngeal cancers and of lung cancer. As indicated by multivariate analysis the increased risk of miners could be assigned to their smoking and alcohol drinking habits. Higher estimated cumulative exposure to inorganic mercury seems to contribute to their risk as well. Most of the excess cancer incidence of the population from the polluted area could be explained by an unhealthy life style. In the case of lung cancer radon exposure contributes to the increased risk as well. Therefore, a well planed health promotion program and further sanitation of old houses is proposed.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Radiological characterization of a uranium mine with no mining activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lozano, J.C.; Vera Tome, F.; Gomez Escobar, V.; Blanco Rodriguez, P.

    2000-01-01

    We report a radiological study of a uranium mine located in Extremadura, in the south-west of Spain, in which mining work had ceased. One interest in the work is that the results can be used as a reference for the future evaluation of the effects produced by the restoration program. The radiological parameters selected to estimate the impact of the inactive mine were: 222 Rn in air and water, 222 Rn exhalation, effective 226 Ra in soils and sediments, and natural uranium and 226 Ra in water. Chemical analyses of water samples and measurements of meteorological variables were also made. Average values of these radiological parameters are presented. We characterize the zone radiologically and estimate the influence of the mine on the basis of some of these parameters, while others are used to reflect the status of the installation, information which could be very useful in the near future when restoration is complete

  12. Relationship between catalase activity and uptake of elemental mercury by rat brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eide, I.; Syversen, T.L.M.

    1983-01-01

    Uptake of mercury by brain after intravenous injection of elemental mercury was investigated in the rat. Catalase activity was inhibited by aminotriazole either by intraperitoneal affecting catalase in most tissues of the animal or by intraventricular injections affecting catalase in the brain selectively. Uptake of elemental mercury by rat brain was not influenced by intraperitoneal administration of aminotriazole resulting in 50% inhibition of brain catalase. However, when the inhibitor was injected intraventricularly in concentrations to give a 50% inhibition of brain catalase, it was shown that the mercury uptake by brain was significantly decreased. In the latter case when only brain catalase was inhibited and the supply of elemtal mercury to brain was maintained, mercury uptake by brain was proportional to the activity of catalase in brain tissue and to the injected amount of elemental mercury. Contrary to the intraventricular injection of aminotriazole, in animals recieving aminotriazole intraperitoneally prior to elemental mercury injection, we suggest that the lower activity of brain catalse is compensated by an increased supply of elemtal mercury caused by the generally lower oxidation rate in the animal. This view is supported by the finding that mercury uptake by liver increased due to aminotriazole intraperitoneally although activity of catalase was depressed. (author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Július Árvay

    2015-02-01

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

  14. The Mercury Transit 2016: educational activities from CESAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Ayúcar, Miguel; Breitfelner, Michel

    2017-04-01

    A transit of Mercury in front of the solar disk as seen from Earth is a rare astronomical event which occurs only about every 13-14 times per century. Although its historic scientific importance, e.g. to measure the distances in the solar system, has diminished since humanity roams our solar system with robotic spacecrafts, a Mercury Transit remains a spectacular astronomical event that is used very effectively to engage general public and students to Science and Space in general. The educational project CESAR (Cooperation through Education in Science and Astronomy Research) , working upon previous experience (Venus transit 2012, live Sun transmissions ..), prepared a dual observation of the transit from two separate locations: the CESAR Solar Observatory at ESAC (European Space Astronomy Center), Madrid, Spain, and a twin portable telescope set-up in Cerro Paranal, Chile, achieving a ground baseline parallax of 10.000km. CESAR organized an educational and outreach event in collaboration with several Spanish schools/universities, the ESA Education and Communications offices, the Teide observatory and the ESA projects Bepi Colombo and Solar Orbiter. The driving activity was a continuous 10h interactive Google hangout that connected students in Spain (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, CAC in Valencia), students in observatories in Chile, the remote observing teams, and scientists at ESAC. Live images were transmitted via a specific web in two bands (h-alpha and visible). Experts in the fields of Solar and Planetary Physics gave presentations related to the Sun and Mercury. Questions and answers sessions were performed so that world-wide audience could interact with the scientists and engineers. In this paper we explain how this public educational and outreach event was created, what activities it comprised, and the follow up activities.

  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. 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.

  17. Mercury Release from the Rathburn Mine, Petray Mine, and Bear Valley Saline Springs, Colusa County, California 2004-2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slowey, Aaron J.; Rytuba, James J.

    2008-01-01

    This report summarizes data obtained from field sampling of mine tailings and waste rock at the Rathburn and Petray Mines that was initiated in July 17, 2001 and water and sediment in regional springs and tributaries that drain from the mine area into Bear Creek on December 14, 2004 and February 16 and May 27, 2005. Although it was initially assumed that the mines were the cause of elevated levels of monomethyl Hg measured by the Central Regional Water Quality Control Board in tributaries near their confluence with Bear Creek (Foe and others, unpublished results), it became apparent during this study that ground water springs were also potential sources of Hg. In addition to sampling of springs in May 2005, saline ground water seepage along an unnamed fault on the west side of Bear Valley was sampled on December 13-14, 2006. We did not sample water or sediment in Bear Creek itself during this study. Our results permit a preliminary assessment of mining and natural sources of Hg and associated chemical constituents that could elevate levels of monomethyl Hg in Bear Creek.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abraham, Joji; Dowling, Kim; Florentine, Singarayer

    2018-01-01

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

  20. Dynamic measurement of mercury adsorption and oxidation on activated carbon in simulated cement kiln flue gas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zheng, Yuanjing; Jensen, Anker Degn; Windelin, Christian

    2012-01-01

    elemental mercury shows that when HCl is present with either SO2 or NOx the mercury measurement after the converter is unstable and lower than the elemental mercury inlet level. The conclusion is that red brass chips cannot fully reduce oxidized mercury to elemental mercury when simulated cement kiln gas...... is applied. A sodium sulfite-based converter material was prepared by dry impregnation of sodium sulfite and calcium sulfate powders on zeolite pellets using water glass as binder. The sulfite converter works well at 500°C with less than 10ppmv HCl in the simulated cement kiln flue gas. The 95% response time...... of the sulfite converter is short and typically within 2min. Dynamic mercury adsorption and oxidation tests on commercial activated carbons Darco Hg and HOK standard were performed at 150°C using simulated cement kiln gas and a fixed bed reactor system. It is shown that the converter and analyzer system...

  1. 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; <1.0 µg l(-1)). Similarly, Mn levels in sediments were also increased (3090 to 4086 µg g(-1)). Median values of MnH in children of the HEx and MEx zones were 5.5 and 3.4 µg g(-1), respectively, whereas the median values of HgU concentrations in children living in the HEx and MEx zones were 4.4 and 0.62 µg g-creat(-1), respectively. Statistically significant differences were observed between both biomarkers in children from the HEx and MEx zones. In addition, boys presented significantly greater MnH levels in both zones. The greater MnH values were found in children living in alluvial areas, whereas children living in the high mountain areas, where some ore-processing plants are located close to or inside houses and schools, had the greater HgU concentrations. In summary, the data reported in this paper highlights that artisanal and small-scale gold-mining activities can not only produce mercurial contamination, that can also release other heavy metals (such as Mn) that may pose a risk to human health.

  2. Microbial activities for the bioremediation of mercury contamination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barkay, T.; Saouter, E. [Environmental Protection Agency, Gulf Breeze, FL (United States); Turner, R.R. [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States)

    1995-12-31

    Methylmercury (MeHg) accumulation by aquatic biota could be reduced by stimulating bacterial degradation of MeHg and the reduction of Hg(II) to volatile Hg{sup 0}. Reduction of HG(II) affects MeHg production by substrate limitation. The potential of bacterial reduction of Hg(II) to reduce MeHg production was investigated using a contaminated pond, Reality Lake, in Oak Ridge, TN, as a model system. A HG(II) resistant isolate, strain Aeromonas hydrophila KT20 originally isolated from RL, stimulated (p<0.05) the rate of HG(II) removal from pond water as compared to an uninoculated control in shake flask experiments. Inoculation of a microcosm simulating the geochemical cycling of mercury in the pond, with strain KT20 (at 10{sup 5} cells/ml), resulted in a 4- to 5-fold increase in the flux of Hg{sup 0} through the water-air boundary. However, the evolved Hg{sup 0} accounted for only 5% of total mercury in the microcosm, too little to significantly influence MeHg production, However, shake flask experiments suggested that in situ HG(II) reduction could be further stimulated by increasing the number of active bacteria. Thus, enhancing bacterial reduction of HG(II) is a serious possibility that warrants additional investigation.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-15

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

  6. 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

  7. Environmental Impact of the Contact and Sonoma Mercury Mines on Water, Sediment, and Biota in Anna Belcher and Little Sulphur Creek Watersheds, Sonoma County, California

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    The Contact and Sonoma mercury (Hg) deposits are among the youngest Hg deposits in the Coast Range Hg mineral belt and are located in the western part of the Clear Lake volcanic field in Sonoma County, California. The mine workings and tailings are located in the headwaters of Anna Belcher Creek, which is a tributary to Little Sulphur Creek. The Contact Hg mine produced about 1,000 flasks of Hg, and the Sonoma mine produced considerably less. Waste rock and tailings eroded from the Contact and Sonoma mines have contributed Hg-enriched mine waste material to the headwaters of Anna Belcher Creek. 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 other geochemical constituents in tailings, sediment, water, and biota at the Contact and Sonoma mines and in Anna Belcher and Little Sulphur Creeks. This report is made in response to the USBLM request, the lead agency 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 Contact and Sonoma mines as a means of reducing Hg transport to Anna Belcher and Little Sulphur Creeks. This report summarizes data obtained from field sampling of mine tailings, waste rock, sediment, and water at the Contact and Sonoma mines that was initiated on April 20 during a storm event, and on June 19, 2001. Further sampling of water, sediment, and biota in a pond and tributaries that drain from the mine area was completed on April 1, 2003. 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 tributaries and biota that are impacted by historic mining.

  8. Development of novel activated carbon-based adsorbents for the control of mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Radisav D. Vidic

    1999-03-01

    In addition to naturally occurring mercury sources, anthropogenic activities increase the mercury loading to the environment. Although not all produced mercury is dissipated directly into the environment, only minor portions of the total production are stocked or recycled, and the rest of the mercury and its compounds is finally released in some way into atmosphere, surface waters and soil, or ends in landfills dumps, and refuse. Since mercury and its compounds are highly toxic, their presence in the environment constitutes potential impact on all living organisms, including man. The first serious consequence of industrial mercury discharges causing neurological disorder even death occurred in Minimata, Japan in 1953. Systematic studies showed that mercury poisoning is mainly found in fish-eating populations. However, various levels of mercury are also found in food other than fish. During the past several decades, research has been conducted on the evaluation of risks due to exposure to mercury and the development of control technologies for mercury emissions. In 1990, the Clean Air Act Amendments listed mercury, along with 10 other metallic species, as a hazardous air pollutant (HAP). This has further stimulated research for mercury control during the past several years. The impact of mercury on humans, sources of mercury in the environment, current mercury control strategies and the objective of this research are discussed in this section.

  9. Sustainability Activities In The Mining Sector: Current Status And Challenges Ahead Limestone Mining In Nusakambangan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayuningrum, Theresia Vika; Purnaweni, Hartuti

    2018-02-01

    Potential Karst area in Nusakambangan has an important role in maintaining the balance of nature. But with the existence of mining activities, will automatically change the environmental conditions there. In order for the utilization of resources to meet the rules of optimization between the interests of mining and sustainability of the environment so in every mining sector activities required a variety of environmental studies. The purpose of this study is to find out how the analysis of environmental management due to limestone mining activities in Nusakambangan so that it can be known the management of mining areas are optimal, wise based on ecological principles, and sustainability. In qualitative research methods, data analysis using description percentage, with the type of data collected in the form of primary data and secondary data.

  10. Hair mercury association with selenium, serum lipid spectrum, and gamma-glutamyl transferase activity in adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinkov, Alexey A; Skalnaya, Margarita G; Demidov, Vasily A; Serebryansky, Eugeny P; Nikonorov, Alexandr A; Skalny, Anatoly V

    2014-12-01

    The primary objective of the research is to estimate the dependence between hair mercury content, hair selenium, mercury-to-selenium ratio, serum lipid spectrum, and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) activity in 63 adults (40 men and 23 women). Serum triglyceride (TG) concentration in the high-mercury group significantly exceeded the values obtained for low- and medium-mercury groups by 72 and 42 %, respectively. Serum GGT activity in the examinees from high-Hg group significantly exceeded the values of the first and the second groups by 75 and 28 %, respectively. Statistical analysis of the male sample revealed similar dependences. Surprisingly, no significant changes in the parameters analyzed were detected in the female sample. In all analyzed samples, hair mercury was not associated with hair selenium concentrations. Significant correlation between hair mercury content and serum TG concentration (r = 0.531) and GGT activity (r = 0.524) in the general sample of the examinees was detected. The respective correlations were observed in the male sample. Hair mercury-to-selenium ratios significantly correlated with body weight (r = 0.310), body mass index (r = 0.250), serum TG (r = 0.389), atherogenic index (r = 0.257), and GGT activity (r = 0.393). The same correlations were observed in the male sample. Hg/Se ratio in women did not correlate with the analyzed parameters. Generally, the results of the current study show the following: (1) hair mercury is associated with serum TG concentration and GGT activity in men, (2) hair selenium content is not related to hair mercury concentration, and (3) mercury-to-selenium ratio correlates with lipid spectrum parameters and GGT activity.

  11. ELEMENTAL MERCURY ADSORPTION BY ACTIVATED CARBON TREATED WITH SULFURIC ACID

    Science.gov (United States)

    The paper gives results of a study of the adsorption of elemental mercury at 125 C by a sulfuric-acid (H2S04, 50% w/w/ solution)-treated carbon for the removal of mercury from flue gas. The pore structure of the sample was characterized by nitrogen (N2) at -196 C and the t-plot m...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-11-15

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

  14. 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.

  15. Optimization of procedures for mercury-203 instrumental neutron activation analysis in human urine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blotcky, A.J.; Claassen, J.P.

    1995-01-01

    Mercury, a known neurotoxin, has been implicated in etiology and pathogenesis of such disease states as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. There is concern that the exposure to mercury vapor released from dental amalgam restorations is a potential health hazard. Measurement of mercury concentrations in blood or urine may be useful in diagnosis of mercury poisoning and in assessing the extent exposure. This study describes the optimization of pre-neutron activation analysis procedures such as sampling, selection of irradiation and counting vials and acid digestion in order to minimize mercury loss via volatilization and/or permeation through containers. Therefore, the determination of mercury can be complicated by these potential losses. In the optimized procedure 20mL of urine was spiked with three different concentrations of mercury, digested with concentrated nitric acid, and placed in polypropylene vials for irradiation and counting. Analysis was performed by subtracting the Se-75 photopeak contribution to the 279 keV Hg-203 photopeak and applying the method of standard additions. Urinary mercury concentrations in normal human subjects were determined to be of the order of 10ng/mL. (author). 22 refs., 1 fig., 5 tabs

  16. Children's personal exposure to PM10 and associated metals in urban, rural and mining activity areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinwood, Andrea; Callan, Anna C; Heyworth, Jane; McCafferty, Peter; Sly, Peter D

    2014-08-01

    There has been limited study of children's personal exposure to PM10 and associated metals in rural and iron ore mining activity areas where PM10 concentrations can be very high. We undertook a small study of 70 children where 13 children were recruited in an area of iron ore mining processing and shipping, 15 children from an area in the same region with no mining activities, and 42 children in an urban area. Each child provided a 24h personal exposure PM10 sample, a first morning void urine sample, a hair sample, time activity diary, and self administered questionnaire. Children's 24h personal PM10 concentrations were low (median of 28 μg m(-3) in the mining area; 48 μg m(-3) in the rural area and 45 μg m(-3) in the urban area) with corresponding outdoor PM10 concentrations also low. Some very high personal PM10 concentrations were recorded for individuals (>300 μg m(-3)) with the highest concentrations recorded in the mining and rural areas in the dry season. PM10 concentrations were highly variable. Hair aluminium, cadmium and manganese concentrations were higher in the iron ore activity area, while hair mercury, copper and nickel concentrations were higher in the urban area. Factors such as season and ventilation appear to be important but this study lacked power to confirm this. These results need to be confirmed by a larger study and the potential for absorption of the metals needs to be established along with the factors that increase exposures and the potential for health risks arising from exposure. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Responsible Development of Areva's Mining Activities. Report 2011

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2012-09-01

    After a presentation of the approach to responsibility adopted by AREVA to be a responsible mining stake holder (charter of values, implemented policies, risk prevention and management, best practices), this report gives an overview of mining activities (international presence, production in constant increase) with a focus on uranium mining which is the core business (the different phases are briefly presented: exploration, project development, mining, site decommissioning). It outlines personnel qualification and commitment, actions and policy in the field of personnel health and safety. It addresses the environmental policy: key levers, environmental management system, examples throughout the entire mining life cycle, changes in site consumptions and emissions, promotion of biodiversity. The next part concerns Areva's social commitment (dialogue, development aid in mining territories). Then, performance is expressed in terms of indicators for these different issues (teams, environmental policy, social involvement)

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Environmental impacts of mercury related to artisanal gold mining in Ghana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonzongo, J. C.; Donkor, A. K.; Nartey, V. K.

    2003-05-01

    In this study, we investigated the extent of contamination of Hg in selected mine-impacted Ghanaian watersheds. Our results are suggestive of a major environmental problem with Hg in Ghana, with total-Hg concentrations ranging from 17 to 2000ng L^{-1} in surface water samples, and in hundreds of ppm for both soils and sediments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  2. Levels of arsenic, mercury, cadmium, copper, lead, zinc and manganese in serum and whole blood of resident adults from mining and non-mining communities in Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obiri, Samuel; Yeboah, Philip O; Osae, Shiloh; Adu-Kumi, Sam

    2016-08-01

    Human beings working or living near an industrial site where toxic chemicals such as As, Hg, Cd, Cu, Mn, Pb, Zn and or their compounds are used or indiscriminately discharged into the environment, are constantly exposed to such chemicals via ingestion (drinking or eating), dermal contact or inhalation (breathing). However, in developing countries such as Ghana, limited data on levels of the aforementioned chemicals in whole blood and serum of human beings as a result of exposure to the aforementioned chemicals from mining communities and non-mining communities is preventing effective policy formulation to protect human health. Hence, this study was undertaken to measure the levels of the aforementioned toxic chemicals in whole blood and serum of 300 resident adults from mining (Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipality Assembly (TNMA) and Prestea Huni Valley District (PHVD)) and non-mining (Cape Coast Metropolis) communities in Ghana, using neutron activation analysis (NAA). Blood samples were taken from 200 resident adults (105 males and 95 females) from mining and 100 resident adults (60 males and 40 males) from non-mining communities in the study area following the completion of an informed consent and the issuance of ethical clearance by the Ghana Health Service Ethical Committee. The mean concentrations for As, Hg, Cd, Cu, Mn, Pb and Zn in whole blood of residents from mining communities were as follows: 38 ± 320 μg/L, 63 ± 0.23 μg/L, 303 ± 117 μg/L, 3300 ± 953, 195 ± 90 μg/L, 28 ± 14 μg/L and 1405 ± 458 μg/L, respectively; while the levels of measured toxic chemicals in the serum of resident adults from mining communities were as follows: 65 ± 14 μg/L, 358 ± 22 μg/l, 134 ± 12 μg/L, 3590 ± 254 μg/L, 401 ± 113 μg/L, 58 ± 5.8 μg/L and 49 ± 31 μg/L, respectively, for As, Hg, Cd, Cu, Mn, Pb and Zn and were found to have exceeded the permissible WHO guideline values.

  3. Lack of autoantibody induction by mercury exposure in artisanal gold mining settings in Colombia: Findings and a review of the epidemiology literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez Rodríguez, Luz Helena; Flórez-Vargas, Oscar; Rodríguez-Villamizar, Laura Andrea; Vargas Fiallo, Yolanda; Stashenko, Elena E; Ramírez, Gerardo

    2015-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) has been implicated as an immunotoxicant in experimental animal models, but its role in the induction of human autoimmunity remains unclear due to contradictory findings. Therefore, it has been claimed that it is important to examine other populations in order to clarify the role of Hg in these diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate whether occupational Hg exposure due to artisanal gold mining is associated with the prevalence of autoimmune biomarkers. A cross-sectional study was conducted comparing Hg-exposed gold miners (n = 164) with a control population (n = 127). Hair, blood, and 24-h urine samples were collected for measures of Hg levels, as well as of anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA) and rheumatoid factor (RF). Participants were clinically evaluated by a general practice physician, a rheumatologist, and a toxicologist. Statistically significant differences (p < 0.001) were found between Hg-exposed and non-exposed groups for all Hg biomarkers tested: blood (7.03 versus 2.46 µg Hg/L), urine (3.96 versus 1.48 µg Hg/g creatinine), and hair (0.79 versus 0.39 µg Hg/g). No difference was observed in ANA (cut-off titre of 1:80; PR = 0.93, 95% CI = 0.45-1.90) and RF (cut-off = 30 IU/mL; PR = 0.062, 95% CI = 0.03-1.08) status between the groups. In conclusion, the findings here do not support the hypothesis that Hg exposure due to artisanal gold mining activities had a significant impact on autoantibodies as biomarkers of autoimmune diseases. In a review context, the epidemiological findings were interpreted in light of the conflicting data in the literature about how Hg exposure was linked to development of autoantibodies. Validation of these findings in prospective studies is needed to firmly establish the role of Hg in development of autoimmunity in human populations.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Interaction of mining activities and aquatic environment: A review from Greek mine sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasileiou, Eleni; Kallioras, Andreas

    2016-04-01

    In Greece a significant amount of mineral and ore deposits have been recorded accompanied by large industrial interest and a long mining history. Today many active and/or abandoned mine sites are scattered within the country; while mining activities take place in different sites for exploiting various deposits (clay, limestone, slate, gypsum, kaolin, mixed sulphide ores (lead, zinc, olivine, pozzolan, quartz lignite, nickel, magnesite, aluminum, bauxite, gold, marbles etc). The most prominent recent ones are: (i) the lignite exploitation that is extended in the area of Ptolemais (Western Macedonia) and Megalopolis (Central Peloponnese); and (ii) the major bauxite deposits located in central Greece within the Parnassos-Ghiona geotectonic zone and on Euboea Island. In the latter area, significant ores of magnesite were exploited and mixed sulphide ores. Centuries of intensive mining exploitation and metallurgical treatment of lead-silver deposits in Greece, have also resulted in significant abandoned sites, such as the one in Lavrion. Mining activities in Lavrio, were initiated in ancient times and continued until the 1980s, resulting in the production of significant waste stockpiles deposited in the area, crucial for the local water resources. Ιn many mining sites, environmental pressures are also recorded after the mine closure to the aquatic environment, as the surface waters flow through waste dump areas and contaminated soils. This paper aims to the geospatial visualization of the mining activities in Greece, in connection to their negative (surface- and/or ground-water pollution; overpumping due to extensive dewatering practices) or positive (enhanced groundwater recharge; pit lakes, improvement of water budget in the catchment scale) impacts on local water resources.

  6. 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.

  7. Remote Sensing based multi-temporal observation of North Korea mining activities : A case study of Rakyeon mine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, J. H.; Yu, J.; Koh, S. M.; Lee, G.

    2017-12-01

    Mining is a major industrial business of North Korea accounting for significant portion of an export for North Korean economy. However, due to its veiled political system, details of mining activities of North Korea is rarely known. This study investigated mining activities of Rakyeon Au-Ag mine, North Korea based on remote sensing based multi-temporal observation. To monitor the mining activities, CORONA data acquired in 1960s and 1970s, SPOT and Landsat data acquired in 1980s and 1990s and KOMPSAT-2 data acquired in 2010s are utilized. The results show that mining activities of Rakyeon mine continuously carried out for the observation period expanding tailing areas of the mine. However, its expanding rate varies between the period related to North Korea's economic and political situations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM) using mercury (Hg) amalgamation has been occurring on Buru Island, Indonesia since early 2012, and has caused rapid accumulation of high Hg concentrations in river, estuary and marine sediments. In this study, sediment samples were collected from several sites downstream of the Mount Botak ASGM site, as well as in the vicinity of the more recently established site at Gogrea where no sampling had previously been completed. All sediment samples had total Hg (THg) concentrations exceeding Indonesian sediment quality guidelines and were up to 82 times this limit at one estuary site. The geochemistry of sediments in receiving environments indicates the potential for Hg-methylation to form highly bioavailable Hg species. To assess the current contamination threat from consumption of local seafood, samples of fish, molluscs and crustaceans were collected from the Namlea fish market and analysed for THg concentrations. The majority of edible tissue samples had elevated THg concentrations, which raises concerns for food safety. This study shows that river, estuary and marine ecosystems downstream of ASGM operations on Buru Island are exposed to dangerously high Hg concentrations, which are impacting aquatic food chains, and fisheries resources. Considering the high dietary dependence on marine protein in the associated community and across the Mollucas Province, and the short time period since ASGM operations commenced in this region, the results warrant urgent further investigation, risk mitigation, and community education. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Mercury and other mining-related contaminants in ospreys along the Upper Clark Fork River, Montana, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langner, Heiko W; Greene, Erick; Domenech, Robert; Staats, Molly F

    2012-05-01

    We investigated links between mining-related contaminants in river sediment and their occurrence in nestling ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) in the Clark Fork River Basin, Montana, USA. Blood and feather samples from 111 osprey chicks were collected during 4 years from nests along river sections with greatly different sediment concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), and mercury (Hg). No significant differences between river sections were found among Zn (3,150 ± 160 μg L(-1)) and Cd (ospreys (mean 548 μg L(-1)) were observed downstream from a contaminated tributary (1-4 mg kg(-1) in sediment). In river sections with lower Hg concentrations in sediment, there was a negative correlation between blood Hg concentration and chick mass, presumably due to high deposition rates into growing feathers. This relationship was absent in sections of high Hg exposure. Osprey blood and feathers are suitable for monitoring Hg in aquatic ecosystems; however, responses of As, Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn are more subtle.

  10. Mercury contamination in selected foodstuffs and potential health risk assessment along the artisanal gold mining, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riaz, Arjumand; Khan, Sardar; Muhammad, Said; Liu, Caihong; Shah, Mohammad Tahir; Tariq, Mohsin

    2018-04-01

    This study investigates the mercury (Hg) contaminations in soil and foodstuffs along the artisanal gold mining areas, Gilgit-Baltistan Province, Pakistan. For this purpose, soils were analyzed for Hg concentrations and evaluated for the enrichment/contamination using enrichment factor or contamination factors (CF). The CF values ranged from 18.9 to 153 showed multifold higher levels of Hg contamination as compared to background or reference site. Foodstuffs including vegetables, seeds or grains and fish muscles showed Hg accumulation. Results revealed that Hg concentrations in foodstuffs were higher than the critical human health value set by European Union. The Hg in foodstuffs was consumed and, therefore, evaluated for the risk assessment indices using the daily intake (DI) and health risk index (HRI) for the exposed human population both children and adults. Results of this study revealed that cumulative HRI values through foodstuffs consumption were <1 (within safe limit), but if the current practices continued, then the Hg contamination could pose potential threat to exposed population in near future.

  11. Mercury distribution in coals influenced by magmatic intrusions, and surface waters from the Huaibei Coal Mining District, Anhui, China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yan, Zhicao; Liu, Guijian; Sun, Ruoyu; Wu, Dun; Wu, Bin; Zhou, Chuncai

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • Hg concentrations in coal and surface water samples were determined. • Hg is enriched in the Huaibei coals. • Magmatic activities imparted influences on Hg content and distribution. • Hg contents in surface waters are relative low at the present status. - Abstract: The Hg concentrations in 108 samples, comprising 81 coal samples, 1 igneous rock, 2 parting rock samples and 24 water samples from the Huaibei Coal Mining District, China, were determined by cold-vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry. The abundance and distribution of Hg in different coal mines and coal seams were studied. The weighted average Hg concentration for all coal samples in the Huaibei Coalfield is 0.42 mg/kg, which is about twice that of average Chinese coals. From southwestern to northeastern coalfield, Hg concentration shows a decreasing trend, which is presumably related to magmatic activity and fault structures. The relatively high Hg levels are observed in coal seams Nos. 6, 7 and 10 in the southwestern coal mines. Correlation analysis indicates that Hg in the southwestern and southernmost coals with high Hg concentrations is associated with pyrite. The Hg concentrations in surface waters in the Huaibei Coal Mining District range from 10 to 60 ng/L, and display a decreasing trend with distance from a coal waste pile but are lower than the regulated levels for Hg in drinking water

  12. Action of mercurials on activity of partially purified soluble protein kinase C from mice brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Inoue, Y.; Saijoh, K.; Sumino, K.

    1988-01-01

    The enzymatic activity of soluble protein kinase C from mice brain was inhibited by mercuric chloride (II) (HgCl 2 ) and organic mercurials, i.e. methyl mercury, phenyl mercury and p-chloromercuribenzoic acid (PCMB). The IC50 was 0.08 μM for HgCl 2 and about 1 μM for organic mercurials. Sulfhydryl blocking reagents such as 5.5'-dithiobis-2-nitrobenzoic acid (DTNB) and N-ethylmaleimide (NEM) were less potent but nevertheless inhibited the enzymic activity of protein kinase C. The Hill coefficients of HgCl 2 , DTNB and NEM were close to unity whereas the values for organic mercurials were 1.3 to 1.5. The inhibition was of a non-competitive type with respect to Hl histone. 3 H-PDBu binding activity was also inhibited by all of the reagents in a non-competitive manner. Mercurials apparently bind to sulfhydryl groups of protein kinase C to inhibit the enzymatic activity. (author)

  13. Mercury Removal with Activated Carbon in Coal-Fired Power Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapperport, J.; Sasmaz, E.; Wilcox, J.

    2010-12-01

    Coal is both the most abundant and the dirtiest combustible energy source on earth. In the United States, about half of the country’s electricity comes from coal combustion and the industry is rapidly expanding all over the world. Among many of coal’s flaws, its combustion annually produces roughly 50 tones in the U.S. and 5000 tons worldwide of mercury, a carcinogen and highly toxic pollutant. Certain sorbents and processes are used to try to limit the amount of mercury that reaches the atmosphere, a key aspect of reducing the energy source’s harmful environmental impact. This experiment’s goal is to discover what process occurs on a sorbent surface during mercury’s capture while also determining sorbent effectiveness. Bench-scale experiments are difficult to carry out since the focus of the experiment is to simulate mercury capture in a power plant flue gas stream, where mercury is in its elemental form. The process involves injecting air, elemental mercury and other components to simulate a coal exhaust environment, and then running the stream through a packed-bed reactor with an in-tact sorbent. While carrying out the reactor tests, the gas-phase is monitored for changes in mercury oxidation and following these gas-phase studies, the mercury-laden sorbent is analyzed using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Conclusions that can be drawn thus far are that brominated activated carbon shows very high mercury capture and that mercury is found in its oxidized form on the surface of the sorbent. The speciation, or conclusions drawn on the process and bonding sites on the surface, cannot be determined at this point simply using the current spectroscopic analysis.

  14. 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

  15. Panorama of mining activities in France during 1993-1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Michel, J.C.; Bornuat, M.; Heinry, C.; Le Berre, P.

    1995-01-01

    Demand, and thus prices and activities, in the French mining sector continued to suffer from the effects of the 1993 recession. The moderate economic recovery seen in 1994 has not had an immediate impact on the mining industry partly because of previously built up stocks, but some encouraging signs have appeared: a clear resumption of oil exploration, the anti-dumping measures of the European Union, and a new Chinese pricing policy particularly concerning tungsten, antimony and fluorite. In general, French mining continued its decline as illustrated by the closures of further iron, uranium and zinc mines and the loss of all tungsten, bauxite, lead, zinc and germanium mines. The very marked decrease in zinc, silver, uranium, iron and coal production reflects the programmed closure of certain mines. In detail, the balance is more varied and the situation and outlook are not as bleak for all mineral substances: decline is moderate for potassium, barite and fluorite; oil and gas in France and nickel in new Caledonia are stable; sulphur, talc, salt, kaolin, feldspar and silica production have recorded a slight growth while gold is in clear progression. However, these positive aspects cannot counter-balance the lack of significant new resources (hydrocarbons, potassium) and of sufficient exploration effort relative to the stakes (metal ore mines). The end of the National Mineral Inventory in 1993 and the very long procedures for mining permits obtention do not favor national or international private investment. (J.S.). 14 figs., 11 tabs

  16. A rapid neutron activation method for the determination of traces of mercury. The mercury content of biological material of differing geographical and chronological origin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rohde, H.

    1975-08-01

    A rapid method based on activation analysis has been developed for the determination of mercury in biological material. The method employs the delayed gamma rays as prompt gamma rays have been shown to display insufficient sensitivity. The mercury content of 182 fish derived from the waters of the region of South Western Germany has been determined. Relatively high concentrations (> 1 ppm) have been measured in the muscle of Rhine fish. Similar mercury contents have been observed in aged biological material (birds feathers and human hair) and contemporary living organisms. (orig.) [de

  17. Stress monitoring versus microseismic ruptures in an active deep mine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonnellier, Alice; Bouffier, Christian; Bigarré, Pascal; Nyström, Anders; Österberg, Anders; Fjellström, Peter

    2015-04-01

    monitoring data coming from the mine in quasi-real time and facilitates information exchanges and decision making for experts and stakeholders. On the basis of these data acquisition and sharing, preliminary analysis has been started to highlight whether stress variations and seismic sources behaviour might be directly bound with mine working evolution and could improve the knowledge on the equilibrium states inside the mine. Knowing such parameters indeed will be a potential solution to understand better the response of deep mining activities to the exploitation solicitations and to develop, if possible, methods to prevent from major hazards such as rock bursts and other ground failure phenomena.

  18. Determination of Chemical States of Mercury on Activated Carbon Using XANES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takaoka, Masaki; Takeda, Nobuo; Oshita, Kazuyuki; Yamamoto, Takashi; Tanaka, Tsunehiro; Uruga, Tomoya

    2007-01-01

    Although the adsorption of mercury vapor onto activated carbon is a widely used technology to prevent environmental release, the adsorption mechanism is not clearly understood. In this study, we determined the chemical states of mercury on two kinds of activated carbon using X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES) to elucidate the adsorption mechanism. The adsorption experiments of elemental mercury onto activated carbon were conducted under air and nitrogen atmospheres at temperatures of 20 and 160 deg. C. Two types of activated carbon were prepared. X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) measurements were carried out on beamline BL01B1 at SPring-8. Hg-LIII edge XANES spectra suggested that chemical adsorption of elemental mercury on the activated carbon occurred in the 20-160 deg. C temperature range. According to the XANES spectra, a difference occurred in the chemical states of mercury between AC no. 1 and AC no. 2. The Hg XANES spectra on AC no. 1 were similar to those of Hg2Cl2 and HgS, and the Hg XANES spectra on AC no. 2 were similar to that of HgO, which suggested that nitric acid treatment removed sulfur from AC no. 1 and functional groups that were strong oxidizers on the surface of AC no. 2 created HgO. According to the EXAFS oscillation, a difference occurred in the chemical states of mercury on AC no. 1 between 20 and 160 deg. C. We found that impurities and oxidant functional groups on activated carbon play key roles in mercury adsorption

  19. Effect of bleaching on mercury release from amalgam fillings and antioxidant enzyme activities: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cakir, Filiz Yalcin; Ergin, Esra; Gurgan, Sevil; Sabuncuoglu, Suna; Arpa, Cigdem Sahin; Tokgoz, İlknur; Ozgunes, Hilal; Kiremitci, Arlin

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this pilot clinical study was to determine the mercury release from amalgam fillings and antioxidant enzyme activities (Superoxide Dismutase [SOD] and Catalase[CAT] ) in body fluids after exposure to two different vital tooth bleaching systems. Twenty eight subjects with an average age of 25.6 years (18-41) having at least two but not more than four Class II amalgam fillings on each quadrant arch in the mouth participated in the study. Baseline concentrations of mercury levels in whole blood, urine, and saliva were measured by a Vapor Generation Accessory connected to an Atomic Absorption Spectrometer. Erythrocyte enzymes, SOD, and CAT activities in blood were determined kinetically. Subjects were randomly assigned to two groups of 14 volunteers. Group 1 was treated with an at-home bleaching system (Opalescence PF 35% Carbamide Peroxide, Ultradent), and Group 2 was treated with a chemically activated office bleaching system (Opalescence Xtra Boost 38% Hydrogen Peroxide, Ultradent) according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Twenty-four hours after bleaching treatments, concentrations of mercury and enzymes were remeasured. There were no significant differences on mercury levels in blood, urine, and saliva before and after bleaching treatments (p > 0.05). No differences were also found in the level of antioxidant enzyme activities (SOD and CAT) before and after treatments (p > 0.05). Mercury release did not affect the enzyme activities (p > 0.05). Bleaching treatments either office or home did not affect the amount of mercury released from amalgam fillings in blood, urine, and saliva and the antioxidant-enzyme activities in blood. Bleaching treatments with the systems tested in this pilot study have no deleterious effect on the mercury release from amalgam fillings and antioxidant enzymes in body fluids. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Worthington, Max J. H.; Kucera, Renata L.; Albuquerque, Inês S.; Gibson, Christopher T.; Sibley, Alexander; Slattery, Ashley D.; Campbell, Jonathan A.; Alboaiji, Salah F. K.; Muller, Katherine A.; Young, Jason; Adamson, Nick; Gascooke, Jason R.; Jampaiah, Deshetti; Sabri, Ylias M.; Bhargava, Suresh K.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Mercury pollution threatens the environment and human health across the globe. This neurotoxic substance is encountered in artisanal gold mining, coal combustion, oil and gas refining, waste incineration, chloralkali plant operation, metallurgy, and areas of agriculture in which mercury‐rich fungicides are used. Thousands of tonnes of mercury are emitted annually through these activities. With the Minamata Convention on Mercury entering force this year, increasing regulation of mercu...

  2. Responsible Development of AREVA's Mining Activities - Report 2012

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2013-09-01

    By defining AREVA's strategy and policies, this report aims to demonstrate the company's performance in the key areas of mining activity responsibility: ethics and governance, social report, the environment, occupational health and safety, community involvement, commitments to stakeholders. The data given cover the assets for which AREVA acts as operator in uranium mining activities: exploration, project development, production and rehabilitation. The consolidated data target activities in France, Canada, Niger, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Gabon and Namibia. Activities in the Central African Republic and those linked to La Mancha no longer fall within the scope of this report (sale of assets in 2012). This report is the third edition of this annual exercise

  3. Sorption of Heavy Metals from Mine Wastewater by Activated ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A study on sorption of heavy metal ions: Lead (Pb2+), Copper (Cu2+) and Cadmium (Cd2+) from mine wastewater by activated carbons prepared from coconut husk was conducted. The activated carbons were prepared by carbonisation of the husk at 900 ºC pyrolysis temperature, followed by steam activation of the ...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Case studies: Mining and milling activities - South African facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Metcalf, P.E.; Woude, S. van der

    2000-01-01

    The mining and milling of minerals is a very important industry in South Africa that employs more than 300,000 people. South Africa extracts minerals with naturally occurring radionuclides, amongst which uranium, monazite and zircon. Two case studies involving environmental restoration activities that are typically associated with mining and minerals processing are discussed. The first case study, Katdoringbos, describes the restoration of a contaminated site where scrap material originating from the mining and minerals processing facilities had been recycled. The other case study, Crown 4, deals with the restoration of a contaminated site where a mine tailings dam had been removed and the owner of the land wished to develop it for commercial exploitation. (author)

  7. Minimizing the Impact of Mining Activities for Sustainable Mined-Out ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nigeria is endowed with abundant mineral resources. However, their extraction and processing through mining activities especially, of the solid minerals are going on at different scales of intensity. Some of these operations, and their negative impacts to the environment which include: land degradation, ecological disruption ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Muddarisna

    2014-10-01

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

  9. Responsible Development of Areva's Mining Activities. 2010 report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2010-01-01

    After a map indicating the location of the main Areva's mining sites, this report provides several key figures and data and discusses the evolution of this activity which is part of the business core of the AREVA company. It gives a statement of values and principles, governance and commitments related to this activity. In order to report this activity, it addresses several topics: reduction of industrial risks, protection of workers and populations, rational consumption of water and energy resources, biodiversity preservation, management over time of waste rock and mining tailings, sustainable integration into territories, and contribution to social development. This document is proposed in French and in English

  10. Evaluation of activated carbon for control of mercury from coal-fired boilers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, S.; Laudal, D.; Dunham, G. [Univ. of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States)

    1995-11-01

    The ability to remove mercury from power plant flue gas may become important because of the Clean Air Act amendments` requirement that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assess the health risks associated with these emissions. One approach for mercury removal, which may be relatively simple to retrofit, is the injection of sorbents, such as activated carbon, upstream of existing particulate control devices. Activated carbon has been reported to capture mercury when injected into flue gas upstream of a spray dryer baghouse system applied to waste incinerators or coal-fired boilers. However, the mercury capture ability of activated carbon injected upstream of an electrostatic precipitator (ESP) or baghouse operated at temperatures between 200{degrees} and 400{degrees}F is not well known. A study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Electric power Research Institute is being conducted at the University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) to evaluate whether mercury control with sorbents can be a cost-effective approach for large power plants. Initial results from the study were reported last year. This paper presents some of the recent project results. Variables of interest include coal type, sorbent type, sorbent addition rate, collection media, and temperature.

  11. Neutron activation analysis of manganese-mercury telluride

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sadykov, I. I.

    2003-01-01

    The triple semiconductor compound Mn x Hg 1-x Te is a worthwhile material for the development of infra-red detectors. It's properties, as well as other semiconductors ones depend on impurity elements content. So, analytical Purity control of Mn x Hg 1-x Te is required. Some procedures of the neutron activation analysis of Te[1], Hg [2] and that of their compounds (Cd x Hg 1-x Te [3], for instance) have been developed recently. However, no papers on the NAA of Mn x Hg 1-x Te have been found. This paper describes the procedure of the NAA of Mn x Hg 1-x Te based on anion-exchange chromatographic separation of impurity and matrix elements. Experimental The following reagents were used: commerciality available strongly based anion-exchange resin AW-17 (50-100 meash), hydrochloride hydrasine of analytical grade, solutions of HCl and HNO 3 prepared from concentrated acids of reagent grade. Separation processes were studied by radioactive tracers. The gamma-activity was measured on a HPGe detector GC1518 (efficiency 15 %, resolution 1,7 keV at 1332,5 keV line of 6 0C o) using DSA-1000 digital multichannel analyzer (Canberra, USA). Radioactive tracers were produced by irradiation of metals, salts or oxides of corresponding elements in WWR-SM water-water nuclear reactor. Irradiation of Mn x Hg 1-x Te samples and standards was carried out in a channel of WWR-SM reactor with a neutron flux density of 1.10 14 cm 2 .s -1 for 10 h. Solutions of manganese and mercury were prepared by dissolving their oxides in concentric hydrochloric acid. Solutions of tellurium were prepared by dissolving metallic tellurium in HCl:HNO 3 (3:1) mixture. Solution obtained was evaporated to dryness, the reside was dissolved in conc. HCl. To reduce tellurium to Te(IV) 1-2 mg of hydrazine were dissolved in solution at slight heating. Then, distilled water was added in a required quantities to get a desired concentration of HCl. The chromatographic behaviour of matrix and impurity elements was studied

  12. The landscape degradation in the mining sites with suspended activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anca IONCE

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available The extracting industry, through its extraction activities, of shipping the ores, of breaking the ores, of preparing the practical substances, of stowing the useless rock, of transporting the practical substances, etc. might modify the area’s relief and the quality of ground, of thesurface waters and of the air. Suceava County has an old tradition of mining, where the results of this activity are visible, especially the visual point of view, and where not taking certain measures of ecological remediation will emphasize the disappointing image of the landscape within the areas of mining activity performing.The predominant mountainous landscape, in which mining activities have been held, is being affected also by the abandoned industrial and administrative buildings, in an advanced degradation state.The hydrographic system, very rich in mining areas, has its water quality affected by the acid rock drainage- phenomenon which appeared in many mining waste deposits.

  13. 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

  14. [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

  15. 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

  16. Extraction of gold and mercury from sea water with bismuth diethyldithiocarbamate prior to neutron activation-. gamma. -spectrometry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yu, J.C.; Lo, J.M.; Wai, C.M. (Idaho Univ. Moscow (USA). Dept. of Chemistry)

    1983-11-01

    Gold and mercury in sea water can be selectively extracted by bismuth diethyldithiocarbamate into chloroform at pH <= 1. The matrix species and many other trace elements in the system are effectively removed during extraction. When neutron activation-..gamma..-spectrometry is used, the detection limits for gold and mercury are 0.001 and 0.01 ..mu..g l/sup -1/, respectively. The relative precision is 9% for gold and 13% for mercury.

  17. Quantitative Assessment of Landscape Load Caused by Mining Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Csüllög Gábor

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In Hungary, not only the aftermath of the extraction in the past nearly 150 years, but also the economic changes taking place in the past two decades have had significant environmental consequences manifested, above all, in the landscape. It is, however, not sufficient to investigate the landscape components separately; it is necessary to explore connections within the landscape. Accordingly, the chief aim of this presentation has been, on the one hand, to work out the method of landscape load index, based on a quantitative database of mining claims and deposits of mining waste, which has revealed their impacts on the landscape as well. On the other hand, we have also aimed at developing the method of the mining load index of certain geographical landscape units. By calculating and analysing the indices, we have intended to build a quantitative database suitable for investigating the impacts of mining activities on the landscape. On the basis of the indices, the impacts and consequences could be ranked, and it was also possible to compare the impacts of different mining claims and waste deposits in three different landscape categories. With the main result of our examination, this will make it possible to investigate concrete problems and landscape conflicts caused by the landscape use of mining or its aftermath in different landscape units with a high load index.

  18. Impact of Gold mining activities on the water quality of the lower pra river

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dwamena, Offei Samuel K.

    2013-07-01

    This study was conducted to assess the extent of Mercury (THg) contamination at four locations within the Shama-Mporhor Wassa catchment area of the Lower Pra River. Water, fish and sediment samples were taken twice with the longitudinal transect method at Daboase, Beposo, Bokorkope and Shama during the minor rainy season in October and at the apex of the dry season in March. Careful investigation of the Shama-Mporhor Wassa catchment area revealed that two of the locations Daboase and Beposo had been continuously impacted by the activities of Artisanal Gold miners (AGM). From the study, Total Mercury (THg) levels were found to have persisted in River water several kilometers downstream the second Artisanal Gold mining (AGM) location at Shama estuary for both seasons. Ten trace elements Mercury (Hg), Selenium (Se), Copper (Cu), Chromium (Cr), Lead (Pb), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Nickel (Ni), Zinc (Zn) and Cadmium (Cd) were determined in water, fish and sediment samples using the Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) equipped with both Hydride Generation (HGAAS) for Selenium (Se) and Cold Vapour (CVAAS) for Total Mercury (THg). The levels of Total Mercury (THg) were largely above the WHO and USEPA guidelines for drinking water (1μg/L) and sediments (200 μg/Kg) respectively for the four locations investigated. Total Mercury (THg) exceeded the WHO, 2011 guideline value of 0.5 mg/Kg for fish species Clarias submarginatus but was below the guideline value for Xenomystus nigri. Mean concentration of Cd and Fe exceeded the WHO, 2011 guideline values for drinking water for the wet season. The other trace elements Zn, Ni, Cu, Cr, Se, Mn, and Pb had their mean concentration below the WHO, 2011 guideline values for drinking water. Apart from the mean concentration of Cd that exceeded the Canadian Interim Sediment Quality (ISQG) guideline value of 0.6 mg/Kg for the wet season, Cr, Cu, Zn, Ni and Pb were below their respective guideline values for both seasons. Statistical

  19. Hair Mercury Level is Associated with Anemia and Micronutrient Status in Children Living Near Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in the Peruvian Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinhouse, Caren; Ortiz, Ernesto J; Berky, Axel J; Bullins, Paige; Hare-Grogg, John; Rogers, Laura; Morales, Ana-Maria; Hsu-Kim, Heileen; Pan, William K

    2017-12-01

    Anemia has been widely studied in global health contexts because of severe nutritional deficiency, and more recently, inflammatory status, but chemical exposures are rarely considered. Until recently, "anemia" was used synonymously with "iron deficiency anemia (IDA)" in global health settings. However, only 50% of anemia cases worldwide are IDA. Environmental toxicology studies of anemia risk have generally focused on populations in developed countries, albeit with high exposure to environmental toxicants, such as lead or cadmium. In the developing world, toxicant exposures commonly coexist with other risk factors for anemia. In particular, artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) communities are at risk for dietary methylmercury exposure through contaminated fish consumption, and for anemia due to food insecurity and infectious and chronic diseases. Here, we report analysis of total hair mercury content, hemoglobin, and serum micronutrient levels in children hair mercury was 1.18 μg/g (range: 0.06-9.70 μg/g). We found an inverse association between total mercury and hemoglobin (β = -0.12 g/dL, P = 0.06) that persisted (β = -0.14 g/dL, P = 0.04) after adjusting for age, sex, anthropometrics, and vitamin B 12 in multivariate regression. This study provides preliminary evidence that methylmercury exposure is associated with anemia, which is especially relevant to children living near ASGM.

  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. Determination of mercury in dentists through Neutron activation analysis; Determinacion de mercurio en odontologos mediante Analisis por activacion neutronica

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Padilla M, M.A.; Granados C, F. [Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Nucleares, Departamento de Quimica, A.P. 18-1027, C.P. 11801 Mexico D.F. (Mexico)

    2000-07-01

    It was determined the mercury levels in urine through Neutron activation analysis to 25 dentists who have been exposed to mercury by several time periods, because of the routine manipulations of amalgams. The determined concentrations of mercury were less to 10 {mu} g Hg/l of urine. The results were founded inside the safety limits reported in the literature. The mercury levels in the dentists are associated with a wide variety of factors that contribute to their exposure as: number of years of dental practice, number of amalgams manipulated between others. (Author)

  2. 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

  3. Historical anthropogenic mercury in two lakes of Central Chile: comparison between an urban and rural lake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Álvarez, Denisse; Torrejón, Fernando; Climent, María José; Garcia-Orellana, Jordi; Araneda, Alberto; Urrutia, Roberto

    2018-02-01

    Mercury concentrations in the environment tend to decrease in recent years due to environmental restrictions. Lakes store mercury in their sediments, making them potential secondary contamination sources. In South America, the occurrence of mercury in lake systems has been associated mainly with volcanic emissions and only few records anthropogenic contamination in the pre-Hispanic period. The objective of this research was to study historical anthropogenic mercury concentration in two lakes in Central Chile (La Señoraza and Pillo), in order to establish background mercury levels and their variations from preindustrial to modern periods. Different background levels and mercury concentrations were found in each lake, with significantly higher concentrations in Lake La Señoraza during the last 150 years. Mining-related activities during the nineteenth century could have a negligible influence on mercury concentrations. Later on, the use of coal railroads and subsequent employment of mercury in the cellulose industry were associated with three- and fourfold increases in mercury concentration over the nineteenth century background levels, which decrease once these activities ceased. However, in the case of Lake Pillo, an important increase in mercury concentration can be observed between 1990 and the early twenty-first century, which could be related to a higher watershed/lake area ratio, extensive agriculture, and volcanic emission, being the latter that could have contributed with mercury to both systems. Nevertheless, sedimentological characteristics in Lake Pillo can be favorable to retain mercury in this aquatic system up to the present day.

  4. Determination of mercury concentration in biological materials by neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Munoz, L.; Gras, N.; Cortes, E.; Cassorla, V.

    1983-01-01

    The objective of this work was to obtain a confident analytical method for measuring the mercury concentration in biological materials. Destructive neutron activation analysis was used for this purpose and a radiochemical separation method was studied to isolate the mercury from its main interferences: sodium and phosphorus, because these elements in biological materials are in high concentrations. The method developed was based on the copper amalgamation under controlled conditions. Yield and reproductibility studies were performed using 203 Hg as radioactive tracer. Finally, food samples of regular consumption were analyzed and the results were compared with those recommended by FAO/WHO. (Author)

  5. Human Activity Recognition Using Hierarchically-Mined Feature Constellations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oikonomopoulos, A.; Pantic, Maja

    In this paper we address the problem of human activity modelling and recognition by means of a hierarchical representation of mined dense spatiotemporal features. At each level of the hierarchy, the proposed method selects feature constellations that are increasingly discriminative and

  6. Restoration activities in uranium mining and milling facilities in Spain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia Quiros, J.M.

    1997-01-01

    From the end of the 80's up to now, several tasks have been carried out in Spain on restoration in the field of uranium mining and milling, significant among them being Andujar Uranium Mill (FUA) closure and La Haba closure. Also, a study has been carried out on restoration of inoperative and abandoned uranium mine sites. At present, detailed plans are being worked out for the project on the closure of the Elefante plant. All activities have been developed in the common framework of national standards and regulations which are generally in compliance with the standards, regulations and recommendations of international organizations. This paper describes briefly the standards and the criteria applied to the restoration tasks at various sites of the uranium mining and milling facilities in Spain. The restoration activities have different characteristics La Haba facility is an isolated and conventional facility to produce uranium concentrate; in the case of old and abandoned uranium mines the intervention criteria is more relevant than the activities to be carried out; the closure (the first phase of licensing) and restoration activities of Elefante plant have to be developed taking into account that it is sited within the area of Quercus plant which is currently in operation. (author)

  7. Salt mine Asse II. Status of the retrieval activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2017-02-01

    The booklet on the status of retrieval activities in the salt mine Asse II includes information on the background of medium-level radioactive waste disposal during 1967 to 1978 on behalf of the Federal government. Since 2009 the former mine is operated by the BfS with the assignment of decommissioning. The potential risk for stability and safety due to problems of water ingress were known before beginning of the disposals. The retrieval of the radioactive waste will require many decades; the costs are financed by tax money. The planning of the retrieval is currently on the way, details of the concept are described.

  8. SORPTION OF MERCURY SPECIES BY ACTIVATED CARBONS AND CALCIUM-BASES SORBENTS: EFFECT OF TEMPERATURE, MERCURY CONCENTRATION AND ACID GASES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bench-scale studies of mercury/sorbent reactions were conducted to understand mechanistic limitations of field-scale attempts to reduce emissions of mercury from combustion processes. The effects of temperature (60 - 140 degrees C), sulfur dioxide (SO2, 1000 ppm ), hydrogen chlor...

  9. Health and environmental impact of mercury in the Philippines using nuclear techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cortex-Maramba, Nelia; Trinidad Francisco-Rivera, Ana; Manglicmot, Ailyn; Santos, Flora; Akagi, Hirokatsu

    2001-01-01

    Artisanal gold mining activities using mercury has proliferated in various parts of the country since the early 1980's. In Southern Philippines, it is estimated that a small-scale gold processor utilizes one kilogram of mercury every week or an average of fifty-two kgs./yr. Production is estimated at 30 kilograms of gold per day. It has been estimated that 140 tons of mercury flux have been dumped directly into the river systems from small-scale gold mining operations in one of the gold rush areas in the country. Small-scale mining operations have affected tributaries and water systems in the country that also relies heavily on fishing as a source of livelihood as well as the daily food fare among the low-income sectors in the area. Aside from this, cattle livestock and agricultural production have also been affected by these mining activities because of contamination of the irrigation and water systems. Presently, environmental and health monitoring conducted by several government agencies in the recent past were limited to the determination of total mercury only. Previous studies undertaken focused mainly on the exposure of adults and workers to mercury during mining/processing operations. Environmental quality monitoring showed total mercury sediment levels ranged from 0.55 ug/g dry weight while water samples from river systems exhibited mercury levels from 0.0728-0.0784 ppb. Fish samples collected showed levels ranging from 1.07-438.8 ppb for total mercury and 0.71-377.18 ppb for methyl mercury. Methyl mercury content in fish ranged from 56-99%. Laboratory results showed that total mercury hair samples in schoolchildren ranged from 0.278-20.393 ppm while methyl mercury levels were from 0.191-18.469 ppm. Methyl mercury represented 45.96%-99.81% of the total mercury levels in hair. Total blood mercury levels ranged from 0.757-56.88 ppb while methyl mercury blood levels ranged from 1.36-46.73 ppb. Summary of physical examination results showed that predominant

  10. Mining the active proteome of Arabidopsis thaliana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renier A. L. Van Der Hoorn

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Assigning functions to the >30.000 proteins encoded by the Arabidopsis genome is a challenging task of the Arabidopsis Functional Genomics Network. Although genome-wide technologies like proteomics and transcriptomics have generated a wealth of information that significantly accelerated gene annotation, protein activities are poorly predicted by transcript or protein levels as protein activities are post-translationally regulated. To directly display protein activities in Arabidopsis proteomes, we developed and applied Activity-based Protein Profiling (ABPP. ABPP is based on the use of small molecule probes that react with the catalytic residues of distinct protein classes in an activity-dependent manner. Labeled proteins are separated and detected from proteins gels and purified and identified by mass spectrometry. Using probes of six different chemotypes we have displayed of activities of 76 Arabidopsis proteins. These proteins represent over ten different protein classes that contain over 250 Arabidopsis proteins, including cysteine- serine- and metallo-proteases, lipases, acyltransferases, and the proteasome. We have developed methods for identification of in vivo labeled proteins using click-chemistry and for in vivo imaging with fluorescent probes. In vivo labeling has revealed novel protein activities and unexpected subcellular activities of the proteasome. Labeling of extracts displayed several differential activities e.g. of the proteasome during immune response and methylesterases during infection. These studies illustrate the power of ABPP to display the functional proteome and testify to a successful interdisciplinary collaboration involving chemical biology, organic chemistry and proteomics.

  11. 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

    2017-11-16

    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.

  12. Adsorption of mercury (II from liquid solutions using modified activated carbons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hugo Soé Silva

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Mercury is one of the most toxic metals present in the environment. Adsorption has been proposed among the technologies for mercury abatement. Activated carbons are universal adsorbents which have been found to be a very effective alternative for mercury removal from water. The effectiveness with which a contaminant is adsorbed by the solid surface depends, among other factors, on the charge of the chemical species in which the contaminant is in solution and on the net charge of the adsorbent surface which depend on the pH of the adsorption system. In this work, activated carbon from carbonized eucalyptus wood was used as adsorbent. Two sulphurization treatments by impregnation with sulphuric acid and with carbon disulphide, have been carried out to improve the adsorption capacity for mercury entrapment. Batch adsorption tests at different temperatures and pH of the solution were carried out. The influence of the textural properties, surface chemistry and operation conditions on the adsorption capacity, is discussed.

  13. Uptake of elemental mercury and activity of catalase in rat, hamster, guinea-pig, normal and acatalasemic mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eide, I.; Syversen, T.L.M.

    1982-01-01

    Uptake of elemental mercury after inhalation (3.5 mg/m 3 ) and the activity of catalase in brain, liver, kidney and blood were investigated in rat, hamster, guinea-pig, and normal and acatalasemic mice. The uptake of mercury in the species investigated varied considerably, being highest in the two strains of mice, followed by rat and hamster, and lowest in the guinea-pig. The uptake seemed to be more dependent on pulmonary ventilation than on the activity of catalase. The two strains of mice were exposed to a wide range of mercury concentrations in air (0.002-3.5 mg/m 3 ). The content of mercury in brain, liver and kidney was linearly dependent on the mercury concentration in the air, whereas in blood this relationship was exponential. At the lower concentraions of mercury in the inhaled air, the mercury level in blood was significantly lower, and in kidney higher in the acatalasemic mice compared to the normal ones. In acatalasemic mice the mercury content in the liver has higher at all concentrations investigated, whereas in brain no difference between the two strains was found. (author)

  14. 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.

  15. 78 FR 37404 - Small Business Size Standards: Support Activities for Mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-06-20

    ... Support Activities for Coal Mining $7.0 $19.0 213114 Support Activities for Metal Mining $7.0 $19.0 SBA is... million in net income after income taxes) for business concerns that do not meet the size standards for... Oil and Gas Operations.. $35.5 213113 Support Activities for Coal Mining $19.0 213114 Support...

  16. Responsible Development of Areva's Mining Activities - 2010 Report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2011-07-01

    Areva's mining activities place it among the world leaders in uranium production. The main objective of Areva's mining activities is ensuring uranium supply over the long term to produce nuclear power while emitting less CO 2 , reducing risks to people and the environment and contributing to the development of areas where mining activities take place. Areva's mining activities span five continents. This diversified portfolio allows the group to carry out exploration, project development and production activities in various geopolitical and technological contexts with the support of its staff's multi-cultural backgrounds. This document is the first Responsible Development report of Areva's Mining Activities. Content: 1 - All about Areva's Mining Activities (Interview with Sebastien de Montessus, General Director of Areva's Mining Activities, Ongoing Progress, The Core of Areva's Mining Activities Work); 2 - The Foundation of Areva's Mining Activities Approach (Values and Principles, Governance, Commitments); 3 - Reporting on Areva's Mining Activities (Scope, Relevance of Indicators, Outlook); 4 - Being a Responsible Mining Stakeholder (Actions, Reducing Industrial Risks, Ensuring the Protection of Workers and Populations, Consuming Water and Energy Resources in a Rational Way, Preserving Biodiversity, Managing Waste Rock and Mine Tailings over Time, Sustainable Presence, Contribution to Social Development); 5 - Glossary

  17. 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

  18. Cytoprotective effect against mercury chloride and bioinsecticidal activity of Eugenia jambolana Lam.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celestina E. Sobral-Souza

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is often utilized in genetic research, and in the last decades, it has become one of best organisms for studies of human diseases and toxicological research. Mercury chloride (HgCl2, the main representative of mercury compounds, is the target of numerous investigations, not only because of its intrinsic toxicity but also because it accounts for the toxicity of elemental mercury since the latter is converted to Hg+2 by oxidation. Eugenia jambolana Lam. Myrtaceae, known in Brazil as “jambolão”, is of great interest because of its medicinal applications, especially its leaves and fruits. The aim of this work was to characterize, by CG–MS, the chemical constituents of the essential oil of Eugenia jambolana and to evaluate its bioinsecticidal action in the Drosophila melanogaster model, as well as to determine the cytoprotective and chelating effect of the extract of E. jambolana. The results obtained here point to the potential of essential oils as a source in biological prospecting for bioinsecticides. Because of their biodegradability, essential oils can be important tools in the biological control of pests. The results demonstrated that the extract has an allelopathic effect on lettuce seeds and that its interaction with mercury chloride allows a greater growth of the radicle and plumule of Lactuta sativa seedlings, showing that this plant can provide an alternative solution to the problem of contamination by heavy metals, besides having cytoprotective potential and moderate chelating activity.

  19. Arsenic and mercury concentrations in marine fish sourced from local fishermen and fish markets in mine-impacted communities in Ratatotok Sub-district, North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentley, Keith; Soebandrio, Amin

    2017-07-15

    Mesel gold mine, Ratatotok Sub-district, North Sulawesi, Indonesia deposited about 4.5millionm 3 of detoxified tailings containing arsenic (As) and mercury (Hg) via a submarine pipeline into Buyat Bay. As and Hg analysis of 216 fish muscle tissue composites from subsistence fishermen, local markets and a reference market confirmed that mean As levels were comparable between locations (range 1.71 to 2.12mg/kg wet weight (ww)) and markets (0.11-0.14mg/kg ww) and lower at the reference market (0.04mg/kg ww). A 12-month fish availability study identified that the results were due to the different coral and deep ocean species assemblages. All mean values were <50% of the FAO/WHO/Codex standard for Hg. The results confirmed that there was no contamination from the deposited submarine tailings. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  20. Mercury Emissions Capture Efficiency with Activated Carbon Injection at a Russian Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    This EPA-led project, conducted in collaboration with UNEP, the Swedish Environmental Institute and various Russian Institutes, that demonstrates that the mercury emission control efficiencies of activated carbon injection technologies applied at a Russian power plant burning Rus...

  1. Mining and representing recommendations in actively evolving recommender systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Assent, Ira

    2010-01-01

    Recommender systems provide an automatic means of filtering out interesting items, usually based on past similarity of user ratings. In previous work, we have suggested a model that allows users to actively build a recommender network. Users express trust, obtain transparency, and grow (anonymous......) recommender connections. In this work, we propose mining such active systems to generate easily understandable representations of the recommender network. Users may review these representations to provide active feedback. This approach further enhances the quality of recommendations, especially as topics...... of interest change over time. Most notably, it extends the amount of control users have over the model that the recommender network builds of their interests....

  2. TSCA Chemical Data Reporting Fact Sheet: Reporting Manufactured Chemical Substances from Metal Mining and Related Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    This fact sheet provides guidance on the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule requirements related to the reporting of mined metals, intermediates, and byproducts manufactured during metal mining and related activities.

  3. Health and environmental impact of mercury in the Philippines using nuclear techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cortes-Maramba, Nelia; Reyes, J.P.; Panganiban, L.C.P.; Francisco-Rivera, Ana Trinidad; Suplido, M.L.; Akagi, Hirokatsu

    2002-01-01

    Mercury pollution in most parts of the regions in the world are caused by release into the environment of metallic mercury used in the recovery of gold by an amalgamation technique with subsequent mercury emission into the atmosphere by blowtorching operations. Significant small-scale gold mining operations in other countries such as Tanzania, Philippines, Indonesia, China and Vietnam have been reported with roughly 10 million people estimated to be involved in these activities Artisanal gold mining activities using mercury has proliferated in various parts of the country since the early 1980's. In Southern Philippines, it is estimated that a small-scale gold processor utilizes one kilogram of mercury every week or an average of fifty-two kgs/1yr. Production is estimated at 30 kilograms of gold per day. It has been estimated that 140 tons of mercury flux has been dumped directly into the river systems from small-scale gold mining operations in one of the gold rush areas in the country. In the 1980's, gold rush activities intensified in Northeastern Mindanao providing livelihood opportunities to about 80,000-120,000 people at the height of mining activities in the area. In gold mining areas it should be noted that transformation in the natural environment of inorganic mercury to methylmercury occurs which can easily bio-accumulate in fish and other organisms through the aquatic food chains. Therefore, there are two main exposure pathways of mercury contamination that can affect the human population in gold mining areas. First, gold miners and workers are exposed to inorganic mercury due to direct inhalation of mercury during gold recovery processes and second, people living along the river systems and depending on riverine products for food sources can be exposed to methylmercury mainly through fish consumption. Presently, environmental and health monitoring conducted by several government agencies in the recent past were limited to the determination of total

  4. [Evaluation of environmental conditions: air, water and soil in areas of mining activity in Boyacá, Colombia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agudelo-Calderón, Carlos A; Quiroz-Arcentales, Leonardo; García-Ubaque, Juan C; Robledo-Martínez, Rocío; García-Ubaque, Cesar A

    2016-02-01

    Objectives To determine concentrations of PM10, mercury and lead in indoor air of homes, water sources and soil in municipalities near mining operations. Method 6 points were evaluated in areas of influence and 2 in control areas. For measurements of indoor air, we used the NIOSH 600 method (PM10), NIOSH 6009 (mercury) and NIOSH 7300 (lead). For water analysis we used the IDEAM Guide for monitoring discharges. For soil analysis, we used the cold vapor technique (mercury) and atomic absorption (lead). Results In almost all selected households, the average PM10 and mercury concentrations in indoor air exceeded applicable air quality standards. Concentrations of lead were below standard levels. In all water sources, high concentrations of lead were found and in some places within the mining areas, high levels of iron, aluminum and mercury were also found. In soil, mercury concentrations were below the detection level and for lead, differences between the monitored points were observed. Conclusions The results do not establish causal relationships between mining and concentration of these pollutants in the evaluated areas because of the multiplicity of sources in the area. However, such studies provide important information, useful to agents of the environmental health system and researchers. Installation of networks for environmental monitoring to obtain continuous reports is suggested.

  5. The impact of military activities on the concentration of mercury in soils of military training grounds and marine sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gębka, Karolina; Bełdowski, Jacek; Bełdowska, Magdalena

    2016-11-01

    Military activities have been conducted on land and at sea. Both during conflicts and in peace time, some regions served as a military training ground which included firing positions and bunkers. Mercury fulminate has been used in ammunition primers and detonators. Certain amount of ammunition was dumped into the Baltic Sea after the Second World War. Because of corroded containers, mercury can be released into the marine environment. The soil and sediment samples were taken from military training grounds, southern Baltic in 2014 and 2015. The concentration of mercury was determined by AMA-254 analyzer. Hg concentration was higher in the places of military activities, as compared to other areas. Ten times increased concentration of Hg was determined in soil sample collected in area of active gun range compared to the reference station. The significant higher concentration of mercury was detected in stations where chemical warfare agents were found.

  6. [Proceedings of the VII international symposium 'Cultural heritage in geosciences, mining and metallurgy : libraries, archives, museums' : "Museums and their collections" held at the Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum Leiden (The Netherlands), 19-23 May, 2003 / Cor F. Winkler Prins and Stephen K. Donovan (editors)]: 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. Lipoid. In 1956, a rich petrographic-palaeontological collection was created at the

  7. Legal Policy Of Peoples Rights In Around Mining Corporate Post-Mining Activities

    OpenAIRE

    Teng Berlianty; Abrar Saleng; Irwansyah; Suriyaman Mustari Pide

    2015-01-01

    This study aims to gain an understanding of the essence of the rights of communities around post-mining corporate responsibility towards the fulfillment of the rights of communities around post-mining as well as government policies to protect the sustainability of the post-mining communities around the mining business. This type of research is a normative legal research methods using primary legal materials secondary and tertiary. With the approach of sociolegal through down the field in Gebe...

  8. Determination of arsenic and mercury in facial cosmetics by instrumental neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bravo Martinez, J.

    1979-01-01

    The presence of arsenic and mercury in some chilean facial cosmetics was investiged. Since in Chile there is no regulations dealing with the maximum permisible concentration of some chemical elements in cosmetics products, the national industry control neither the presence nor the quantity, if any, of those elements. The study was performed on compact or powder eye shadows by means of instrumental neutron activation analysis. The samples were analized without any chemical treatment and with minimum manipulation to avoid any possible contamination. A total of 67 samples from 9 different cosmetic industries were analysed. Arsenic was detected and determined quantitatively in 46 samples, ranging from 0.32 to 136 ppm. Mercury was not detected in any sample. The contamination of arsenic is due to the high concentration of this element in some of the raw material used in the manufacturing of the cosmetics, as was demonstrated by the analysis of these materials. (EC)

  9. Determination of mercury, arsenic and cadmium in fish by neutron activation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anand, S.J.S.

    1978-01-01

    Determination of mercury, arsenic and cadmium in fish has been carried out by neutron activation followed by chemical separation to remove the interfering activities of copper, zinc etc. The standard and the samples were counted for 77 keV gamma-rays of 65 hr 197 Hg, 336 keV gamma-rays of 115 In from 53,5 hr 115 Cd (after equilibrium) and 559 keV gamma-rays of 26.4 hr 76 As on a NaI(Tl) crystal in conjunction with a 400-channel pulse-height analyser. The minimum detection limit was one nanogram pro mercury, 15 nanograms for cadmium and one nanogram for arsenic for the total sample volume. The counting errors at the detection limits were around 15%, 9% and 6%, respectively. Some of the common varieties of fish have been analysed and their results are presented. The mean concentrations of mercury, cadmium and arsenic in fish are 43.7 ng/g, 47.3 ng/g and 543.1 ng/g, respectively. Only the edible muscle tissue samples were used for analysis. (T.G.)

  10. Impact of Mining Activities on Water Resources in the Vicinity of the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    T. M. Akabzaa11*, B. K. Banoeng-Yakubo1 and J. S. Seyire2

    1 Department of Geology, P. O. Box LG 58, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana ... The probe results did not show Hg in mine spoil, and very high Hg values observed in the vicinity of areas of intense illegal small- ... and ground water in the area, and assesses the impact of mining including illegal artisanal mining activities ...

  11. Methane activation on palladium and mercury loaded solid supports

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kataja, K.; Huuska, M.; Karinto, K.; Maijanen, A.; Reinikainen, M.; Kiviaho, J.; Hase, A. [VTT Chemical Technology, Espoo (Finland)

    1996-12-31

    Methane activation by non-radical method and especially possibilities to heterogenize the homogeneous non-radical system of Periana et al. was studied. Varied loadings of Pd and Hg were ion exchanged to acidic ZSM-5 zeolites with two different Si/A1 ratios. Activation was tested in tubular flow reactor and the outcoming gas was analyzed with quadrupole mass spectrometer. Catalysts, fresh and used, were characterized by XRF and XRD spectroscopies. The methane activation was observed on tested catalysts. However, the activation was concluded to occur mainly through radical reaction and only to some extent by the expected non-radical mechanism. (author) (9 refs.)

  12. The impact of military activities on the concentration of mercury in soils of military training grounds and marine sediments

    OpenAIRE

    G?bka, Karolina; Be?dowski, Jacek; Be?dowska, Magdalena

    2016-01-01

    Military activities have been conducted on land and at sea. Both during conflicts and in peace time, some regions served as a military training ground which included firing positions and bunkers. Mercury fulminate has been used in ammunition primers and detonators. Certain amount of ammunition was dumped into the Baltic Sea after the Second World War. Because of corroded containers, mercury can be released into the marine environment. The soil and sediment samples were taken from military tra...

  13. Analysis for trace mercury concentration. I. Critical evaluation of current procedures. II. A proposed method for determination by instrumental neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Litman, R.

    1975-01-01

    Current methods of sample pretreatments, digestion, lyophilization and extraction, have been found to lead to considerable loss of mercury, at an initial mercury concentration of 1 μg/g, and less. Storage of solutions of mercury at concentrations of less than 1 μg/ml, in glass, Teflon and polyethylene containers, leads to losses by adsorption. Electrochemical reduction of mercury to the metal, and subsequent volatilization, is postulated as the mechanism of loss from the samples studied during lyophilization. A method of instrumental neutron activation analysis, which obviates the above pretreatments, has been developed for mercury concentrations as low as 1 ng/ml

  14. Data Mining Activities for Bone Discipline - Current Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibonga, J. D.; Pietrzyk, R. A.; Johnston, S. L.; Arnaud, S. B.

    2008-01-01

    The disciplinary goals of the Human Research Program are broadly discussed. There is a critical need to identify gaps in the evidence that would substantiate a skeletal health risk during and after spaceflight missions. As a result, data mining activities will be engaged to gather reviews of medical data and flight analog data and to propose additional measures and specific analyses. Several studies are briefly reviewed which have topics that partially address these gaps in knowledge, including bone strength recovery with recovery of bone mass density, current renal stone formation knowledge, herniated discs, and a review of bed rest studies conducted at Ames Human Research Facility.

  15. Legal Policy Of Peoples Rights In Around Mining Corporate Post-Mining Activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teng Berlianty

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to gain an understanding of the essence of the rights of communities around post-mining corporate responsibility towards the fulfillment of the rights of communities around post-mining as well as government policies to protect the sustainability of the post-mining communities around the mining business. This type of research is a normative legal research methods using primary legal materials secondary and tertiary. With the approach of sociolegal through down the field in Gebe to get data concrete. Data were analyzed with qualitative analysis. The results showed that the essence of the rights of communities around mining operations after the mine in the form of the right to a decent life welfare the right to social security in the form of employment the guarantee of free education and healthcare for the local population as well as the right to a good environment and healthy as a guarantee of the continuity of human existence and future generations. These rights have not been fully realized post-mining. Corporate responsibility in accordance with Article 74 of Law No. 40 of 2007 on the fulfillment of the rights of communities around mining operations after the mine in the form of welfare responsibilities clothing food and shelter especially electricity and water have not been met then the social responsibility to empower communities around the mine as stakeholders as well as environmental responsibility. Legal policy such as the empowerment of communities around the mine in order to be self-sufficient after the post-mining public service policies in education and health as a form of existence of government using existing programs nationally and subordinate to the PT. Antam. as well as environmental protection policies in the form of post-mining reclamation formulated in the companys liabilities.

  16. Light Stable Isotopes in Aquifers Affected by Mining Activities in a Brazilian Mining Province

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, R. M.; de Carvalho, J. B.

    2013-05-01

    Iron ore is presently a main item in the Brazilian commercial agenda. Large reserves have converted this utility into an important source of export earnings and, secondarily, of raw materials for the domestic industry. Parallel to a boom in mining activities in the last years environmental impacts and a stress on natural resources have soared. A region exhibiting pronouncedly intensive mining activities lies in the central part of the State of Minas Gerais, the third economy of the federation. Mines are sited right beside the capital and neighbor towns amounting to nearly five million inhabitants and a pronounced dependence on groundwater resources. Besides, this region is a water divide enclosing the sources of main contributors to the most strategic fluvial basins in the country. Iron ore is by large the main mineral but other metals (including gold and uranium), as well as non-metals such as limestone, quartz and granite, also occur. Given the significance of this commodity in the country's trade balance and the demand of water resources with acceptable quality for human consumption, the scale of ensuing water use conflicts caused by its exploration is wide ranging and has to be coped with well grounded environmental assessment approaches. Tracer hydrology techniques might be a valuable tool in this context. The characteristics of the area being impacted have been surveyed, including climate and pluviometry, stratigraphic litology, geological structure, use of soil, mineral resources and their exploration, surface and ground water hydrology and their sundry uses. Data to be processed have been procured at local public agencies but as regard local hydrological features, particularly isotopic compositions, ad hoc surveys and methodologies were required. One instance concerns pluviometric isotopy due to the alpine character of the surveyed region altitude and temperature effects might take place. Hence different sites were monitored; cumulative pluviometer samples

  17. 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.

  18. Reclamation of lands disturbed by mining activities in Bulgaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Kirilov

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract. Disturbed by the mining industry area in Bulgaria is about 24.113 ha of which only 8.253 ha are reclaimed. Reclamation of disturbed areas covers a complex of engineering, technical, ameliorative, agricultural, forestry and other activities, which aim at restoration of the disturbed terrains and their re-entry into economic turnover in accordance with environmental conditions and area landscape. All disturbed lands as well as their adjacent areas that have completely or partially lost productivity as a result of the negative impact of mining activities and land damage are subject to reclamation. Land reclamation is a two-step process which includes: technical reclamation and biological reclamation. Technical reclamation is performed by the land owner and covers cleaning and preparation of the terrain, leveling, final formation and laying a humus soil layer on site by adding appropriate “improvers” (e.g. fertilizers, texture enhancers, etc.. Biological reclamation covers restoration of the productivity of the disturbed areas. Reclamation technologies applied in Bulgaria as a whole have led to a state of these territories that requires both maintenance and search for new ways of integration of the reclaimed landscapes with modern economic activities. The aim of the study is analysis and applying reliable modern practices that ensure good results in visual qualities of landscape and more options for future use of the reclaimed land.

  19. Mercury determination in dentist's hair and nails by instrumental neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mazzilli, B.; Munita, C.S.

    1986-01-01

    The mercury in scalp hair and fingernails of a group of dentists who usually handle with this toxic element in their profession is determined. The results were obtained by instrumental neutron activation analysis. The experimental procedure was based on the evaluation of the 197 Hg photopeak area, whose half life is 65h. After at a neutron fluxo of 5x10 12 n.cm -2 .sec -1 , the activity of the samples were measured by using a solid state Ge (Li) detector coupled to a 4.096 channel pulse height analyser. (M.A.C.) [pt

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Mercury pollution threatens the environment and human health across the globe. This neurotoxic substance is encountered in artisanal gold mining, coal combustion, oil and gas refining, waste incineration, chloralkali plant operation, metallurgy, and areas of agriculture in which mercury‐rich fungicides are used. Thousands of tonnes of mercury are emitted annually through these activities. With the Minamata Convention on Mercury entering force this year, increasing regulation of 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. PMID:28763123

  5. 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 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Tailings From Mining Activities, Impact on Groundwater, and Remediation

    OpenAIRE

    Khalid Al-Rawahy

    2001-01-01

    Effluent wastes from mining operations and beneficiation processes are comprized mostly of the following pollutants: total suspended solids (TTS), alkalinity or acidity (pH), settleable solids, iron in ferrous mining, and dissolved metals in nonferrous mining. Suspended solids consist of small particles of solid pollutants that resist separation by conventional means. A number of dissolved metals are considered toxic pollutants. The major metal pollutants present in ore mining and beneficiati...

  8. Written reports on the effects of mining activities on the natural environment in Idrija in the 19th Century

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Car, J.; Dizdarevic, T.

    2004-01-01

    The environmental conditions in the Idrija Mercury Mine and its broader surroundings were strongly affected in the first half of the 19th century by two disastrous pit fires. The fire could only be extinguished by flooding of the pit. The consequences of such flooding was extensive poisoning with

  9. On Future Coal Mining and Human Underground Activity

    OpenAIRE

    Petras, L.

    1980-01-01

    The IIASA Research Program for 1980 includes two Industry Studies under the general heading "Issues for the Eighties". The first of these industry studies is in Coal, in particular hard coal mining underground. This Professional Paper provides background material for a discussion of new mining technologies, e.g., robot mining devices, to be considered in the context of anticipated shortage of underground manpower.

  10. Effects of mercury and selenite on δ-aminolevulinate dehydratase activity and on selected oxidative stress parameters in rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perottoni, Juliano; Lobato, L.P.; Silveira, Aline; Rocha, J.B.T.; Emanuelli, Tatiana

    2004-01-01

    The present study evaluates the effects of Na 2 SeO 3 and HgCl 2 on kidney and liver of adult rats. In vivo, HgCl 2 (17 μmol/kg, sc) reduced ascorbic acid levels in liver (∼15%), whereas in kidney it reduced ALA-D activity (∼60%) and ascorbic acid levels (∼35%) and increased TBARS content (∼50%). Na 2 SeO 3 (17 μmol/kg, sc) exposure increased the content of nonprotein thiol groups in liver (35-60%) and kidney (∼50-160%), partially prevented mercury-induced ALA-D inhibition in kidney, and completely prevented a mercury-induced increase of TBARS content and decrease of ascorbic acid levels in kidney. In vitro, HgCl 2 and Na 2 SeO 3 inhibited renal and hepatic ALA-D, while HgCl 2 increased TBARS in renal and hepatic tissue preparations. Na 2 SeO 3 increased the rate of glutathione oxidation in vitro. Results indicated that Na 2 SeO 3 protected against HgCl 2 effects in vivo (prevention of mercury interaction with thiol groups and of mercury-induced oxidative damage). In vitro, Na 2 SeO 3 did not prevent mercury effects, but potentiated ALA-D inhibition by mercury, probably due to its ability to oxidize thiol groups

  11. Enhancement Experiment on Cementitious Activity of Copper-Mine Tailings in a Geopolymer System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Yu

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Copper-mine tailings are the residual products after the extraction of precious copper metal from copper ores, and their storage can create numerous environmental problems. Many researchers have used copper-mine tailings for the preparation of geopolymers. This paper studies the enhancement of the cementitious activity of copper-mine tailings in geopolymer systems. First, copper-mine tailings are activated through mechanical grinding activation. Then, the mechanically activated copper-mine tailings are further processed through thermal activation and alkaline-roasting activation. The cementitious activity index of copper-mine tailings is characterized through the degree of leaching concentration of Si and Al. It was observed that the Si and Al leaching concentration of mechanically activated tailings was increased by 26.03% and 93.33%, respectively. The concentration of Si and Al was increased by 54.19% and 119.92%, respectively. For alkaline-roasting activation, roasting time, temperature and the mass ratio of copper-mine tailings to NaOH (C/N ratio were evaluated through orthogonal tests, and the best condition for activation was 120 min at 600 °C with a C/N ratio of 5:1. In this study, scanning electron microscopy (SEM, X-ray diffraction (XRD and infra-red (IR analysis show that mechanical, thermal and alkaline-roasting activation could be used to improve the cementitious activity index of copper-mine tailings.

  12. 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.

  13. An Investigation of Organic and Inorganic Mercury Exposure and Blood Pressure in a Small-Scale Gold Mining Community in Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mozhgon Rajaee

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available There is increasing concern about the cardiovascular effects of mercury (Hg exposure, and that organic methylmercury and inorganic Hg2+ may affect the cardiovascular system and blood pressure differentially. In small-scale gold mining communities where inorganic, elemental Hg exposures are high, little is known about the effects of Hg on blood pressure. In 2011, we assessed the relationship between Hg exposure and blood pressure (BP in a cross-sectional study of adults from a small-scale gold mining community, Kejetia, and subsistence farming community, Gorogo, in Ghana’s Upper East Region. Participants’ resting heart rate and BP were measured, and hair and urine samples were provided to serve as biomarkers of organic and inorganic Hg exposure, respectively. Participants included 70 miners and 26 non-miners from Kejetia and 75 non-miners from Gorogo. Total specific gravity-adjusted urinary and hair Hg was higher among Kejetia miners than Kejetia non-miners and Gorogo participants (median urinary Hg: 5.17, 1.18, and 0.154 µg/L, respectively; hair Hg: 0.945, 0.419, and 0.181 µg/g, respectively. Hypertension was prevalent in 17.7% of Kejetia and 21.3% of Gorogo participants. Urinary and hair Hg were not significantly associated with systolic or diastolic BP for Kejetia or Gorogo participants while adjusting for sex, age, and smoking status. Although our results follow trends seen in other studies, the associations were not of statistical significance. Given the unique study population and high exposures to inorganic Hg, the work contained here will help increase our understanding of the cardiovascular effects of Hg.

  14. Fish and wildlife evaluation of wetlands created by mining activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kepler, S.R.; Sabolcik, T.M.

    1994-01-01

    Four lacustrine wetland systems in Pennsylvania created by mining activities, either by sand and gravel or bituminous coal removal, were samples to determine the functional values of the fish and wildlife habitat. Most of the sampled sites were remnants of pre-act (1977) mining where minimal, if any, reclamation techniques were used. Natural succession within these impoundments have created ecosystems different in quality based on the availability of suitable habitat. Sampling techniques used to evaluate the wetland systems included initial water quality analyses, and aquatic habitat mapping using visual observations, LCD recorder, and computerized chart recorder. Fish populations were sampled using a boat mounted D.C. electrofishing unit with game fish being collected, weighted and measured and population estimates calculated as catch per unit effort (CPUE). Wildlife utilization of each site was conducted during the spring nesting season. Each site was surveyed for species utilization, nest searches determined whether nesting occurred and nesting success was noted. Wildlife utilization was determined by observation, tracks, calls, scat, etc. Whenever possible sites were monitored during the fall migration period to determine whether the sites were being utilized by migratory waterfowl. Wetland vegetative studies were also conducted at each site. Wetland species were identified and concentrations and dispersion of each wetland species were noted. Each sampled wetland data set is presented separately because of the variabilities between sampled sites based on the geology, reclamation status, and habitat

  15. Resilience of benthic deep-sea fauna to mining activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gollner, Sabine; Kaiser, Stefanie; Menzel, Lena; Jones, Daniel O B; Brown, Alastair; Mestre, Nelia C; van Oevelen, Dick; Menot, Lenaick; Colaço, Ana; Canals, Miquel; Cuvelier, Daphne; Durden, Jennifer M; Gebruk, Andrey; Egho, Great A; Haeckel, Matthias; Marcon, Yann; Mevenkamp, Lisa; Morato, Telmo; Pham, Christopher K; Purser, Autun; Sanchez-Vidal, Anna; Vanreusel, Ann; Vink, Annemiek; Martinez Arbizu, Pedro

    2017-08-01

    With increasing demand for mineral resources, extraction of polymetallic sulphides at hydrothermal vents, cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts at seamounts, and polymetallic nodules on abyssal plains may be imminent. Here, we shortly introduce ecosystem characteristics of mining areas, report on recent mining developments, and identify potential stress and disturbances created by mining. We analyze species' potential resistance to future mining and perform meta-analyses on population density and diversity recovery after disturbances most similar to mining: volcanic eruptions at vents, fisheries on seamounts, and experiments that mimic nodule mining on abyssal plains. We report wide variation in recovery rates among taxa, size, and mobility of fauna. While densities and diversities of some taxa can recover to or even exceed pre-disturbance levels, community composition remains affected after decades. The loss of hard substrata or alteration of substrata composition may cause substantial community shifts that persist over geological timescales at mined sites. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Abandoned Smolník mine (Slovakia – a catchment area affected by mining activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lintnerová, Otília

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Smolník is a historical Cu-mining area that was exploited from the 14th century to 1990. The Smolník mine was definitively closed and flooded in 1990–1994. Acid mine drainage discharging from the flooded mine (pH = 3.83, Fe = 542 mg/l, SO42– = 3642 mg/l, Cu = 1880 µg/l, Zn = 9599 µg/l, As = 108 mg/l acidified and contaminated the Smolník Creek water, which transported pollution into the Hnilec River catchment. The Smolník mine waste area has been used as a model area to document pollution of waters, stream sediments, and soils by metals and other toxic elements. Major goals of this complex study were to document creek water transport of the main pollutants (Fe, sulphates, Cu, Al, As, etc. in the form of suspended solids, to investigate elements mobility in common mine waste (rock and processing waste heaps and tailing impoundment and in the soil on the basis of neutralization and leach experiments. Different methodologies and techniques for sampling and chemical and mineralogical characterization of samples were used and checked to evaluate environmental risk of this abandoned mine area.

  17. Technical activities of the Project Surata River for the handling of mercury and cyanide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pinzon, Juan Manuel; Ruiz, Jorge Nelson; Jaimes, Cristian Libardo

    2004-01-01

    The technical works executed by the project have been framed in the philosophy of reducing the contamination for mercury and cyanide in the operations of auriferous benefit, without causing detriment in the economic revenues of the miners, on the contrary, trying to carry out a better use of the auriferous mineral. In this sense, the project has toasted from simple solutions that allow to reduce the use of the pollutants mentioned a little until solutions more complex than they require introduction of gravimetric teams in pro of reducing the quantity of minerals amalgamated y/o cyanidates. This way an action plan was developed that contemplates a diagnosis stage, followed by a stage of executions in which has been worked in the modification of the systems of gravimetric concentration, process of amalgamation and in the cyanidation process. Particular emphasis has noticed to the cyanidation process for percolation, given its importance in the benefit and its degree of environmental affectation. Through a revision of the method used by the miners, it was possible to modify the technique and to reduce in 40% the global consumption of cyanide in the companies of the District Mining Vetas - California. Metallurgic studies in the advised companies allowed to verify that strengthening the gravimetric concentration is possible to gather 80% of the gold (heavy minerals) in 15% of the processed global material. Under these conditions the introduction of the cyanidation is facilitated by agitation, allowing to reduce the contamination for cyanide and to make a bigger use of the auriferous mineral

  18. Comparison of Granular Activated Carbon, Natural Clinoptilolite Zeolite, and Anthracite Packed Columns in Removing Mercury from Drinking Water

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Taghi Samadi

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Development of effective methods for the removal of such pollutants as heavy metals (e.g., mercury from surface and ground water resources introduced by municipal and industrial wastewaters seems to be inevitable, especially in the face of the importance of water reuse in combating water shortages, limited availability of water resources, and imminent risks of a water crisis in Iran. A number of methods are already available for the removal of mercury from water resources. However, these techniques must be investigated for their practicability and economy, in addition to their not only effectiveness. In this research, granular activated carbon, natural zeolite, and anthracite packed-columns were investigated as cheap and effective adsorbents for the removal of mercury. Moreover, the effects of changes in pH (6-8, influent mercury concentrations (0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and 1 ppm, contact time (0.5, 1, 2, 3 hr were investigated. Mercury concentration in the samples was determined using a ditizon indicator and spectrophotometry at 492 nm. Results showed that decreasing influent mercury concentration from 1 ppm to 0.25 ppm (under constant conditions increased the removal efficiencies of anthracite, granular activated carbon, and zeolite columns from22%, 63%, and 55% to 28%, 72%, and 64%, respectively. Increasing contact time from 0.5 hr to 3 hr caused the removal efficiencies of these columns to increase from 22%, 56%, and 54% to 42%, 86%, and 82%, respectively. Also, increasing pH level led to increased removal efficiencies of the studied columns. It was found that contact time played a more effective role in enhancing mercury removal efficiency in the granular activated carbon column than in the other two columns. The ranges of mercury removal efficiency obtained for the granular activated carbon, natural zeolite, and anthracite columns under various conditions were (51%-92%, (42%-88%, and (16%-52%, respectively. Based on these results, granular

  19. Antioxidant and mercury chelating activity of Psidium guajava var. pomifera L. leaves hydroalcoholic extract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinho, Antonio Ivanildo; Oliveira, Cláudia Sirlene; Lovato, Fabricio Luís; Waczuk, Emily Pansera; Piccoli, Bruna Candia; Boligon, Aline Augusti; Leite, Nadghia Figueredo; Coutinho, Henrique Douglas Melo; Posser, Thais; Da Rocha, João Batista Teixeira; Franco, Jeferson Luis

    2017-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is widely distributed in the environment and is known to produce several adverse effects in organisms. The aim of the present study was to examine the in vitro antioxidant activity and Hg chelating ability of the hydroalcoholic extract of Psidium guajava leaves (HEPG). In addition, the potential protective effects of HEPG against Hg(II) were evaluated using a yeast model (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). HEPG was found to exert significant antioxidant activity in 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl scavenger and inhibition of lipid peroxidation induced by Fe(II) assays in a concentration-dependent manner. The extract also exhibited significant Hg(II) chelating activity. In yeast, Hg(II) induced a significant decrease in cell viability. In contrast, HEPG partially prevented the fall in cell viability induced by Hg(II). In conclusion, HEPG exhibited protective effects against Hg(II)-mediated toxicity, which may be related to both antioxidant and Hg(II)-chelating activities.

  20. Online Nonparametric Bayesian Activity Mining and Analysis From Surveillance Video.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastani, Vahid; Marcenaro, Lucio; Regazzoni, Carlo S

    2016-05-01

    A method for online incremental mining of activity patterns from the surveillance video stream is presented in this paper. The framework consists of a learning block in which Dirichlet process mixture model is employed for the incremental clustering of trajectories. Stochastic trajectory pattern models are formed using the Gaussian process regression of the corresponding flow functions. Moreover, a sequential Monte Carlo method based on Rao-Blackwellized particle filter is proposed for tracking and online classification as well as the detection of abnormality during the observation of an object. Experimental results on real surveillance video data are provided to show the performance of the proposed algorithm in different tasks of trajectory clustering, classification, and abnormality detection.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 78 FR 45051 - Small Business Size Standards; Support Activities for Mining; Correction

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-26

    ... Industry Classification System (NAICS) Subsector 213, Support Activities for Mining, that are based on... SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION 13 CFR Part 121 RIN 3245-AG44 Small Business Size Standards; Support Activities for Mining; Correction AGENCY: U.S. Small Business Administration. ACTION: Final rule; correction...

  4. Indoor metallic pollution related to mining activity in the Bolivian Altiplano

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fonturbel, Francisco E.; Barbieri, Enio; Herbas, Cristian; Barbieri, Flavia L.; Gardon, Jacques

    2011-01-01

    The environmental pollution associated with mining and metallurgical activities reaches its greatest extent in several Andean cities and villages. Many locations in this area have accumulated through centuries a large amount of mining wastes, often disregarding the magnitude of this situation. However, in these naturally mineralized regions, there is little information available stating the exact role of mining and metallurgical industries in urban pollution. In this study, we demonstrated that the various metallic elements present in indoor dust (As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Sb, Sn, Zn) had a common origin and this contamination was increased by the proximity to the mines. Lead dust concentration was found at concerning levels for public health. In addition, wrong behaviors such as carrying mining workwear home contributed to this indoor dust pollution. Consequently, the constant exposure of the population could represent a potential health hazard for vulnerable groups, especially children. - Highlights: → We measured polymetallic pollution in household indoor dust from a mining town. → Toxic elements (Pb, As, Cd, Sb) in dust are correlated, suggesting a common origin. → The most polluted houses are within a 1 km radius around the mining center. → Carrying mining workwear home increases indoor pollution. → Lead concentrations in dust represent a serious concern for Public Health (600 μg/g). - In a typical Andean mining city, the urban indoor pollution with toxic metallic elements is directly related to the closeness of the mining activities.

  5. Indoor metallic pollution related to mining activity in the Bolivian Altiplano

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fonturbel, Francisco E., E-mail: fonturbel@ug.uchile.cl [Departamento de Ciencias Ecologicas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Santiago (Chile); Barbieri, Enio [IRD-HSM (Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement), La Paz (Bolivia, Plurinational State of); Herbas, Cristian [Universidad Mayor de San Andres, IGEMA Institute (Instituto de Investigaciones Geologicas y del Medio Ambiente), La Paz (Bolivia, Plurinational State of); Barbieri, Flavia L.; Gardon, Jacques [IRD-HSM (Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement), La Paz (Bolivia, Plurinational State of); Universidad Mayor de San Andres, SELADIS Institute (Instituto de Servicios de Laboratorio para el Diagnostico e Investigacion en Salud), La Paz (Bolivia, Plurinational State of)

    2011-10-15

    The environmental pollution associated with mining and metallurgical activities reaches its greatest extent in several Andean cities and villages. Many locations in this area have accumulated through centuries a large amount of mining wastes, often disregarding the magnitude of this situation. However, in these naturally mineralized regions, there is little information available stating the exact role of mining and metallurgical industries in urban pollution. In this study, we demonstrated that the various metallic elements present in indoor dust (As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Sb, Sn, Zn) had a common origin and this contamination was increased by the proximity to the mines. Lead dust concentration was found at concerning levels for public health. In addition, wrong behaviors such as carrying mining workwear home contributed to this indoor dust pollution. Consequently, the constant exposure of the population could represent a potential health hazard for vulnerable groups, especially children. - Highlights: > We measured polymetallic pollution in household indoor dust from a mining town. > Toxic elements (Pb, As, Cd, Sb) in dust are correlated, suggesting a common origin. > The most polluted houses are within a 1 km radius around the mining center. > Carrying mining workwear home increases indoor pollution. > Lead concentrations in dust represent a serious concern for Public Health (600 {mu}g/g). - In a typical Andean mining city, the urban indoor pollution with toxic metallic elements is directly related to the closeness of the mining activities.

  6. Assessment of environmental and health risks in former polymetallic ore mining and smelting area, Slovakia: Spatial distribution and accumulation of mercury in four different ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Árvay, Július; Demková, Lenka; Hauptvogl, Martin; Michalko, Miloslav; Bajčan, Daniel; Stanovič, Radovan; Tomáš, Ján; Hrstková, Miroslava; Trebichalský, Pavol

    2017-10-01

    Former long-term mining and smelting of pollymetallic ores in the Middle Spiš area caused a serious contamination problem of the environment with heavy metals and metalloids, especially mercury (Hg). Several studies have reported concentration of Hg in the area but this paper provides first detailed characterization of Hg contamination of different environmental components in agricultural, forest, grassland and urban ecosystems. The ecosystems are in different distances from emission sources - former mercury and copper smelting plants in NE Slovakia. Total Hg content was studied in soil/substrate samples (n = 234) and characteristic biological samples (Athyrium filix-femina (L.) Roth, Macrolepiota procera (Scop.) Singer, Boletus edulis Bull., Cyanoboletus pulverulentus (Opat.) Gelardi, Vizzini & Simonini, Triticum aestivum (L.), Poa pratensis (L.)) (n = 234) collected in the above-mentioned ecosystems. The level of contamination and environmental risks were assessed by contamination factor (C f ), index of geoaccumulation (I geo ) and potential environmental risk index (PER). To determine the level of transition of Hg from abiotic to biotic environment, bioconcentration factor (BCF) was used. To determine a health risk resulting from regular and long-term consumption of the locally available species, the results of the Hg content were compared with the Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake (PTWI) for Hg defined by World Health Organization. The results suggest that almost 63% of the area belong to the very high risk category and 80% of the sampling sites shown very high contamination factor. Geoaccumulation index showed that almost 30% of the area is very strongly contaminated and only 8% is not contaminated with Hg. Spearman's correlation relationship confirmed that the values of PER, BCF, C f and I geo decreased with an increasing distance from the pollution source. The percentage of contribution to PTWI ranged between 5.76-69.0% for adults and 11.5-138% for

  7. Transits in our Solar System for educational activities: Mercury Transit 2016 and Total Solar Eclipse 2017

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Ayúcar, M.; Breitfelner, M.

    2017-09-01

    Solar transits are rare astronomical event of profound historical importance and with an enormous potential to engage nowadays students and general public into Planetary Sciences and Space. Mercury transits occur only about every 13-14 times per century. Total solar eclipses occur around 18 months apart somewhere on Earth, but they recur only every 3-4 centuries on the same location. Although its historic scientific importance (examples, to measure the distances in the solar system, to observe the solar corona) has diminished since humanity roams our solar system with robotic spacecrafts, transits remain a spectacular astronomical event that is used very effectively to engage general public and students to Science and Space in general. The educational project CESAR (Cooperation through Education in Science and Astronomy Research) has been covering since 2012 such events (Venus transit 2012, live Sun transmissions, solar eclipses, ISS transits ...). We report the outstanding outcome of the two public educational and outreach events since last year: the May 2016 Mercury Transit, and the recent August 2017 Total Eclipse. And the follow up activities expected for future transits.

  8. 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.

  9. Changing patterns in the use, recycling, and material substitution of mercury in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilburn, David R.

    2013-01-01

    the United States since 1992. In 1996, the three leading end-use sectors for mercury in the United States were chloralkali manufacturing (accounting for 38 percent of consumption), electrical and electronic instrumentation (13 percent of consumption), and instruments and measuring devices (11 percent of consumption). In 2010, the three leading end-use sectors were dental amalgam (accounting for between 35 and 57 percent of consumption), electrical and electronic instrumentation (29 percent of consumption), and batteries (8 percent of consumption). Mercury use in lighting is increasing because incandescent lights are being phased out in favor of mercury-containing compact fluorescent bulbs, but the demand for mercury per unit produced is small. Dental amalgam constituted the largest amount of mercury in use in the United States. One study reported about 290 t of mercury in dental amalgam was estimated to be contained in human mouths, an estimated 30 t of mercury amalgam was treated as waste, 28.5 t of mercury amalgam was released to the environment, 6 t of amalgam was recycled, and 3.5 t was treated and stored in landfills in 2009. Mercury contained in products recovered by State, municipal, or industry collection activities is recycled, but the estimated overall recycling rate is less than 10 percent. Increasingly, the U.S. mercury recycling industry has been processing a significant amount of mercury-containing material derived from foreign gold mining operations or decommissioned mercury-cell chloralkali plants. Regulation of mercury export and storage is expected to result in surplus mercury inventories in the United States. The Mercury Export Ban Act of 2008 limits elemental mercury exports for unregulated uses such as artisanal gold mining after January 1, 2013, and requires development of adequate long-term storage facilities in the United States for elemental mercury. During the past 4 years, producers and recyclers of elemental mercury have been exporting

  10. Recommending Learning Activities in Social Network Using Data Mining Algorithms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahnane, Lamia

    2017-01-01

    In this paper, we show how data mining algorithms (e.g. Apriori Algorithm (AP) and Collaborative Filtering (CF)) is useful in New Social Network (NSN-AP-CF). "NSN-AP-CF" processes the clusters based on different learning styles. Next, it analyzes the habits and the interests of the users through mining the frequent episodes by the…

  11. Actual Uranium Exploration and Mining Activities in Niger

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kache, Mamane

    2014-01-01

    Conclusion: Since the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in 2011, many mining companies are not interested in uranium. It leads to the decrease in uranium spot price and the delay of IMOURAREN Project. Only, 47 exploration licenses for 12 mining companies are now valid in Niger.

  12. ORD Technical Outreach and Support Activities on Sustainable Mining Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardrock mining has played a significant role in the development of economies, consumer products and defense in the United States from the start of industrialization. Currently, the industry continues to lay a critical role in the development of our country. Mining waste which ...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. IDENTIFYING RECENT SURFACE MINING ACTIVITIES USING A NORMALIZED DIFFERENCE VEGETATION INDEX (NDVI) CHANGE DETECTION METHOD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coal mining is a major resource extraction activity on the Appalachian Mountains. The increased size and frequency of a specific type of surface mining, known as mountain top removal-valley fill, has in recent years raised various environmental concerns. During mountainto...

  16. Impact of Mining Activities on Water Resources in the Vicinity of the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    T. M. Akabzaa11*, B. K. Banoeng-Yakubo1 and J. S. Seyire2

    Abstract. Surface and groundwater samples within the catchment area of the Obuasi mine were analysed to assess the impact of mining activities on water resources. The concentration of Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, Hg, As and selected major ions in water samples were analysed to assess their role in the contamination of both ...

  17. Impact of mining activities on water resources in the vicinity of the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Surface and groundwater samples within the catchment area of the Obuasi mine were analysed to assess the impact of mining activities on water resources. The concentration of Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, Hg, As and selected major ions in water samples were analysed to assess their role in the contamination of both surface ...

  18. Responsible Development On Areva's Mining Activities - Report 2016

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2017-01-01

    Constituting the first link in the nuclear fuel cycle, New Areva's mining activities cover research, production and commercialization of uranium throughout the world. New Areva counts among the world's leading producers of uranium enjoying competitive production costs and with mines in operation in Canada, Kazakhstan and Niger. Committed to its role as a responsible mining company, New Areva conducts its mining activities in a manner that fully respects people and the environment, and contributes to the economic development of local regions and their populations. Thanks to a presence spanning five continents, they ensure the long-term supply to customers of uranium for electricity production while maintaining a responsible attitude towards people and the environment. It has a diverse portfolio of both active mines (Canada, Kazakhstan and Niger) and mines under development (Africa). This document is Areva's Mining Activities responsible Development report for 2016. Content: profile (Overview, Keys events, Worldwide presence, Governance and Organization, Uranium market); CSR approach (Top management statement, Risk management, Ethics and human rights, Voluntary initiatives, Materiality); Commitments (Health, occupational safety and radiation protection, Environment and Biodiversity, Social involvement, Commitment to employees, Mining closure, R and D and Innovation); Performance (CSR objectives, Key indicators, Reporting parameters); Case Studies; Annexes (GRI Index)

  19. Determination of mercury in human serum and packed blood cells by neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Versieck, J.; Vanballenberghe, L.; Wittoek, A.; Vermeir, G.; Vandecasteele, C.

    1990-01-01

    A method is described for the determination of mercury in human blood serum and packed blood cells employing neutron activation analysis. Great attention was devoted to the collection and manipulation of the samples. The accuracy and precision of the method were tested by analyzing biological reference materials and by comparing the concentrations measured in a number of serum samples to those obtained by another, independent technique (cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry) in the same samples. The article reports the levels measured in blood serum and packed blood cells samples from 15 adult volunteers, as well as the figures determined in a open-quotes second-generationclose quotes biological reference material (freeze-dried human serum), prepared and conditioned at the University of Ghent

  20. A simple neutron activation method for the determination of mercury at ppb level in wheat flour

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polkowska-Motrenko, H.; Dybczynski, R.

    1976-01-01

    A new method for the determination of ppb levels of mercury in biological materials, based on neutron activation and selective separation of Hg on anion-exchange resin in H 3 PO 4 medium is suggested. The reliability of the method was ascertained by comparing the results got for commercial wheat flour with those obtained by two other independent NAA methods, and also by analyzing IAEA's reference material. The limit of detection amounted to 0.5 ppb Hg. Samples of 0.3 g were irradiated in the EWA reactor at Swierk at a thermal neutron flux of 10 13 m cm -2 s -1 for 24 hrs. The samples were processed after 24 hrs cooling. (T.I.)

  1. Determination by neutron activation analysis of loss of arsenic, antimony, bromine and mercury during lyophilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carlson, M.; Litman, R.

    1978-01-01

    Neutron activation analysis has been used to monitor the loss of arsenic, as dimethylarsinic acid, (CH 3 ) 2 AsOOH, or as sodium arsenate (Na 2 HAsO 4 .7H 2 O), antimony (as potassium antimony, tartrate, KSbC 4 O 7 .1/2H 2 O) and bromine (as bromide ion) during lyophilization of acidified and neutral aqueous synthetic and environmental samples. Losses of Sb and As ranged from zero to 60%, while losses of bromine were constant (at 91%) in acidic solutions. The variable losses of As and Sb were due solely to the presence of and partial decomposition of the (CH 3 ) 2 AsOOH. Electrochemical oxidation of Br - to Br 2 is responsible for the high losses of bromine. In addition losses of mercury (as methylmercuric chloride) were 1O0% in both acidic and neutral aqueous synthetic samples during lyophilization. (author)

  2. 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.

  3. Arsenic and mercury levels in human hairs and nails from gold ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Hair and nail samples obtained from inhabitants of Wassa West District, a major gold mining area in Ghana, were analysed for arsenic (As) and mercury (Hg) using instrumental neutron activation analysis. The samples were irradiated at a thermal neutron flux of 5 x 10P11 Pn cmP-2P sP-1P using the Ghana Research ...

  4. Development of a tree classifier for discrimination of surface mine activity from Landsat digital data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, J. L.; Miller, W. F.; Quattrochi, D. A.

    1979-01-01

    In a cooperative project with the Geological Survey of Alabama, the Mississippi State Remote Sensing Applications Program has developed a single purpose, decision-tree classifier using band-ratioing techniques to discriminate various stages of surface mining activity. The tree classifier has four levels and employs only two channels in classification at each level. An accurate computation of the amount of disturbed land resulting from the mining activity can be made as a product of the classification output. The utilization of Landsat data provides a cost-efficient, rapid, and accurate means of monitoring surface mining activities.

  5. Application of neutron activation analysis to the determination of total mercury and other elements of interest in soil and sediment samples from Serra do Navio and Vila Nova River Basin, Amapa, Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goncalves, Cristina

    1997-01-01

    In this work it is presented a survey on total mercury determination by a radiochemical method in sediment and soil samples from two regions, in the state of Amapa: Serra do Navio (background area) and Vila Nova river basin (gold mining area). The method consisted in leaching of the irradiated samples with acqua regia in a Parr bomb, and heating in microwave oven, for one minute. Then the solvent extraction technique was applied, using bismuth diethyldithiocarbamate (Bi(DDC) 3 ) as extractant agent. The organic phase, containing 197 Hg and 203 Hg radioisotopes, was measured in a gamma spectrometer with hyper pure Ge detector. This method eliminated the interference of the 279.54 keV photopeak of 75 Se on 279.2 keV photopeak of 203 Hg, besides improving counting statistics of both Hg radioisotopes. The elements As, Ba, Br, Ce, Co, Cr, Cs, Eu, Fe, Hf, Ho, K, La, Lu, Mg, Mn, Na, Nd, Rb, Sb, Sc, Se, Sm, Ta, Tb, Th, Ti, U, V, W, Yb, Zn and Zr were also determined by the instrumental neutron activation analysis. Two irradiation series were carried out to quantify these elements in soil and sediment samples; a short term irradiation allowed to evaluate Mg, Mn, Na, Ti and V levels, and by long term irradiation, the other elements were determined. Precision and accuracy of radiochemical procedure were verified by means of analysis of the reference materials Buffalo River Sediment and Lake Sediment, for sediments and GXR-5, for soils. For the instrumental analysis, the reference materials Buffalo River Sediment, Soil 7, JB-1 and Oyster Tissue were used. The samples were also submitted to X ray diffraction, in Instituto de Geoscience-USP, to observe mercury behaviour with mineralogy. Aluminium concentration was determined by X ray fluorescence method, in the Department of Materials, IPEN/CNEN-SP, making possible enrichment factor calculation so that mercurial contamination in the gold mining area (Vila Nova river basin) could be evaluated. The mercury levels obtained in this

  6. Analysis of mercury and selenium in biological samples by neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Catharino, Marilia Gabriela Miranda

    2002-01-01

    In the present work, hair samples from populations suspected of contamination by mercury, in the localities of Serra do Navio, Vila Nova and Tartarugalzinho, in the State of Amapa, were analyzed. Hair samples of children under odontopediatric treatment were also analyzed for mercury, in order to study the possibility of transfer of mercury from the dental amalgam and also to obtain data of hair mercury in a control population of children. Another step of the work was the development of a method for the determination of selenium, by using the short-lived radioisotope 77 mSe. After the certification of the method it was applied to the analysis of hair, nails and a vitamin supplement. A comparison was made with the results obtain ed by using the long-lived radioisotope of selenium, 75 Se. The results obtained for mercury in the hair samples of populations living in the State of Amapa have shown that the mercury concentrations in these populations are much higher than in the controls. As for the hair samples of children under treatment with mercury amalgam, no significant differences were found in the concentrations of mercury after the treatment. On the other hand, these data were important to obtain data for a control population of children. The results obtained by using the radioisotope 77 mSe showed that the method developed was suitable for the analyzed matrixes and the results were similar to the ones obtained by employing the usual AANI method, with the radioisotope 75 Se. (author)

  7. ACTIVITIES TO CONTAIN MERCURY POLLUTION FROM ENTERING THE RIVER IRTYSH IN PAVLODAR, KAZAKHSTAN

    Science.gov (United States)

    This paper describes a research and implementation program to cost effectively contain mercury pollution from a former chlor-alkali plant at Pavlodar, Kazakhstan. It has been estimated that about 1300 tons of mercury were lost into the environment. The primary source of pollutio...

  8. The influence of forestry activity on the structure of dissolved organic matter in lakes: Implications for mercury photoreactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Driscoll, N.J.; Siciliano, S.D.; Peak, D.; Carignan, R.; Lean, D.R.S.

    2006-01-01

    It is well known that dissolved organic matter (DOM) increases in lakes associated with forestry activity but characterization of the DOM structure is incomplete. Twenty-three lakes with a wide range of forestry activities located in central Quebec, Canada were sampled and analyzed for dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration, DOC fluorescence, and ultra violet-visible (UV-VIS) absorption spectra. The results show that DOC increases (as does the associated DOC fluorescence) with increased logging (slope = 0.122, r 2 = 0.581, p 2 = 0.308, p -2 , r 2 = 0.331, p 13 C solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance ( 13 C NMR) analysis. XANES analysis of functional groups in the four concentrated samples shows that there are significant differences in reduced sulphur between the samples, however there was no clear relationship with forestry activity in the associated catchment. XRD data showed the presence of amorphous sulphide minerals associated with the DOM concentrate that may be important sites for mercury binding. The 13 C NMR spectra of these samples show that the percentage of carbon present in carboxylic functional groups increases with increasing logging. Such structures are important for binding photo-reducible mercury and their presence may limit mercury photo-reduction and volatilization. We propose a mechanism by which increased logging leads to increased carboxylic groups in DOM and thereby increased weak binding of photo-reducible mercury. These results, in part, explain the decrease in dissolved gaseous mercury (DGM) production rates with increased logging found in our previous work

  9. Evaluation of mercury cycling and hypolimnetic oxygenation in mercury-impacted seasonally stratified reservoirs in the Guadalupe River watershed, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCord, Stephen A.; Beutel, Marc W.; Dent, Stephen R.; Schladow, S. G.

    2016-10-01

    Surface water reservoirs trap inorganic mercury delivered from their watersheds, create conditions that convert inorganic mercury to highly toxic methylmercury (MeHg), and host sportfish in which MeHg bioaccumulates. The Santa Clara Valley Water District (District) actively manages and monitors four mercury-impaired reservoirs that help to serve communities in South San Francisco Bay, California. The Guadalupe River watershed, which contains three of those reservoirs, also includes the New Almaden mercury-mining district, the largest historic mercury producer in North America. Monthly vertical profiles of field measurements and grab samples in years 2011-2013 portray annual cycling of density stratification, dissolved oxygen (DO), and MeHg. Monitoring results highlight the role that hypolimnetic hypoxia plays in MeHg distribution in the water column, as well as the consistent, tight coupling between MeHg in ecological compartments (water, zooplankton, and bass) across the four reservoirs. Following the 2011-2013 monitoring period, the District designed and installed hypolimnetic oxygenation systems (HOS) in the four reservoirs in an effort to repress MeHg buildup in bottom waters and attain regulatory targets for MeHg in water and fish tissue. Initial HOS operation in Calero Reservoir in 2014 enhanced bottom water DO and depressed hypolimnetic buildup of MeHg, but did not substantially decrease mercury levels in zooplankton or small fish.

  10. Mining activities abroad, a subject of teaching and research; Auslandsbergbau in Lehre und Forschung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Drebenstedt, C. [Technische Univ. Bergakademie Freiberg (Germany). Inst. fuer Bergbau

    2008-04-15

    As globalisation extends in all fields of life, university teaching must cope by integrating internationalisation in its teaching subjects. In the case of raw materials resources and mining, the case is quite clear: Industrialized countries like Germany are big consumers of raw materials, most of which must be imported. Mining companies, including German mining companies, have extended their activities world-wide, and German producers of mining machinery and sytems, consultants and mining specialists are exporting technology and know-how into raw materials producing countries. Universities must take account of these trends if they are to train students for tomorrow's international market. The TU Bergakademie Freiberg is presented as an example. (orig.)

  11. Indoor metallic pollution related to mining activity in the Bolivian Altiplano.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontúrbel, Francisco E; Barbieri, Enio; Herbas, Cristian; Barbieri, Flavia L; Gardon, Jacques

    2011-10-01

    The environmental pollution associated with mining and metallurgical activities reaches its greatest extent in several Andean cities and villages. Many locations in this area have accumulated through centuries a large amount of mining wastes, often disregarding the magnitude of this situation. However, in these naturally mineralized regions, there is little information available stating the exact role of mining and metallurgical industries in urban pollution. In this study, we demonstrated that the various metallic elements present in indoor dust (As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Sb, Sn, Zn) had a common origin and this contamination was increased by the proximity to the mines. Lead dust concentration was found at concerning levels for public health. In addition, wrong behaviors such as carrying mining workwear home contributed to this indoor dust pollution. Consequently, the constant exposure of the population could represent a potential health hazard for vulnerable groups, especially children. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Study on the mercury evolution in a laboratory multi specific aquatic system by using instrumental neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bubach, Debora; Guevara, Sergio Ribeiro; Arribere, Maria A.; Pechen de d'Angelo, Ana; Ferrari, Ana; Venturino, Andres

    1999-01-01

    A preliminary study on the evolution of mercury in the organisms of a laboratory multi specific aquatic system was performed using Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA). Some of the possible effects of mercury toxicity were monitored by analyzing early biochemical indicators. The system consisted of an aquarium with bed sediments, aquatic macrophytes (Myriophyllum sp.), bivalves (Diplodom sp.) and exotic fish, simulating a long term contamination situation of unknown causes, where the sediments are the contaminant reservoir. Samples of the abiotic components of the system were analyzed at the beginning of the experiment, and again when the organisms were sampled. Fish carcass, kidney and liver samples, bivalve hepatopancreas, and whole macrophytes were extracted ana analyzed for mercury and other elements by INAA at the beginning of the experiment, and after 48 and 96 hours. Since some crustal elements such as Sc and La were detected in the hepatopancreas and macrophyte samples, enrichment factors for mercury, with respect to the <63 μm sediment fraction, were computed to discriminate the metabolized Hg content from that associated to the particulate. The hepatopancreas index, some indicators of oxidative stress (γ-Glutamyl-cysteinyl-glycine content and lipid peroxidation) and brain acetilcolinesterasa were measured as early indicators of toxicity. (author)

  13. Mercury concentration on Enhalus acoroides and Thalassia hemprichii at Seribu Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suratno; Irawan, Andri

    2018-02-01

    Mercury is a toxic heavy metal element that can damage embryo development. Although this element is highly toxic, some human activities such as mining and industries are still using it. The uncontrolled usage of this element leads to pollution problem in the environment, which includes the seagrass ecosystem in the coastal area of Seribu Islands. For that, to gather more information about mercury pollution in the seagrass beds of these islands, the concentration of mercury (Hg) was measured in sediment, rhizomes, roots and leaves of two species of seagrass (Enhalus acoroides and Thalassia hemprichii) from Lancang Island, Pari Island and Panggang Island at Seribu Islands, Indonesia in April-May 2017. The highest concentration of mercury was found in sediment on Lancang Island. The concentration of mercury was significantly higher on leaves compare to on roots or rhizomes in E. acoroides on Lancang Island and Panggang Island. T. hemprichii accumulate mercury higher than E. acoroides on Lancang Island. Overall, mercury accumulation on both species ranges at 7.12 - 87.41 ug/kg dw and this shows that they have the potential as bio-indicator of mercury bio accumulation.

  14. 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...

  15. Recent mercury contamination from artisanal gold mining on Buru Island, Indonesia--potential future risks to environmental health and food safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-15

    In November 2011 gold was found at Mount Botak, Buru Island, Mollucas Province, Indonesia. Since 2012 mercury has been used to extract the gold requiring large volumes of water and resulting in deposition of mercury into Wamsait River and Kayeli Bay. Total mercury in waste ponds was over 680 mg/kg. In sediments at the mouth of the local river and a small feeder creek >3.00 mg/kg and >7.66 mg/kg respectively. River and bay sediments were proportionately higher in available mercury than elemental mercury and more strongly bound mercuric sulfide compared to that in trommel waste. This preliminary investigation raises concerns about the long term distribution and speciation of mercury. The floodplain is an important agricultural resource, and Mollucas Province is recognised nationally as the centre for Indonesian fish stocks. Challenges for management include communicating the potential future risks to the community and leaders and identifying mechanisms to reduce mercury waste. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Survey of active and inactive mines for possible use as in situ test facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1976-09-01

    A survey of active and inactive mines which might be useful for radioactive waste storage in situ test experiments was conducted. It was performed for Union Carbide Corporation, Nuclear Division, Office of Waste Isolation. The report covers available information gathered from literature, U.S. Bureau of Mines, the Mining Enforcement and Safety Agency, and a limited number of personal contacts with constructors or operators of facilities. This survey is preliminary in nature and the objective is to develop potential candidate facilities for in situ experiments which warrant further investigation. Included are descriptions of 244 facilities, with all the data about each one which was available within the time restraint of the study. These facility descriptions are additionally indexed by depth of mine, nature of the country rock, mineral mined, and type of entry. A total of 14 inactive mines and 34 active mines has been selected as those most worthy of further investigation for possible service as nuclear waste isolation test facilities. This investigation, being preliminary and having been performed in a very short time period, must be qualified, and the description of the qualification is presented in the body of this report. Qualifications deal primarily with the hazard of having omitted facilities and having incomplete data in some instances. Results indicate sedimentary rock mines of minerals of evaporite origin as a first ranking of preference for in situ testing, followed by other sedimentary rocks and then by mines producing minerals from any type rock where the mine is above the local water table. These are general rules and of course there can be exceptions to them

  17. Potential for exposure to radon in non-uranium mines and other activities in the UK

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dixon, D.W.; Gooding, T.D.

    1996-01-01

    Radon levels in UK mines have been investigated in several surveys over the last decade and have shown that greatest potential for exposure in in mines other than coal mines ('non-coal mines' for brevity). These and associated studies have also shown that there is is potential for significant exposure in mines even after mineral extraction has ceased, for example, during their use for secondary commercial purposes, such as tourism of storage. Even after all work has been abandoned, mines can be a focus for some leisure activities such as industrial archaeology or mineral collecting. A key element of protection for employees and members of the public who enter mines is a programme of area monitoring. The diverse range of conditions from continuous occupancy and forces ventilation, to sporadic entry into naturally ventilated systems, places stringent demands on monitoring programmes and methods of dose estimation. In particular, the use of intermittent ventilation can have unexpected and adverse effects on radon levels and the implications of such phenomena for dose limitation and monitoring programmes are considered for the various stages in the life of a mine. (author). 13 refs, 4 figs, 1 tab

  18. Impact of sand mining activities on the environmental condition of the Komering river, South Sumatera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lusiagustin, V.; Kusratmoko, E.

    2017-07-01

    Sand mining activities in the Komering river, South Sumatera, has been existed around a long time and continues to grow along with the increase of development that occurred in the district of East Ogan Komering Ulu (East OKU). The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of sand mining activities to environmental conditions of the Komering river. Field studies have been conducted during the period of April-June 2016 for observing the condition of the river channel, water quality measurement and mining activities. Analysis of the results of field studies combined with GIS and Remote sensing analysis was conducted to measure the impact of mining activities both spatially and temporally. The results showed that the sand mining activities on the Komering river have led not only to the degradation of water quality but also damage of the river channel. In this paper, we also discussed the relationship between the distribution of water quality and channel damage with the mining activities in the spatial perspective.

  19. Environmental activities in uranium mining and milling. A Joint NEA/IAEA report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-01-01

    This report on 'Environmental Activities in Uranium Mining and Milling' presents an overview of environmental activities related to uranium production. The profile of activities and concerns are based on survey responses from 29 countries and a review of relevant activities of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency. It also provides an overview of the reported interests of specialists working in the field, including environmental impact assessment, emissions to air and water, work environment, radiation safety, waste handling and disposal, mine and mill decommissioning and site restoration, and the regulation of these activities. The report reflects the increasing awareness in all countries of the need for environmental protection. For several years large programmes have been underway in several countries to clean up wastes from closed mines and mills. Many of these sites, particularly the older ones, were brought into production, operated and closed when little was known about environmental effects. At the time, little concern was given to the resulting environmental impacts. Currently, planning for and conducting uranium mine closure and mill decommissioning, together with site clean-up and restoration, are of almost universal concern. Mine closure and mill decommissioning activities have been or are being conducted in most of the countries with a history of uranium production. Information about several mine closures and mill decommissioning projects is included in this report

  20. Hydrochemical evaluation of the influences of mining activities on river water chemistry in central northern Mongolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batsaikhan, Bayartungalag; Kwon, Jang-Soon; Kim, Kyoung-Ho; Lee, Young-Joon; Lee, Jeong-Ho; Badarch, Mendbayar; Yun, Seong-Taek

    2017-01-01

    Although metallic mineral resources are most important in the economy of Mongolia, mining activities with improper management may result in the pollution of stream waters, posing a threat to aquatic ecosystems and humans. In this study, aiming to evaluate potential impacts of metallic mining activities on the quality of a transboundary river (Selenge) in central northern Mongolia, we performed hydrochemical investigations of rivers (Tuul, Khangal, Orkhon, Haraa, and Selenge). Hydrochemical analysis of river waters indicates that, while major dissolved ions originate from natural weathering (especially, dissolution of carbonate minerals) within watersheds, they are also influenced by mining activities. The water quality problem arising from very high turbidity is one of the major environmental concerns and is caused by suspended particles (mainly, sediment and soil particles) from diverse erosion processes, including erosion of river banks along the meandering river system, erosion of soils owing to overgrazing by livestock, and erosion by human activities, such as mining and agriculture. In particular, after passing through the Zaamar gold mining area, due to the disturbance of sediments and soils by placer gold mining, the Tuul River water becomes very turbid (up to 742 Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU)). The Zaamar area is also the contamination source of the Tuul and Orkhon rivers by Al, Fe, and Mn, especially during the mining season. The hydrochemistry of the Khangal River is influenced by heavy metal (especially, Mn, Al, Cd, and As)-loaded mine drainage that originates from a huge tailing dam of the Erdenet porphyry Cu-Mo mine, as evidenced by δ 34 S values of dissolved sulfate (0.2 to 3.8 ‰). These two contaminated rivers (Tuul and Khangal) merge into the Orkhon River that flows to the Selenge River near the boundary between Mongolia and Russia and then eventually flows into Lake Baikal. Because water quality problems due to mining can be critical

  1. Mercury-Induced Externalization of Phosphatidylserine and Caspase 3 Activation in Human Liver Carcinoma (HepG2 Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul B. Tchounwou

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Apoptosis arises from the active initiation and propagation of a series of highly orchestrated specific biochemical events leading to the demise of the cell. It is a normal physiological process, which occurs during embryonic development as well as in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis. Diverse groups of molecules are involved in the apoptosis pathway and it functions as a mechanism to eliminate unwanted or irreparably damaged cells. However, inappropriate induction of apoptosis by environmental agents has broad ranging pathologic implications and has been associated with several diseases including cancer. The toxicity of several heavy metals such as mercury has been attributed to their high affinity to sulfhydryl groups of proteins and enzymes, and their ability to disrupt cell cycle progression and/or apoptosis in various tissues. The aim of this study was to assess the potential for mercury to induce early and late-stage apoptosis in human liver carcinoma (HepG2 cells. The Annexin-V and Caspase 3 assays were performed by flow cytometric analysis to determine the extent of phosphatidylserine externalization and Caspase 3 activation in mercury-treated HepG2 cells. Cells were exposed to mercury for 10 and 48 hours respectively at doses of 0, 1, 2, and 3 μg/mL based on previous cytotoxicity results in our laboratory indicating an LD50 of 3.5 ± 0.6 μg/mL for mercury in HepG2 cells. The study data indicated a dose response relationship between mercury exposure and the degree of early and late-stage apoptosis in HepG2 cells. The percentages of cells undergoing early apoptosis were 0.03 ± 0.03%, 5.19 ± 0.04%, 6.36 ± 0.04%, and 8.84 ± 0.02% for 0, 1, 2, and 3 μg/mL of mercury respectively, indicating a gradual increase in apoptotic cells with increasing doses of mercury. The percentages of Caspase 3 positive cells undergoing late apoptosis were 3.58 ± 0.03%, 17.06 ± 0

  2. Resilience of benthic deep-sea fauna to mining activities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gollner, S.; Kaiser, S.; Menzel, L.; Jones, D.O.B.; Brown, A.; Mestre, N.C.; Van Oevelen, D.; Menot, L.; Colaço, A.; Canals, M.; Cuvelier, D.; Durden, J.M.; Gebruk, A.; Egho, G.A.; Haeckel, M.; Marcon, Y.; Mevenkamp, L.; Morato, T.; Pham, C.K.; Purser, A.; Sanchez-Vidal, A.; Vanreusel, A.; Vink, A.; Martinez Arbizu, P.

    2017-01-01

    With increasing demand for mineral resources, extraction of polymetallic sulphides at hydrothermal vents, cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts at seamounts, and polymetallic nodules on abyssal plains may be imminent. Here, we shortly introduce ecosystem characteristics of mining areas, report on recent

  3. Sorption of Heavy Metal Ions from Mine Wastewater by Activated ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Michael

    2016-12-02

    Dec 2, 2016 ... 1 Introduction. Various operations such as mineral processing tailings disposal, illegal mining, domestic waste disposal and many others result in the release of heavy metals into water bodies. The presence of these metals including Cadmium (Cd), Arsenic. (As), Chromium (Cr), Thallium (Tl), and Lead.

  4. Increased mining activities in the eastern Democratic Republic of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Businesses keen to address malnutrition need to be cognisant of the prevalence of the problem and its contextual drivers, particularly on the socio-economic front, to be able to conceptualise appropriate responses. Keywords: malnutrition; children under-five-years-old; mining; DRC; corporate social responsibility ...

  5. Contribution of Mining Activities and Development in Africa: Private ...

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

    Reports. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and development in Africa : redefining the roles and responsibilities of public and private actors in the mining sector. Download PDF. Reports. Des caravanes juridiques à la relecture du Code minier : capitalisation des expériences en matière de développement des capacités ...

  6. The Effect of Mining Activity on the Surface in the Safety Shaft Pillar Area of Mayrau Mine

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Živor, Roman; Klos, Pavel; Pechoč, Jiří; Brož, Milan

    M-24(340) (2002), s. 227-235 ISSN 0138-015X. [Polish-Czech-Slovakian Symposium on Mining Geophysics /28./. Niedzica, 11.06.2001-13.06.2001] R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IBS3086005 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z3046908 Keywords : shaft pillar * mining * surface subsidence Subject RIV: DH - Mining, incl. Coal Mining

  7. Mercury in the South African environment

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Matooane, M

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available ? Mercury, also known as quick silver, is ubiquitous in the environment ? Uses - Medical: medicines, thermometers, dental amalgam, etc. - Manufacturing industry: batteries, gold mining, chlorine production, cement production, etc. - Personal care...

  8. Modeling Mercury in Proteins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Jeremy C [ORNL; Parks, Jerry M [ORNL

    2016-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a naturally occurring element that is released into the biosphere both by natural processes and anthropogenic activities. Although its reduced, elemental form Hg(0) is relatively non-toxic, other forms such as Hg2+ and, in particular, its methylated form, methylmercury, are toxic, with deleterious effects on both ecosystems and humans. Microorganisms play important roles in the transformation of mercury in the environment. Inorganic Hg2+ can be methylated by certain bacteria and archaea to form methylmercury. Conversely, bacteria also demethylate methylmercury and reduce Hg2+ to relatively inert Hg(0). Transformations and toxicity occur as a result of mercury interacting with various proteins. Clearly, then, understanding the toxic effects of mercury and its cycling in the environment requires characterization of these interactions. Computational approaches are ideally suited to studies of mercury in proteins because they can provide a detailed picture and circumvent issues associated with toxicity. Here we describe computational methods for investigating and characterizing how mercury binds to proteins, how inter- and intra-protein transfer of mercury is orchestrated in biological systems, and how chemical reactions in proteins transform the metal. We describe quantum chemical analyses of aqueous Hg(II), which reveal critical factors that determine ligand binding propensities. We then provide a perspective on how we used chemical reasoning to discover how microorganisms methylate mercury. We also highlight our combined computational and experimental studies of the proteins and enzymes of the mer operon, a suite of genes that confers mercury resistance in many bacteria. Lastly, we place work on mercury in proteins in the context of what is needed for a comprehensive multi-scale model of environmental mercury cycling.

  9. 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 ...

  10. Measurement of mercury isotopic ratio in stone meteorites by neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thakur, A.N.

    1997-01-01

    196 Hg and 202 Hg isotopes have been measured by neutron activation analysis in samples of twelve stone meteorites. Hg is extracted from an irradiated sample by stepwise heating. The mercury concentrations vary from 0.07 to 33 ppm. While most of the samples give 196 Hg/ 202 Hg ratios similar to terrestrial value within error limits, in some cases large anomalies are observed. A number of control experiments have been devised, that show the absence of experimental artifacts, during sample preparation, neutron irradiation, chemical separation and counting stages. Several anomalous and normal Hg distillate have been re-irradiated as Hg-diethyl-dithio-carbamate complex to eliminate the influence of neutron self shielding and interfering reactions from matrix elements. The isotopic ratio patterns persist in the distillates too proving that any artifacts during meteorite irradiation and measurement are essentially absent. Both positive and negative anomalies are observed: however, the negative anomalies are much more frequent and abundant. In an extreme case of fine grained magnetic particles of Ambapur Nagla the 196 Hg is apparently absent in the Hg released at 100 deg C. A 2σ 196 Hg/ 202 Hg value is only 6% relative to the monitor. This experiment shows the robustness of neutron activation analysis and suggest some constrains on the formation history of stone meteorites. (author)

  11. Contaminação por mercúrio em sedimento e em moluscos do Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brasil Mercury contamination in sediment and in molluscs of Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz M. Vieira

    1995-09-01

    Full Text Available The total level of mercury detected in the sediment and in the tissues of molluscs from the Bento Gomes basin, although low, have shown that the mercury used in the gold mining activities in the Poconé wetlands has contaminated those aquatic habitats in Pantanal. From 69 sediment samples analyzed, 26 % (N = 18 have shown levels ranging from 0.01 to 0.25µg.g-1 of mercury (moist weight. Mercury levels analyzed in 54 samples of mollusc tissues (Ampullaria scalaris Orbigny, 1835; A. canaliculata Lamarck, 1819 and Marisa planogyra Pilsbry, 1933 have shown that 30% (N = 16 were contaminated with levels ranging from 0.02 to 1.16µg.g-1 moist weight. This study shows that the mercury used in digs for gold mining and released into the environment has reached the habitats of Pantanal spread from the sediment into the molluscs living in the region.

  12. Determination of mercury in urine through Neutron activation analysis in dentists, as a measure of occupational exposure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Padilla M, M.A.

    2000-01-01

    The mercury level was studied in urine to a dentists group belonging at the Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico to determine the grade of contamination to the exposure of this element during their occupational activity. It was used the Neutron activation analysis which is an analytical method based in the irradiation with neutrons toward a stable nuclide. This can suffer a nuclear transformation to produce a radioactive nuclide and so it will be able to realize a quantitative analysis of itself. The TRIGA Mark III Reactor at the Nuclear Center in Mexico was used to realize this type of analysis due to the neutron fluxes which can be obtained as well as to the facilities in the irradiation of the sample.The purpose of this work is to determine the concentrations of mercury in the occupational exposed personnel such as dentists and so giving the recommendations of safety required to their production. (Author)

  13. 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...

  14. Monitoring of Thermal and Gas Activities in Mining Dump Hedvika, Czech Republic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surovka, D.; Pertile, E.; Dombek, V.; Vastyl, M.; Leher, V.

    2017-10-01

    The negative consequences of mining of the black coal is occurrence of extractive waste storage locations - mining dumps. The mining activities carried out within the area of Ostrava are responsible for at least six mine dumps of loose materials arising as wastes from mining of mineral resources, many of which show presence of thermal processes. The thermal activity in dumps is responsible for many hazardous substances that pollute the environment and harm human health in the surroundings. This paper deals with the results of the first phase of project CZ.11.4.120/0.0/0.0/15_006/0000074 TERDUMP, on exploration of thermally active mining dumps are published in the article. As a first studied thermally active dump was a Hedvika dump. To localize of hot spots with hot gas emission was used a thermovision scanning by drone. The place with high temperature (49.8 °C) identified natural gas emission through natural cracks. Analysing the occurring pollutants in Hedvika Dump using the GC-MS or HPLC, respectively and the inert gases (CO2, CO and SO2) were determined by ion chromatography. The pollutants were determined in five sampling points during two measurements executed from July to August 2017.

  15. Impact of former uranium mining activities on the floodplains of the Mulde River, Saxony, Germany

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bister, S.; Birkhan, J.; Lüllau, T.; Bunka, M.; Solle, A.; Stieghorst, C.; Riebe, B.; Michel, R.; Walther, C.

    2015-01-01

    The Mulde River drains the former uranium mining areas in Saxony (Germany), which has led to a large-scale contamination of the river and the adjacent floodplain soils with radionuclides of the uranium decay series. The objective of the investigation is to quantify the long-term effect of former uranium mining activities on a river system. All of the investigated environmental compartments (water, sediment, soil) still reveal an impact from the former uranium mining and milling activities. The contamination of water has decreased considerably during the last 20 years due to the operation of water treatment facilities. The uranium content of the sediments decreased as well (on average by a factor of 5.6), most likely caused by displacement of contaminated material during flood events. Currently, the impact of the mining activities is most obvious in soils. For some of the plots activity concentrations of >200 Bq/kg of soil were detected for uranium-238. Alluvial soils used as grassland were found to be contaminated to a higher degree than those used as cropland. - Highlights: • Water, sediments, and soils affected by uranium mining were investigated. • All environmental compartments still reveal an impact of former uranium mining. • Contamination of water and sediment has decreased over the past 20 years. • Alluvial soils under pasture are higher contaminated than those from cropland

  16. Mercury Fate and Transport in Hunza River Watershed, Northern Areas, Pakistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biber, K.; Khan, S. D.; Shah, M. T.

    2012-12-01

    Due to the highly mobile nature of mercury, it is considered to be a global environmental pollutant that is being distributed in the atmosphere, lithosphere and hydrosphere. Mercury's biogeochemical transfer between different compartments in the environment is complex and not known thoroughly. However, the importance of fate and transport of mercury in surface waters must be recognized for the well-being of people who drink or consume fish from contaminated waters. Using mercury in pan amalgamation for the extraction of gold from stream deposits along Indus and Gilgit Rivers in Pakistan is being practiced for many decades. Pan amalgamation in the small-scale gold panning and extraction (GPE) activities are known to be releasing significant amount of mercury to the environment due to inappropriate smelting practices. Analysis of 1372 stream sediments along Indus, Gilgit and Hunza Rivers showed that riverbank sediments upstream of Hunza and Gilgit Rivers are highly contaminated with mercury. From a data range of 4 to 2200 ppb, a total of 24 anomalous sites (having a concentration of more than 100 ppb) have been identified. These anomalies showed comparable results with US gold mine dump samples from mine sites existed until 1970s. In June 2011, 37 surface water samples were collected from Hunza River and its tributaries. Sample collection, preservation, storage and analysis were done as per EPA 1631 method. Samples were analyzed in terms of dissolved and particulate bound mercury content in the water. In these samples dissolved mercury concentration range from 5.10 ppt to 25.25 ppt, whereas, particulate bound mercury concentration varies between 4.85 ppb to 154.62 ppb. Total suspended solids were measured for each sampling site, in addition, field parameters, such as electrical conductivity, pH and temperature were measured in situ. During the field trip, many GPE sites were observed. First-hand observational data of the panning, washing, mercury amalgamation and

  17. Measurements of activation reaction rate distributions on a mercury target bombarded with high-energy protons at AGS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Takada, Hiroshi; Kasugai, Yoshimi; Nakashima, Hiroshi; Ikeda, Yujiro [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Tokai, Ibaraki (Japan). Tokai Research Establishment; Ino, Takashi; Kawai, Masayoshi [High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, Tsukuba, Ibaraki (Japan); Jerde, Eric; Glasgow, David [Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2000-02-01

    A neutronics experiment was carried out using a thick mercury target at the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS) facility of Brookhaven National Laboratory in a framework of the ASTE (AGS Spallation Target Experiment) collaboration. Reaction rate distributions around the target were measured by the activation technique at incident proton energies of 1.6, 12 and 24 GeV. Various activation detectors such as the {sup 115}In(n,n'){sup 115m}In, {sup 93}Nb(n,2n){sup 92m}Nb, and {sup 209}Bi(n,xn) reactions with threshold energies ranging from 0.3 to 70.5 MeV were employed to obtain the reaction rate data for estimating spallation source neutron characteristics of the mercury target. It was found from the measured {sup 115}In(n,n'){sup 115m}In reaction rate distribution that the number of leakage neutrons becomes maximum at about 11 cm from the top of hemisphere of the mercury target for the 1.6-GeV proton incidence and the peak position moves towards forward direction with increase of the incident proton energy. The similar result was observed in the reaction rate distributions of other activation detectors. The experimental procedures and a full set of experimental data in numerical form are summarized in this report. (author)

  18. Measurements of activation reaction rate distributions on a mercury target bombarded with high-energy protons at AGS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takada, Hiroshi; Kasugai, Yoshimi; Nakashima, Hiroshi; Ikeda, Yujiro; Jerde, Eric; Glasgow, David

    2000-02-01

    A neutronics experiment was carried out using a thick mercury target at the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS) facility of Brookhaven National Laboratory in a framework of the ASTE (AGS Spallation Target Experiment) collaboration. Reaction rate distributions around the target were measured by the activation technique at incident proton energies of 1.6, 12 and 24 GeV. Various activation detectors such as the 115 In(n,n') 115m In, 93 Nb(n,2n) 92m Nb, and 209 Bi(n,xn) reactions with threshold energies ranging from 0.3 to 70.5 MeV were employed to obtain the reaction rate data for estimating spallation source neutron characteristics of the mercury target. It was found from the measured 115 In(n,n') 115m In reaction rate distribution that the number of leakage neutrons becomes maximum at about 11 cm from the top of hemisphere of the mercury target for the 1.6-GeV proton incidence and the peak position moves towards forward direction with increase of the incident proton energy. The similar result was observed in the reaction rate distributions of other activation detectors. The experimental procedures and a full set of experimental data in numerical form are summarized in this report. (author)

  19. Review : Pollution due to Coal Mining Activity and its Impact on Environment

    OpenAIRE

    Andi Arif Setiawan; Dedik Budianta; Dwi Putro Priadi; Suheryanto

    2018-01-01

    Utilization of natural resources in the form of coal mines has a positive impact on economic and energy development, in addition to coal mining activities have a negative impact on the environment that result in environmental pollution in soil, water, and air. Pollution begins when clearing land, taking exploitation, transporting, stockpile and when the coal is burned. When land clearing causes damage to forest ecosystems. At the time of exploitation impact on air pollution by coal dust parti...

  20. NASA Lunar Mining and Construction Activities and Plans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Gerald B.; Larson, William E.; Sacksteder, Kurt R.

    2009-01-01

    the need to implement efforts that are sustainable and affordable. One area NASA is developing that can significantly change how systems required for sustained human presence are designed and integrated, as well as potentially break our reliance on Earth supplied logistics, is In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). ISRU, also known living off the land, involves the extraction and processing of local resources into useful products. In particular, the ability to make propellants, life support consumables, fuel cell reagents, and radiation shielding can significantly reduce the cost, mass, and risk of sustained human activities beyond Earth. Also, the ability to modify the lunar landscape for safer landing, transfer of payloads from the lander an outpost, dust generation mitigation, and infrastructure placement and buildup are also extremely important for long-term lunar operations. While extra-terrestrial excavation, material handling and processing, and site preparation and construction may be new to NASA and other space agencies, there is extensive terrestrial hardware and commercial experience that can be leveraged. This paper will provide an overview of current NASA activities in lunar ISRU mining and construction and how terrestrial experience in these areas are important to achieving the goal of affordable and sustainable human exploration.

  1. Mercury (II) removal by resistant bacterial isolates and mercuric (II) reductase activity in a new strain of Pseudomonas sp. B50A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giovanella, Patricia; Cabral, Lucélia; Bento, Fátima Menezes; Gianello, Clesio; Camargo, Flávio Anastácio Oliveira

    2016-01-25

    This study aimed to isolate mercury resistant bacteria, determine the minimum inhibitory concentration for Hg, estimate mercury removal by selected isolates, explore the mer genes, and detect and characterize the activity of the enzyme mercuric (II) reductase produced by a new strain of Pseudomonas sp. B50A. The Hg removal capacity of the isolates was determined by incubating the isolates in Luria Bertani broth and the remaining mercury quantified by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. A PCR reaction was carried out to detect the merA gene and the mercury (II) reductase activity was determined in a spectrophotometer at 340 nm. Eight Gram-negative bacterial isolates were resistant to high mercury concentrations and capable of removing mercury, and of these, five were positive for the gene merA. The isolate Pseudomonas sp. B50A removed 86% of the mercury present in the culture medium and was chosen for further analysis of its enzyme activity. Mercuric (II) reductase activity was detected in the crude extract of this strain. This enzyme showed optimal activity at pH 8 and at temperatures between 37 °C and 45 °C. The ions NH4(+), Ba(2+), Sn(2+), Ni(2+) and Cd(2+) neither inhibited nor stimulated the enzyme activity but it decreased in the presence of the ions Ca(2+), Cu(+) and K(+). The isolate and the enzyme detected were effective in reducing Hg(II) to Hg(0), showing the potential to develop bioremediation technologies and processes to clean-up the environment and waste contaminated with mercury. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. A REIA Study of Marble Mining Activities in District- Nagaur (Rajasthan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Arif

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Conventional and unscientific mining poses severe threat to life, public property and continuation of mining in the area. Incompatible land uses, huge waste dumps and large scale land transformation have resulted in land degradation, ponding, flooding, water contamination and health hazards in Makrana mining area. Segregation of dumps, compatible land use, research and development activity for use of marble slurry are suggested measures for reclamation and restoration of the degraded land. While for the purpose of development and economic upliftment of people, there is a need for establishment of industrial project, but these have to be environmentally friendly. Therefore it is essential to assess the impacts of mining on different environmental parameters, before starting the mining operations, so that abatement measures could be planned in advance for eco-friendly mining in the area. Environmental impact assessment (EIA is a systematic process that examines the environmental consequences of development action like mining, cement, transport, river valley. EIA systematically examines booth beneficial and adverse consequences of the proposed project and ensures that these impacts are taken into account during the project design.

  3. Mechanism of the asymmetric activation of the MinD ATPase by MinE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Kyung-Tae; Wu, Wei; Lovell, Scott; Lutkenhaus, Joe

    2012-01-01

    Summary MinD is a component of the Min system involved in the spatial regulation of cell division. It is an ATPase in the MinD/ParA/Mrp deviant Walker A motif family which is within the P loop GTPase superfamily. Its ATPase activity is stimulated by MinE, however, the mechanism of this activation is unclear. MinD forms a symmetric dimer with two binding sites for MinE, however, a recent model suggested that MinE occupying one site was sufficient for ATP hydrolysis. By generating heterodimers with one binding site for MinE we show that one binding site is sufficient for stimulation of the MinD ATPase. Furthermore, comparison of structures of MinD and related proteins led us to examine the role of N45 in the switch I region. An asparagine at this position is conserved in four of the deviant Walker A motif subfamilies (MinD, chromosomal ParAs, Get3 and FleN) and we find that N45 in MinD is essential for MinE stimulated ATPase activity and suggest that it is a key residue affected by MinE binding. PMID:22651575

  4. Method of solution mining subsurface orebodies to reduce restoration activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartman, G.J.

    1984-01-01

    A method of solution mining is claimed wherein a lixiviant containing both leaching and oxidizing agents is injected into the subsurface orebody. The composition of the lixiviant is changed by reducing the level of oxidizing agent to zero so that soluble species continue to be removed from the subsurface environment. This reduces the uranium level of the ground water aquifer after termination of the lixiviant injection

  5. Method of solution mining subsurface orebodies to reduce restoration activities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hartman, G.J.

    1984-01-24

    A method of solution mining is claimed wherein a lixiviant containing both leaching and oxidizing agents is injected into the subsurface orebody. The composition of the lixiviant is changed by reducing the level of oxidizing agent to zero so that soluble species continue to be removed from the subsurface environment. This reduces the uranium level of the ground water aquifer after termination of the lixiviant injection.

  6. Activities concerning plugging and sealing in the Asse salt mine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kappei, G.

    1986-01-01

    A large amount of experience regarding chamber sealing has been acquired in the Asse salt mine over the years. Various techniques were tested such as, for example, the pneumatic or pumping technique as well as the possible use of different constructional materials. The schematic construction of several existing bulkheads and the geotechnical instrumentation required for monitoring are described. Results of stress measurements from within a four year's old bulkhead are given. (orig./DG)

  7. Mercury distribution in an abandoned metallurgical plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Millán R.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the work is to evaluate the spatial distribution of Hg in the soil-plant system within an area where intense activity of Hg was dominant over a long period. An abandoned metallurgical plant from the 17th-18th centuries was chosen as the study area. It is situated in Almadenejos within the Almadén mining district (Spain that constitutes the largest and most unusual concentration of mercury in the world and has provided a third of the entire world production of mercury (Hg. Nowadays, this study area is covered with cinnabar mine tailings and village habitants use it for livestock. The area has elevated Hg concentrations of natural origin and from human activities. Soil parameters are similar throughout the study area; however, data reveal high variability in total and available Hg concentrations in soils, making it difficult to establish a tendency. Marrubium vulgare L.has been studied due to its high presence in the field plot, and there is no evidence of phenological toxicity. Furthermore, in spite of elevated Hg concentrations, a good biological activity is tested in the soil samples. All these characteristics, spatial variation, high Hg concentration, good biological activity, enhance the peculiarity of the study area for studies involving Hg.

  8. Biomarker monitoring of a population residing near uranium mining activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Au, W W; Lane, R G; Legator, M S; Whorton, E B; Wilkinson, G S; Gabehart, G J

    1995-01-01

    We investigated whether residents residing near uranium mining operations (target population), who are potentially exposed to toxicants from mining waste, have increased genotoxic effects compared with people residing elsewhere (reference population). Population surveys were conducted, and 24 target and 24 reference residents were selected. The selected subjects and controls were matched on age and gender and they were nonsmokers. Blood samples were collected for laboratory studies. The standard cytogenetic assay was used to determine chromosome aberration frequencies, and the challenge assay was used to investigate DNA repair responses. We found that individuals who resided near uranium mining operations had a higher mean frequency of cells with chromosome aberrations and higher deletion frequency but lower dicentric frequency than the reference group, although the difference was not statistically significant. After cells were challenged by exposure to gamma-rays, the target population had a significantly higher frequency of cells with chromosome aberrations and deletion frequency than the reference group. The latter observation is indicative of abnormal DNA repair response in the target population. PMID:7656876

  9. Impacts of manganese mining activity on the environment: interactions among soil, plants, and arbuscular mycorrhiza.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera-Becerril, Facundo; Juárez-Vázquez, Lucía V; Hernández-Cervantes, Saúl C; Acevedo-Sandoval, Otilio A; Vela-Correa, Gilberto; Cruz-Chávez, Enrique; Moreno-Espíndola, Iván P; Esquivel-Herrera, Alfonso; de León-González, Fernando

    2013-02-01

    The mining district of Molango in the Hidalgo State, Mexico, possesses one of the largest deposits of manganese (Mn) ore in the world. This research assessed the impacts of Mn mining activity on the environment, particularly the interactions among soil, plants, and arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) at a location under the influence of an open Mn mine. Soils and plants from three sites (soil under maize, soil under native vegetation, and mine wastes with some vegetation) were analyzed. Available Mn in both soil types and mine wastes did not reach toxic levels. Samples of the two soil types were similar regarding physical, chemical, and biological properties; mine wastes were characterized by poor physical structure, nutrient deficiencies, and a decreased number of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) spores. Tissues of six plant species accumulated Mn at normal levels. AM was absent in the five plant species (Ambrosia psilostachya, Chenopodium ambrosoides, Cynodon dactylon, Polygonum hydropiperoides, and Wigandia urens) established in mine wastes, which was consistent with the significantly lower number of AMF spores compared with both soil types. A. psilostachya (native vegetation) and Zea mays showed mycorrhizal colonization in their root systems; in the former, AM significantly decreased Mn uptake. The following was concluded: (1) soils, mine wastes, and plant tissues did not accumulate Mn at toxic levels; (2) despite its poor physical structure and nutrient deficiencies, the mine waste site was colonized by at least five plant species; (3) plants growing in both soil types interacted with AMF; and (4) mycorrhizal colonization of A. psilostachya influenced low uptake of Mn by plant tissues.

  10. Groundwater Modeling Of Mercury Pollution At A Former Mercury Cell Chlor Alkali Facility In Pavoldar, Kazakhstan

    Science.gov (United States)

    In Kazakhstan, there is a serious case of mercury pollution near the city of Pavlodar from an old mercury cell chlor-alkali plant. The soil, sediment, and water is severly contaminated with mercury and mercury compounds as a result of the industrial activity of this chemical pla...

  11. Coal mining activities change plant community structure due to air pollution and soil degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Bhanu; Agrawal, Madhoolika; Singh, Siddharth

    2014-10-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of coal mining activities on the community structures of woody and herbaceous plants. The response of individual plants of community to defilement caused by coal mining was also assessed. Air monitoring, soil physico-chemical and phytosociological analyses were carried around Jharia coalfield (JCF) and Raniganj coalfield. The importance value index of sensitive species minified and those of tolerant species enhanced with increasing pollution load and altered soil quality around coal mining areas. Although the species richness of woody and herbaceous plants decreased with higher pollution load, a large number of species acclimatized to the stress caused by the coal mining activities. Woody plant community at JCF was more affected by coal mining than herbaceous community. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that structure of herbaceous community was mainly driven by soil total organic carbon, soil nitrogen, whereas woody layer community was influenced by sulphur dioxide in ambient air, soil sulphate and soil phosphorus. The changes in species diversity observed at mining areas indicated an increase in the proportion of resistant herbs and grasses showing a tendency towards a definite selection strategy of ecosystem in response to air pollution and altered soil characteristics.

  12. Got Mercury?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyers, Valerie E.; McCoy, J. Torin; Garcia, Hector D.; James, John T.

    2009-01-01

    Many of the operational and payload lighting units used in various spacecraft contain elemental mercury. If these devices were damaged on-orbit, elemental mercury could be released into the cabin. Although there are plans to replace operational units with alternate light sources, such as LEDs, that do not contain mercury, mercury-containing lamps efficiently produce high quality illumination and may never be completely replaced on orbit. Therefore, exposure to elemental mercury during spaceflight will remain possible and represents a toxicological hazard. Elemental mercury is a liquid metal that vaporizes slowly at room temperature. However, it may be completely vaporized at the elevated operating temperatures of lamps. Although liquid mercury is not readily absorbed through the skin or digestive tract, mercury vapors are efficiently absorbed through the respiratory tract. Therefore, the amount of mercury in the vapor form must be estimated. For mercury releases from lamps that are not being operated, we utilized a study conducted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Quality to calculate the amount of mercury vapor expected to form over a 2-week period. For longer missions and for mercury releases occurring when lamps are operating, we conservatively assumed complete volatilization of the available mercury. Because current spacecraft environmental control systems are unable to remove mercury vapors, both short-term and long-term exposures to mercury vapors are possible. Acute exposure to high concentrations of mercury vapors can cause irritation of the respiratory tract and behavioral symptoms, such as irritability and hyperactivity. Chronic exposure can result in damage to the nervous system (tremors, memory loss, insomnia, etc.) and kidneys (proteinurea). Therefore, the JSC Toxicology Group recommends that stringent safety controls and verifications (vibrational testing, etc.) be applied to any hardware that contains elemental mercury that could yield

  13. The tectonics of Mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Melosh, H.J.; Mckinnon, W.B.

    1988-01-01

    The probable tectonic history of Mercury and the relative sequence of events are discussed on the basis of data collected by the Mariner-10 spacecraft. Results indicate that Mercury's tectonic activity was confined to its early history; its endogenic activity was principally due to a small change in the shape of its lithosphere, caused by tidal despinning, and a small change in area caused by shrinkage due to cooling. Exogenic processes, in particular the impact activity, have produced more abundant tectonic features. Many features associated with the Caloris basin are due to loading of Mercury's thick lithosphere by extrusive lavas or subsidence due to magma withdrawal. It is emphasized that tectonic features observed on Mercury yield insight into the earliest tectonic events on planets like Mars and, perhaps, the earth, where subsequent events obscured or erased the most ancient tectonic records

  14. Mercury resistance and mercuric reductase activities and expression among chemotrophic thermophilic Aquificae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freedman, Zachary; Zhu, Chengsheng; Barkay, Tamar

    2012-09-01

    Mercury (Hg) resistance (mer) by the reduction of mercuric to elemental Hg is broadly distributed among the Bacteria and Archaea and plays an important role in Hg detoxification and biogeochemical cycling. MerA is the protein subunit of the homodimeric mercuric reductase (MR) enzyme, the central function of the mer system. MerA sequences in the phylum Aquificae form the deepest-branching lineage in Bayesian phylogenetic reconstructions of all known MerA homologs. We therefore hypothesized that the merA homologs in two thermophilic Aquificae, Hydrogenobaculum sp. strain Y04AAS1 (AAS1) and Hydrogenivirga sp. strain 128-5-R1-1 (R1-1), specified Hg resistance. Results supported this hypothesis, because strains AAS1 and R1-1 (i) were resistant to >10 μM Hg(II), (ii) transformed Hg(II) to Hg(0) during cellular growth, and (iii) possessed Hg-dependent NAD(P)H oxidation activities in crude cell extracts that were optimal at temperatures corresponding with the strains' optimal growth temperatures, 55°C for AAS1 and 70°C for R1-1. While these characteristics all conformed with the mer system paradigm, expression of the Aquificae mer operons was not induced by exposure to Hg(II) as indicated by unity ratios of merA transcripts, normalized to gyrA transcripts for hydrogen-grown AAS1 cultures, and by similar MR specific activities in thiosulfate-grown cultures with and without Hg(II). The Hg(II)-independent expression of mer in the deepest-branching lineage of MerA from bacteria whose natural habitats are Hg-rich geothermal environments suggests that regulated expression of mer was a later innovation likely in environments where microorganisms were intermittently exposed to toxic concentrations of Hg.

  15. Novel biomarkers of mercury-induced autoimmune dysfunction: a Cross-sectional study in Amazonian Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motts, Jonathan A.; Shirley, Devon L.; Silbergeld, Ellen K.; Nyland, Jennifer F.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is an ubiquitous environmental contaminant, causing both neurotoxicity and immunotoxicity. Given its ability to amalgamate gold, mercury is frequently used in small-scale artisanal gold mining. We have previously reported that elevated serum titers of antinuclear autoantibodies (ANA) are associated with mercury exposures of miners in gold mining. The goal of this project was to identify novel serum biomarkers of mercury-induced immunotoxicity and autoimmune dysregulation. We conducted an analysis of serum samples from a cross-sectional epidemiological study on miners working in Amazonian Brazil. In proteomic screening analyses, samples were stratified based on mercury concentrations and ANA titer and a subset of serum samples (N=12) were profiled using Immune Response Biomarker Profiling ProtoArray protein microarray for elevated autoantibodies. Of the up-regulated autoantibodies in the mercury-exposed cohort, potential target autoantibodies were selected based on relevance to pro-inflammatory and macrophage activation pathways. ELISAs were developed to test the entire sample cohort (N=371) for serum titers to the highest of these autoantibodies (anti-glutathione S-transferase alpha, GSTA1) identified in the high mercury/high ANA group. We found positive associations between elevated mercury exposure and up-regulated serum titers of 3760 autoantibodies as identified by ProtoArray. Autoantibodies identified as potential novel biomarkers of mercury-induced immunotoxicity include antibodies to the following proteins: GSTA1, tumor necrosis factor ligand superfamily member 13, linker for activation of T cells, signal peptide peptidase like 2B, stimulated by retinoic acid 13, and interferon induced transmembrane protein. ELISA analyses confirmed that mercury-exposed gold miners had significantly higher serum titers of anti-GSTA1 autoantibody [unadjusted odds ratio = 89.6; 95% confidence interval: 27.2, 294.6] compared to emerald miners (referent population

  16. Agriculture in an area impacted by past uranium mining activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carvalho, F. P.; Oliveira, J. M.; Neves, O.; Vicente, E. M.; Abreu, M. M.

    2007-01-01

    The shallow aquifer near the old Cunha Baixa uranium mine (Viseu, Portugal) was contaminated by acid mine drainage. Concentration of radionuclides in water from irrigation wells and in the topsoil layer of the agriculture fields nearby display enhanced concentrations of uranium, radium and polonium. Two types of agriculture land in this area were selected, one with enhanced and another with low uranium concentrations, for controlled growth of lettuce and potatoes. Plants were grown in replicate portions of land (two plots) in each soil type and were periodically irrigated with water from wells. In each soil, one plot was irrigated with water containing low concentration of dissolved uranium and the other plot with water containing enhanced concentration of dissolved uranium. At the end of the growth season, plants were harvested and analysed, along with soil and irrigation water samples. Results show the accumulation of radionuclides in edible parts of plants, specially in the field plots with higher radionuclide concentrations in soil. Radionuclides in irrigation water contributed less to the radioactivity accumulated in plants than radionuclides from soils. (authors)

  17. Environment managing all along the mining cycle: implementing an integrated and pro-active approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2017-01-01

    Uranium mining is a niche business because of its production volume and the size of its market that have nothing to do with coal market or iron ore business. It is a very concentrated business with only a few players. New AREVA is one of them with an output of 11.186 tons of uranium representing 15% of the world production in 2016. New AREVA has committed oneself to preserve the environment during the exploitation phase of a mine. Environment samples (soil, water, plants...) are collected to draw an initial picture of a site before mining activities begin in order to minimize the environmental impact. In some sites, for instance in Mongolia, water is scarce and has to be spared, a recycling technology for the sludge recovered from drilling operations, has been tested with success. Another challenge is the adaptation to the climate warming as both a player and a victim because most sites are in zones that are very sensitive to climate change and because mining can release greenhouse effect gases. The final challenge that faces New AREVA at the end of a mining cycle is to succeed the remediation of the site, it does not mean a come back to the initial situation which is impossible to reach but to get an environmental state that is safe and durable. In 2011 AREVA joined the International Counsel for mines and metals (ICMM) in order to share a code of practice for a sustainable development. (A.C.)

  18. Field Testing of Activated Carbon Injection Options for Mercury Control at TXU's Big Brown Station

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    John Pavlish; Jeffrey Thompson; Christopher Martin; Mark Musich; Lucinda Hamre

    2009-01-07

    The primary objective of the project was to evaluate the long-term feasibility of using activated carbon injection (ACI) options to effectively reduce mercury emissions from Texas electric generation plants in which a blend of lignite and subbituminous coal is fired. Field testing of ACI options was performed on one-quarter of Unit 2 at TXU's Big Brown Steam Electric Station. Unit 2 has a design output of 600 MW and burns a blend of 70% Texas Gulf Coast lignite and 30% subbituminous Powder River Basin coal. Big Brown employs a COHPAC configuration, i.e., high air-to-cloth baghouses following cold-side electrostatic precipitators (ESPs), for particulate control. When sorbent injection is added between the ESP and the baghouse, the combined technology is referred to as TOXECON{trademark} and is patented by the Electric Power Research Institute in the United States. Key benefits of the TOXECON configuration include better mass transfer characteristics of a fabric filter compared to an ESP for mercury capture and contamination of only a small percentage of the fly ash with AC. The field testing consisted of a baseline sampling period, a parametric screening of three sorbent injection options, and a month long test with a single mercury control technology. During the baseline sampling, native mercury removal was observed to be less than 10%. Parametric testing was conducted for three sorbent injection options: injection of standard AC alone; injection of an EERC sorbent enhancement additive, SEA4, with ACI; and injection of an EERC enhanced AC. Injection rates were determined for all of the options to achieve the minimum target of 55% mercury removal as well as for higher removals approaching 90%. Some of the higher injection rates were not sustainable because of increased differential pressure across the test baghouse module. After completion of the parametric testing, a month long test was conducted using the enhanced AC at a nominal rate of 1.5 lb/Macf. During

  19. Responsible Development On Areva's Mining Activities - Report 2013-2014

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2014-01-01

    Mining activities are the first link in the nuclear fuel cycle and in the integrated model of the Areva Group. Areva was one of the top producers worldwide in 2013, producing 9,330 metric tons of uranium (Areva's financially consolidated share). The group works to maintain resources and weighted reserves equivalent to 20 years of production at all times. Thanks to a presence spanning five continents, they ensure the long-term supply to customers of uranium for electricity production while maintaining a responsible attitude towards people and the environment. It has a diverse portfolio of both active mines (Canada, Kazakhstan and Niger) and mines under development (Africa). This document is Areva's Mining Activities responsible Development report for 2013 and 2014. Content: profile (Overview, Keys events, Worldwide presence, Governance and Organization, Uranium market); CSR approach (Message from the Senior Executive Vice President, Fundamentals, Responsible Commitments Plan, Materiality); Commitments (Health and radiation protection, Occupational safety, Environment and Biodiversity, Community involvement, Commitment to employees, Relationships with stakeholders, Innovation); Performance (Main Key indicators, 2013-2016 Objectives, Reporting parameters); Annexes (Cases studies, Focus post-mining, Audit and GRI certifications)

  20. Responsible Development On Areva's Mining Activities. Report 2015

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2016-01-01

    Mining activities are the first link in the nuclear fuel cycle and in the integrated model of the Areva Group. Areva was one of the top producers worldwide in 2015, producing 11,002 metric tons of uranium. The group works to maintain resources and weighted reserves equivalent to 20 years of production at all times. Thanks to a presence spanning five continents, they ensure the long-term supply to customers of uranium for electricity production while maintaining a responsible attitude towards people and the environment. It has a diverse portfolio of both active mines (Canada, Kazakhstan and Niger) and mines under development (Africa). This document is Areva's Mining Activities responsible Development report for 2015. Content: profile (Overview, Keys events, Worldwide presence, Governance and Organization, Uranium market); CSR approach (Statement from the senior executive vice president, Risk management, Ethics and human rights, Voluntary initiatives, Materiality); Commitments (Health and radiation protection, Occupational safety, Environment and Biodiversity, Social involvement, Commitment to employees, Mining closure, Innovation); Performance (CSR objectives, Key indicators, Reporting parameters); Case Studies; Annexes (GRI Index)

  1. Responsible Development On Areva's Mining Activities - Report 2014

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2015-01-01

    Mining activities are the first link in the nuclear fuel cycle and in the integrated model of the Areva Group. Areva was one of the top producers worldwide in 2014, producing 8,959 metric tons of uranium. The group works to maintain resources and weighted reserves equivalent to 20 years of production at all times. Thanks to a presence spanning five continents, they ensure the long-term supply to customers of uranium for electricity production while maintaining a responsible attitude towards people and the environment. It has a diverse portfolio of both active mines (Canada, Kazakhstan and Niger) and mines under development (Africa). This document is Areva's Mining Activities responsible Development report for 2014. Content: profile (Overview, Keys events, Worldwide presence, Governance and Organization, Uranium market); CSR approach (Statement from the senior executive vice president, Risk management, Ethics and human rights, Voluntary initiatives, Materiality); Commitments (Health and radiation protection, Occupational safety, Environment and Biodiversity, Community involvement, Commitment to employees, After-mines, Innovation); Performance (Key indicators, Objectives of responsibility, Reporting parameters); Case Studies; Annexes (GRI Index)

  2. Characterization of Activated Carbon from Coal and Its Application as Adsorbent on Mine Acid Water Treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siti Hardianti

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Anthracite and Sub-bituminous as activated carbon raw material had been utilized especially in mining field as adsorbent of dangerous heavy metal compound resulted in mining activity. Carbon from coal was activated physically and chemically in various temperature and particle sizes. Characterization was carried out in order to determine the adsorbent specification produced hence can be used and applied accordingly. Proximate and ultimate analysis concluded anthracite has fixed carbon 88.91% while sub-bituminous 49.05%. NaOH was used in chemical activation while heated at 400-500°C whereas physical activation was conducted at 800-1000°C. Activated carbon has high activity in adsorbing indicated by high iodine number resulted from analysis. SEM-EDS result confirmed that activated carbon made from coal has the quality in accordance to SNI and can be used as adsorbent in acid water treatment.

  3. Effects of modern and ancient human activities on mercury in the environment in Xi'an area, Shannxi Province, P.R. China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jin Yongqing; Wang Xiaojuan [Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Life Science of Shaanxi Province, School of Chemistry and Materials Science, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi' an 710062 (China); Department of Chemistry and Biology, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON, M5B 2K3 (Canada); Lu Julia [Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Life Science of Shaanxi Province, School of Chemistry and Materials Science, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi' an 710062 (China); Department of Chemistry and Biology, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON, M5B 2K3 (Canada)], E-mail: julialu@ryerson.ca; Zhang Chengxiao [Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Life Science of Shaanxi Province, School of Chemistry and Materials Science, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi' an 710062 (China)], E-mail: cxzhang@snnu.edu.cn; Duan Qingbo [Shaanxi Archaeology Institute, Xi' an 710054 (China)

    2008-05-15

    Samples of water, soil, sediment, and pomegranate were collected from Xi'an and the Qinshihuang Mausoleum in Shaanxi Province, China to assess the effects of human activities on mercury in the environment. The total mercury concentrations ranged from 3.9 to 992.7 ng L{sup -1} for the water samples, 40.6 to 2204.0 ng g{sup -1} for the soil samples, 14.2 to 376.7 ng g{sup -1} for the sediment samples, and 0.22 to 1.74 ng g{sup -1} for the pomegranates samples. The higher values in the water samples collected from the rivers closer to and downstream of the city resulted from wastewater discharges. The effects of the mercury buried in the Qinshihuang Mausoleum thousands of years ago on the environment were neither significant nor widespread. Immediate actions should be taken to stop the direct and continuous discharges of industrial and residential wastewaters to prevent mercury and other pollutants from accumulating and spreading in the area. - Urban activities are sources of mercury to the environment and the pomegranates grown over the burial mound of the Qinshihuang Mausoleum are not mercury-contaminated.

  4. Effects of modern and ancient human activities on mercury in the environment in Xi'an area, Shannxi Province, P.R. China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jin Yongqing; Wang Xiaojuan; Lu Julia; Zhang Chengxiao; Duan Qingbo

    2008-01-01

    Samples of water, soil, sediment, and pomegranate were collected from Xi'an and the Qinshihuang Mausoleum in Shaanxi Province, China to assess the effects of human activities on mercury in the environment. The total mercury concentrations ranged from 3.9 to 992.7 ng L -1 for the water samples, 40.6 to 2204.0 ng g -1 for the soil samples, 14.2 to 376.7 ng g -1 for the sediment samples, and 0.22 to 1.74 ng g -1 for the pomegranates samples. The higher values in the water samples collected from the rivers closer to and downstream of the city resulted from wastewater discharges. The effects of the mercury buried in the Qinshihuang Mausoleum thousands of years ago on the environment were neither significant nor widespread. Immediate actions should be taken to stop the direct and continuous discharges of industrial and residential wastewaters to prevent mercury and other pollutants from accumulating and spreading in the area. - Urban activities are sources of mercury to the environment and the pomegranates grown over the burial mound of the Qinshihuang Mausoleum are not mercury-contaminated

  5. Mercury Exposure and Heart Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genchi, Giuseppe; Sinicropi, Maria Stefania; Carocci, Alessia; Lauria, Graziantonio; Catalano, Alessia

    2017-01-12

    Environmental contamination has exposed humans to various metal agents, including mercury. It has been determined that mercury is not only harmful to the health of vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and children, but is also toxic to ordinary adults in various ways. For many years, mercury was used in a wide variety of human activities. Nowadays, the exposure to this metal from both natural and artificial sources is significantly increasing. Recent studies suggest that chronic exposure, even to low concentration levels of mercury, can cause cardiovascular, reproductive, and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, immunotoxicity, and carcinogenicity. Possible biological effects of mercury, including the relationship between mercury toxicity and diseases of the cardiovascular system, such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, and myocardial infarction, are being studied. As heart rhythm and function are under autonomic nervous system control, it has been hypothesized that the neurotoxic effects of mercury might also impact cardiac autonomic function. Mercury exposure could have a long-lasting effect on cardiac parasympathetic activity and some evidence has shown that mercury exposure might affect heart rate variability, particularly early exposures in children. The mechanism by which mercury produces toxic effects on the cardiovascular system is not fully elucidated, but this mechanism is believed to involve an increase in oxidative stress. The exposure to mercury increases the production of free radicals, potentially because of the role of mercury in the Fenton reaction and a reduction in the activity of antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione peroxidase. In this review we report an overview on the toxicity of mercury and focus our attention on the toxic effects on the cardiovascular system.

  6. Mercury Exposure and Heart Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Genchi

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Environmental contamination has exposed humans to various metal agents, including mercury. It has been determined that mercury is not only harmful to the health of vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and children, but is also toxic to ordinary adults in various ways. For many years, mercury was used in a wide variety of human activities. Nowadays, the exposure to this metal from both natural and artificial sources is significantly increasing. Recent studies suggest that chronic exposure, even to low concentration levels of mercury, can cause cardiovascular, reproductive, and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, immunotoxicity, and carcinogenicity. Possible biological effects of mercury, including the relationship between mercury toxicity and diseases of the cardiovascular system, such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, and myocardial infarction, are being studied. As heart rhythm and function are under autonomic nervous system control, it has been hypothesized that the neurotoxic effects of mercury might also impact cardiac autonomic function. Mercury exposure could have a long-lasting effect on cardiac parasympathetic activity and some evidence has shown that mercury exposure might affect heart rate variability, particularly early exposures in children. The mechanism by which mercury produces toxic effects on the cardiovascular system is not fully elucidated, but this mechanism is believed to involve an increase in oxidative stress. The exposure to mercury increases the production of free radicals, potentially because of the role of mercury in the Fenton reaction and a reduction in the activity of antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione peroxidase. In this review we report an overview on the toxicity of mercury and focus our attention on the toxic effects on the cardiovascular system.

  7. Responsible Development of Areva's Mining Activities - Report 2011

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2012-09-01

    The results consolidated at Mining Business Group level and presented in this document mainly relate to the uranium production sites for which Areva is the majority operator. For each stage of the mining life cycle (exploration, project development, operation, closure, redevelopment) much of the data is also reported on a national and international reporting level, and is presented in this document when deemed necessary for the understanding of Areva's activities. This document reports the extra-financial performance of Areva's mining activities for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2011. The extra-financial performance of mining activities presented in this report is underpinned by the Areva group reporting process called STAR (for Sustainability Tools Advanced Reporting). It is supplemented by information collected from in-house experts or from other reporting documents deemed to be valid sources of reference for the subjects discussed. Content: 1 - Approach to responsibility (Being a Responsible Mining Stakeholder, The Fundamentals of Areva's Approach); 2 - Activities (Activities Experiencing Strong Growth, Uranium as a Core Business); 3 - Teams (A Proactive Employment Policy, Employee Health and Safety, Focus: 'I am committed to maintaining safety' campaign yields exemplary results in Namibia); 4 - Environmental policy (Management of Challenges, The Environment Throughout the Entire Mining Lifecycle, Focus: hybrid electricity generation system for prospecting camps in Australia); 5 - Social commitment (Transparency and Openness to Dialogue, Community Involvement, Focus: working group with communities of the province of Saskatchewan in Canada); 6 - Performance (The Main Sustainable Development Indicators, Scope of this Report); 7 - Appendices (Glossary, Communications associated with this report)

  8. Mining anaerobic digester consortia metagenomes for secreted carbohydrate active enzymes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wilkens, Casper; Busk, Peter Kamp; Pilgaard, Bo

    , and food wastes (Alvarado et al., 2014). The processes and the roles of the microorganisms that are involved in biomass conversion and methane production in ADs are still not fully understood. We are investigating thermophilic and mesophilic ADs that use wastewater surplus sludge for methane production......Anaerobic digesters (ADs) are one of several ways to produce renewable energy, which in the case of ADs is in the form of methane. Several microbial groups are involved in anaerobic degradation of organic wastes such as animal manures and wastewater, and solid organic wastes such as sludge, crop...... was done with the Peptide Pattern Recognition (PPR) program (Busk and Lange, 2013), which is a novel non-alignment based approach that can predict function of e.g. CAZymes. PPR identifies a set of short conserved sequences, which can be used as a finger print when mining genomes for novel enzymes. In both...

  9. 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 ...

  10. Estimates of increased black carbon emissions from electrostatic precipitators during powdered activated carbon injection for mercury emissions control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clack, Herek L

    2012-07-03

    The behavior of mercury sorbents within electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) is not well-understood, despite a decade or more of full-scale testing. Recent laboratory results suggest that powdered activated carbon exhibits somewhat different collection behavior than fly ash in an ESP and particulate filters located at the outlet of ESPs have shown evidence of powdered activated carbon penetration during full-scale tests of sorbent injection for mercury emissions control. The present analysis considers a range of assumed differential ESP collection efficiencies for powdered activated carbon as compared to fly ash. Estimated emission rates of submicrometer powdered activated carbon are compared to estimated emission rates of particulate carbon on submicrometer fly ash, each corresponding to its respective collection efficiency. To the extent that any emitted powdered activated carbon exhibits size and optical characteristics similar to black carbon, such emissions could effectively constitute an increase in black carbon emissions from coal-based stationary power generation. The results reveal that even for the low injection rates associated with chemically impregnated carbons, submicrometer particulate carbon emissions can easily double if the submicrometer fraction of the native fly ash has a low carbon content. Increasing sorbent injection rates, larger collection efficiency differentials as compared to fly ash, and decreasing sorbent particle size all lead to increases in the estimated submicrometer particulate carbon emissions.

  11. Building local competences to meet mining activities – strategies based on experiences from Greenland and Island

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Ulrik; Gjedssø Bertelsen, Rasmus; Hendriksen, Kåre

    Mineral extraction in the Arctic is seen as a key to overcome future shortages of raw materials and local economic challenges in northern regions. Governmental strategies aim at building competence in governance and a local workforce that can be employed in mining industries and related businesses....... However many mining companies envisage potentials for a fast extraction of the resources using immigrant and migrant laborers that work intensively over a period of time while living in shantytowns. Past Greenland experiences with this type of work organization is not particularly positive. Experiences...... from Island demonstrate that is a long haul to build competences beyond local service activities. In preparing for large scale mining activities legal, social and environmental impact assessments are mandatory and needed for the public, political decision making concerning licenses for the initiation...

  12. Groundwater quality in a mining activity area (The Bierzo Basin-Leon)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Losa, A. de la; Moreno, L.; Nunez, I.

    2010-01-01

    The Bierzo Basin presents large coal mining structures without restore where the air exposition of metallic sulphurs could become a source of heavy metal pollution and acification of waters. This paper presents the results of a research focused on groundwater quality affected by the mining activity. A sampling campaign of both ground and surface waters was carried out. Altogether, 37 sampling points has been selected including 26 springs, 7 shallow wells for agricultural use and 4 river water samples, all of them directly or indirectly connected to groundwater. The interpretation of results is based on the multivariate analysis application. Sulphate is the dominant anion in both water types, and it is related, in most cases, to oxidation of sulphurs, widely represented in the study area. However, the main conclusion is that surface water and groundwater samples have no high abnormal contents of heavy metals due to the induced alteration by mining activity. (Author) 15 refs.

  13. Atmospheric mercury sources in the Mt. Amiata area, Italy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferrara, R.; Mazzolai, B.; Edner, H.; Svanberg, S.; Wallinder, E.

    1998-01-01

    Mt. Amiata, located in southern Tuscany (Italy), is part of the geologic anomaly of the Mediterranean basin, which contains about 65% of the world's cinnabar (HgS) deposits. Atmospheric mercury emissions from the main sources (geothermal power plants, abandoned mine structures and spoil banks of roasted cinnabar ore) were determined by flux chamber and by LIDAR remote sensing. Mercury emissions from five geothermal power plants were on the order of 24 g h -1 for each plant, a value that remains constant throughout the year. In the month of July, the mine spoils (covering an area of =200000 m 2 ) emit a few grams of mercury per hour, while the abandoned mine structures give off 100-110 g h -1 . These two mercury sources were strongly influenced by ambient temperature. The area affected by mercury sources displays an average air mercury concentration of 20 ng m -3 during the summer and 10 ng m -3 in winter

  14. Mercury Phase II Study - Mercury Behavior in Salt Processing Flowsheet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jain, V. [Savannah River Remediation, LLC., Aiken, SC (United States); Shah, H. [Savannah River Remediation, LLC., Aiken, SC (United States). Sludge and Salt Planning; Bannochie, C. J. [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL); Wilmarth, W. R. [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)

    2016-07-25

    Mercury (Hg) in the Savannah River Site Liquid Waste System (LWS) originated from decades of canyon processing where it was used as a catalyst for dissolving the aluminum cladding of reactor fuel. Approximately 60 metric tons of mercury is currently present throughout the LWS. Mercury has long been a consideration in the LWS, from both hazard and processing perspectives. In February 2015, a Mercury Program Team was established at the request of the Department of Energy to develop a comprehensive action plan for long-term management and removal of mercury. Evaluation was focused in two Phases. Phase I activities assessed the Liquid Waste inventory and chemical processing behavior using a system-by-system review methodology, and determined the speciation of the different mercury forms (Hg+, Hg++, elemental Hg, organomercury, and soluble versus insoluble mercury) within the LWS. Phase II activities are building on the Phase I activities, and results of the LWS flowsheet evaluations will be summarized in three reports: Mercury Behavior in the Salt Processing Flowsheet (i.e. this report); Mercury Behavior in the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) Flowsheet; and Mercury behavior in the Tank Farm Flowsheet (Evaporator Operations). The evaluation of the mercury behavior in the salt processing flowsheet indicates, inter alia, the following: (1) In the assembled Salt Batches 7, 8 and 9 in Tank 21, the total mercury is mostly soluble with methylmercury (MHg) contributing over 50% of the total mercury. Based on the analyses of samples from 2H Evaporator feed and drop tanks (Tanks 38/43), the source of MHg in Salt Batches 7, 8 and 9 can be attributed to the 2H evaporator concentrate used in assembling the salt batches. The 2H Evaporator is used to evaporate DWPF recycle water. (2) Comparison of data between Tank 21/49, Salt Solution Feed Tank (SSFT), Decontaminated Salt Solution Hold Tank (DSSHT), and Tank 50 samples suggests that the total mercury as well as speciated

  15. Mercury Phase II Study - Mercury Behavior in Salt Processing Flowsheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jain, V.; Shah, H.; Wilmarth, W. R.

    2016-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) in the Savannah River Site Liquid Waste System (LWS) originated from decades of canyon processing where it was used as a catalyst for dissolving the aluminum cladding of reactor fuel. Approximately 60 metric tons of mercury is currently present throughout the LWS. Mercury has long been a consideration in the LWS, from both hazard and processing perspectives. In February 2015, a Mercury Program Team was established at the request of the Department of Energy to develop a comprehensive action plan for long-term management and removal of mercury. Evaluation was focused in two Phases. Phase I activities assessed the Liquid Waste inventory and chemical processing behavior using a system-by-system review methodology, and determined the speciation of the different mercury forms (Hg+, Hg++, elemental Hg, organomercury, and soluble versus insoluble mercury) within the LWS. Phase II activities are building on the Phase I activities, and results of the LWS flowsheet evaluations will be summarized in three reports: Mercury Behavior in the Salt Processing Flowsheet (i.e. this report); Mercury Behavior in the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) Flowsheet; and Mercury behavior in the Tank Farm Flowsheet (Evaporator Operations). The evaluation of the mercury behavior in the salt processing flowsheet indicates, inter alia, the following: (1) In the assembled Salt Batches 7, 8 and 9 in Tank 21, the total mercury is mostly soluble with methylmercury (MHg) contributing over 50% of the total mercury. Based on the analyses of samples from 2H Evaporator feed and drop tanks (Tanks 38/43), the source of MHg in Salt Batches 7, 8 and 9 can be attributed to the 2H evaporator concentrate used in assembling the salt batches. The 2H Evaporator is used to evaporate DWPF recycle water. (2) Comparison of data between Tank 21/49, Salt Solution Feed Tank (SSFT), Decontaminated Salt Solution Hold Tank (DSSHT), and Tank 50 samples suggests that the total mercury as well as speciated

  16. Assessment of mercury exposure among small-scale gold miners using mercury stable isotopes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sherman, Laura S.; Blum, Joel D.; Basu, Niladri; Rajaee, Mozhgon; Evers, David C.; Buck, David G.; Petrlik, Jindrich; DiGangi, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Total mercury (Hg) concentrations in hair and urine are often used as biomarkers of exposure to fish-derived methylmercury (MeHg) and gaseous elemental Hg, respectively. We used Hg stable isotopes to assess the validity of these biomarkers among small-scale gold mining populations in Ghana and Indonesia. Urine from Ghanaian miners displayed similar Δ 199 Hg values to Hg derived from ore deposits (mean urine Δ 199 Hg=0.01‰, n=6). This suggests that urine total Hg concentrations accurately reflect exposure to inorganic Hg among this population. Hair samples from Ghanaian miners displayed low positive Δ 199 Hg values (0.23–0.55‰, n=6) and low percentages of total Hg as MeHg (7.6–29%, n=7). These data suggest that the majority of the Hg in these miners' hair samples is exogenously adsorbed inorganic Hg and not fish-derived MeHg. Hair samples from Indonesian gold miners who eat fish daily displayed a wider range of positive Δ 199 Hg values (0.21–1.32‰, n=5) and percentages of total Hg as MeHg (32–72%, n=4). This suggests that total Hg in the hair samples from Indonesian gold miners is likely a mixture of ingested fish MeHg and exogenously adsorbed inorganic Hg. Based on data from both populations, we suggest that total Hg concentrations in hair samples from small-scale gold miners likely overestimate exposure to MeHg from fish consumption. - Highlights: • Mercury isotopes were measured in hair and urine from small-scale gold miners. • Mercury isotopes indicate that Hg in urine comes from mining activity. • Mercury isotopes suggest Hg in hair is a mixture of fish MeHg and inorganic Hg. • A large percentage of Hg in miner’s hair is released during amalgam burning and adsorbed

  17. Application of Epithermal Neutron Activation Analysis to Investigate Accumulation and Adsorption of Mercury by Spirulina platensis Biomass

    CERN Document Server

    Mosulishvili, L M; Khizanishvili, A I; Frontasyeva, M V; Kirkesali, E I; Aksenova, N G

    2004-01-01

    Epithermal neutron activation analysis was used to study interaction of blue-green alga Spirulina platensis with toxic metal mercury. Various concentrations of Hg(II) were added to cell cultures in a nutrient medium. The dynamics of accumulation of Hg was investigated over several days in relation to Spirulina biomass growth. The process of Hg adsorption by Spirulina biomass was studied in short-time experiments. The isotherm of adsorption was carried out in Freindlich coordinates. Natural Spirulina biomass has potential to be used in the remediation of sewage waters at Hg concentrations \\sim 100 {\\mu}g/l.

  18. Application of epithermal neutron activation analysis to investigate accumulation and adsorption of mercury by Spirulina platensis biomass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mosulishvili, L.M.; Belokobyl'skij, A.I.; Khizanishvili, A.I.; Frontas'eva, M.V.; Kirkesali, E.I.; Aksenova, N.G.

    2004-01-01

    Epithermal neutron activation analysis was used to study interaction of blue-green alga Spirulina platensis with toxic metal mercury. Various concentrations of Hg(II) were added to cell cultures in a nutrient medium. The dynamics of accumulation of Hg was investigated over several days in relation to Spirulina biomass growth. The process of Hg adsorption by Spirulina biomass was studied in short-time experiments. The isotherm of adsorption was carried out in Freindlich coordinates. Natural Spirulina biomass has potential to be used in the remediation of sewage waters at Hg concentrations ∼100 μg/1

  19. Impact of former uranium mining activities on the floodplains of the Mulde River, Saxony, Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bister, S; Birkhan, J; Lüllau, T; Bunka, M; Solle, A; Stieghorst, C; Riebe, B; Michel, R; Walther, C

    2015-06-01

    The Mulde River drains the former uranium mining areas in Saxony (Germany), which has led to a large-scale contamination of the river and the adjacent floodplain soils with radionuclides of the uranium decay series. The objective of the investigation is to quantify the long-term effect of former uranium mining activities on a river system. All of the investigated environmental compartments (water, sediment, soil) still reveal an impact from the former uranium mining and milling activities. The contamination of water has decreased considerably during the last 20 years due to the operation of water treatment facilities. The uranium content of the sediments decreased as well (on average by a factor of 5.6), most likely caused by displacement of contaminated material during flood events. Currently, the impact of the mining activities is most obvious in soils. For some of the plots activity concentrations of >200 Bq/kg of soil were detected for uranium-238. Alluvial soils used as grassland were found to be contaminated to a higher degree than those used as cropland. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 77 FR 57111 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request for the Mine, Development, and Mineral...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-17

    ... Collection Activities: Comment Request for the Mine, Development, and Mineral Exploration Supplement (1 Form... information collection (1028-0060). SUMMARY: We (the USGS) will ask the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve the information collection (IC) described below. This collection consists of 1 form. As...

  1. 78 FR 16863 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request for the Mine, Development, and Mineral...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-19

    ... Collection Activities: Comment Request for the Mine, Development, and Mineral Exploration Supplement (1 Form..., Development, and Mineral Exploration Supplement. This collection consists of one form and this notice provides... information collection (1028-0060). SUMMARY: To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), we are...

  2. 75 FR 3753 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request for the USGS Mine, Development, and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-22

    ... DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR U.S. Geological Survey Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request for the USGS Mine, Development, and Mineral Exploration Supplement AGENCY: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Interior. ACTION: Notice of an extension of an information collection (1028- 0060...

  3. Impaired microbial activity caused by metal pollution: A field study in a deactivated uranium mining area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antunes, Sara Cristina; Pereira, Ruth; Marques, Sérgio Miguel; Castro, Bruno Branco; Gonçalves, Fernando

    2011-12-01

    European frameworks for the ecological risk assessment (ERA) of contaminated sites integrate information from three lines of evidence: chemical, ecotoxicological, and ecological. Regarding the last one, field observations at the contaminated sites are compared to reference site(s) and the differences recorded are analysed at the light of a cause-effect relationship, taking into account the site-specific contamination. Thus, included in the tier 2 of a site-specific risk assessment that is being carried out in an deactivated uranium mining area, a battery of soil enzyme activities (dehydrogenases, urease, arysulphatase, cellulase, acid phosphate) and potential nitrification were assessed in seven sampling sites (A-D-E-F-G-H-I) at different distances from the mine pit. These parameters have been considered good indicators of impacts on soil microbial communities and, subsequently, on soil functions. Soil enzyme activities were impaired in the most contaminated site (A, near the mine pit), for which a higher degree of risk was determined in the tier 1 of ERA. Three other sites within the mining area (F, G, and D) were discriminated on the basis of their low microbial activity, using uni- and multivariate approaches, and validating what had been previously found with chemical and ecotoxicological lines of evidence. We observed considerable among-site heterogeneity in terms of soil physical and chemical properties, combined with seasonal differences in enzyme activities. Still, the correlation between microbial parameters and soil general physical and chemical parameters was weak. In opposition, significant and negative correlations were found between soil enzyme activities and several metallic elements (Al, Be, Cu, U). These findings suggest a clear correlation between compromised soil function (nutrient recycling) and metal contamination. Such information reinforces the evidence of risks for some sites within the mining area and is an important contribution for the

  4. Effects of methyl mercury on the activity and gene expression of mouse Langerhans islets and glucose metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maqbool, Faheem; Bahadar, Haji; Niaz, Kamal; Baeeri, Maryam; Rahimifard, Mahban; Navaei-Nigjeh, Mona; Ghasemi-Niri, Seyedeh Farnaz; Abdollahi, Mohammad

    2016-07-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a well-known heavy metal and causes various toxic effects. It is abundantly present in fish in the form of methyl mercury (MeHg). Also, various other forms of mercury can enter human body either from environment like inhalation or through dental amalgams. The present study was designed to assess MeHg induced toxicity in mouse plasma and pancreatic islets with respect to insulin secretion, oxidative balance, glucose tolerance, gene expression, caspases 3 and 9 activities. MeHg was dissolved in tap water and administered at doses 2.5, 5 and 10 mg/kg/day, for 4 weeks. In mice, MeHg significantly caused increase in plasma insulin as well as C-peptides. Glucose intolerance, insulin resistance and hyperglycemia are main consequences of our study that correlate with the gene expression changes of glucose homeostasis as well. MeHg caused increase lipid peroxidation in a dose-dependent manner in plasma as well as pancreatic islets. In addition, total thiol molecules and ferrous reducing antioxidant power in MeHg treated group was decreased in plasma as well as pancreatic islets. Caspases 3 and 9 activities of pancreatic islets were upregulated in MeHg exposed animals. Reactive oxygen species were extremely high in pancreatic islets of MeHg treated groups. MeHg disrupted gluconeogenesis/glycogenolysis pathways and insulin secretory functions of islets by targeting GDH, GLUT2 and GCK genes of pancreatic islets. In conclusion, the current study revealed that insulin pathways, oxidative balance and glucose metabolism encoded genetic makeup are susceptible to MeHg toxicity and the subsequent oxidative stress and alternations in gene expression could lead toward functional abnormalities in other organs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 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

  6. State Mines Inspectorate of Saarland and Rheinland-Pfalz, Mines Inspectorate Saarbruecken / Mines Inspectorate Rheinland-Pfalz. Annual report 2001. Economic and technical aspects, industrial safety and environmental protection, statistics, activities of the mining authorities; Oberbergamt fuer das Saarland und das Land Rheinland-Pfalz, Bergamt Saarbruecken / Bergamt Rheinland-Pfalz. Jahresbericht 2001. Bergwirtschaft, Bergtechnik, Arbeitsschutz, Umweltschutz, Statistiken, Taetigkeiten der Bergbehoerden

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boettcher, R.; Hugo, K.H.; Kuhn, M.; Strauch, T. (comps.)

    2002-07-01

    The annual report of the Saarland and Rheinland-Pfalz State Mines Inspectorate and the Mines Inspectorates of the two states provide an insight into the many activities of mines inspectorates and of the current trends in mining engineering. The importance of mining and regional raw materials management is stressed. [German] Der vorliegende Jahresbericht des Oberbergamtes fuer das Saarland und das Land Rheinland-Pfalz sowie der Bergaemter in beiden Bundeslaendern gibt einen Einblick in das vielfaeltige Arbeitsgebiet der Bergbehoerden. Gleichzeitig vermittelt er einen Ueberblick ueber die bergtechnische Entwicklung und unterstreicht die volkswirtschaftliche Bedeutung des Bergbaus und der standortgebundenen Rohstoffwirtschaft.

  7. Mercury recycling in the United States in 2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, William E.; Matos, Grecia R.

    2005-01-01

    Reclamation and recycling of mercury from used mercury- containing products and treatment of byproduct mercury from gold mining is vital to the continued, though declining, use of this metal. Mercury is reclaimed from mercury-containing waste by treatment in multistep high-temperature retorts-the mercury is volatized and then condensed for purification and sale. Some mercury-containing waste, however, may be landfilled, and landfilled material represents loss of a recyclable resource and a threat to the environment. Related issues include mercury disposal and waste management, toxicity and human health, and regulation of mercury releases in the environment. End-users of mercury-containing products may face fines and prosecution if these products are improperly recycled or not recycled. Local and State environmental regulations require adherence to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act to regulate generation, treatment, and disposal of mercury-containing products. In the United States, several large companies and a number of smaller companies collect these products from a variety of sources and then reclaim and recycle the mercury. Because mercury has not been mined as a principal product in the United States since 1992, mercury reclamation from fabricated products has become the main source of mercury. Principal product mercury and byproduct mercury from mining operations are considered to be primary materials. Mercury may also be obtained as a byproduct from domestic or foreign gold-processing operations. In the early 1990s, U.S. manufacturers used an annual average that ranged from 500 to 600 metric tons of recycled and imported mercury for fabrication of automobile convenience switches, dental amalgam, fluorescent lamps, medical uses and thermometers, and thermostats. The amount now used for fabrication is estimated to be 200 metric tons per year or less. Much of the data on

  8. Influence of the pore structure and surface chemical properties of activated carbon on the adsorption of mercury from aqueous solutions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lu, Xincheng; Jiang, Jianchun; Sun, Kang; Wang, Jinbiao; Zhang, Yanping

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Activated carbons with different pore structure and surface chemical properties were prepared by modification process. • HgCl 2 as a pollution target to evaluate the adsorption performance. • Influence of pore structure and surface chemical properties of activated carbon on adsorption of mercury was investigated. -- Abstract: Reactivation and chemical modification were used to obtain modified activated carbons with different pore structure and surface chemical properties. The samples were characterized by nitrogen absorption–desorption, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and the Bothem method. Using mercury chloride as the target pollutant, the Hg 2+ adsorption ability of samples was investigated. The results show that the Hg 2+ adsorption capacity of samples increased significantly with increases in micropores and acidic functional groups and that the adsorption process was exothermic. Different models and thermodynamic parameters were evaluated to establish the mechanisms. It was concluded that the adsorption occurred through a monolayer mechanism by a two-speed process involving both rapid adsorption and slow adsorption. The adsorption rate was determined by chemical reaction

  9. Environmental remediation activities at the Ningyo-toge Uranium Mine, Japan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saito, Hiroshi; Taki, Tomohiro

    2011-01-01

    Ningyo-toge Uranium Mine is subject to the environmental remediation. The main purposes are to take measures to ensure the radiation protection from the exposure pathways to humans in future, and to prevent the occurrence of mining pollution. The Mill Tailings Pond in the Ningyo-toge Uranium Mine has deposited mining waste and impounded water as a buffer reservoir before it is transferred to the Water Treatment Facility. It is located at the upstream of the water-source river, and therefore, for the environmental remediation, the highest priority has been put to it among many facilities in the Mine. So far, basic concept has been examined and planning has been carried out for the remediation. Also, a great number of data has been acquired, and using the data, some remediation activities have already begun, including designing for the upstream part of the Mill Tailings Pond. According to the current plan, the Mill Tailings Pond will be covered by capping following dewatering and compressing of mill tailings. The capping is composed of 'radon barrier' for lowering radon-gas dissipation and dose rate, and its protection layer. Natural materials are planned to be used for the capping to alleviate the future maintenance. After capping, data will be accumulated to verify the effectiveness of the capping, and if proved effective, it will be utilized for the capping of the downstream part. (author)

  10. A Data Mining Approach for Examining Predictors of Physical Activity Among Urban Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Sunmoo; Suero-Tejeda, Niurka; Bakken, Suzanne

    2015-07-01

    The current study applied innovative data mining techniques to a community survey dataset to develop prediction models for two aspects of physical activity (i.e., active transport and screen time) in a sample of urban, primarily Hispanic, older adults (N=2,514). Main predictors for active transport (accuracy=69.29%, precision=0.67, recall=0.69) were immigrant status, high level of anxiety, having a place for physical activity, and willingness to make time for physical activity. The main predictors for screen time (accuracy=63.13%, precision=0.60, recall=0.63) were willingness to make time for exercise, having a place for exercise, age, and availability of family support to access health information on the Internet. Data mining methods were useful to identify intervention targets and inform design of customized interventions. Copyright 2015, SLACK Incorporated.

  11. Emissions of carbon species, organic polar compounds, potassium, and mercury from prescribed burning activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Y.; Obrist, D.; Zielinska, B.; Gerler, A.

    2012-04-01

    Biomass burning is an important emission source of pollutants to the atmosphere, but few studies have focused on the chemical composition of emissions from prescribed burning activities. Here we present results from a sampling campaign to quantify particulate-phase emissions from various types of prescribed fires including carbon species (Elemental Carbon: EC; Organic Carbon: OC; and Total Carbon: TC); polar organic compounds (12 different compounds and four functional classes); water-soluble potassium (K+); and mercury (Hg). We measured emissions from the following types of prescribed biomass burning in the Lake Tahoe basin located on the California/Nevada border: (i) log piles stacked and dried in the field; (ii) log piles along with green understory vegetation; and (iii) understory green vegetation and surface litter; further emissions were collected from burns conducted in a wood stove: (iv) dried wooden logs; (v) green foliage of understory vegetation collected from the field; and (vi) surface organic litter collected from the field; finally, samples were also taken from (vii) ambient air in residential areas during peak domestic wood combustion season. Results show that OC/EC ratios of prescribed burns in the field ranged from 4 to 10, but lower values (around 1) were observed in controlled stove fires. These results are consistent with an excess of OC emissions over EC found in wildfires. OC/EC ratios, however, showed clear separations between controlled wood stove combustion (higher EC) and prescribed burns in the field (lower EC). We attribute this difference to a higher combustion temperatures and dominance of flaming combustion in wood stove fires. OC positively and linearly correlated to the sum of polar organic compounds across all burn types (r2 of 0.82). The most prevalent group of polar compounds emitted during prescribed fires was resin acids (dehydroabietic, pimaric, and abietic acids), followed by levoglucosan plus mannositol. Negligible

  12. Hollows on Mercury: MESSENGER evidence for geologically recent volatile-related activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blewett, David T; Chabot, Nancy L; Denevi, Brett W; Ernst, Carolyn M; Head, James W; Izenberg, Noam R; Murchie, Scott L; Solomon, Sean C; Nittler, Larry R; McCoy, Timothy J; Xiao, Zhiyong; Baker, David M H; Fassett, Caleb I; Braden, Sarah E; Oberst, Jürgen; Scholten, Frank; Preusker, Frank; Hurwitz, Debra M

    2011-09-30

    High-resolution images of Mercury's surface from orbit reveal that many bright deposits within impact craters exhibit fresh-appearing, irregular, shallow, rimless depressions. The depressions, or hollows, range from tens of meters to a few kilometers across, and many have high-reflectance interiors and halos. The host rocks, which are associated with crater central peaks, peak rings, floors, and walls, are interpreted to have been excavated from depth by the crater-forming process. The most likely formation mechanisms for the hollows involve recent loss of volatiles through some combination of sublimation, space weathering, outgassing, or pyroclastic volcanism. These features support the inference that Mercury's interior contains higher abundances of volatile materials than predicted by most scenarios for the formation of the solar system's innermost planet.

  13. Effect of oxygen potential on sulphur dioxide activation of oil sands fluid coke and characteristics of activated coke in mercury adsorption

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morris, E.A.; Jia, C.Q.; Tong, S.

    2007-01-01

    A sulphur-impregnated activated carbon (SIAC) technology was modified for use in copper smelters in order to mitigate mercury and sulphur dioxide (SO 2 ) emissions. Elemental sulphur was captured as a co-product. The study examined the feasibility of reducing levels of SO 2 using fluid coke in the copper smelter flue. SIAC properties were optimized in order to capture vapour phase mercury. Raw fluid coke samples were used to measure SO 2 flow rates. Gas composition was varied to mimic concentrations found during normal operation of copper converters. Gas chromatography was used to analyze reactions products and to prove the hypothesis that mercury capacity is influenced by the oxygen potential of the activation gas due to changes in surface sulphur types developed from reduced sulphur species. Results of the study showed that oxygen levels at 5 per cent did not play a significant role in pore development. It was concluded that increased residence times contributed to reductions in SO 2 and elemental S yields. 13 refs., 1 tab., 7 figs

  14. Mercury distribution in ancient and modern sediment of northeastern Bering Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, C.H.; Pierce, D.E.; Leong, K.W.; Wang, F.F.H.

    1975-01-01

    Reconnaissance sampling of surface and subsurface sediment to a maximum depth of 80 m below the sea floor shows that typical values of 0.03 p.p.m. and anomalies of 0.2-1.3 p.p.m. mercury have been present in northeastern Bering Sea since Early Pliocene time. Values are highest in modern beach (maximum 1.3 and mean 0.22 p.p.m. Hg) and nearshore subsurface gravels (maximum 0.6 and mean 0.06 p.p.m. Hg) along the highly mineralized Seward Peninsula and in clayey silt rich in organic matter (maximum 0.16 and mean 0.10 p.p.m. Hg) throughout the region. Although gold mining may be partly responsible for high mercury levels in the modern beach near Nome, Alaska (maximum 0.45 p.p.m.), equally high or greater concentrations of mercury occur in buried Pleistocene sediments immediately offshore (maximum 0.6 p.p.m.) and in modern unpolluted beach sediments at Bluff (maximum 1.3 p.p.m.); this suggests that the contamination effects of mining may be no greater than natural concentration processes in the Seward Peninsula region. The mercury content of offshore surface sediment, even adjacent to mercury-rich beaches, corresponds to that of unpolluted marine and fresh-water sediment elsewhere. The normal values that prevail offshore may be attributable to entrapment of mercury-bearing heavy minerals on beaches near sources and/or dilution effects of offshore sedimentation. The few minor anomalies offshore occur in glacial drift derived from mercury source regions of Chukotka (Siberia) and Seward Peninsula; Pleistocene shoreline processes have reworked the drift to concentrate the heavy metals. The distribution pattern of mercury indicates that particulate mercury-bearing minerals have not been widely dispersed from onland deposits in quantities sufficient to increase mercury levels above normal in offshore sediments of Bering Sea; however, it shows that natural sedimentary processes can concentrate this mercury in beaches of the coastal zone where there already is concern because of

  15. 77 FR 72766 - Small Business Size Standards: Support Activities for Mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-06

    ....9 $3,246.0 0.892 $35.5 $7.0 Operations 35.5 35.5 35.5 $35.5 213113 Support Activities for Coal... taxes (excluding any carry-over losses) for the 2 full fiscal years before the date of the application... Oil and Gas $7.0 $35.5 Operations. 213113 Support Activities for Coal Mining...... 7.0 19.0 213114...

  16. Object Relevance Weight Pattern Mining for Activity Recognition and Segmentation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Palmes, Paulito Pedregosa; Pung, Hung Keng; Gu, Tao

    2010-01-01

    Monitoring daily activities of a person has many potential benefits in pervasive computing. These include providing proactive support for the elderly and monitoring anomalous behaviors. A typical approach in existing research on activity detection is to construct sequence-based models of low-leve...

  17. Geodetic monitoring (TLS of a steel transport trestle bridge located in an active mining exploitation site

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Skoczylas Arkadiusz

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Underground mining exploitation causes, in general, irregular vertical and horizontal shifts in the superficial layer of the rock mass. In the case of construction objects seated on this layer, a deformation of the object’s foundation can be observed. This leads to additional loads and deformations. Identification of surface geometry changes in construction objects located within the premises of underground mining exploitation areas is an important task as far as safety of mining sites is concerned. Surveys targeting shifts and deformations in engineering objects preformed with the use of classic methods are of a selective nature and do not provide the full image of the phenomenon being the subject of the observation. This paper presents possibilities of terrestrial laser scanning technology application in the monitoring of engineering objects that allows for a complete spatial documentation of an object subjected to the influence of an active mining exploitation. This paper describes an observation of a 100 m section of a steel transport trestle bridge located on the premises of hard coal mine Lubelski Węgiel “Bogdanka” S.A. carried out in 2015. Measurements were carried out using a Z+F Imager 5010C scanner at an interval of 3.5 months. Changes in the structure’s geometry were determined by comparing the point clouds recorded during the two measurement periods. The results of the analyses showed shifts in the trestle bridge towards the exploited coal wall accompanied by object deformation. The obtained results indicate the possibility of of terrestrial laser scanning application in studying the aftereffects of underground mining exploitation on surface engineering objects.

  18. Palaeo-pollution from mining activities in the Vosges Mountains: 1000 years and still bioavailable.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariet, Anne-Lise; de Vaufleury, Annette; Bégeot, Carole; Walter-Simonnet, Anne-Véronique; Gimbert, Frédéric

    2016-07-01

    Mining and smelting activities have contaminated the environment with trace metals (TMs) at a worldwide scale for at least two millennia. A combination of chemical approaches and active biomonitoring was performed to analyse the environmental availability and bioavailability of TM palaeo-pollution in a former PbAg mining district in the Vosges Mountains, France. Along a soil TM contamination gradient that covered eight stations, including two archaeological mining sites, the toxicokinetics of six TMs (Pb, Cd, As, Ag, Co, Sb) in the snail Cantareus aspersus revealed that palaeo-pollution from the studied sites remains bioavailable. This study provides the first data on the accumulation kinetics of Ag and Co for C. aspersus. The environmental availability of the TMs was estimated with three chemical extraction methods (aqua regia, EDTA 50 mM, CaCl2 10 mM). Univariate regression analyses showed that EDTA extraction is the best method for estimating