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Sample records for mercury mining deposit

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Thomas; Rumengan, Inneke; Sahami, Ali

    2018-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-19

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2003-07-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Comparison of mercury mass loading in streams to atmospheric deposition in watersheds of Western North America: Evidence for non-atmospheric mercury sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domagalski, Joseph L.; Majewski, Michael S.; Alpers, Charles N.; Eckley, Chris S.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Schenk, Liam N.; Wherry, Susan

    2016-01-01

    Annual stream loads of mercury (Hg) and inputs of wet and dry atmospheric Hg deposition to the landscape were investigated in watersheds of the Western United States and the Canadian-Alaskan Arctic. Mercury concentration and discharge data from flow gauging stations were used to compute annual mass loads with regression models. Measured wet and modeled dry deposition were compared to annual stream loads to compute ratios of Hg stream load to total Hg atmospheric deposition. Watershed land uses or cover included mining, undeveloped, urbanized, and mixed. Of 27 watersheds that were investigated, 15 had some degree of mining, either of Hg or precious metals (gold or silver), where Hg was used in the amalgamation process. Stream loads in excess of annual Hg atmospheric deposition (ratio > 1) were observed in watersheds containing Hg mines and in relatively small and medium-sized watersheds with gold or silver mines, however, larger watersheds containing gold or silver mines, some of which also contain large dams that trap sediment, were sometimes associated with lower load ratios (watersheds with natural vegetation tended to have low ratios of stream load to Hg deposition (watersheds (Mackenzie and Yukon Rivers) had a relatively elevated ratio of stream load to atmospheric deposition (0.27 and 0.74), possibly because of melting glaciers or permafrost releasing previously stored Hg to the streams. Overall, our research highlights the important role of watershed characteristics in determining whether a landscape is a net source of Hg or a net sink of atmospheric Hg.

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

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    Reginawanti Hindersah

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

    in soils (0.6 - 113.0 mg/kg). It stands out the high Hg values; in some cases surpass one hundred times threshold levels according to the Spain regulation (0.3 mg/kg); however, Hg levels in water present low values. Hg values in plants are above all reference values of other similar studies (0.1 - 0.6 mg/kg); roots present values between 1.0 mg/kg and 28.3 mg/kg while Hg concentrations of the leaves are between 4.0 and 17.3 mg/kg. The concentrations look higher in leaves than in roots mostly due to the atmospheric deposition. The most polluted soils and plant are located in mercury burn areas with very high levels of mercury, where workers and population are in close contact with these soils without any type of protection. On the other hand, mercury coming from the mining processing plant is dumped into the rivers, where sediments are enriched in these metals. They could also be incorporated in their bio-available and soluble forms in the trophic chain, through the flora and the fauna so that further studies are needed and recommended.

  13. Comparison of mercury mass loading in streams to atmospheric deposition in watersheds of Western North America: Evidence for non-atmospheric mercury sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domagalski, Joseph L.; Majewski, Michael S.; Alpers, Charles N.; Eckley, Chris S.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Schenk, Liam N.; Wherry, Susan

    2016-01-01

    Annual stream loads of mercury (Hg) and inputs of wet and dry atmospheric Hg deposition to the landscape were investigated in watersheds of the Western United States and the Canadian-Alaskan Arctic. Mercury concentration and discharge data from flow gauging stations were used to compute annual mass loads with regression models. Measured wet and modeled dry deposition were compared to annual stream loads to compute ratios of Hg stream load to total Hg atmospheric deposition. Watershed land uses or cover included mining, undeveloped, urbanized, and mixed. Of 27 watersheds that were investigated, 15 had some degree of mining, either of Hg or precious metals (gold or silver), where Hg was used in the amalgamation process. Stream loads in excess of annual Hg atmospheric deposition (ratio > 1) were observed in watersheds containing Hg mines and in relatively small and medium-sized watersheds with gold or silver mines, however, larger watersheds containing gold or silver mines, some of which also contain large dams that trap sediment, were sometimes associated with lower load ratios (< 0.2). In the non-Arctic regions, watersheds with natural vegetation tended to have low ratios of stream load to Hg deposition (< 0.1), whereas urbanized areas had higher ratios (0.34–1.0) because of impervious surfaces. This indicated that, in ecosystems with natural vegetation, Hg is retained in the soil and may be transported subsequently to streams as a result of erosion or in association with dissolved organic carbon. Arctic watersheds (Mackenzie and Yukon Rivers) had a relatively elevated ratio of stream load to atmospheric deposition (0.27 and 0.74), possibly because of melting glaciers or permafrost releasing previously stored Hg to the streams. Overall, our research highlights the important role of watershed characteristics in determining whether a landscape is a net source of Hg or a net sink of atmospheric Hg.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Litterfall mercury dry deposition in the eastern USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Risch, Martin R.; DeWild, John F.; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Kolka, Randall K.; Zhang, Leiming

    2012-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) in autumn litterfall from predominately deciduous forests was measured in 3 years of samples from 23 Mercury Deposition Network sites in 15 states across the eastern USA. Annual litterfall Hg dry deposition was significantly higher (median 12.3 micrograms per square meter (μg/m 2 ), range 3.5–23.4 μg/m 2 ) than annual Hg wet deposition (median 9.6 μg/m 2 , range 4.4–19.7 μg/m 2 ). The mean ratio of dry to wet Hg deposition was 1.3–1. The sum of dry and wet Hg deposition averaged 21 μg/m 2 per year and 55% was litterfall dry deposition. Methylmercury was a median 0.8% of Hg in litterfall and ranged from 0.6 to 1.5%. Annual litterfall Hg and wet Hg deposition rates differed significantly and were weakly correlated. Litterfall Hg dry deposition differed among forest-cover types. This study demonstrated how annual litterfall Hg dry deposition rates approximate the lower bound of annual Hg dry fluxes. - Highlights: ► Annual litterfall mercury dry deposition was significantly higher than wet deposition. ► The mean ratio of dry to wet mercury deposition was 1.3–1. ► The sum of dry and wet mercury deposition averaged 55% litterfall dry deposition. ► Litterfall mercury deposition was highest in the oak-hickory forest-cover type. ► Methylmercury was a median 0.8% of mercury in litterfall and ranged to 1.5%. - A multi-year study of Mercury Deposition Network sites found that annual mercury dry deposition from litterfall in predominately deciduous forests exceeded annual mercury wet deposition in the eastern USA.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Mercury Wet Scavenging and Deposition Differences by Precipitation Type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaulfus, Aaron S; Nair, Udaysankar; Holmes, Christopher D; Landing, William M

    2017-03-07

    We analyze the effect of precipitation type on mercury wet deposition using a new database of individual rain events spanning the contiguous United States. Measurements from the Mercury Deposition Network (MDN) containing single rainfall events were identified and classified into six precipitation types. Mercury concentrations in surface precipitation follow a power law of precipitation depth that is modulated by precipitation system morphology. After controlling for precipitation depth, the highest mercury deposition occurs in supercell thunderstorms, with decreasing deposition in disorganized thunderstorms, quasi-linear convective systems (QLCS), extratropical cyclones, light rain, and land-falling tropical cyclones. Convective morphologies (supercells, disorganized, and QLCS) enhance wet deposition by a factor of at least 1.6 relative to nonconvective morphologies. Mercury wet deposition also varies by geographic region and season. After controlling for other factors, we find that mercury wet deposition is greater over high-elevation sites, seasonally during summer, and in convective precipitation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esdaile, Louisa J; Chalker, Justin M

    2018-05-11

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

  2. Atmospheric wet deposition of mercury in North America

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sweet, C.W.; Prestbo, E.; Brunette, B.

    1999-07-01

    Currently, 39 states in the US and 5 Canadian provinces have issued advisories about the dangers of eating mercury-contaminated fish taken from waters within their boundaries. The problem is most severe in the Great Lakes region, the Northeast US states, the Canadian maritime provinces, and in south Florida where many lakes and streams contain fish with concentrations of 1 ppm or higher. For many rural and remote locations, atmospheric deposition is the primary source of mercury. In 1995, the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) initiated a program to monitor total mercury and methylmercury (MMHg) in wet deposition (rain and snow) in North America. In this program, the Mercury Deposition Network (MDN), individual monitoring sites are funded and operated by a variety of local, state, and federal agencies. However, sampling and analysis are coordinated through a central laboratory so that all of the samples are collected and analyzed using the same protocols. Weekly wet-only precipitation samples are collected using an all-glass sampling train and special handling techniques. Analysis is by cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry using USEPA Method 1631 for total mercury. Nearly 40 MDN sites are in operation in 1999. Most of the sites are in the eastern US and Canada. During 1996 and 1997, the volume-weighted mean concentration of total mercury in precipitation collected at 22 sites ranged from 6.0 to 18.9 ng/L. Annual deposition varied between 2.1 and 25.3 {micro} g/m{sup 2}. The average weekly wet deposition of total mercury is more than three times higher in the summer (June-August) than in the winter (December-February). This increase is due to both higher amounts of precipitation and higher concentrations of mercury in precipitation during the summer. The highest values for mercury concentration in precipitation and wet deposition of mercury were measured in the southeastern US.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-10-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Study of the environmental cycling of mercury

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1977-01-01

    A study of mercury in the environment is under way near the mercury mine at Almaden, Spain. The main aspects of the project are: ecology; atmospheric monitoring; and human studies. The mercury deposit at Almaden is described. The liquid effluent from the mine and smelter contains high concentrations of mercury that pollute nearby rivers. Sample collection and analytical methods used in the ecological survey are reviewed. Ecological experiments are considered. Air monitoring studies and human studies currently being performed are assessed. (1 map)

  8. Spatial variation of mercury bioaccumulation in bats of Canada linked to atmospheric mercury deposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chételat, John; Hickey, M Brian C; Poulain, Alexandre J; Dastoor, Ashu; Ryjkov, Andrei; McAlpine, Donald; Vanderwolf, Karen; Jung, Thomas S; Hale, Lesley; Cooke, Emma L L; Hobson, Dave; Jonasson, Kristin; Kaupas, Laura; McCarthy, Sara; McClelland, Christine; Morningstar, Derek; Norquay, Kaleigh J O; Novy, Richard; Player, Delanie; Redford, Tony; Simard, Anouk; Stamler, Samantha; Webber, Quinn M R; Yumvihoze, Emmanuel; Zanuttig, Michelle

    2018-06-01

    Wildlife are exposed to neurotoxic mercury at locations distant from anthropogenic emission sources because of long-range atmospheric transport of this metal. In this study, mercury bioaccumulation in insectivorous bat species (Mammalia: Chiroptera) was investigated on a broad geographic scale in Canada. Fur was analyzed (n=1178) for total mercury from 43 locations spanning 20° latitude and 77° longitude. Total mercury and methylmercury concentrations in fur were positively correlated with concentrations in internal tissues (brain, liver, kidney) for a small subset (n=21) of little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) and big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus), validating the use of fur to indicate internal mercury exposure. Brain methylmercury concentrations were approximately 10% of total mercury concentrations in fur. Three bat species were mainly collected (little brown bats, big brown bats, and northern long-eared bats [M. septentrionalis]), with little brown bats having lower total mercury concentrations in their fur than the other two species at sites where both species were sampled. On average, juvenile bats had lower total mercury concentrations than adults but no differences were found between males and females of a species. Combining our dataset with previously published data for eastern Canada, median total mercury concentrations in fur of little brown bats ranged from 0.88-12.78μg/g among 11 provinces and territories. Highest concentrations were found in eastern Canada where bats are most endangered from introduced disease. Model estimates of atmospheric mercury deposition indicated that eastern Canada was exposed to greater mercury deposition than central and western sites. Further, mean total mercury concentrations in fur of adult little brown bats were positively correlated with site-specific estimates of atmospheric mercury deposition. This study provides the largest geographic coverage of mercury measurements in bats to date and indicates that atmospheric

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johan Ohlander

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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biagya, Robert Yakubu

    2002-12-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Atmospheric mercury in Changbai Mountain area, northeastern China II. The distribution of reactive gaseous mercury and particulate mercury and mercury deposition fluxes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Qi; Feng, Xinbin; Lu, Julia; Zheng, Wei; Song, Xinjie; Li, Ping; Han, Shijie; Xu, Hao

    2009-08-01

    Reactive gaseous mercury (RGM) and particulate mercury (Hgp) concentrations in ambient air from a remote site at Changbai Mountain area in northeastern China were intermittently monitored from August 2005 to July 2006 totaling 93 days representing fall, winter-spring and summer season, respectively. Rainwater and snow samples were collected during a whole year, and total mercury (THg) in rain samples were used to calculate wet depositional flux. A throughfall method and a model method were used to estimate dry depositional flux. Results showed mean concentrations of RGM and Hgp are 65 and 77 pg m(-3). Compared to background concentrations of atmospheric mercury species in Northern Hemisphere, RGM and Hgp are significantly elevated in Changbai area. Large values for standard deviation indicated fast reactivity and a low residence time for these mercury species. Seasonal variability is also important, with lower mercury levels in summer compared to other seasons, which is attributed to scavenging by rainfall and low local mercury emissions in summer. THg concentrations ranged from 11.5 to 15.9 ng L(-1) in rainwater samples and 14.9-18.6 ng L(-1) in throughfall samples. Wet depositional flux in Changbai area is calculated to be 8.4 microg m(-2) a(-1), and dry deposition flux is estimated to be 16.5 microg m(-2) a(-1) according to a throughfall method and 20.2 microg m(-2) a(-1) using a model method.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Deposition and cycling of sulfur controls mercury accumulation in Isle Royale fish

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paul E. Drevnick; Donald E. Canfield; Patrick R. Gorski (and others) [Miami University, Oxford, OH (United States). Department of Zoology

    2007-11-01

    Mercury contamination of fish is a global problem. Consumption of contaminated fish is the primary route of methylmercury exposure in humans and is detrimental to health. Newly mandated reductions in anthropogenic mercury emissions aim to reduce atmospheric mercury deposition and thus mercury concentrations in fish. However, factors other than mercury deposition are important for mercury bioaccumulation in fish. In the lakes of Isle Royale, U.S.A., reduced rates of sulfate deposition since the Clean Air Act of 1970 have caused mercury concentrations in fish to decline to levels that are safe for human consumption, even without a discernible decrease in mercury deposition. Therefore, reductions in anthropogenic sulfur emissions may provide a synergistic solution to the mercury problem in sulfate-limited freshwaters. 71 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  19. 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.

  20. Dry deposition of gaseous oxidized mercury in Western Maryland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, Mark S; Moore, Chris; Sherwell, John; Brooks, Steve B

    2012-02-15

    The purpose of this study was to directly measure the dry deposition of gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM) in western Maryland. Annual estimates were made using passive ion-exchange surrogate surfaces and a resistance model. Surrogate surfaces were deployed for seventeen weekly sampling periods between September 2009 and October 2010. Dry deposition rates from surrogate surfaces ranged from 80 to 1512 pgm(-2)h(-1). GOM dry deposition rates were strongly correlated (r(2)=0.75) with the weekly average atmospheric GOM concentrations, which ranged from 2.3 to 34.1 pgm(-3). Dry deposition of GOM could be predicted from the ambient air concentrations of GOM using this equation: GOM dry deposition (pgm(-2)h(-1))=43.2 × GOM concentration-80.3. Dry deposition velocities computed using GOM concentrations and surrogate surface GOM dry deposition rates, ranged from 0.2 to 1.7 cms(-1). Modeled dry deposition rates were highly correlated (r(2)=0.80) with surrogate surface dry deposition rates. Using the overall weekly average surrogate surface dry deposition rate (369 ± 340 pg m(-2)h(-1)), we estimated an annual GOM dry deposition rate of 3.2 μg m(-2)year(-1). Using the resistance model, we estimated an annual GOM dry deposition rate of 3.5 μg m(-2)year(-1). Our annual GOM dry deposition rates were similar to the dry deposition (3.3 μg m(-2)h(-1)) of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) at our site. In addition, annual GOM dry deposition was approximately 1/2 of the average annual wet deposition of total mercury (7.7 ± 1.9 μg m(-2)year(-1)) at our site. Total annual mercury deposition from dry deposition of GOM and GEM and wet deposition was approximately 14.4 μg m(-2)year(-1), which was similar to the average annual litterfall deposition (15 ± 2.1 μg m(-2)year(-1)) of mercury, which was also measured at our site. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. [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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Atmospheric mercury deposition to forests in the eastern USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Risch, Martin R.; DeWild, John F.; Gay, David A.; Zhang, Leiming; Boyer, Elizabeth W.; Krabbenhoft, David P.

    2017-01-01

    Atmospheric mercury (Hg) deposition to forests is important because half of the land cover in the eastern USA is forest. Mercury was measured in autumn litterfall and weekly precipitation samples at a total of 27 National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) monitoring sites in deciduous and mixed deciduous-coniferous forests in 16 states in the eastern USA during 2007–2014. These simultaneous, uniform, repeated, annual measurements of forest Hg include the broadest area and longest time frame to date. The autumn litterfall-Hg concentrations and litterfall mass at the study sites each year were combined with annual precipitation-Hg data. Rates of litterfall-Hg deposition were higher than or equal to precipitation-Hg deposition rates in 70% of the annual data, which indicates a substantial contribution from litterfall to total atmospheric-Hg deposition. Annual litterfall-Hg deposition in this study had a median of 11.7 μg per square meter per year (μg/m 2 /yr) and ranged from 2.2 to 23.4 μg/m 2 /yr. It closely matched modeled dry-Hg deposition, based on land cover at selected NADP Hg-monitoring sites. Mean annual atmospheric-Hg deposition at forest study sites exhibited a spatial pattern partly explained by statistical differences among five forest-cover types and related to the mapped density of Hg emissions. Forest canopies apparently recorded changes in atmospheric-Hg concentrations over time because litterfall-Hg concentrations decreased year to year and litterfall-Hg concentrations were significantly higher in 2007–2009 than in 2012–2014. These findings reinforce reported decreases in Hg emissions and atmospheric elemental-Hg concentrations during this same time period. Methylmercury (MeHg) was detected in all litterfall samples at all sites, compared with MeHg detections in less than half the precipitation samples at selected sites during the study. These results indicate MeHg in litterfall is a pathway into the terrestrial food web where it can

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Białecka

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  10. Wet and Dry Atmospheric Mercury Deposition Accumulates in Watersheds of the Northeastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyer, E. W.; Grant, C.; Grimm, J.; Drohan, P. J.; Bennett, J.; Lawler, D.

    2013-12-01

    Mercury emissions to the atmosphere from coal-fired power plants and other sources such as waste incineration can be deposited to landscapes in precipitation and in dry fallout. Some mercury reaches watersheds and streams, where it can accumulate in sediments and biota. Human exposure to mercury occurs primarily through fish consumption, and currently mercury fish eating advisories are in place for many of the streams and lakes in the state. Here, we explored mercury in air, soils, water, and biota. To quantify atmospheric mercury deposition, we measured both wet and dry mercury deposition at over 10 locations in Pennsylvania, from which we present variation in mercury deposition and initial assessments of factors affecting the patterns. Further, we simulated mercury deposition at unmonitored locations in Pennsylvania and the northeastern United States over space and time with a high-resolution modeling technique that reflects storm tracks and air flow patterns. To consider mercury accumulation in watersheds, we collected data on soil mercury concentrations in a set of soil samples, and collected baseline data on mercury in streams draining 35 forested watersheds across Pennsylvania, spanning gradients of atmospheric deposition, climate and geology. Mercury concentrations were measured in stream water under base-flow conditions, in streambed sediments, aquatic mosses, and in fish tissues from brook trout. Results indicate that wet and dry atmospheric deposition is a primary source of mercury that is accumulating in watersheds of Pennsylvania and the northeastern United States.

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilson, Gavin; Vieira, Rickford

    2007-12-01

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

  14. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  16. [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.

  17. Anthropogenic mercury deposition to arctic lake sediments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hermanson, M.H. [Westchester University, Westchester, PA (United States). Dept. of Health

    1998-01-01

    The history of atmospheric mercury inputs to remote arctic regions can be measured in lake sediment cores using lead-210 chronology. In the investigation, total mercury deposition is measured in sediments from Imitavik and Annak Lakes on the Belcher Islands in southeastern Hudson Bay, an area in the southern Canadian Arctic with no history of local industrial or agricultural sources of contamination. Both lakes received background and atmospheric inputs of mercury while Annak also received mercury from raw domestic sewage from the Hamlet of Sanikiluaq, a growing Inuit community of about 550 established in the late 1960s. Results from Imitavik show that anthropogenic mercury inputs, apparently transported through the atmosphere, began to appear in the mid-eighteenth century, and continued to the 1990s. Annak had a similar mercury history until the late 1960s when disposal of domestic sewage led to increased sediment and contaminant accumulation. The high input of mercury to Annak confirms that Sanikiluaq residents are exposed to mercury through native food sources. 39 refs., 7 figs., 3 tabs.

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Litterfall mercury dry deposition in the eastern USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin R. Risch; John F. DeWild; David P. Krabbenhoft; Randall K. Kolka; Leiming. Zhang

    2012-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) in autumn litterfall frompredominately deciduous forestswas measured in 3 years of samples from 23 Mercury Deposition Network sites in 15 states across the eastern USA. Annual litterfall Hg dry depositionwas significantly higher (median 12.3 micrograms per square meter (µg/m2), range 3.5-23.4 µg/m2...

  5. 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

  6. Artisanal Mining of Gold with Mercury in Ghana

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    USER

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Quantification of Gaseous Elemental Mercury Dry Deposition to Environmental Surfaces using Mercury Stable Isotopes in a Controlled Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutter, A. P.; Schauer, J. J.; Shafer, M. M.; Olson, M.; Robinson, M.; Vanderveer, P.; Creswell, J. E.; Parman, A.; Mallek, J.; Gorski, P.

    2009-12-01

    Andrew P. Rutter (1) * *, James J, Schauer (1,2) *, Martin M. Shafer(1,2), Michael R. Olson (1), Michael Robinson (1), Peter Vanderveer (3), Joel Creswell (1), Justin L. Mallek (1), Andrew M. Parman (1) (1) Environmental Chemistry and Technology Program, 660 N. Park St, Madison, WI 53705. (2) Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, 2601 Agriculture Drive, Madison, WI 53718. (3) Biotron, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2115 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706 * Correspond author(jjschauer@wisc.edu) * *Presenting author (aprutter@wisc.edu) Abstract Gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) is the predominant component of atmospheric mercury outside of arctic depletion events, and locations where anthropogenic point sources are not influencing atmospheric concentrations. GEM constitutes greater than 99% of the mercury mass in most rural and remote locations. While dry and wet deposition of atmospheric mercury is thought to be dominated by oxidized mercury (a.k.a. reactive mercury), only small GEM uptake to environmental surfaces could impact the input of mercury to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Dry deposition and subsequent re-emission of gaseous elemental mercury is a pathway from the atmosphere that remains only partially understood from a mechanistic perspective. In order to properly model GEM dry deposition and re-emission an understanding of its dependence on irradiance, temperature, and relative humidity must be measured and parameterized for a broad spectrum of environmental surfaces colocated with surrogate deposition surfaces used to make field based dry deposition measurements. Measurements of isotopically enriched GEM dry deposition were made with a variety of environmental surfaces in a controlled environment room at the University of Wisconsin Biotron. The experimental set up allowed dry deposition components which are not easily separated in the field to be decoupled. We were able to isolate surface transfer processes from variabilities caused by

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-10-01

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

  12. Complex processing of antimony-mercury gold concentrates of Dzhizhikrut Deposit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdusalyamova, M.N.; Gadoev, S.A.; Dreisinger, D.; Solozhenkin, P.M.

    2013-01-01

    Present article is devoted to complex processing of antimony-mercury gold concentrates of Dzhizhikrut Deposit. The purpose of research was obtaining the metallic mercury and antimony with further gold and thallium extraction.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Cytochemical demonstration of mercury deposits in trout liver and kidney following methyl mercury intoxication: differentiation of two mercury pools by selenium

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baatrup, E; Danscher, G

    1988-01-01

    and the selected organs were determined by measuring the uptake of 203Hg-labeled MeHg. Spleen, liver, and kidney had the highest concentrations after both experimental periods, while the largest relative increases were found in brain, muscle, and kidney. The subcellular distribution of mercury accumulations...... was demonstrated cytochemically in liver and kidney using the silver enhancement method by which accumulations of mercury-sulfides and/or mercury-selenides are made visible for light and electron microscopy. When sections prepared from the liver and kidney from fish, injected with selenium 2 hr prior to being...... pronounced in the kidney. The HgSe pool, supposed to represent methyl mercury, was shown by the presence of silver deposits at new locations as well as by an increase in the amount of deposits within lysosomes. The new locations included (1) secretory-like vesicles and the bile canaliculi of the liver...

  17. Litter mercury deposition in the Amazonian rainforest

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fostier, Anne Hélène; Melendez-Perez, José Javier; Richter, Larissa

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this work was to assess the flux of atmospheric mercury transferred to the soil of the Amazonian rainforest by litterfall. Calculations were based on a large survey of published and unpublished data on litterfall and Hg concentrations in litterfall samples from the Amazonian region. Litterfall based on 65 sites located in the Amazon rainforest averaged 8.15 ± 2.25 Mg ha"−"1 y"−"1. Average Hg concentrations were calculated from nine datasets for fresh tree leaves and ten datasets for litter, and a median concentration of 60.5 ng Hg g"−"1 was considered for Hg deposition in litterfall, which averaged 49 ± 14 μg m"−"2 yr"−"1. This value was used to estimate that in the Amazonian rainforest, litterfall would be responsible for the annual removing of 268 ± 77 Mg of Hg, approximately 8% of the total atmospheric Hg deposition to land. The impact of the Amazon deforestation on the Hg biogeochemical cycle is also discussed. - Highlights: • Based on published data we estimated the litterfall in the Amazonian rainforest. • All the published data on Hg concentration in leaves and litter from the region and some unpublished data are presented. • We calculated the litter mercury deposition. • We estimated the contribution of dry, wet and litter Hg deposition in the Amazonian rainforest. • We also discussed the impact of Amazon deforestation on the Hg biogeochemical cycle. - The Amazonian rainforest is responsible for removing at least 268 Mg Hg y"−"1, 8% of the total atmospheric mercury deposition to land.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakakibara, Masayuki; Sera, Koichiro

    2017-02-08

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Mercury Deposition Network Site Operator Training for the System Blank and Blind Audit Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetherbee, Gregory A.; Lehmann, Christopher M.B.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey operates the external quality assurance project for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/Mercury Deposition Network. The project includes the system blank and blind audit programs for assessment of total mercury concentration data quality for wet-deposition samples. This presentation was prepared to train new site operators and to refresh experienced site operators to successfully process and submit system blank and blind audit samples for chemical analysis. Analytical results are used to estimate chemical stability and contamination levels of National Atmospheric Deposition Program/Mercury Deposition Network samples and to evaluate laboratory variability and bias.

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Eugenia Romero Sotelo

    2000-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2005-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2004-07-05

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  15. Modeling the global atmospheric transport and deposition of mercury to the Great Lakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark D. Cohen

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Mercury contamination in the Great Lakes continues to have important public health and wildlife ecotoxicology impacts, and atmospheric deposition is a significant ongoing loading pathway. The objective of this study was to estimate the amount and source-attribution for atmospheric mercury deposition to each lake, information needed to prioritize amelioration efforts. A new global, Eulerian version of the HYSPLIT-Hg model was used to simulate the 2005 global atmospheric transport and deposition of mercury to the Great Lakes. In addition to the base case, 10 alternative model configurations were used to examine sensitivity to uncertainties in atmospheric mercury chemistry and surface exchange. A novel atmospheric lifetime analysis was used to characterize fate and transport processes within the model. Model-estimated wet deposition and atmospheric concentrations of gaseous elemental mercury (Hg(0 were generally within ∼10% of measurements in the Great Lakes region. The model overestimated non-Hg(0 concentrations by a factor of 2–3, similar to other modeling studies. Potential reasons for this disagreement include model inaccuracies, differences in atmospheric Hg fractions being compared, and the measurements being biased low. Lake Erie, downwind of significant local/regional emissions sources, was estimated by the model to be the most impacted by direct anthropogenic emissions (58% of the base case total deposition, while Lake Superior, with the fewest upwind local/regional sources, was the least impacted (27%. The U.S. was the largest national contributor, followed by China, contributing 25% and 6%, respectively, on average, for the Great Lakes. The contribution of U.S. direct anthropogenic emissions to total mercury deposition varied between 46% for the base case (with a range of 24–51% over all model configurations for Lake Erie and 11% (range 6–13% for Lake Superior. These results illustrate the importance of atmospheric

  16. Influence of the forest canopy on total and methyl mercury deposition in the boreal forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    E.L. Witt; R.K. Kolka; E.A. Nater; T.R. Wickman

    2009-01-01

    Atmospheric mercury deposition by wet and dry processes contributes mercury to terrestrial and aquatic systems. Factors influencing the amount of mercury deposited to boreal forests were identified in this study. Throughfall and open canopy precipitation samples were collected in 2005 and 2006 using passive precipitation collectors from pristine sites located across...

  17. Limitations in small artisanal gold mining addressed by educational components paired with alternative mining methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolnikov, Tara R

    2012-03-01

    Current solutions continue to be inadequate in addressing the longstanding, worldwide problem of mercury emissions from small artisanal gold mining. Mercury, an inexpensive and easily accessible heavy metal, is used in the process of extracting gold from ore. Mercury emissions disperse, affecting human populations by causing adverse health effects and environmental and social ramifications. Many developing nations have sizable gold ore deposits, making small artisanal gold mining a major source of employment in the world. Poverty drives vulnerable, rural populations into gold mining because of social and economic instabilities. Educational programs responding to this environmental hazard have been implemented in the past, but have had low positive results due to lack of governmental support and little economic incentive. Educational and enforced intervention programs must be developed in conjunction with governmental agencies in order to successfully eliminate this ongoing problem. Industry leaders offered hopeful suggestions, but revealed limitations when trying to develop encompassing solutions to halt mercury emissions. This research highlights potential options that have been attempted in the past and suggests alternative solutions to improve upon these methods. Some methods include buyer impact recognition, risk assessment proposals exposing a cost-benefit analysis and toxicokinetic modeling, public health awareness campaigns, and the education of miners, healthcare workers, and locals within hazardous areas of mercury exposure. These methods, paired with the implementation of alternative mining techniques, propose a substantial reduction of mercury emissions. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

  19. Investigating Mercury's South Polar Deposits: Arecibo Radar Observations and High-Resolution Determination of Illumination Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chabot, Nancy L.; Shread, Evangela E.; Harmon, John K.

    2018-02-01

    There is strong evidence that Mercury's polar deposits are water ice hosted in permanently shadowed regions. In this study, we present new Arecibo radar observations of Mercury's south pole, which reveal numerous radar-bright deposits and substantially increase the radar imaging coverage. We also use images from MESSENGER's full mission to determine the illumination conditions of Mercury's south polar region at the same spatial resolution as the north polar region, enabling comparisons between the two poles. The area of radar-bright deposits in Mercury's south is roughly double that found in the north, consistent with the larger permanently shadowed area in the older, cratered terrain at the south relative to the younger smooth plains at the north. Radar-bright features are strongly associated with regions of permanent shadow at both poles, consistent with water ice being the dominant component of the deposits. However, both of Mercury's polar regions show that roughly 50% of permanently shadowed regions lack radar-bright deposits, despite some of these locations having thermal environments that are conducive to the presence of water ice. The observed uneven distribution of water ice among Mercury's polar cold traps may suggest that the source of Mercury's water ice was not a steady, regular process but rather that the source was an episodic event, such as a recent, large impact on the innermost planet.

  20. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-08-15

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

  2. Atmospheric mercury deposition and its contribution of the regional atmospheric transport to mercury pollution at a national forest nature reserve, southwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Ming; Wang, Dingyong; Du, Hongxia; Sun, Tao; Zhao, Zheng; Wei, Shiqing

    2015-12-01

    Atmospheric mercury deposition by wet and dry processes contributes to the transformation of mercury from atmosphere to terrestrial and aquatic systems. Factors influencing the amount of mercury deposited to subtropical forests were identified in this study. Throughfall and open field precipitation samples were collected in 2012 and 2013 using precipitation collectors from forest sites located across Mt. Jinyun in southwest China. Samples were collected approximately every 2 weeks and analyzed for total (THg) and methyl mercury (MeHg). Forest canopy was the primary factor on THg and MeHg deposition. Simultaneously, continuous measurements of atmospheric gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) were carried out from March 2012 to February 2013 at the summit of Mt. Jinyun. Atmospheric GEM concentrations averaged 3.8 ± 1.5 ng m(-3), which was elevated compared with global background values. Sources identification indicated that both regional industrial emissions and long-range transport of Hg from central, northeast, and southwest China were corresponded to the elevated GEM levels. Precipitation deposition fluxes of THg and MeHg in Mt. Jinyun were slightly higher than those reported in Europe and North America, whereas total fluxes of MeHg and THg under forest canopy on Mt. Jiuyun were 3 and 2.9 times of the fluxes of THg in wet deposition in the open. Highly elevated litterfall deposition fluxes suggest that even in remote forest areas of China, deposition of atmospheric Hg(0) via uptake by vegetation leaf may be a major pathway for the deposition of atmospheric Hg. The result illustrates that areas with greater atmospheric pollution can be expected to have greater fluxes of Hg to soils via throughfall and litterfall.

  3. 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.

  4. How relevant is the deposition of mercury onto snowpacks? – Part 2: A modeling study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Durnford

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available An unknown fraction of mercury that is deposited onto snowpacks is revolatilized to the atmosphere. Determining the revolatilized fraction is important since mercury that enters the snowpack meltwater may be converted to highly toxic bioaccumulating methylmercury. In this study, we present a new dynamic physically-based snowpack/meltwater model for mercury that is suitable for large-scale atmospheric models for mercury. It represents the primary physical and chemical processes that determine the fate of mercury deposited onto snowpacks. The snowpack/meltwater model was implemented in Environment Canada's atmospheric mercury model GRAHM. For the first time, observed snowpack-related mercury concentrations are used to evaluate and constrain an atmospheric mercury model. We find that simulated concentrations of mercury in both snowpacks and the atmosphere's surface layer agree closely with observations. The simulated concentration of mercury in both in the top 30 cm and the top 150 cm of the snowpack, averaged over 2005–2009, is predominantly below 6 ng L−1 over land south of 66.5° N but exceeds 18 ng L−1 over sea ice in extensive areas of the Arctic Ocean and Hudson Bay. The average simulated concentration of mercury in snowpack meltwater runoff tends to be higher on the Russian/European side (>20 ng L−1 of the Arctic Ocean than on the Canadian side (<10 ng L−1. The correlation coefficient between observed and simulated monthly mean atmospheric surface-level gaseous elemental mercury (GEM concentrations increased significantly with the inclusion of the new snowpack/meltwater model at two of the three stations (midlatitude, subarctic studied and remained constant at the third (arctic. Oceanic emissions are postulated to produce the observed summertime maximum in concentrations of surface-level atmospheric GEM at Alert in the Canadian Arctic and to generate the summertime volatility observed in

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Restoration of uranium solution mining deposits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Devries, F.W.; Lawes, B.C.

    1982-01-01

    A process is provided for restoring an ore deposit after uranium solution mining using ammonium carbonate leaching solutions has ceased. The process involves flushing the deposit with an aqueous solution of a potassium salt during which potassium ions exchange with ammonium ions remaining in the deposit. The ammonium containing flushing solution is withdrawn from the deposit for disposal

  8. Restoration of uranium solution mining deposits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Devries, F.W.; Lawes, B.C.

    1982-01-19

    A process is provided for restoring an ore deposit after uranium solution mining using ammonium carbonate leaching solutions has ceased. The process involves flushing the deposit with an aqueous solution of a potassium salt during which potassium ions exchange with ammonium ions remaining in the deposit. The ammonium containing flushing solution is withdrawn from the deposit for disposal.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Mining of sedimentary-type ore deposits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bruha, J.; Slovacek, T.; Berka, J.; Sadilek, P.

    1992-01-01

    A procedure is proposed for mining sedimentary-type ore deposits, particularly uranium deposits, using the stope-pillar technique. The stope having been mined out, the free room is filled with hydro-setting gob from the surface. A precondition for the application of this technique is horizontal ore mineralization in sediments where the total thickness of the mineralized ore layer is at least 3 to 5 m. Mining losses do not exceed 5%. For thicknesses greater than 5 m, the roof is reinforced and the walls are secured with netting. The assets of the technique include higher labor productivity of the driving, lower material demands in reinforcing and filling, lower power consumption, and reduced use of explosives. (Z.S.). 3 figs

  15. Water striders (family Gerridae): mercury sentinels in small freshwater ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jardine, Timothy D.; Al, Tom A.; MacQuarrie, Kerry T.B.; Ritchie, Charles D.; Arp, Paul A.; Maprani, Antu; Cunjak, Richard A.

    2005-01-01

    To circumvent some of the previous limitations associated with contaminant-monitoring programs, we tested the suitability of the water strider (Hemiptera: Gerridae) as a mercury sentinel by comparing total mercury concentrations in water striders and brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) from a variety of stream sites in New Brunswick, Canada. There was a strong association between the two variables across sites (r 2 = 0.81, P < 0.001) in systems where both atmospheric deposition and a point source (an abandoned gold mine) were likely contributing to ambient mercury levels. In a small stream draining the gold mine tailings pile, water striders had mercury concentrations an order of magnitude higher than those from reference locations. Temporal variation at three southern New Brunswick stream sites was non-significant. These results suggest that water strider mercury levels accurately quantify food chain entry of the element. The use of sentinel species holds great potential for expanding contaminant-monitoring programs. - Water striders accurately reflect the entry of mercury in food chains of small freshwater systems

  16. Spectro-Morphologic Analysis of Pyroclastic Deposits on Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doressoundiram, A.; Besse, S.; Hersérant, W.

    2014-12-01

    Observations of the MESSENGER spacecraft in orbit around Mercury have shown that volcanism is a very important process that has shaped the surface of the planet. Kerber et al. [2011,2014] have identified 200 pyroclastic deposits candidates based on color ratio and morphology images. Goudge et al. [2014] used the visible portion of the MASCS spectrometer to do further analysis on the spectral nature of the deposits. The authors have shown that the deposits have specific UV properties probably caused by Oxygen-Metal charges transfer, and a correlation between the slope of the UV-downturn and the age of the surrounding terrains. In this study, we use the full range of the MASCS spectrometer (300-1400nm) to characterize the spectral properties of the pyroclastic deposits. Moreover, additional observations have been obtained since the last publications, and this allows specific studies of previously non-imaged deposits. This study shows that the visible slope of the deposits is changing as a function of distance from the vent, as seen on the Moon for pyroclastic deposits and their mafic absorption bands [Besse et al, 2013]. This is consistent with a decrease of thickness of the deposits that are mixed with background material. Surprisingly, the UV-downturn parameter proposed by Goudge et al. [2014] does not change as the distance to the vent increase. Eventually, the near infrared portion does not appear to have absorption bands in the range 900nm-1200nm, consistent with the very low iron abundance of the surface of Mercury. This could also be due to the lower signal to noise ratio of the near infrared portion of the MASCS instrument, and further analysis are needed to confirm these results. The use of visible images from the MDIS camera has revealed that some of the pyroclastic deposits candidates are certainly correlated with hollows.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    NURIL HIDAYATI

    2009-09-01

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

  20. Impact of climate change on mercury concentrations and deposition in the eastern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Megaritis, Athanasios G; Murphy, Benjamin N; Racherla, Pavan N; Adams, Peter J; Pandis, Spyros N

    2014-07-15

    The global-regional climate-air pollution modeling system (GRE-CAPS) was applied over the eastern United States to study the impact of climate change on the concentration and deposition of atmospheric mercury. Summer and winter periods (300 days for each) were simulated, and the present-day model predictions (2000s) were compared to the future ones (2050s) assuming constant emissions. Climate change affects Hg(2+) concentrations in both periods. On average, atmospheric Hg(2+) levels are predicted to increase in the future by 3% in summer and 5% in winter respectively due to enhanced oxidation of Hg(0) under higher temperatures. The predicted concentration change of Hg(2+) was found to vary significantly in space due to regional-scale changes in precipitation, ranging from -30% to 30% during summer and -20% to 40% during winter. Particulate mercury, Hg(p) has a similar spatial response to climate change as Hg(2+), while Hg(0) levels are not predicted to change significantly. In both periods, the response of mercury deposition to climate change varies spatially with an average predicted increase of 6% during summer and 4% during winter. During summer, deposition increases are predicted mostly in the western parts of the domain while mercury deposition is predicted to decrease in the Northeast and also in many areas in the Midwest and Southeast. During winter mercury deposition is predicted to change from -30% to 50% mainly due to the changes in rainfall and the corresponding changes in wet deposition. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  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. 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

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-10-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Environmental hazard assessment of a marine mine tailings deposit site and potential implications for deep-sea mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mestre, Nélia C; Rocha, Thiago L; Canals, Miquel; Cardoso, Cátia; Danovaro, Roberto; Dell'Anno, Antonio; Gambi, Cristina; Regoli, Francesco; Sanchez-Vidal, Anna; Bebianno, Maria João

    2017-09-01

    Portmán Bay is a heavily contaminated area resulting from decades of metal mine tailings disposal, and is considered a suitable shallow-water analogue to investigate the potential ecotoxicological impact of deep-sea mining. Resuspension plumes were artificially created by removing the top layer of the mine tailings deposit by bottom trawling. Mussels were deployed at three sites: i) off the mine tailings deposit area; ii) on the mine tailings deposit beyond the influence from the resuspension plumes; iii) under the influence of the artificially generated resuspension plumes. Surface sediment samples were collected at the same sites for metal analysis and ecotoxicity assessment. Metal concentrations and a battery of biomarkers (oxidative stress, metal exposure, biotransformation and oxidative damage) were measured in different mussel tissues. The environmental hazard posed by the resuspension plumes was investigated by a quantitative weight of evidence (WOE) model that integrated all the data. The resuspension of sediments loaded with metal mine tails demonstrated that chemical contaminants were released by trawling subsequently inducing ecotoxicological impact in mussels' health. Considering as sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) those indicated in Spanish action level B for the disposal of dredged material at sea, the WOE model indicates that the hazard is slight off the mine tailings deposit, moderate on the mine tailings deposit without the influence from the resuspension plumes, and major under the influence of the resuspension plumes. Portmán Bay mine tailings deposit is a by-product of sulphide mining, and despite differences in environmental setting, it can reflect the potential ecotoxic effects to marine fauna from the impact of resuspension of plumes created by deep-sea mining of polymetallic sulphides. A similar approach as in this study could be applied in other areas affected by sediment resuspension and for testing future deep-sea mining sites in

  8. Mine waters of the flooded Příbram uranium deposit

    OpenAIRE

    Lusk, Karel

    2010-01-01

    From the Příbram deposit, which was the largest exploited uranium deposit in the Czech Republic, mine water has been drained under controlled conditions, treated and discharged into the Kocába River since the flooding of the deposit in October 2005. The amount of water drained in this way is determined at any particular moment by the volume of seepage from precipitation and surface water into the underground mine cavities. The draining of overbalance mine waters is carried out at two points t...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. On the Marija Reka mercury deposit and on its comparison with the Litija and Idrija deposits from the aspect of plate tectonics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Mlakar

    1995-12-01

    Full Text Available The surroundings of the Marija Reka deposit were studied in detail, and on the basis of literature data its geologic structure was reconstructed.The chemical elements Ni and Hg are correlated, and therefore comparisons were made with the deposits in Sava folds in which also mercury occurs. Positive correlation was established between the intensity of extension of the Earth's crust, occurrence of basic volcanics, and nickel and native mercury. Results indicatethe deep-seated source of these elements, and the Permian age of the Marija Reka deposit.By considering numerous geochemical data new views on the perspective of the deposit were expressed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilson, Gavin

    2006-06-01

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

  15. How relevant is the deposition of mercury onto snowpacks? – Part 1: A statistical study on the impact of environmental factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. A. Pfaffhuber

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available A portion of the highly toxic methylmercury that bioaccumulates in aquatic life is created from mercury entering bodies of water with snowpack meltwater. To determine the importance of meltwater as a source of aquatic mercury, it is necessary to understand the environmental processes that govern the behavior of snowpack-related mercury. In this study we investigate relationships among 5 types of snowpack-related mercury observations and 20 model environmental variables. The observation types are the 24-h fractional loss of mercury from surface snow, and the concentrations of mercury in surface snow, seasonal snowpacks, the snowpack meltwater's ionic pulse, and long-term snowpack-related records. The model environmental variables include those related to atmospheric mercury, insolation, wind, atmospheric stability, snowpack physical characteristics, atmospheric pressure, and solid precipitation. Bivariate and multiple linear regressions were performed twice for each mercury observation type: once with all observations, and once excluding observations from locations where the snowpack's burden of oxidizing and stabilizing halogens is known or presumed to affect snowpack mercury. Since no observations from long-term snowpack-related records were considered affected by halogens, this group of observations was included with the sets of uninfluenced observations and was not discussed with the complete, original sets of observations. When all observations are included, only 37% of their variability can be explained, on average, with significance confidence levels averaging 81%; a separate regression model predicts each mercury observation type. Without the influence of halogens, the regression models are able to explain an average of 79% of the observations' variability with significance confidence levels averaging 97%. The snowpack-related mercury observations are most strongly controlled by the dry and wet depositions of oxidized mercury, and by

  16. Five-year records of mercury wet deposition flux at GMOS sites in the Northern and Southern hemispheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprovieri, Francesca; Pirrone, Nicola; Bencardino, Mariantonia; D'Amore, Francesco; Angot, Helene; Barbante, Carlo; Brunke, Ernst-Günther; Arcega-Cabrera, Flor; Cairns, Warren; Comero, Sara; Diéguez, María del Carmen; Dommergue, Aurélien; Ebinghaus, Ralf; Feng, Xin Bin; Fu, Xuewu; Garcia, Patricia Elizabeth; Gawlik, Bernd Manfred; Hageström, Ulla; Hansson, Katarina; Horvat, Milena; Kotnik, Jože; Labuschagne, Casper; Magand, Olivier; Martin, Lynwill; Mashyanov, Nikolay; Mkololo, Thumeka; Munthe, John; Obolkin, Vladimir; Ramirez Islas, Martha; Sena, Fabrizio; Somerset, Vernon; Spandow, Pia; Vardè, Massimiliano; Walters, Chavon; Wängberg, Ingvar; Weigelt, Andreas; Yang, Xu; Zhang, Hui

    2017-02-01

    The atmospheric deposition of mercury (Hg) occurs via several mechanisms, including dry and wet scavenging by precipitation events. In an effort to understand the atmospheric cycling and seasonal depositional characteristics of Hg, wet deposition samples were collected for approximately 5 years at 17 selected GMOS monitoring sites located in the Northern and Southern hemispheres in the framework of the Global Mercury Observation System (GMOS) project. Total mercury (THg) exhibited annual and seasonal patterns in Hg wet deposition samples. Interannual differences in total wet deposition are mostly linked with precipitation volume, with the greatest deposition flux occurring in the wettest years. This data set provides a new insight into baseline concentrations of THg concentrations in precipitation worldwide, particularly in regions such as the Southern Hemisphere and tropical areas where wet deposition as well as atmospheric Hg species were not investigated before, opening the way for future and additional simultaneous measurements across the GMOS network as well as new findings in future modeling studies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Restoration of uranium solution mining deposits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    DeVries, F.W.; Lawes, B.C.

    1981-01-01

    Ammonium carbonates are commonly used as the lixiviant for in-situ leaching of uranium ores. However this leads to the deposition of ammonium ions in the uranium ore formation and the problem of ammonia contamination of ground water which may find its way into the drinking water supply. The ammonia contamination of the ore deposit may be reduced by injecting an aqueous solution of a potassium salt (carbonate, bicarbonate, halide, sulfate, bisulfate, persulfate, or monopersulfate) into the deposit after mining has ceased

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Atmospheric deposition of mercury in central Poland: Sources and seasonal trends

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siudek, Patrycja; Kurzyca, Iwona; Siepak, Jerzy

    2016-03-01

    Atmospheric deposition of total mercury was studied at two sites in central Poland, between April 2013 and October 2014. Hg in rainwater (bulk deposition) was analyzed in relation to meteorological parameters and major ions (H+, NO3-, Cl-, SO42 -) in order to investigate seasonal variation, identify sources and determine factors affecting atmospheric Hg chemistry and deposition. Total mercury concentrations varied between 1.24 and 22.1 ng L- 1 at the urban sampling site (Poznań) and between 0.57 and 18.3 ng L- 1 in the woodland protected area (Jeziory), with quite similar mean values of 6.96 and 6.37 ng L- 1, respectively. Mercury in precipitation exhibited lower spatial variability within the study domain (urban/forest transect) than the concentrations determined during other similar observations, reflecting the predominant influence of the same local sources. In our study, a significant seasonal pattern of Hg deposition was observed at both sampling sites, with higher and more variable concentrations of Hg reported for the urban area. In particular, deposition values of Hg were higher in the samples attributed to relatively large precipitation amounts in the summer and in those collected during the winter season (the result of higher contributions from combustion sources, i.e. intensive combustion of fossil fuels in residential and commercial boilers, individual power/heat-generating plants). In addition, a significant relationship between Hg concentration and precipitation amount was found while considering different types of wintertime samples (i.e. rain, snow and mixed precipitation). The analysis of backward trajectories showed that air masses arriving from polluted regions of western Europe and southern Poland largely affected the amount of Hg in rainwater. A seasonal variation in Hg deposition fluxes was also observed, with the maximum value of Hg in spring and minimum in winter. Our results indicated that rainwater Hg and, consequently, the wet deposition

  5. 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...

  6. Assessment of Global Mercury Deposition through Litterfall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xun; Bao, Zhengduo; Lin, Che-Jen; Yuan, Wei; Feng, Xinbin

    2016-08-16

    There is a large uncertainty in the estimate of global dry deposition of atmospheric mercury (Hg). Hg deposition through litterfall represents an important input to terrestrial forest ecosystems via cumulative uptake of atmospheric Hg (most Hg(0)) to foliage. In this study, we estimate the quantity of global Hg deposition through litterfall using statistical modeling (Monte Carlo simulation) of published data sets of litterfall biomass production, tree density, and Hg concentration in litter samples. On the basis of the model results, the global annual Hg deposition through litterfall is estimated to be 1180 ± 710 Mg yr(-1), more than two times greater than the estimate by GEOS-Chem. Spatial distribution of Hg deposition through litterfall suggests that deposition flux decreases spatially from tropical to temperate and boreal regions. Approximately 70% of global Hg(0) dry deposition occurs in the tropical and subtropical regions. A major source of uncertainty in this study is the heterogeneous geospatial distribution of available data. More observational data in regions (Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America) where few data sets exist will greatly improve the accuracy of the current estimate. Given that the quantity of global Hg deposition via litterfall is typically 2-6 times higher than Hg(0) evasion from forest floor, global forest ecosystems represent a strong Hg(0) sink.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-25

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hennig, Walther

    2004-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Muddarisna, N; Krisnayanti, B D

    2015-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

  12. Atmospheric mercury deposition to forests in the eastern USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risch, Martin R; DeWild, John F; Gay, David A; Zhang, Leiming; Boyer, Elizabeth W; Krabbenhoft, David P

    2017-09-01

    Atmospheric mercury (Hg) deposition to forests is important because half of the land cover in the eastern USA is forest. Mercury was measured in autumn litterfall and weekly precipitation samples at a total of 27 National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) monitoring sites in deciduous and mixed deciduous-coniferous forests in 16 states in the eastern USA during 2007-2014. These simultaneous, uniform, repeated, annual measurements of forest Hg include the broadest area and longest time frame to date. The autumn litterfall-Hg concentrations and litterfall mass at the study sites each year were combined with annual precipitation-Hg data. Rates of litterfall-Hg deposition were higher than or equal to precipitation-Hg deposition rates in 70% of the annual data, which indicates a substantial contribution from litterfall to total atmospheric-Hg deposition. Annual litterfall-Hg deposition in this study had a median of 11.7 μg per square meter per year (μg/m 2 /yr) and ranged from 2.2 to 23.4 μg/m 2 /yr. It closely matched modeled dry-Hg deposition, based on land cover at selected NADP Hg-monitoring sites. Mean annual atmospheric-Hg deposition at forest study sites exhibited a spatial pattern partly explained by statistical differences among five forest-cover types and related to the mapped density of Hg emissions. Forest canopies apparently recorded changes in atmospheric-Hg concentrations over time because litterfall-Hg concentrations decreased year to year and litterfall-Hg concentrations were significantly higher in 2007-2009 than in 2012-2014. These findings reinforce reported decreases in Hg emissions and atmospheric elemental-Hg concentrations during this same time period. Methylmercury (MeHg) was detected in all litterfall samples at all sites, compared with MeHg detections in less than half the precipitation samples at selected sites during the study. These results indicate MeHg in litterfall is a pathway into the terrestrial food web where it can

  13. High Mercury Wet Deposition at a "Clean Air" Site in Puerto Rico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanley, James B; Engle, Mark A; Scholl, Martha; Krabbenhoft, David P; Brunette, Robert; Olson, Mark L; Conroy, Mary E

    2015-10-20

    Atmospheric mercury deposition measurements are rare in tropical latitudes. Here we report on seven years (April 2005 to April 2012, with gaps) of wet Hg deposition measurements at a tropical wet forest in the Luquillo Mountains, northeastern Puerto Rico, U.S. Despite receiving unpolluted air off the Atlantic Ocean from northeasterly trade winds, during two complete years the site averaged 27.9 μg m(-2) yr(-1) wet Hg deposition, or about 30% more than Florida and the Gulf Coast, the highest deposition areas within the U.S. These high Hg deposition rates are driven in part by high rainfall, which averaged 2855 mm yr(-1). The volume-weighted mean Hg concentration was 9.8 ng L(-1), and was highest during summer and lowest during the winter dry season. Rainout of Hg (decreasing concentration with increasing rainfall depth) was minimal. The high Hg deposition was not supported by gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM) at ground level, which remained near global background concentrations (<10 pg m(-3)). Rather, a strong positive correlation between Hg concentrations and the maximum height of rain detected within clouds (echo tops) suggests that droplets in high convective cloud tops scavenge GOM from above the mixing layer. The high wet Hg deposition at this "clean air" site suggests that other tropical areas may be hotspots for Hg deposition as well.

  14. 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)

  15. Increased sensitivity of anodic stripping voltammetry at the hanging mercury drop electrode by ultracathodic deposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodrigues, Jose A.; Rodrigues, Carlos M.; Almeida, Paulo J.; Valente, Ines M.; Goncalves, Luis M. [Requimte - Departamento de Quimica e Bioquimica, Faculdade de Ciencias, Universidade do Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre, no. 687, 4169-007 Porto (Portugal); Compton, Richard G. [Department of Chemistry, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, Oxford University, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QZ (United Kingdom); Barros, Aquiles A., E-mail: ajbarros@fc.up.pt [Requimte - Departamento de Quimica e Bioquimica, Faculdade de Ciencias, Universidade do Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre, no. 687, 4169-007 Porto (Portugal)

    2011-09-09

    Highlights: {yields} At very cathodic accumulation potentials (overpotential deposition) the voltammetric signals of Zn{sup 2+}, Cd{sup 2+}, Pb{sup 2+} and Cu{sup 2+} increase. {yields} 5 to 10-fold signal increase is obtained. {yields} This effect is likely due to mercury drop oscillation at such cathodic potentials. {yields} This effect is also likely due to added local convection at the mercury drop surface caused by the evolution of hydrogen bubbles. - Abstract: An improved approach to the anodic stripping voltammetric (ASV) determination of heavy metals, using the hanging mercury drop electrode (HMDE), is reported. It was discovered that using very cathodic accumulation potentials, at which the solvent reduction occurs (overpotential deposition), the voltammetric signals of zinc(II), cadmium(II), lead(II) and copper(II) increase. When compared with the classical methodology a 5 to 10-fold signal increase is obtained. This effect is likely due to both mercury drop oscillation at such cathodic potentials and added local convection at the mercury drop surface caused by the evolution of hydrogen bubbles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivero, J; Solano, B

    1998-06-30

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novais, Gabriel; Câmara, Volney de Magalhães

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Arsenic partitioning among particle-size fractions of mine wastes and stream sediments from cinnabar mining districts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Veronica; Loredo, Jorge; Fernández-Martínez, Rodolfo; Larios, Raquel; Ordóñez, Almudena; Gómez, Belén; Rucandio, Isabel

    2014-10-01

    Tailings from abandoned mercury mines represent an important pollution source by metals and metalloids. Mercury mining in Asturias (north-western Spain) has been carried out since Roman times until the 1970s. Specific and non-specific arsenic minerals are present in the paragenesis of the Hg ore deposit. As a result of intensive mining operations, waste materials contain high concentrations of As, which can be geochemically dispersed throughout surrounding areas. Arsenic accumulation, mobility and availability in soils and sediments are strongly affected by the association of As with solid phases and granular size composition. The objective of this study was to examine phase associations of As in the fine grain size subsamples of mine wastes (La Soterraña mine site) and stream sediments heavily affected by acid mine drainage (Los Rueldos mine site). An arsenic-selective sequential procedure, which categorizes As content into seven phase associations, was applied. In spite of a higher As accumulation in the finest particle-size subsamples, As fractionation did not seem to depend on grain size since similar distribution profiles were obtained for the studied granulometric fractions. The presence of As was relatively low in the most mobile forms in both sites. As was predominantly linked to short-range ordered Fe oxyhydroxides, coprecipitated with Fe and partially with Al oxyhydroxides and associated with structural material in mine waste samples. As incorporated into short-range ordered Fe oxyhydroxides was the predominant fraction at sediment samples, representing more than 80% of total As.

  3. [Characteristics of mercury exchange flux between soil and atmosphere under the snow retention and snow melting control].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Gang; Wang, Ning; Ai, Jian-Chao; Zhang, Lei; Yang, Jing; Liu, Zi-Qi

    2013-02-01

    Jiapigou gold mine, located in the upper Songhua River, was once the largest mine in China due to gold output, where gold extraction with algamation was widely applied to extract gold resulting in severe mercury pollution to ambient environmental medium. In order to study the characteristics of mercury exchange flux between soil (snow) and atmosphere under the snow retention and snow melting control, sampling sites were selected in equal distances along the slope which is situated in the typical hill-valley terrain unit. Mercury exchange flux between soil (snow) and atmosphere was determined with the method of dynamic flux chamber and in all sampling sites the atmosphere concentration from 0 to 150 cm near to the earth in the vertical direction was measured. Furthermore, the impact factors including synchronous meteorology, the surface characteristics under the snow retention and snow melting control and the mercury concentration in vertical direction were also investigated. The results are as follows: During the period of snow retention and melting the air mercury tends to gather towards valley bottom along the slope and an obvious deposit tendency process was found from air to the earth's surface under the control of thermal inversion due to the underlying surface of cold source (snow surface). However, during the period of snow melting, mercury exchange flux between the soil and atmosphere on the surface of the earth with the snow being melted demonstrates alternative deposit and release processes. As for the earth with snow covered, the deposit level of mercury exchange flux between soil and atmosphere is lower than that during the period of snow retention. The relationship between mercury exchange flux and impact factors shows that in snow retention there is a remarkable negative linear correlation between mercury exchange flux and air mercury concentration as well as between the former and the air temperature. In addition, in snow melting mercury exchange

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-02

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

  7. High mercury wet deposition at a “clean Air” site in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanley, James B.; Engle, Mark A.; Scholl, Martha A.; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Brunette, Robert; Olson, Mark L.; Conroy, Mary E.

    2015-01-01

    Atmospheric mercury deposition measurements are rare in tropical latitudes. Here we report on seven years (April 2005 to April 2012, with gaps) of wet Hg deposition measurements at a tropical wet forest in the Luquillo Mountains, northeastern Puerto Rico, U.S. Despite receiving unpolluted air off the Atlantic Ocean from northeasterly trade winds, during two complete years the site averaged 27.9 μg m–2 yr–1 wet Hg deposition, or about 30% more than Florida and the Gulf Coast, the highest deposition areas within the U.S. These high Hg deposition rates are driven in part by high rainfall, which averaged 2855 mm yr–1. The volume-weighted mean Hg concentration was 9.8 ng L–1, and was highest during summer and lowest during the winter dry season. Rainout of Hg (decreasing concentration with increasing rainfall depth) was minimal. The high Hg deposition was not supported by gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM) at ground level, which remained near global background concentrations (<10 pg m–3). Rather, a strong positive correlation between Hg concentrations and the maximum height of rain detected within clouds (echo tops) suggests that droplets in high convective cloud tops scavenge GOM from above the mixing layer. The high wet Hg deposition at this “clean air” site suggests that other tropical areas may be hotspots for Hg deposition as well.

  8. Atmospheric gaseous elemental mercury (GEM concentrations and mercury depositions at a high-altitude mountain peak in south China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    X. W. Fu

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available China is regarded as the largest contributor of mercury (Hg to the global atmospheric Hg budget. However, concentration levels and depositions of atmospheric Hg in China are poorly known. Continuous measurements of atmospheric gaseous elemental mercury (GEM were carried out from May 2008 to May 2009 at the summit of Mt. Leigong in south China. Simultaneously, deposition fluxes of THg and MeHg in precipitation, throughfall and litterfall were also studied. Atmospheric GEM concentrations averaged 2.80±1.51 ng m−3, which was highly elevated compared to global background values but much lower than semi-rural and industrial/urban areas in China. Sources identification indicates that both regional industrial emissions and long range transport of Hg from central, south and southwest China were corresponded to the elevated GEM level. Seasonal and diurnal variations of GEM were observed, which reflected variations in source intensity, deposition processes and meteorological factors. Precipitation and throughfall deposition fluxes of THg and MeHg in Mt. Leigong were comparable or lower compared to those reported in Europe and North America, whereas litterfall deposition fluxes of THg and MeHg were higher compared to Europe and North America. This highlights the importance of vegetation to Hg atmospheric cycling. In th remote forest ecosystem of China, deposition of GEM via uptake of foliage followed by litterfall was very important for the depletion of atmospheric Hg. Elevated GEM level in ambient air may accelerate the foliar uptake of Hg through air which may partly explain the elevated litterfall deposition fluxes of Hg observed in Mt. Leigong.

  9. Over three millennia of mercury pollution in the Peruvian Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, Colin A.; Balcom, Prentiss H.; Biester, Harald; Wolfe, Alexander P.

    2009-01-01

    We present unambiguous records of preindustrial atmospheric mercury (Hg) pollution, derived from lake-sediment cores collected near Huancavelica, Peru, the largest Hg deposit in the New World. Intensive Hg mining first began ca. 1400 BC, predating the emergence of complex Andean societies, and signifying that the region served as a locus for early Hg extraction. The earliest mining targeted cinnabar (HgS) for the production of vermillion. Pre-Colonial Hg burdens peak ca. 500 BC and ca. 1450 AD, corresponding to the heights of the Chavín and Inca states, respectively. During the Inca, Colonial, and industrial intervals, Hg pollution became regional, as evidenced by a third lake record ≈225 km distant from Huancavelica. Measurements of sediment-Hg speciation reveal that cinnabar dust was initially the dominant Hg species deposited, and significant increases in deposition were limited to the local environment. After conquest by the Inca (ca. 1450 AD), smelting was adopted at the mine and Hg pollution became more widely circulated, with the deposition of matrix-bound phases of Hg predominating over cinnabar dust. Our results demonstrate the existence of a major Hg mining industry at Huancavelica spanning the past 3,500 years, and place recent Hg enrichment in the Andes in a broader historical context. PMID:19451629

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  15. Explosive volcanism on Mercury: Analysis of vent and deposit morphology and modes of eruption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jozwiak, Lauren M.; Head, James W.; Wilson, Lionel

    2018-03-01

    The MESSENGER mission revealed, for the first time, conclusive evidence of explosive volcanism on Mercury. Several previous works have cataloged the appearance and location of explosive volcanism on the planet using a variety of identifying characteristics, including vent presence and deposit color as seen in multispectral image mosaics. We present here a comprehensive catalog of vents of likely volcanic origin; our classification scheme emphasizes vent morphology. We have analyzed the morphologies of all vents in our catalog, and recognize three main morphologies: "simple vent", "pit vent", and "vent-with-mound". The majority of vents we identify are located within impact craters. The spatial distribution of vents does not correlate with the locations of volcanic smooth plains deposits, in contrast to the Moon, nor do vents correlate with the locations of large impact basins (except for the Caloris and Tolstoj basins). Using the degradation state of the vent host crater as a proxy for maximum age, we suggest that vent formation has been active through the Mansurian and into the Kuiperian periods, although the majority of vents were likely formed much earlier in mercurian history. The morphologies and locations of vents are used to investigate a set of plausible formation geometries. We find that the most likely and most prevalent formation geometry is that of a dike, stalled at depth, which then explosively vents to the surface. We compare the vent and deposit size of mercurian pyroclastic deposits with localized and regional lunar pyroclastic deposits, and find a range of possible eruption energies and corresponding variations in eruption style. Localized lunar pyroclastic deposits and the majority of mercurian pyroclastic deposits show evidence for eruption that is consistent with the magmatic foam at the top of a dike reaching a critical gas volume fraction. A subset of mercurian vents, including the prominent Copland-Rachmaninoff vent to the northeast of the

  16. Windblown Dust Deposition Forecasting and Spread of Contamination around Mine Tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stovern, Michael; Guzmán, Héctor; Rine, Kyle P; Felix, Omar; King, Matthew; Ela, Wendell P; Betterton, Eric A; Sáez, Avelino Eduardo

    2016-02-01

    Wind erosion, transport and deposition of windblown dust from anthropogenic sources, such as mine tailings impoundments, can have significant effects on the surrounding environment. The lack of vegetation and the vertical protrusion of the mine tailings above the neighboring terrain make the tailings susceptible to wind erosion. Modeling the erosion, transport and deposition of particulate matter from mine tailings is a challenge for many reasons, including heterogeneity of the soil surface, vegetative canopy coverage, dynamic meteorological conditions and topographic influences. In this work, a previously developed Deposition Forecasting Model (DFM) that is specifically designed to model the transport of particulate matter from mine tailings impoundments is verified using dust collection and topsoil measurements. The DFM is initialized using data from an operational Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The forecast deposition patterns are compared to dust collected by inverted-disc samplers and determined through gravimetric, chemical composition and lead isotopic analysis. The DFM is capable of predicting dust deposition patterns from the tailings impoundment to the surrounding area. The methodology and approach employed in this work can be generalized to other contaminated sites from which dust transport to the local environment can be assessed as a potential route for human exposure.

  17. DEPOSITS AND MINING POTENTIAL OF BENTONITE IN CROATIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario Klanfar

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Bentonite is one of the materials that is planed to be used for buffering and backfilling in spent nuclear fuel repositories, within deep crystalline rock. There are several locations in Croatia that bentonite deposits and occurrences are found on. Some were exploited in past, and others were more or less explored. This paper presents overview of bentonite deposits, basic properties and potential resources, and mining practices in Croatia. Largest exploited deposits are found in area of Poljanska luka, Gornja Jelenska and Bednja. Surface and underground methods (drift and fill, sublevel caving were used during exploitation. In the area of Svilaja and Lika are found potentially valuable deposits that were never exploited. Montmorilonite content ranges form 20-50% to 57-89%. Most deposits contain bentonite beds with thickness 0,4-1,6 m, and have plunge 10°-30°. Few exceptions are nearly horizontal and thick more than 5 m and even 12 m. One is declined at 70° and up to 40m thick. Proven reserves are about 2,3 Mt with some level of uncertainty. Average production per mine during exploitation period can be assumed to be several thousands t/y.

  18. 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.

  19. Mercury deposition/accumulation rates in the vicinity of a lead smelter as recorded by a peat deposit

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ettler, V.; Navrátil, Tomáš; Mihaljevič, M.; Rohovec, Jan; Zuna, M.; Šebek, O.; Strnad, L.; Hojdová, Maria

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 42, č. 24 (2008), s. 5968-5977 ISSN 1352-2310 R&D Projects: GA ČR GP526/07/P170 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : mercury * deposition * Pb Smelter, * peat * historical record Subject RIV: DD - Geochemistry Impact factor: 2.890, year: 2008

  20. Contrasting mercury and manganese deposition in a mangrove-dominated estuary (Guaratuba Bay, Brazil)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, C. J.; Santos, I. R.; Silva-Filho, E. V.; Patchineelam, S. R.

    2008-08-01

    Sediment cores were taken at seven sites along the mangrove-bound Guaratuba Bay estuary (southern Brazil), with the purpose of assessing conditions controlling Hg deposition along a horizontal estuarine sediment gradient. The data suggest contrasting depositional patterns for Hg and Mn in this relatively pristine setting. Total Hg contents of bulk sediments ranged from 12 to 36 ng/g along the estuary, the highest values being found in muddier organic-rich sediments of the upper estuary (the corresponding mud gradient is 12 to 42 wt.%, and the organic matter gradient 4 to 10 wt.%). Thus, the deposition of fine sediments relatively enriched in mercury occurs primarily in closer proximity to the freshwater source. The data also indicate a reverse gradient in reactive Mn contents, ranging from 29 to 81 μg/g, and increasing seaward. This implies that reactive Mn is mobilized from fine-grained reducing mangrove forest sediments in the upper estuary, and deposited downstream in sandier, oxygen-rich nearshore sediments. These results suggest that mangrove-surrounded estuaries may act as barriers to mercury transport to coastal waters, but as a source of manganese. The present findings also imply that reactive Mn may be used as an indication of Hg depositional patterns in other similar coastal sedimentary settings.

  1. Spatiotemporal patterns of mercury accumulation in lake sediments of western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drevnick, Paul; Cooke, Colin A.; Barraza, Daniella; Blais, Jules M.; Coale, Kenneth; Cumming, Brian F.; Curtis, Chris; Das, Biplob; Donahue, William F.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Engstrom, Daniel R.; Fitzgerald, William F.; Furl, Chad V.; Gray, John R.; Hall, Roland I.; Jackson, Togwell A.; Laird, Kathleen R.; Lockhart, W. Lyle; Macdonald, Robie W.; Mast, M. Alisa; Mathieu, Callie; Muir, Derek C.G.; Outridge, Peter; Reinemann, Scott; Rothenberg, Sarah E.; Ruiz-Fernandex, Ana Carolina; St. Louis, V.L.; Sanders, Rhea; Sanei, Hamed; Skierszkan, Elliott; Van Metre, Peter C.; Veverica, Timothy; Wiklund, Johan A.; Wolfe, Brent B.

    2016-01-01

    For the Western North America Mercury Synthesis, we compiled mercury records from 165 dated sediment cores from 138 natural lakes across western North America. Lake sediments are accepted as faithful recorders of historical mercury accumulation rates, and regional and sub-regional temporal and spatial trends were analyzed with descriptive and inferential statistics. Mercury accumulation rates in sediments have increased, on average, four times (4×) from 1850 to 2000 and continue to increase by approximately 0.2 μg/m2 per year. Lakes with the greatest increases were influenced by the Flin Flon smelter, followed by lakes directly affected by mining and wastewater discharges. Of lakes not directly affected by point sources, there is a clear separation in mercury accumulation rates between lakes with no/little watershed development and lakes with extensive watershed development for agricultural and/or residential purposes. Lakes in the latter group exhibited a sharp increase in mercury accumulation rates with human settlement, stabilizing after 1950 at five times (5×) 1850 rates. Mercury accumulation rates in lakes with no/little watershed development were controlled primarily by relative watershed size prior to 1850, and since have exhibited modest increases (in absolute terms and compared to that described above) associated with (regional and global) industrialization. A sub-regional analysis highlighted that in the ecoregion Northwestern Forest Mountains, mercury deposited to watersheds is delivered to lakes. Research is warranted to understand whether mountainous watersheds act as permanent sinks for mercury or if export of “legacy” mercury (deposited in years past) will delay recovery when/if emissions reductions are achieved.

  2. 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

  3. Land Use Change Driven by Gold Mining; Peruvian Amazon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swenson, J. J.; Carter, C. E.; domec, J.; Delgado, C. I.

    2011-12-01

    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 (R2 = 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Matthieu B; Gustin, Mae S

    2013-06-01

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

  5. Controls on mercury and methylmercury deposition for two watersheds in Acadia National Park, Maine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, K B; Haines, T A; Kahl, J S; Norton, S A; Amirbahman, Aria; Sheehan, K D

    2007-03-01

    Throughfall and bulk precipitation samples were collected for two watersheds at Acadia National Park, Maine, from 3 May to 16 November 2000, to determine which landscape factors affected mercury (Hg) deposition. One of these watersheds, Cadillac Brook, burned in 1947, providing a natural experimental design to study the effects of forest type on deposition to forested watersheds. Sites that face southwest received the highest Hg deposition, which may be due to the interception of cross-continental movement of contaminated air masses. Sites covered with softwood vegetation also received higher Hg deposition than other vegetation types because of the higher scavenging efficiency of the canopy structure. Methyl mercury (MeHg) deposition was not affected by these factors. Hg deposition, as bulk precipitation and throughfall was lower in Cadillac Brook watershed (burned) than in Hadlock Brook watershed (unburned) because of vegetation type and watershed aspect. Hg and MeHg inputs were weighted by season and vegetation type because these two factors had the most influence on deposition. Hg volatilization was not determined. The total Hg deposition via throughfall and bulk precipitation was 9.4 microg/m(2)/year in Cadillac Brook watershed and 10.2 microg/m(2)/year in Hadlock Brook watershed. The total MeHg deposition via throughfall and bulk precipitation was 0.05 microg/m(2)/year in Cadillac Brook watershed and 0.10 microg/m(2)/year in Hadlock Brook watershed.

  6. Total mercury, methylmercury and selenium in mercury polluted areas in the province Guizhou, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horvat, Milena; Nolde, Natasa; Fajon, Vesna; Jereb, Vesna; Logar, Martina; Lojen, Sonja; Jacimovic, Radojko; Falnoga, Ingrid; Liya, Qu; Faganeli, Jadran; Drobne, Damjana

    2003-03-20

    The province of Guizhou in Southwestern China is currently one of the world's most important mercury production areas. Emissions of mercury from the province to the global atmosphere have been estimated to be approximately 12% of the world total anthropogenic emissions. The main objective of this study was to assess the level of contamination with Hg in two geographical areas of Guizhou province. Mercury pollution in the areas concerned originates from mercury mining and ore processing in the area of Wanshan, while in the area of Quingzhen mercury pollution originates from the chemical industry discharging Hg through wastewaters and emissions to the atmosphere due to coal burning for electricity production. The results of this study confirmed high contamination with Hg in soil, sediments and rice in the Hg mining area in Wanshan. High levels of Hg in soil and rice were also found in the vicinity of the chemical plant in Quingzhen. The concentrations of Hg decreased with distance from the main sources of pollution considerably. The general conclusion is that Hg contamination in Wanshan is geographically more widespread, due to deposition and scavenging of Hg from contaminated air and deposition on land. In Quingzhen Hg contamination of soil is very high close to the chemical plant but the levels reach background concentrations at a distance of several km. Even though the major source of Hg in both areas is inorganic Hg, it was observed that active transformation of inorganic Hg to organic Hg species (MeHg) takes place in water, sediments and soils. The concentration of Hg in rice grains can reach up to 569 microg/kg of total Hg of which 145 microg/kg was in MeHg form. The percentage of Hg as MeHg varied from 5 to 83%. The concentrations of selenium can reach up to 16 mg/kg in soil and up to 1 mg/g in rice. A correlation exists between the concentration of Se in soil and rice, indicating that a portion of Se is bioavailable to plants. No correlation between Hg and Se

  7. Mercury in terrestrial forested systems with highly elevated mercury deposition in southwestern China: The risk to insects and potential release from wildfires

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou, Jun; Wang, Zhangwei; Sun, Ting; Zhang, Huan; Zhang, Xiaoshan

    2016-01-01

    Forests are considered a pool of mercury in the global mercury cycle. However, few studies have investigated the distribution of mercury in the forested systems in China. Tieshanping forest catchment in southwest China was impacted by mercury emissions from industrial activities and coal combustions. Our work studied mercury content in atmosphere, soil, vegetation and insect with a view to estimating the potential for mercury release during forest fires. Results of the present study showed that total gaseous mercury (TGM) was highly elevated and the annual mean concentration was 3.51 ± 1.39 ng m"−"2. Of the vegetation tissues, the mercury concentration follows the order of leaf/needle > root > bark > branch > bole wood for each species. Total ecosystem mercury pool was 103.5 mg m"−"2 and about 99.4% of the mercury resides in soil layers (0–40 cm). The remaining 0.6% (0.50 mg m"−"2) of mercury was stored in biomass. The large mercury stocks in the forest ecosystem pose a serious threat for large pluses to the atmospheric mercury during potential wildfires and additional ecological stress to forest insect: dung beetles, cicada and longicorn, with mercury concentration of 1983 ± 446, 49 ± 38 and 7 ± 5 ng g"−"1, respectively. Hence, the results obtained in the present study has implications for global estimates of mercury storage in forests, risks to forest insect and potential release to the atmosphere during wildfires. - Highlights: • Mercury in air, soil, biomass and insect were studied at a subtropical forest. • 99.4% of the total ecosystem mercury pools was resided in soil layers. • High mercury pools were large pulses to the atmosphere during potential wildfires. • High mercury deposition in forest pose an ecological stress to insect. - Large mercury pools in forest pose a serious threat for large pluses to the atmospheric mercury during potential wildfires and ecological stress to insect.

  8. Total mercury and methylmercury concentrations over a gradient of contamination in earthworms living in rice paddy soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abeysinghe, Kasun S; Yang, Xiao-Dong; Goodale, Eben; Anderson, Christopher W N; Bishop, Kevin; Cao, Axiang; Feng, Xinbin; Liu, Shengjie; Mammides, Christos; Meng, Bo; Quan, Rui-Chang; Sun, Jing; Qiu, Guangle

    2017-05-01

    Mercury (Hg) deposited from emissions or from local contamination, can have serious health effects on humans and wildlife. Traditionally, Hg has been seen as a threat to aquatic wildlife, because of its conversion in suboxic conditions into bioavailable methylmercury (MeHg), but it can also threaten contaminated terrestrial ecosystems. In Asia, rice paddies in particular may be sensitive ecosystems. Earthworms are soil-dwelling organisms that have been used as indicators of Hg bioavailability; however, the MeHg concentrations they accumulate in rice paddy environments are not well known. Earthworm and soil samples were collected from rice paddies at progressive distances from abandoned mercury mines in Guizhou, China, and at control sites without a history of Hg mining. Total Hg (THg) and MeHg concentrations declined in soil and earthworms as distance increased from the mines, but the percentage of THg that was MeHg, and the bioaccumulation factors in earthworms, increased over this gradient. This escalation in methylation and the incursion of MeHg into earthworms may be influenced by more acidic soil conditions and higher organic content further from the mines. In areas where the source of Hg is deposition, especially in water-logged and acidic rice paddy soil, earthworms may biomagnify MeHg more than was previously reported. It is emphasized that rice paddy environments affected by acidifying deposition may be widely dispersed throughout Asia. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1202-1210. © 2016 SETAC. © 2016 SETAC.

  9. The price of gold: mercury exposure in the Amazonian rain forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branches, F J; Erickson, T B; Aks, S E; Hryhorczuk, D O

    1993-01-01

    Concern has surfaced over the recent discovery of human mercury exposure throughout the tropical rain forest of South America's Amazon River Basin. The probable source of mercury has been traced to gold mines located within the interior. The mining process involves the extraction of gold from ore by burning off a mercury additive, resulting in vaporization of elemental mercury into the surrounding environment. The purpose of this case series is to document mercury levels in miners and local villagers presenting with a history of exposure, or signs and symptoms consistent with mercury toxicity. Over a five year period (1986-91), the whole blood and urine mercury levels of 55 Brazilian patients demonstrating signs and symptoms consistent with mercury exposure were collected. Thirty-three (60%) of the subjects had direct occupational exposure to mercury via gold mining and refining. Whole blood mercury levels ranged from 0.4-13.0 micrograms/dL (mean 3.05 micrograms/dL). Spot urine levels ranged 0-151 micrograms/L (mean = 32.7 micrograms/L). Occupational mercury exposure is occurring in the Amazon River Basin. Interventions aimed at altering the gold mining process while protecting the workers and surrounding villagers from the source of exposure are essential. The impact of the gold mining industry on general environmental contamination has not been investigated.

  10. 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

  11. Atmospheric dust deposition on soils around an abandoned fluorite mine (Hammam Zriba, NE Tunisia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djebbi, Chaima; Chaabani, Fredj; Font, Oriol; Queralt, Ignasi; Querol, Xavier

    2017-10-01

    The present study focuses on the eolian dispersion and dust deposition, of major and trace elements in soils in a semi-arid climate, around an old fluorite (CaF 2 ) and barite (BaSO 4 ) mine, located in Hammam Zriba in Northern Tunisia. Ore deposits from this site contain a high amount of metal sulphides constituting heavy metal pollution in the surrounding environment. Samples of waste from the surface of mine tailings and agricultural topsoil samples in the vicinity of the mine were collected. The soil samples and a control sample from unpolluted area, were taken in the direction of prevailing northwest and west winds. Chemical analysis of these solids was performed using both X-ray fluorescence and X-ray diffraction. To determine the transfer from mine wastes to the soils, soluble fraction was performed by inductively coupled plasma and ionic chromatography. The fine grained size fraction of the un-restored tailings, still contained significant levels of barium, strontium, sulphur, fluorine, zinc and lead with mean percentages (wt%) of 30 (calculated as BaO), 13 (as SrO), 10 (as SO 3 ), 4 (F), 2 (Zn) and 1.2 (Pb). Also, high concentrations of cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As) and mercury (Hg) were found with an averages of 36, 24 and 1.2mgkg -1 , respectively. As a result of the eolian erosion of the tailings and their subsequent wind transport, the concentrations of Ba, Sr, S, F, Zn and Pb were extremely high in the soils near to the tailings dumps, with 5%, 4%, 7%, 1%, 0.8% and 0.2%, respectively. Concentration of major pollutants decreases with distance, but they were high even in the farthest samples. Same spatial distribution was observed for Cd, As and Hg. While, the other elements follow different spatial patterns. The leaching test revealed that most elements in the mining wastes, except for the anions, had a low solubility despite their high bulk concentrations. According the 2003/33/CE Decision Threshold, some of these tailings samples were considered as

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-10-01

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

  13. Current and future levels of mercury atmospheric pollution on a global scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacyna, Jozef M.; Travnikov, Oleg; De Simone, Francesco; Hedgecock, Ian M.; Sundseth, Kyrre; Pacyna, Elisabeth G.; Steenhuisen, Frits; Pirrone, Nicola; Munthe, John; Kindbom, Karin

    2016-10-01

    An assessment of current and future emissions, air concentrations, and atmospheric deposition of mercury worldwide is presented on the basis of results obtained during the performance of the EU GMOS (Global Mercury Observation System) project. Emission estimates for mercury were prepared with the main goal of applying them in models to assess current (2013) and future (2035) air concentrations and atmospheric deposition of this contaminant. The combustion of fossil fuels (mainly coal) for energy and heat production in power plants and in industrial and residential boilers, as well as artisanal and small-scale gold mining, is one of the major anthropogenic sources of Hg emissions to the atmosphere at present. These sources account for about 37 and 25 % of the total anthropogenic Hg emissions globally, estimated to be about 2000 t. Emissions in Asian countries, particularly in China and India, dominate the total emissions of Hg. The current estimates of mercury emissions from natural processes (primary mercury emissions and re-emissions), including mercury depletion events, were estimated to be 5207 t year-1, which represents nearly 70 % of the global mercury emission budget. Oceans are the most important sources (36 %), followed by biomass burning (9 %). A comparison of the 2035 anthropogenic emissions estimated for three different scenarios with current anthropogenic emissions indicates a reduction of these emissions in 2035 up to 85 % for the best-case scenario. Two global chemical transport models (GLEMOS and ECHMERIT) have been used for the evaluation of future mercury pollution levels considering future emission scenarios. Projections of future changes in mercury deposition on a global scale simulated by these models for three anthropogenic emissions scenarios of 2035 indicate a decrease in up to 50 % deposition in the Northern Hemisphere and up to 35 % in Southern Hemisphere for the best-case scenario. The EU GMOS project has proved to be a very important

  14. Current and future levels of mercury atmospheric pollution on a global scale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Pacyna

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available An assessment of current and future emissions, air concentrations, and atmospheric deposition of mercury worldwide is presented on the basis of results obtained during the performance of the EU GMOS (Global Mercury Observation System project. Emission estimates for mercury were prepared with the main goal of applying them in models to assess current (2013 and future (2035 air concentrations and atmospheric deposition of this contaminant. The combustion of fossil fuels (mainly coal for energy and heat production in power plants and in industrial and residential boilers, as well as artisanal and small-scale gold mining, is one of the major anthropogenic sources of Hg emissions to the atmosphere at present. These sources account for about 37 and 25 % of the total anthropogenic Hg emissions globally, estimated to be about 2000 t. Emissions in Asian countries, particularly in China and India, dominate the total emissions of Hg. The current estimates of mercury emissions from natural processes (primary mercury emissions and re-emissions, including mercury depletion events, were estimated to be 5207 t year−1, which represents nearly 70 % of the global mercury emission budget. Oceans are the most important sources (36 %, followed by biomass burning (9 %. A comparison of the 2035 anthropogenic emissions estimated for three different scenarios with current anthropogenic emissions indicates a reduction of these emissions in 2035 up to 85 % for the best-case scenario. Two global chemical transport models (GLEMOS and ECHMERIT have been used for the evaluation of future mercury pollution levels considering future emission scenarios. Projections of future changes in mercury deposition on a global scale simulated by these models for three anthropogenic emissions scenarios of 2035 indicate a decrease in up to 50 % deposition in the Northern Hemisphere and up to 35 % in Southern Hemisphere for the best-case scenario. The EU GMOS project has

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Soil as an archive of coal-fired power plant mercury deposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez Martín, José Antonio; Nanos, Nikos

    2016-05-05

    Mercury pollution is a global environmental problem that has serious implications for human health. One of the most important sources of anthropogenic mercury emissions are coal-burning power plants. Hg accumulations in soil are associated with their atmospheric deposition. Our study provides the first assessment of soil Hg on the entire Spanish surface obtained from one sampling protocol. Hg spatial distribution was analysed with topsoil samples taken from 4000 locations in a regular sampling grid. The other aim was to use geostatistical techniques to verify the extent of soil contamination by Hg and to evaluate presumed Hg enrichment near the seven Spanish power plants with installed capacity above 1000 MW. The Hg concentration in Spanish soil fell within the range of 1-7564 μg kg(-1) (mean 67.2) and 50% of the samples had a concentration below 37 μg kg(-1). Evidence for human activity was found near all the coal-fired power plants, which reflects that metals have accumulated in the basin over many years. Values over 1000 μg kg(-1) have been found in soils in the vicinity of the Aboño, Soto de Ribera and Castellon power plants. However, soil Hg enrichment was detectable only close to the emission source, within an approximate range of only 15 km from the power plants. We associated this effect with airborne emissions and subsequent depositions as the potential distance through fly ash deposition. Hg associated with particles of ash tends to be deposited near coal combustion sources. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Constraining the thickness of polar ice deposits on Mercury using the Mercury Laser Altimeter and small craters in permanently shadowed regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deutsch, Ariel N.; Head, James W.; Chabot, Nancy L.; Neumann, Gregory A.

    2018-05-01

    Radar-bright deposits at the poles of Mercury are located in permanently shadowed regions, which provide thermally stable environments for hosting and retaining water ice on the surface or in the near subsurface for geologic timescales. While the areal distribution of these radar-bright deposits is well characterized, their thickness, and thus their total mass and volume, remain poorly constrained. Here we derive thickness estimates for selected water-ice deposits using small, simple craters visible within the permanently shadowed, radar-bright deposits. We examine two endmember scenarios: in Case I, these craters predate the emplacement of the ice, and in Case II, these craters postdate the emplacement of the ice. In Case I, we find the difference between estimated depths of the original unfilled craters and the measured depths of the craters to find the estimated infill of material. The average estimated infilled material for 9 craters assumed to be overlain with water ice is ∼ 41-14+30 m, where 1-σ standard error of the mean is reported as uncertainty. Reported uncertainties are for statistical errors only. Additional systematic uncertainty may stem from georeferencing the images and topographic datasets, from the radial accuracy of the altimeter measurements, or from assumptions in our models including (1) ice is flat in the bowl-shaped crater and (2) there is negligible ice at the crater rims. In Case II, we derive crater excavation depths to investigate the thickness of the ice layer that may have been penetrated by the impact. While the absence of excavated regolith associated with the small craters observed suggests that impacts generally do not penetrate through the ice deposit, the spatial resolution and complex illumination geometry of images may limit the observations. Therefore, it is not possible to conclude whether the small craters in this study penetrate through the ice deposit, and thus Case II does not provide a constraint on the ice thickness

  19. Constraining the Depth of Polar Ice Deposits and Evolution of Cold Traps on Mercury with Small Craters in Permanently Shadowed Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deutsch, Ariel N.; Head, James W.; Neumann, Gregory A.; Chabot, Nancy L.

    2017-01-01

    Earth-based radar observations revealed highly reflective deposits at the poles of Mercury [e.g., 1], which collocate with permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) detected from both imagery and altimetry by the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft [e.g., 2]. MESSENGER also measured higher hydrogen concentrations at the north polar region, consistent with models for these deposits to be composed primarily of water ice [3]. Enigmatic to the characterization of ice deposits on Mercury is the thickness of these radar-bright features. A current minimum bound of several meters exists from the radar measurements, which show no drop in the radar cross section between 13- and 70-cm wavelength observations [4, 5]. A maximum thickness of 300 m is based on the lack of any statistically significant difference between the height of craters that host radar-bright deposits and those that do not [6]. More recently, this upper limit on the depth of a typical ice deposit has been lowered to approximately 150 m, in a study that found a mean excess thickness of 50 +/- 35 m of radar-bright deposits for 6 craters [7]. Refining such a constraint permits the derivation of a volumetric estimate of the total polar ice on Mercury, thus providing insight into possible sources of water ice on the planet. Here, we take a different approach to constrain the thickness of water-ice deposits. Permanently shadowed surfaces have been resolved in images acquired with the broadband filter on MESSENGER's wide-angle camera (WAC) using low levels of light scattered by crater walls and other topography [8]. These surfaces are not featureless and often host small craters (less than a few km in diameter). Here we utilize the presence of these small simple craters to constrain the thickness of the radar-bright ice deposits on Mercury. Specifically, we compare estimated depths made from depth-to-diameter ratios and depths from individual Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA

  20. Characterization of the Morphometry of Impact Craters Hosting Polar Deposits in Mercury's North Polar Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talpe Matthieu; Zuber, Maria T.; Yang, Di; Neumann, Gregory A.; Solomon, Sean C.; Mazarico, Erwan; Vilas, Faith

    2012-01-01

    Earth-based radar images of Mercury show radar-bright material inside impact craters near the planet s poles. A previous study indicated that the polar-deposit-hosting craters (PDCs) at Mercury s north pole are shallower than craters that lack such deposits. We use data acquired by the Mercury Laser Altimeter on the MESSENGER spacecraft during 11 months of orbital observations to revisit the depths of craters at high northern latitudes on Mercury. We measured the depth and diameter of 537 craters located poleward of 45 N, evaluated the slopes of the northern and southern walls of 30 PDCs, and assessed the floor roughness of 94 craters, including nine PDCs. We find that the PDCs appear to have a fresher crater morphology than the non-PDCs and that the radar-bright material has no detectable influence on crater depths, wall slopes, or floor roughness. The statistical similarity of crater depth-diameter relations for the PDC and non-PDC populations places an upper limit on the thickness of the radar-bright material (< 170 m for a crater 11 km in diameter) that can be refined by future detailed analysis. Results of the current study are consistent with the view that the radar-bright material constitutes a relatively thin layer emplaced preferentially in comparatively young craters.

  1. Sources and remediation for mercury contamination in aquatic systems--a literature review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Qianrui; Kim, Daekeun; Dionysiou, Dionysios D.; Sorial, George A.; Timberlake, Dennis

    2004-01-01

    Sources of mercury contamination in aquatic systems were studied in a comprehensive literature review. The results show that the most important anthropogenic sources of mercury pollution in aquatic systems are: (1) atmospheric deposition, (2) erosion, (3) urban discharges, (4) agricultural materials, (5) mining, and (6) combustion and industrial discharges. Capping and dredging are two possible remedial approaches to mercury contamination in aquatic systems, and natural attenuation is a passive decontamination alternative. Capping seems to be an economical and effective remedial approach to mercury-contaminated aquatic systems. Dredging is an expensive remedial approach. However, for heavily polluted systems, dredging may be more effective. Natural attenuation, involving little or no cost, is a possible and very economical choice for less contaminated sites. Proper risk assessment is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of remedial and passive decontamination methods as well as their potential adverse environmental effects. Modeling tools have a bright future in the remediation and passive decontamination of mercury contamination in aquatic systems. Existing mercury transport and transformation models were reviewed and compared

  2. Elevated mercury concentrations in humans of Madre de Dios, Peru.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katy Ashe

    Full Text Available The enormous increase in practically unregulated mining in Madre de Dios Peru is leading to massive release of liquid elemental mercury to the environment. Rapidly increasing global prices for gold are causing a massive upsurge in artisanal mining in the Peruvian Amazon, considered to be one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. This study identifies the current levels of mercury in the human population, through identifying levels of total mercury in human hair in mining zones of Madre de Dios Department and in the nearby city of Puerto Maldonado. A regression analysis reveals that fish consumption, gender, and location of residence were significant indicators of mercury levels; while duration of residence and age had no significant relationship to mercury levels. Increased fish consumption levels were the strongest indicators of increased total mercury levels across the entire population. The levels of total mercury in hair was significantly (α = 0.05 higher in mining zones, than Puerto Maldonado. In both areas men had significantly higher levels than women, likely due to a difference in metabolism or varying levels of direct involvement in gold mining- a male predominated industry. This is the first study to show the health threat that mercury poses to this region, however further research needs to be done to gain a more refined understanding of the predominant routes of exposure in this population.

  3. Elevated mercury concentrations in humans of Madre de Dios, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashe, Katy

    2012-01-01

    The enormous increase in practically unregulated mining in Madre de Dios Peru is leading to massive release of liquid elemental mercury to the environment. Rapidly increasing global prices for gold are causing a massive upsurge in artisanal mining in the Peruvian Amazon, considered to be one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. This study identifies the current levels of mercury in the human population, through identifying levels of total mercury in human hair in mining zones of Madre de Dios Department and in the nearby city of Puerto Maldonado. A regression analysis reveals that fish consumption, gender, and location of residence were significant indicators of mercury levels; while duration of residence and age had no significant relationship to mercury levels. Increased fish consumption levels were the strongest indicators of increased total mercury levels across the entire population. The levels of total mercury in hair was significantly (α = 0.05) higher in mining zones, than Puerto Maldonado. In both areas men had significantly higher levels than women, likely due to a difference in metabolism or varying levels of direct involvement in gold mining- a male predominated industry. This is the first study to show the health threat that mercury poses to this region, however further research needs to be done to gain a more refined understanding of the predominant routes of exposure in this population.

  4. Increased sensitivity of anodic stripping voltammetry at the hanging mercury drop electrode by ultracathodic deposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, José A; Rodrigues, Carlos M; Almeida, Paulo J; Valente, Inês M; Gonçalves, Luís M; Compton, Richard G; Barros, Aquiles A

    2011-09-09

    An improved approach to the anodic stripping voltammetric (ASV) determination of heavy metals, using the hanging mercury drop electrode (HMDE), is reported. It was discovered that using very cathodic accumulation potentials, at which the solvent reduction occurs (overpotential deposition), the voltammetric signals of zinc(II), cadmium(II), lead(II) and copper(II) increase. When compared with the classical methodology a 5 to 10-fold signal increase is obtained. This effect is likely due to both mercury drop oscillation at such cathodic potentials and added local convection at the mercury drop surface caused by the evolution of hydrogen bubbles. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Radiation dose estimates from a mining plan for a high-grade uranium deposit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scott, L.M.

    1981-01-01

    The significance of gamma exposure to uranium miners has been recognized only in the last few years. Most ore deposits which have been underground mined, were 1% or less U 3 O 8 . Full-time mining of this grade ore can result in exposure exceeding 1 Rem per year. Several companies in Saskatchewan are planning to mine recently discovered ore bodies which contain ore pods in excess of 10% U 3 O 8 . The purpose of this paper is to present dose data which can be used to estimate gamma exposure from high-grade ore deposits, and to present mining techniques which will minimize miner exposure

  6. Mercury isotope constraints on the source for sediment-hosted lead-zinc deposits in the Changdu area, southwestern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Chunxia; Yin, Runsheng; Peng, Jiantang; Hurley, James P.; Lepak, Ryan F.; Gao, Jianfeng; Feng, Xinbin; Hu, Ruizhong; Bi, Xianwu

    2018-03-01

    The Lanuoma and Cuona sediment-hosted Pb-Zn deposits hosted by Upper Triassic limestone and sandstone, respectively, are located in the Changdu area, SW China. Mercury concentrations and Hg isotopic compositions from sulfide minerals and potential source rocks (e.g., the host sedimentary rocks and the metamorphic basement) were investigated to constrain metal sources and mineralization processes. In both deposits, sulfide minerals have higher mercury (Hg) concentrations (0.35 to 1185 ppm) than the metamorphic basement rocks (0.05 to 0.15 ppm) and sedimentary rocks (0.02 to 0.08 ppm). Large variations of mass-dependent fractionation (3.3‰ in δ202Hg) and mass-independent fractionation (0.3‰ in Δ199Hg) of Hg isotopes were observed. Sulfide minerals have Hg isotope signatures that are similar to the hydrothermal altered rocks around the deposit, and similar to the metamorphic basement, but different from barren sedimentary rocks. The variation of Δ199Hg suggests that Hg in sulfides was mainly derived from the underlying metamorphic basement. Mercury isotopes could be a geochemical tracer in understanding metal sources in hydrothermal ore deposits.

  7. 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

  8. Searching for the Source of Salt Marsh Buried Mercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooke, C. G.; Nelson, D. C.; Fleming, E. J.

    2016-12-01

    Salt marshes provide a barrier between upstream mercury contamination and coastal ecosystems. Mercury is sorbed, transported, and deposited in estuarine systems. Once the upstream mercury source has been remediated, the downstream mercury contaminated salt marsh sediments should become "capped" or buried by uncontaminated sediments preventing further ecosystem contamination. Downstream from a remediated mercury mine, an estuarine intertidal marsh in Tomales Bay, CA, USA, scavengers/predators (e.g. Pachygrapsus crassipes, Lined Shore Crab) have leg mercury concentrations as high as 5.5 ppm (dry wt./dry wt.), which increase significantly with crab size, a surrogate for trophic level. These elevated mercury concentrations suggests that "buried" mercury is rereleased into the environment. To locate possible sources of mercury release in Walker Marsh, we sampled a transect across the marsh that included diverse micro-environments (e.g. rhizoshere, stratified sediments, faunal burrows). From each location we determined the sediment structure, sediment color, total sediment mercury, total sediment iron, and microbial composition (n = 28). Where flora or fauna had perturbed the sediment, mercury concentrations were 10% less than undisturbed stratified sediments (1025 ppb vs. 1164 ppb, respectively). High-throughput SSU rRNA gene sequencing and subsequent co-occurrence network analysis genera indicated that in flora- or fauna- perturbed sediments there was an increased likelihood that microbial genera contained mercury mobilizing genes (94% vs 57%; in perturbed vs stratified sediments, respectively). Our observations are consistent with findings by others that in perturbed sites mercury mobility increased. We did however identify a microbial and geochemical profile with increased mercury mobility. For future work we plan to quantify the role these micro-environments have on mercury-efflux from salt marshes.

  9. An innovative jet boring mining method available for the high grade uranium ore underground deposits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Narcy, J.L.

    1996-01-01

    An innovative mining method, based on the capability of a high pressure water jet to desaggregate rock, has been conceived and tested with success at the highest grade uranium ore deposit in the world, the Cigar Lake deposit in Saskatchewan, Canada. 113 tonnes of ore at 13% U were mined out by a new jet-boring mining method operated on a semi-industrial basis, in 1992 during the test mining program of Cigar Lake Project. (author). 9 figs

  10. Mercury in the nation's streams - Levels, trends, and implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wentz, Dennis A.; Brigham, Mark E.; Chasar, Lia C.; Lutz, Michelle A.; Krabbenhoft, David P.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in fish to levels of concern for human health and the health of fish-eating wildlife. Mercury contamination of fish is the primary reason for issuing fish consumption advisories, which exist in every State in the Nation. Much of the mercury originates from combustion of coal and can travel long distances in the atmosphere before being deposited. This can result in mercury-contaminated fish in areas with no obvious source of mercury pollution.Three key factors determine the level of mercury contamination in fish - the amount of inorganic mercury available to an ecosystem, the conversion of inorganic mercury to methylmercury, and the bioaccumulation of methylmercury through the food web. Inorganic mercury originates from both natural sources (such as volcanoes, geologic deposits of mercury, geothermal springs, and volatilization from the ocean) and anthropogenic sources (such as coal combustion, mining, and use of mercury in products and industrial processes). Humans have doubled the amount of inorganic mercury in the global atmosphere since pre-industrial times, with substantially greater increases occurring at locations closer to major urban areas.In aquatic ecosystems, some inorganic mercury is converted to methylmercury, the form that ultimately accumulates in fish. The rate of mercury methylation, thus the amount of methylmercury produced, varies greatly in time and space, and depends on numerous environmental factors, including temperature and the amounts of oxygen, organic matter, and sulfate that are present.Methylmercury enters aquatic food webs when it is taken up from water by algae and other microorganisms. Methylmercury concentrations increase with successively higher trophic levels in the food web—a process known as bioaccumulation. In general, fish at the top of the food web consume other fish and tend to accumulate the highest methylmercury concentrations.This report summarizes selected stream studies

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. Remediation of mercury-polluted soils using artificial wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Mercadoa, Héctor Daniel; Fernándezb, Georgina; Garzón-Zúñigac, Marco Antonio; Durán-Domínguez-de-Bazúaa, María Del Carmen

    2017-01-02

    Mexico's mercury mining industry is important for economic development, but has unfortunately contaminated soils due to open-air disposal. This case was seen at two sites in the municipality of Pinal de Amoles, State of Queretaro, Mexico. This paper presents an evaluation of mercury dynamics and biogeochemistry in two soils (mining waste soil) using ex-situ wetlands over 36 weeks. In soils sampled in two former mines of Pinal de Amoles, initial mercury concentrations were 424 ± 29 and 433 ± 12 mg kg -1 in La Lorena and San Jose, former mines, respectively. Typha latifolia and Phragmites australis were used and 20 reactors were constructed (with and without plants). The reactors were weekly amended with a nutrient solution (NPK), for each plant, at a pH of 5.0. For remediation using soils from San Jose 70-78% of mercury was removed in T. latifolia reactors and 76-82% in P. australis reactors, and for remediation of soils from La Lorena, mercury content was reduced by 55-71% using T. latifolia and 58-66% in P. australis reactors. Mercury emissions into the atmosphere were estimated to be 2-4 mg m -2 h -1 for both soils.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-09-15

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

  15. 3D modeling of surface quarries and deposits of mined materials and the monitoring of slopes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Maňas

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available The application of computer technology by simulating opencast mining and deposits of raw materials. The mathematic principles of three-dimensional probabilistic models of raw materials deposits and a familiarization with the user interface software GEOLOGICKY MODEL. The principles of the simulation of opencast mines, generation intersections with models of raw materials deposits, computation of mining materials with the quality scaling,and the design of advanced mining with the software BANSKY MODEL.The monitoring the potential of dynamic movements’ of unstable slopes with the automatic total station and a following interpretation in general time intervals by means of the software MONITORING.

  16. Net atmospheric mercury deposition to Svalbard: Estimates from lacustrine sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drevnick, Paul E.; Yang, Handong; Lamborg, Carl H.; Rose, Neil L.

    2012-11-01

    In this study we used lake sediments, which faithfully record Hg inputs, to derive estimates of net atmospheric Hg deposition to Svalbard, Norwegian Arctic. With the exception of one site affected by local pollution, the study lakes show twofold to fivefold increases in sedimentary Hg accumulation since 1850, likely due to long-range atmospheric transport and deposition of anthropogenic Hg. Sedimentary Hg accumulation in these lakes is a linear function of the ratio of catchment area to lake area, and we used this relationship to model net atmospheric Hg flux: preindustrial and modern estimates are 2.5 ± 3.3 μg m-2 y-1 and 7.0 ± 3.0 μg m-2 y-1, respectively. The modern estimate, by comparison with data for Hg wet deposition, indicates that atmospheric mercury depletion events (AMDEs) or other dry deposition processes contribute approximately half (range 0-70%) of the net flux. Hg from AMDEs may be moving in significant quantities into aquatic ecosystems, where it is a concern because of contamination of aquatic food webs.

  17. Effects of equipment performance on data quality from the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network and the Mercury Deposition Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetherbee, Gregory A.; Rhodes, Mark F.

    2013-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey Branch of Quality Systems operates the Precipitation Chemistry Quality Assurance project (PCQA) to provide independent, external quality-assurance for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP). NADP is composed of five monitoring networks that measure the chemical composition of precipitation and ambient air. PCQA and the NADP Program Office completed five short-term studies to investigate the effects of equipment performance with respect to the National Trends Network (NTN) and Mercury Deposition Network (MDN) data quality: sample evaporation from NTN collectors; sample volume and mercury loss from MDN collectors; mercury adsorption to MDN collector glassware, grid-type precipitation sensors for precipitation collectors, and the effects of an NTN collector wind shield on sample catch efficiency. Sample-volume evaporation from an NTN Aerochem Metrics (ACM) collector ranged between 1.1–33 percent with a median of 4.7 percent. The results suggest that weekly NTN sample evaporation is small relative to sample volume. MDN sample evaporation occurs predominantly in western and southern regions of the United States (U.S.) and more frequently with modified ACM collectors than with N-CON Systems Inc. collectors due to differences in airflow through the collectors. Variations in mercury concentrations, measured to be as high as 47.5 percent per week with a median of 5 percent, are associated with MDN sample-volume loss. Small amounts of mercury are also lost from MDN samples by adsorption to collector glassware irrespective of collector type. MDN 11-grid sensors were found to open collectors sooner, keep them open longer, and cause fewer lid cycles than NTN 7-grid sensors. Wind shielding an NTN ACM collector resulted in collection of larger quantities of precipitation while also preserving sample integrity.

  18. Summary of Mercury and Trace Element Results in Precipitation from the Culpeper, Virginia, Mercury Deposition Network Site (VA-08), 2002-2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engle, Mark A.; Kolker, Allan; Mose, Douglas E.; East, Joseph A.; McCord, Jamey D.

    2008-01-01

    The VA-08 Mercury Deposition Network (MDN) site, southwest of Culpeper, Virginia, was established in autumn of 2002. This site, along with nearby VA-28 (~31 km west) at Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park, fills a spatial gap in the Mid-Atlantic region of the MDN network and provides Hg deposition data immediately west of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Results for the Culpeper site from autumn of 2002 to the end of 2006 suggest that the highest mercury (Hg) deposition (up to 5.0 ug/m2 per quarter of the 6.5-12.6 ug/m2 annual Hg deposition) is measured during the second and third quarters of the year (April-September). This is a result of both elevated Hg precipitation concentrations (up to 27 ng/L) and greater precipitation during these months. The data also exhibit a general statistically significant (peffect during larger precipitation events, especially during winter and spring. Comparison of results between the Culpeper and Big Meadows sites indicates that although quarterly Hg deposition was not significantly different (panalysis of the Hg and trace metal data identified 3 primary source categories, each with large loadings of characteristic elements: 1) Ca, Al, Mg, Sr, La, and Ce (crustal sources); 2) V, Na, and Ni (local wintertime heating oil); and 3) Zn, Cd, Mn, and Hg (regional anthropogenic emission sources). HYSPLIT air mass trajectory modeling and enrichment factor calculations are consistent with this interpretation. A preliminary source attribution model suggests that ~51% of the Hg in wet deposition is due to regional anthropogenic sources, while crustal sources and local oil combustion account for 9.5% and <1%, respectively. This calculation implies that the global Hg burden accounts for ~40% of the Hg in wet deposition.

  19. Leaching of radium from mine deposits - application for planning of ground reclamation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chalupnik, S.

    2002-01-01

    Saline waters occurring in underground coal mines in Poland often contain natural radioactive isotopes, mainly 226 Ra from uranium series and 228 Ra from thorium series. Approximately 40% of total amount of radium remains underground in a form of radioactive deposits, but 225 MBq of 226 Ra and 400 MBq of 228 Ra are released daily into the rivers with mine effluents through surface settling ponds. Very peculiar situation is observed in coal mines, where as a result of precipitation of radium from radium-bearing waters radioactive deposits are formed. Sometimes natural radioactivity of such materials is very high, in case of scaling from coal mines radium concentration may reach 400000 Bq/kg - similar activity as for 3% uranium ore. Usually such deposits can be found underground, but sometimes co-precipitation of radium and barium takes place on the surface, in settling pond and in rivers. Therefore maintenance of solid and liquid waste with technologically enhanced natural radioactivity (TENORM) is a very important subject. Lately another problem appeared - due to the decrease of the production in Poland coal industry and dismantling of several coal mines, also the ground reclamation should be done in their vicinity. But in several cases deposits in the ponds contain enhanced levels of radium concentration. Therefore laboratory tests were done to investigate a possibility of the re-entry of radium into ground water or river waters from such deposits. Results show, that in the case of insoluble barium and radium sulphates co-precipitated out from waters type A, re-entry ratio is very small. Different situation can be observed in case of radium, adsorbed on bottom of sediments from waters type B, because re-entry ratio is much higher. Nevertheless, this phenomenon seems to be not so important and significant for the further pollution of the adjacent areas of the settling ponds in the future. (author)

  20. Temporal changes in the distribution, methylation, and bioaccumulation of newly deposited mercury in an aquatic ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Orihel, Diane M. [Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2 (Canada); Freshwater Institute, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 501 University Crescent, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N6 (Canada)], E-mail: orihel@ualberta.ca; Paterson, Michael J.; Blanchfield, Paul J.; Bodaly, R.A. [Freshwater Institute, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 501 University Crescent, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N6 (Canada); Gilmour, Cynthia C. [Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, 647 Contees Wharf Road, Edgewater, MD 21037 (United States); Hintelmann, Holger [Department of Chemistry, Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, Ontario, K9J 7B8 (Canada)

    2008-07-15

    Our objective was to examine how the behavior of atmospheric mercury (Hg) deposited to boreal lake mesocosms changed over time. We added inorganic Hg enriched in a different stable isotope in each of two years, which allowed us to differentiate between Hg added in the first and second year. Although inorganic Hg and methylmercury (MeHg) continued to accumulate in sediments throughout the experiment, the availability of MeHg to the food web declined within one year. This decrease was detected in periphyton, zooplankton, and water mites, but not in gomphid larvae, amphipods, or fish. We suggest that reductions in atmospheric Hg deposition should lead to decreases in MeHg concentrations in biota, but that changes will be more easily detected in short-lived pelagic species than long-lived species associated with benthic food webs. - Mercury deposited to aquatic ecosystems becomes less available for uptake by biota over time.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sherman, Laura S., E-mail: lsaylors@umich.edu [University of Michigan, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, 1100 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Blum, Joel D. [University of Michigan, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, 1100 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Basu, Niladri [McGill University, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, 21,111 Lakeshore Road, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, Canada H9X3V9 (Canada); Rajaee, Mozhgon [University of Michigan, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Evers, David C.; Buck, David G. [Biodiversity Research Institute, 19 Flaggy Meadow Road, Gorham, ME 04038 (United States); Petrlik, Jindrich [Arnika Association, Chlumova 17, Prague 3 (Czech Republic); DiGangi, Joseph [IPEN, Box 7256, SE-402 35 Gothenburg (Sweden)

    2015-02-15

    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{sup 199}Hg values to Hg derived from ore deposits (mean urine Δ{sup 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{sup 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{sup 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.

  2. Variability of Mercury Content in Coal Matter From Coal Seams of The Upper Silesia Coal Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wierzchowski, Krzysztof; Chećko, Jarosław; Pyka, Ireneusz

    2017-12-01

    The process of identifying and documenting the quality parameters of coal, as well as the conditions of coal deposition in the seam, is multi-stage and extremely expensive. The taking and analyzing of seam samples is the method of assessment of the quality and quantity parameters of coals in deep mines. Depending on the method of sampling, it offers quite precise assessment of the quality parameters of potential commercial coals. The main kind of seam samples under consideration are so-called "documentary seam samples", which exclude dirt bands and other seam contaminants. Mercury content in coal matter from the currently accessible and exploited coal seams of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB) was assessed. It was noted that the mercury content in coal seams decreases with the age of the seam and, to a lesser extent, seam deposition depth. Maps of the variation of mercury content in selected lithostratigraphic units (layers) of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin have been created.

  3. Deposition of mercury in forests across a montane elevation gradient: Elevational and seasonal patterns in methylmercury inputs and production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerson, Jacqueline R.; Driscoll, Charles T.; Demers, Jason D.; Sauer, Amy K.; Blackwell, Bradley D.; Montesdeoca, Mario R.; Shanley, James B.; Ross, Donald S.

    2017-08-01

    Global mercury contamination largely results from direct primary atmospheric and secondary legacy emissions, which can be deposited to ecosystems, converted to methylmercury, and bioaccumulated along food chains. We examined organic horizon soil samples collected across an elevational gradient on Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondack region of New York State, USA to determine spatial patterns in methylmercury concentrations across a forested montane landscape. We found that soil methylmercury concentrations were highest in the midelevation coniferous zone (0.39 ± 0.07 ng/g) compared to the higher elevation alpine zone (0.28 ± 0.04 ng/g) and particularly the lower elevation deciduous zone (0.17 ± 0.02 ng/g), while the percent of total mercury as methylmercury in soils decreased with elevation. We also found a seasonal pattern in soil methylmercury concentrations, with peak methylmercury values occurring in July. Given elevational patterns in temperature and bioavailable total mercury (derived from mineralization of soil organic matter), soil methylmercury concentrations appear to be driven by soil processing of ionic Hg, as opposed to atmospheric deposition of methylmercury. These methylmercury results are consistent with spatial patterns of mercury concentrations in songbird species observed from other studies, suggesting that future declines in mercury emissions could be important for reducing exposure of mercury to montane avian species.

  4. Bioaccumulation of newly deposited mercury by fish and invertebrates : an enclosure study using stable mercury isotopes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paterson, M.J.; Blanchfield, P.J.; Podemski, C.; Rudd, J.W.M.; Sandilands, K.A. [Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Winnipeg, MB (Canada). Freshwater Inst.; Hintelmann, H.H.; Ogrinc, N. [Trent Univ., Peterborough, ON (Canada). Dept. of Chemistry; Gilmour, C.C. [Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD (United States); Harris, R. [Tetra Tech Inc., Oakville, ON (Canada)

    2006-10-15

    Concentrations of methyl mercury (MeHg) are elevated in fish from North American lakes, which has resulted in the closure of fisheries and the issuance of consumption advisories in many areas. This study investigated the utility of using stable isotopes of enriched stable mercury (Hg) to examine Hg accumulation in aquatic communities. Enriched stable HG isotopes were added to 4 10 m diameter enclosures in an experimental lake to increase inorganic Hg loading. The objective of the study was to trace low-level additions of isotope-enriched Hg through the biogeochemical cycle and into the food web; and to determine the relative contribution of the newly deposited Hg to MeHg accumulation by fish and other biota. The experiment was conducted over 2 summers with a variety of enriched Hg isotopes being added each year. Data suggested that changes in deposition of inorganic Hg will result in changes in MeHg accumulation by fish and other biota. Results showed that within 1 month, spikes of Hg were detected in water, zooplankton, and benthic invertebrates as MeHg, and in fish as total Hg. In 2001, concentrations in water of inorganic spike Hg added in 2000 were near detection limits. Concentrations of 2000 spike MeHg in water and biota remained unchanged or greater. The accumulation of ambient, non-spike MeHg predominated in all organisms despite comparatively large increases in inorganic Hg loading. It was concluded that although long-term changes in Hg deposition may result in changes in MeHg accumulation by biota, it may take upwards of a decade for steady-state conditions to be achieved. Further research is needed to determine to what extent data from the enclosures can be applied to natural lakes. 29 refs., 5 tabs., 5 figs.

  5. Litter mercury deposition in the Amazonian rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fostier, Anne Hélène; Melendez-Perez, José Javier; Richter, Larissa

    2015-11-01

    The objective of this work was to assess the flux of atmospheric mercury transferred to the soil of the Amazonian rainforest by litterfall. Calculations were based on a large survey of published and unpublished data on litterfall and Hg concentrations in litterfall samples from the Amazonian region. Litterfall based on 65 sites located in the Amazon rainforest averaged 8.15 ± 2.25 Mg ha(-1) y(-1). Average Hg concentrations were calculated from nine datasets for fresh tree leaves and ten datasets for litter, and a median concentration of 60.5 ng Hg g(-1) was considered for Hg deposition in litterfall, which averaged 49 ± 14 μg m(-2) yr(-1). This value was used to estimate that in the Amazonian rainforest, litterfall would be responsible for the annual removing of 268 ± 77 Mg of Hg, approximately 8% of the total atmospheric Hg deposition to land. The impact of the Amazon deforestation on the Hg biogeochemical cycle is also discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-08-15

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

  8. Asbestos pollution in an inactive mine: determination of asbestos fibers in the deposit tailings and water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koumantakis, Emmanouil; Kalliopi, Anastasiadou; Dimitrios, Kalderis; Gidarakos, Evangelos

    2009-08-15

    An inactive asbestos mine in Northern Greece, known as MABE, had been operational for 18 years, showing an annual chrysotile production of approximately 100,000 tons. It is estimated that a total of 68 million tons of the mineral serpentine were excavated from the mine, of which 881,000 tons of chrysotile asbestos were produced. The mine deposits are located very near to the river Aliakmonas. The water of the river is extensively used as drinking water, as well as for irrigation. This study estimated the amount of asbestos currently present in the deposits, to at least 1.33 million tons. This is a 10-fold increase since the start of mine operation in 1982. Water samples obtained throughout the river had high chrysotile concentrations, in most cases far exceeding EPA's standard value (7 x 10(6)f/l). Therefore, the mine and the deposits urgently require remediation works, such as removal of large contaminated objects from the mine buildings and re-vegetation of the deposit areas, in order to reduce the asbestos levels in the river water.

  9. 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.

  10. Characteristics and source appointment of atmospheric particulate mercury over East China Sea: Implication on the deposition of atmospheric particulate mercury in marine environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Lian; Cheng, Na; Xiu, Guangli; Wang, Fujiang; Chen, Ying

    2017-05-01

    Total Suspended Particulate (TSP) samples were collected at Huaniao Island in northern East China Sea (ECS) from March 2012 to January 2013. Chemical analysis were conducted to measure the concentration of total particulate mercury (TPM) and speciated particulate mercury including HCl-soluble particulate mercury (HPM), elemental particulate mercury (EPM) and residual particulate mercury (RPM). The bromine (Br) and iodine (I) on particles were also detected. The mean concentration of TPM during the study period was 0.23 ± 0.15 ng m -3 , while the obviously seasonal variation was found that the concentrations of TPM in spring, summer, fall and winter were 0.34 ± 0.20 ng m -3 , 0.15 ± 0.03 ng m -3 , 0.15 ± 0.05 ng m -3 and 0.27 ± 0.26 ng m -3 , respectively. The statistically strong correlation of bromine and iodine to HPM was only found in spring with r = 0.81 and 0.77 (p mercury due to the deposition of mercury over the sea. The cluster of air mass across the sea had low concentration of HPM in winter, which suggested that the oxidation of mercury in winter might be related to other oxidants. During the whole sampling period, the air mass from the north of China contributed to the higher concentration of TPM in Huaniao Island. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Distribution of mercury in vegetation at Almaden, Spain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huckabee, J.W.; Diaz, F.S.; Janzen, S.A.; Solomon, J.

    1983-03-01

    An ecological survey of the distribution of mercury in vegetation was initiated in 1975 in the vicinity of the mercury mine at Almaden, Spain. Samples were collected in autumn 1975, spring 1976, autumn 1976, and spring 1977, and chemical analyses for total mercury (..sigma.. Hg) were completed in 1979. Mean ..sigma.. Hg concentration in terrestrial plants ranged from > 100 ..mu..g g/sup -1/ within 0.5 km of the mine, to 0.20 ..mu..g g/sup -1/ 20 km distant from the mine. Different plant species had different concenrations of ..sigma.. Hg, but moss species usually had higher ..sigma.. Hg concentration than vascular plants. Woody plants were lower in ..sigma.. Hg concentration that forbs. Woody plants apparently accumulated ..sigma.. Hg primarily from atmospheric particulates. Traces of methylated mercury were detected in some plants. The ..sigma.. Hg concentrations in the 2483 vegetation samples reported here are much greater, even at distances of 25 km up-wind from the mine, than other reported ..sigma.. Hg values in comparable vegetation.

  14. Deposition of mercury in forests across a montane elevation gradient: Elevational and seasonal patterns in methylmercury inputs and production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerson, Jacqueline R.; Driscoll, Charles T.; Demers, Jason D.; Sauer, Amy K.; Blackwell, Bradley D.; Montesdeoca, Mario R.; Shanley, James B.; Ross, Donald S.

    2017-01-01

    Global mercury contamination largely results from direct primary atmospheric and secondary legacy emissions, which can be deposited to ecosystems, converted to methylmercury, and bioaccumulated along food chains. We examined organic horizon soil samples collected across an elevational gradient on Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondack region of New York State, USA to determine spatial patterns in methylmercury concentrations across a forested montane landscape. We found that soil methylmercury concentrations were highest in the midelevation coniferous zone (0.39 ± 0.07 ng/g) compared to the higher elevation alpine zone (0.28 ± 0.04 ng/g) and particularly the lower elevation deciduous zone (0.17 ± 0.02 ng/g), while the percent of total mercury as methylmercury in soils decreased with elevation. We also found a seasonal pattern in soil methylmercury concentrations, with peak methylmercury values occurring in July. Given elevational patterns in temperature and bioavailable total mercury (derived from mineralization of soil organic matter), soil methylmercury concentrations appear to be driven by soil processing of ionic Hg, as opposed to atmospheric deposition of methylmercury. These methylmercury results are consistent with spatial patterns of mercury concentrations in songbird species observed from other studies, suggesting that future declines in mercury emissions could be important for reducing exposure of mercury to montane avian species.

  15. Atmospheric Mercury Concentrations Near Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir - Phase 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. L. Abbott

    2005-10-01

    Elemental and reactive gaseous mercury (EGM/RGM) were measured in ambient air concentrations over a two-week period in July/August 2005 near Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir, a popular fishery located 50 km southwest of Twin Falls, Idaho. A fish consumption advisory for mercury was posted at the reservoir in 2002 by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. The air measurements were part of a multi-media (water, sediment, precipitation, air) study initiated by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 to identify potential sources of mercury contamination to the reservoir. The sampling site is located about 150 km northeast of large gold mining operations in Nevada, which are known to emit large amounts of mercury to the atmosphere (est. 2,200 kg/y from EPA 2003 Toxic Release Inventory). The work was co-funded by the Idaho National Laboratory’s Community Assistance Program and has a secondary objective to better understand mercury inputs to the environment near the INL, which lies approximately 230 km to the northeast. Sampling results showed that both EGM and RGM concentrations were significantly elevated (~ 30 – 70%, P<0.05) compared to known regional background concentrations. Elevated short-term RGM concentrations (the primary form that deposits) were likely due to atmospheric oxidation of high EGM concentrations, which suggests that EGM loading from upwind sources could increase Hg deposition in the area. Back-trajectory analyses indicated that elevated EGM and RGM occurred when air parcels came out of north-central and northeastern Nevada. One EGM peak occurred when the air parcels came out of northwestern Utah. Background concentrations occurred when the air was from upwind locations in Idaho (both northwest and northeast). Based on 2003 EPA Toxic Release Inventory data, it is likely that most of the observed peaks were from Nevada gold mine sources. Emissions from known large natural mercury

  16. Dark Material at the Surface of Polar Crater Deposits on Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Gregory A.; Cavanaugh, John F.; Sun, Xiaoli; Mazarico, Erwan; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Solomon, Sean C.; Paige, Daid A.

    2012-01-01

    Earth-based radar measurements [1-3] have yielded images of radar-bright material at the poles of Mercury postulated to be near-surface water ice residing in cold traps on the permanently shadowed floors of polar impact craters. The Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA) on board the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft has now mapped much of the north polar region of Mercury [4] (Fig. 1). Radar-bright zones lie within polar craters or along poleward-facing scarps lying mainly in shadow. Calculations of illumination with respect to solid-body motion [5] show that at least 0.5% of the surface area north of 75deg N lies in permanent shadow, and that most such permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) coincide with radar-bright regions. MLA transmits a 1064-nm-wavelength laser pulse at 8 Hz, timing the leading and trailing edges of the return pulse. MLA can in some cases infer energy and thereby surface reflectance at the laser wavelength from the returned pulses. Surficial exposures of water ice would be optically brighter than the surroundings, but persistent surface water ice would require temperatures over all seasons to remain extremely low (Mercury s eccentric orbit, 3:2 spin-orbit resonance, and near-zero obliquity generally do not support such conditions in all permanently shadowed craters but suggest that water ice buried near the surface ( 1 Gy. We describe measurements of reflectivity derived from MLA pulse returns. These reflectivity data show that surface materials in the shadowed regions are darker than their surroundings, enough to strongly attenuate or extinguish laser returns. Such measurements appear to rule out widespread surface exposures of water ice. We consider explanations for the apparent low reflectivity of these regions involving other types of volatile deposit.

  17. Uranium solution mining cost estimating technique: means for rapid comparative analysis of deposits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1978-01-01

    Twelve graphs provide a technique for determining relative cost ranges for uranium solution mining projects. The use of the technique can provide a consistent framework for rapid comparative analysis of various properties of mining situations. The technique is also useful to determine the sensitivities of cost figures to incremental changes in mining factors or deposit characteristics

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Ensuring the Environmental and Industrial Safety in Solid Mineral Deposit Surface Mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trubetskoy, Kliment; Rylnikova, Marina; Esina, Ekaterina

    2017-11-01

    The growing environmental pressure of mineral deposit surface mining and severization of industrial safety requirements dictate the necessity of refining the regulatory framework governing safe and efficient development of underground resources. The applicable regulatory documentation governing the procedure of ore open-pit wall and bench stability design for the stage of pit reaching its final boundary was issued several decades ago. Over recent decades, mining and geomechanical conditions have changed significantly in surface mining operations, numerous new software packages and computer developments have appeared, opportunities of experimental methods of source data collection and processing, grounding of the permissible parameters of open pit walls have changed dramatically, and, thus, methods of risk assessment have been perfected [10-13]. IPKON RAS, with the support of the Federal Service for Environmental Supervision, assumed the role of the initiator of the project for the development of Federal norms and regulations of industrial safety "Rules for ensuring the stability of walls and benches of open pits, open-cast mines and spoil banks", which contribute to the improvement of economic efficiency and safety of mineral deposit surface mining and enhancement of the competitiveness of Russian mines at the international level that is very important in the current situation.

  1. Critical elements in Carlin, epithermal, and orogenic gold deposits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldfarb, Richard J.; Hofstra, Albert H.; Simmons, Stuart F.

    2016-01-01

    Carlin, epithermal, and orogenic gold deposits, today mined almost exclusively for their gold content, have similar suites of anomalous trace elements that reflect similar low-salinity ore fluids and thermal conditions of metal transport and deposition. Many of these trace elements are commonly referred to as critical or near-critical elements or metals and have been locally recovered, although typically in small amounts, by historic mining activities. These elements include As, Bi, Hg, In, Sb, Se, Te, Tl, and W. Most of these elements are now solely recovered as by-products from the milling of large-tonnage, base metal-rich ore deposits, such as porphyry and volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits.A combination of dominance of the world market by a single country for a single commodity and a growing demand for many of the critical to near-critical elements could lead to future recovery of such elements from select epithermal, orogenic, or Carlin-type gold deposits. Antimony continues to be recovered from some orogenic gold deposits and tellurium could potentially be a primary commodity from some such deposits. Tellurium and indium in sphalerite-rich ores have been recovered in the past and could be future commodities recovered from epithermal ores. Carlin-type gold deposits in Nevada are enriched in and may be a future source for As, Hg, Sb, and/or Tl. Some of the Devonian carbonaceous host rocks in the Carlin districts are sufficiently enriched in many trace elements, including Hg, Se, and V, such that they also could become resources. Thallium may be locally enriched to economic levels in Carlin-type deposits and it has been produced from Carlin-like deposits elsewhere in the world (e.g., Alsar, southern Macedonia; Lanmuchang, Guizhou province, China). Mercury continues to be recovered from shallow-level epithermal deposits, as well as a by-product of many Carlin-type deposits where refractory ore is roasted to oxidize carbon and pyrite, and mercury is then

  2. 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

  3. The fate of Mercury in Arctic regions: New understanding of atmospheric chemical processes and mercury stability in snow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffen, A.; Ferrari, C.; Dommergue, A.; Scherz, T.; Lawson, G.; Leiatch, R.

    2006-12-01

    Mercury is a known toxic pollutant in the Arctic environment. Atmospheric mercury depletion events (AMDEs) have been studied in the Arctic since 1995. While advances in understanding this newly discovered cycling of mercury in the atmosphere have been made, much of the chemistry and the impact of this annually reoccurring event to the Arctic ecosystem are not well understood. Four years of continuous measurements at Alert, Canada of so-called reactive gaseous mercury (RGM) and mercury associated to particles (PHg) coupled with ongoing snow sampling have produced new information on the atmospheric chemistry and deposition of these mercury species to the Arctic. A distinct pattern during the springtime period in the distribution of these atmospheric mercury species has emerged. This pattern is characterized by the predominance of PHg concentration at the onset of the AMDEs. During the latter part of the AMDE season, there is an obvious swicth in the speciation of mercury to RGM as the main component during AMDEs. This swicth from PHg to RGM is clearly linked to a significant increase of mercury in the snow. In addition, concentrations of PHg are clearly linked with particles in the air that are primarily associated with Arctic haze. Recently, similar results have also been observed in Ny-Alesund (Svalbard). Further observations indicate that once deposited, the deposited mercury appears to evolve chemically in the snow. This change in mercury may impact the transfer of mercury to the environment during snow melt. These first time observed links between atmospheric conditions and subsequent deposition of mercury may help to ascertain the conditions throughout the Arctic as to when significant deposition of mercury will occur. It is proposed that should the concentration of atmospheric particles increase in the Arctic due to long range transport from emission sources, an increase in the deposition of mercury to this environment will increase during the springtime

  4. External quality-assurance project report for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network and Mercury Deposition Network, 2009-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetherbee, Gregory A.; Martin, RoseAnn; Rhodes, Mark F.; Chesney, Tanya A.

    2014-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey operated six distinct programs to provide external quality-assurance monitoring for the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network (NTN) and Mercury Deposition Network (MDN) during 2009–2010. The field-audit program assessed the effects of onsite exposure, sample handling, and shipping on the chemistry of NTN samples; a system-blank program assessed the same effects for MDN. Two interlaboratory-comparison programs assessed the bias and variability of the chemical analysis data from the Central Analytical Laboratory (CAL) and Mercury (Hg) Analytical Laboratory (HAL). The blind-audit program was also implemented for the MDN to evaluate analytical bias in total Hg concentration data produced by the HAL. The co-located-sampler program was used to identify and quantify potential shifts in NADP data resulting from replacement of original network instrumentation with new electronic recording rain gages (E-gages) and precipitation collectors that use optical sensors. The results indicate that NADP data continue to be of sufficient quality for the analysis of spatial distributions and time trends of chemical constituents in wet deposition across the United States. Results also suggest that retrofit of the NADP networks with the new precipitation collectors could cause –8 to +14 percent shifts in NADP annual precipitation-weighted mean concentrations and total deposition values for ammonium, nitrate, sulfate, and hydrogen ion, and larger shifts (+13 to +74 percent) for calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and chloride. The prototype N-CON Systems bucket collector is more efficient in the catch of precipitation in winter than Aerochem Metrics Model 301 collector, especially for light snowfall.

  5. A economic evaluation system software on in-situ leaching mining sandstone uranium deposits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yao Yixuan; Su Xuebin; Xie Weixing; Que Weimin

    2001-01-01

    The author presents the study results of applying computer technology to evaluate quantitatively the technical-economic feasibility of in-situ leaching mining sandstone uranium deposits. A computer system software have been developed. Under specifying deposit conditions and given production size per year, the application of the software will generate total capital and mine life operating costs as well as solve for the movable and static financial assessment targets through discounted cash flow analysis. According to the characters of two kinds of sandstone uranium deposits, a data bases of economic and technique parameters of in-situ leaching have been designed. Also the system software can be used to study the economic value of deposits and to optimize the key project parameters. Its features, data input method and demand, main functions, structure and operating environments are described

  6. Mining the high grade McArthur River uranium deposit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jamieson, B.W.

    2002-01-01

    The McArthur River deposit, discovered in 1988, is recognized as the world's largest, highest grade uranium deposit, with current mineable reserves containing 255 million lb U 3 O 8 at an average grade of 17.33% U 3 O 8 . In addition the project has resources of 228 million pounds U 3 O 8 averaging 12.02% U 3 O 8 . Mining this high-grade ore body presents serious challenges in controlling radiation and in dealing with high water pressures. Experience from the underground exploration programme has provided the information needed to plan the safe mining of the massive Pelite ore zone, which represents the most significant source of ore discovered during the underground drilling programme, with 220 million pounds of U 3 O 8 at an average grade in excess of 17%. Non-entry mining will be used in the high-grade ore zones. Raise boring will be the primary method to safely extract the ore, with all underground development in waste rock to provide radiation shielding. Water will be controlled by grouting and perimeter freezing. The ore cuttings from the raise boring will be ground underground and pumped to surface as slurry, at an average daily production of 150 tonnes. The slurry will be transported to the Key Lake mill and diluted to 4% before processing. The annual production is projected to be 18 million lb U 3 O 8 . The paper focuses on the activities undertaken since discovery, including the initiation of the raise bore mining method utilized to safely mine this high grade ore body. Radiation protection, environmental protection and worker health and safety are discussed in terms of both design and practical implementation. (author)

  7. The Crownpoint and Churchrock uranium deposits, San Juan Basin, New Mexico: An ISL mining perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCarn, D.W.

    2001-01-01

    The Crownpoint and Churchrock uranium deposits, San Juan Basin, New Mexico are currently being developed by Uranium Resources, Inc. (URI) and its subsidiary Hydro Resources, Inc. (HRI) with an anticipated start-up in 1998. Both deposits will be developed using advanced in situ leach (ISL) mining techniques. URI/HRI currently has about 14,583 t U (37.834 million pounds U 3 O 8 ) of estimated recoverable reserves at Crownpoint and Churchrock. at a cost less than $39/kg U ($15/lb U 3 O 8 ). The uranium endowment of the San Juan Basin is the largest of any province in the USA. In March, 1997, a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Crownpoint and Churchrock sites was completed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which recommends the issuance of an operating license. The FEIS is the culmination of a 9 year effort to license and develop the deposits. The Westwater Canyon Member of the Jurassic Morrison Formation is an arkosic, fine to coarse grained sandstone bounded by near basinwide confining clays deposited in a wet alluvial fan environment within the San Juan Basin. The primary, trend-ore deposits are hosted by the Westwater Canyon Member as humate-rich, syngenetic tabular deposits which were subsequently remobilized into roll fronts. Since deposition in the Jurassic, two phases of remobilization have occurred in the basin causing the formation of in situ leach amenable monometallic uranium rolls free of organic debris. Following in situ mining, ground water restoration of the Crownpoint and Churchrock mines is required to provide a water quality consistent with pre-mining baseline conditions. The development of in situ mining offers an environmentally sound and cost-effective method for uranium extraction. URI/HRI anticipates a production of 385-1,156 Tonnes U/year (1-3 million pounds U 3 O 8 ) from the New Mexico properties. (author)

  8. Global Mercury Pathways in the Arctic Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahoutifard, N.; Lean, D.

    2003-12-01

    The sudden depletions of atmospheric mercury which occur during the Arctic spring are believed to involve oxidation of gaseous elemental mercury, Hg(0), rendering it less volatile and more soluble. The Hg(II) oxidation product(s) are more susceptible to deposition, consistent with the observation of dramatic increases in snow mercury levels during depletion events. Temporal correlations with ozone depletion events and the proliferation of BrO radicals support the hypothesis that oxidation of Hg(0) occurs in the gas phase and results in its conversion to RGM (Reactive Gaseous Mercury). The mechanisms of Hg(0) oxidation and particularly Hg(II) reduction are as yet unproven. In order to evaluate the feasibility of proposed chemical processes involving mercury in the Arctic atmosphere and its pathway after deposition on the snow from the air, we investigated mercury speciation in air and snow pack at Resolute, Nunavut, Canada (latitude 75° N) prior to and during snow melt during spring 2003. Quantitative, real-time information on emission, air transport and deposition were combined with experimental studies of the distribution and concentrations of different mercury species, methyl mercury, anions, total organic carbon and total inorganic carbon in snow samples. The effect of solar radiation and photoreductants on mercury in snow samples was also investigated. In this work, we quantify mercury removed from the air, and deposited on the snow and the transformation to inorganic and methyl mercury.

  9. Stream-sediment geochemistry in mining-impacted streams: Prichard, Eagle, and Beaver creeks, northern Coeur d'Alene Mining District, northern Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Box, Stephen E.; Wallis, John C.; Briggs, Paul H.; Brown, Zoe Ann

    2005-01-01

    This report presents the results of one aspect of an integrated watershed-characterization study that was undertaken to assess the impacts of historical mining and milling of silver-lead-zinc ores on water and sediment composition and on aquatic biota in streams draining the northern part of the Coeur d?Alene Mining District in northern Idaho. We present the results of chemical analyses of 62 samples of streambed sediment, 19 samples of suspended sediment, 23 samples of streambank soil, and 29 samples of mine- and mill-related artificial- fill material collected from the drainages of Prichard, Eagle, and Beaver Creeks, all tributaries to the North Fork of the Coeur d?Alene River. All samples were sieved into three grain-size fractions (Beaver Creek drainages has resulted in enrichments of lead, zinc, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, silver, copper, cobalt, and, to a lesser extent, iron and manganese in streambed sediment. Using samples collected from the relatively unimpacted West Fork of Eagle Creek as representative of background compositions, streambed sediment in the vicinity of the mines and millsites has Pb and Zn contents of 20 to 100 times background values, decreasing to 2 to 5 times background values at the mouth of the each stream, 15 to 20 km downstream. Lesser enrichments (<10 times background values) of mercury and arsenic also are generally associated with, and decrease downstream from, historical silver-lead-zinc mining in the drainages. However, enrichments of arsenic and, to a lesser extent, mercury also are areally associated with the lode gold deposits along Prichard Creek near Murray, which were not studied here. Metal contents in samples of unfractionated suspended sediment collected during a high-flow event in April 2000 are generally similar to, but slightly higher than, those in the fine (<0.063- mm grain size) fraction of streambed sediment from the same sampling site. Although metal enrichment in streambed sediment typically begins adjacent to

  10. 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

  11. A methodological toolkit for field assessments of artisanally mined alluvial diamond deposits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chirico, Peter G.; Malpeli, Katherine C.

    2014-01-01

    This toolkit provides a standardized checklist of critical issues relevant to artisanal mining-related field research. An integrated sociophysical geographic approach to collecting data at artisanal mine sites is outlined. The implementation and results of a multistakeholder approach to data collection, carried out in the assessment of Guinea’s artisanally mined diamond deposits, also are summarized. This toolkit, based on recent and successful field campaigns in West Africa, has been developed as a reference document to assist other government agencies or organizations in collecting the data necessary for artisanal diamond mining or similar natural resource assessments.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Mercury in contaminated coastal environments; a case study: the Gulf of Trieste.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horvat, M; Covelli, S; Faganeli, J; Logar, M; Mandić, V; Rajar, R; Sirca, A; Zagar, D

    1999-09-30

    Some general facts, uncertainties and gaps in current knowledge of Hg cycling in coastal and oceanic environments are given. As a case study the Gulf of Trieste is chosen. The Gulf is subject to substantial Hg pollution, originating from the Soca river, that drains the cinnabar deposits of the world's second largest Hg mining area, Idrija, Slovenia. The Gulf belongs to one of the most polluted areas in the Mediterranean. Apart from Hg problems, the Gulf is also a subject to industrial and sewage pollution. Due to deteriorating water quality in the Gulf there is a great concern that Hg can be remobilized from sediments to the water column as well as enhance methylation rates which may consequently increase already elevated Hg levels in aquatic organisms. The paper presents data from a recent study which aims to assess the extent of contamination of the Gulf of Trieste after the closure of the Hg mine. Mercury and methylmercury were measured in various environmental compartments (estuarine and marine waters, sediments, and organisms) during the period 1995-1997. Data obtained show that even 10 years after closure of the Hg mine, Hg concentrations in river sediments and water are still very high and did not show the expected decrease of Hg in the Gulf of Trieste. A provisional annual mercury mass balance was established for the Gulf of Trieste showing that the major source of inorganic mercury is still the River Soca (Isonzo) while the major source of methylmercury is the bottom sediment of the Gulf.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Why jurisdiction and uranium deposit type are essential considerations for exploration and mining of uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, D.

    2014-01-01

    Uranium is a relatively abundant element, being 25 times more common than silver, and having the same crustal abundance as tin. Economically minable uranium grades vary greatly, from a low of 0.01% U to over 20% U. What are the factors that allow mining of these very low grade ores that are only 50 times background concentrations? Why don’t the high grade deposits of the world exclusively supply all of the worlds newly mined uranium needs? There are two main reasons that the high grade deposits of the world do not exclusively supply all of the worlds newly mined uranium needs: 1) jurisdictional issues, the favorability or lack thereof of governmental policies where the deposit is located and the delays caused by an ineffective or corrupt policy and 2) the deposit type, which has a great influence on the recovery cost of the uranium. The quality of a deposit can override more difficult political jurisdictions if recovery of the investment occurs quickly and in an environmentally friendly way.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-02-15

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

  2. 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

  3. Mercury in Nordic ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Munthe, John; Waengberg, Ingvar (IVL Swedish Environmental Research Inst., Stockholm (SE)); Rognerud, Sigurd; Fjeld, Eirik (Norwegian Inst. for Water Research (NIVA), Oslo (Norway)); Verta, Matti; Porvari, Petri (Finnish Environment Inst. (SYKE), Helsinki (Finland)); Meili, Markus (Inst. of Applied Environmental Research (ITM), Stockholm (Sweden))

    2007-12-15

    This report provides a first comprehensive compilation and assessment of available data on mercury in air, precipitation, sediments and fish in the Nordic countries. The main conclusion is that mercury levels in Nordic ecosystems continue to be affected by long-range atmospheric transport. The geographical patterns of mercury concentrations in both sediments and fish are also strongly affected by ecosystem characteristics and in some regions possibly by historical pollution. An evaluation of geographical variations in mercury concentrations in precipitation indicates that the influence from anthropogenic sources from Central European areas is still significant. The annual variability of deposition is large and dependant of precipitation amounts. An evaluation of data from stations around the North Sea has indicated a significant decrease in mercury concentrations in precipitation indicating a continuous decrease of emissions in Europe (Waengberg et al., 2007). For mercury in air (TGM), the geographical pattern is less pronounced indicating the influence of mercury emissions and distribution over a larger geographical area (i.e. hemispherical transport). Comparison of recent (surficial) and historical lake sediments show significantly elevated concentrations of mercury most likely caused by anthropogenic atmospheric deposition over the past century. The highest pollution impact was observed in the coastal areas of southern Norway, in south western Finland and in Sweden from the coastal areas in the southwest across the central parts to the north-east. The general increase in recent versus old sediments was 2-5 fold. Data on mercury in Nordic freshwater fish was assembled and evaluated with respect to geographical variations. The fish data were further compared with temporal and spatial trends in mercury deposition and mercury contamination of lake sediments in order to investigate the coupling between atmospheric transport and deposition of mercury and local mercury

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 14C-AMS as a tool for the investigation of mercury deposition at a remote Amazon location

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barbosa, J.A.; Cordeiro, R.C.; Silva, E.V.; Turcq, B.; Gomes, P.R.S.; Santos, G.M.; Sifedinne, A.; Albuquerque, A.L.S.; Lacerda, L.D.; Hausladen, P.A.; Tims, S.G.; Levchenko, V.A.; Fifield, L.K.

    2004-01-01

    We present results of the atmospheric mercury deposition rate in the Amazon region during the last 43 000 years. Lake sediment samples were collected from the Lagoa da Pata, a small and remote lake in northern Brazilian Amazon. The samples were divided in sub-samples, for C, Hg, N and 14 C-AMS analyses. Three main paleoclimatic events could be identified. The mercury accumulation rates were found to be larger during the periods of the Holocene and Pleistocene associated with high temperatures and frequency of forest fires

  7. Trends in mercury wet deposition and mercury air concentrations across the U.S. and Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss-Penzias, Peter S.; Gay, David A.; Brigham, Mark E.; Parsons, Matthew T.; Gustin, Mae S.; ter Shure, Arnout

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the spatial and temporal trends of mercury (Hg) in wet deposition and air concentrations in the United States (U.S.) and Canada between 1997 and 2013. Data were obtained from the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) and Environment Canada monitoring networks, and other sources. Of the 19 sites with data records from 1997–2013, 53% had significant negative trends in Hg concentration in wet deposition, while no sites had significant positive trends, which is in general agreement with earlier studies that considered NADP data up until about 2010. However, for the time period 2007–2013 (71 sites), 17% and 13% of the sites had significant positive and negative trends, respectively, and for the time period 2008–2013 (81 sites) 30% and 6% of the sites had significant positive and negative trends, respectively. Non-significant positive tendencies were also widespread. Regional trend analyses revealed significant positive trends in Hg concentration in the Rocky Mountains, Plains, and Upper Midwest regions for the recent time periods in addition to significant positive trends in Hg deposition for the continent as a whole. Sulfate concentration trends in wet deposition were negative in all regions, suggesting a lower importance of local Hg sources. The trend in gaseous elemental Hg from short-term datasets merged as one continuous record was broadly consistent with trends in Hg concentration in wet deposition, with the early time period (1998–2007) producing a significantly negative trend (− 1.5 ± 0.2% year− 1) and the recent time period (2008–2013) displaying a flat slope (− 0.3 ± 0.1% year− 1, not significant). The observed shift to more positive or less negative trends in Hg wet deposition primarily seen in the Central-Western regions is consistent with the effects of rising Hg emissions from regions outside the U.S. and Canada and the influence of long-range transport in the free troposphere.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Plant succession patterns on residual open-pit gravel mines deposits Bogota

    OpenAIRE

    Ricardo A. Mora Goyes

    1999-01-01

    Based on both: the study of composition and structure of plant communities and the analysis of the physico-chemical characteristics of mining wastes, the initial patterns of primary succession were determined. These patterns were present in three deposits of waste material abandoned during 18, 36 and 120 months respectively. Sue materials were originated in open-pit gravel mines located to the south of Bogota (Colombia). This study pretends to contribute to the knowledge of the meehanlsms of ...

  11. ECHMERIT: A new on-line global mercury-chemistry model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, G.; Hedgecock, I. M.; Pirrone, N.

    2009-04-01

    Mercury is a volatile metal, that is of concern because when deposited and transformed to methylmercury accumulates within the food-web. Due to the long lifetime of elemental mercury, which is the dominant fraction of mercury species in the atmosphere, mercury is prone to long-range transport and therefore distributed over the globe, transported and hence deposited even in regions far from anthropogenic emission sources. Mercury is released to the atmosphere from a variety of natural and anthropogenic sources, in elementary and oxidised forms, and as particulate mercury. It is then transported, but also transformed chemically in the gaseous phase, as well as in aqueous phase within cloud and rain droplets. Mercury (particularly its oxidised forms) is removed from the atmosphere though wet and dry deposition processes, a large fraction of deposited mercury is, after chemical or biological reduction, re-emitted to the atmosphere as elementary mercury. To investigate mercury chemistry and transport processes on the global scale, the new, global model ECHMERIT has been developed. ECHMERIT simulates meteorology, transport, deposition, photolysis and chemistry on-line. The general circulation model on which ECHMERIT is based is ECHAM5. Sophisticated chemical modules have been implemented, including gas phase chemistry based on the CBM-Z chemistry mechanism, as well as aqueous phase chemistry, both of which have been adapted to include Hg chemistry and Hg species gas-droplet mass transfer. ECHMERIT uses the fast-J photolysis routine. State-of-the-art procedures simulating wet and dry deposition and emissions were adapted and included in the model as well. An overview of the model structure, development, validation and sensitivity studies is presented.

  12. 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 %).

  13. Lung Deposition Calculations for Radioactive Aerosol Particles Originating from Caves and Uranium Mines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alfoldy, B.; Torok, Sz.; Winkler, R.

    2001-01-01

    Full text: The present study simulates lung deposition of radioactive aerosol particles originating from the atmosphere of a therapeutic cave (Szemlohegyi cave, Budapest) and several uranium mines. Particle deposition patterns and surface densities have been calculated by the stochastic lung model of Koblinger and Hofmann. In the model, deposition can be caused by the simultaneous effects of Brownian motion, inertial impaction and gravitational settling. The calculations were carried out by considering the aerosol particle size distribution and radon concentration of the atmosphere of the cave and mines. The deposition was computed in the whole lung, in characteristic parts of the respiratory system such as extrathoracic, tracheobronchial, acinar and alveolar regions and in the singe airway generations at different flow rates for adults. The adverse health effects of inhaled radionuclides strongly depend from the local deposition density values in cellular dimensions. Thus we will built in the results to a cellular effects model of Balashazy and Hofmann for the simulation of the pathological effects of inhaled radionuclides for risk assessment. (author)

  14. [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.

  15. The influence of the mining operation on the mine seismicity of Vorkuta coal deposit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zmushko, T.; Turuntaev, S. B.; Kulikov, V. I.

    2012-04-01

    The mine seismicity of Vorkuta coal deposit was analyzed. Seismic network consisting of 24 seismic sensors (accelerometers) cover the area of "Komsomolskaya" and "North" mines of Vorkuta deposit. Also there is seismic station of IDG RAS with three-component seismometer near this mines for better defining energy of the seismic events. The catalogs of seismic events contain 9000 and 7000 events with maximum magnitude M=2.3 for "Komsomolskaya" and "North" mines respectively and include the period from 01.09.2008 to 01.09.2011. The b-value of the magnitude-frequency relation was -1.0 and -1.15 respectively for the mines, meanwhile b-value for the nature seismicity was -0,9. It was found, that the number of seismic events per hour during mine combine operation is higher in 2.5 times than the number of seismic events during the break in the operation. Also, the total energy of the events per hour during the operation is higher in 3-5 times than during the break. The study showed, that the number and the energy of the seismic events relate with the hours of mine combine operation. The spatial distribution of the seismic events showed, that 80% of all events and 85% of strong events (M>1.6) were located in and near the longwall under development during the mine combine operations as well asduring the breaks. The isoclines of seismic event numbers proved that the direction of motion of the boundary of seismic events extension coincides with the direction of development, the maximum number of events for any period lies within the wall under operation. The rockburst with M=2.3 occurring at the North mine at July 16, 2011 was considered. The dependences of the energy and of the number of events with different magnitudes on the time showed that the number of events with M=1 and especially M=0.5 before the rockburst decreased, which corresponds to the prognostic seismic quietness, described in the research works. The spatial distribution of the events for the 6 month before the

  16. 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.

  17. Spatial patterns and temporal trends in mercury concentrations, precipitation depths, and mercury wet deposition in the North American Great Lakes region, 2002–2008

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Risch, Martin R.; Gay, David A.; Fowler, Kathleen K.; Keeler, Gerard J.; Backus, Sean M.; Blanchard, Pierrette; Barres, James A.; Dvonch, J. Timothy

    2012-01-01

    Annual and weekly mercury (Hg) concentrations, precipitation depths, and Hg wet deposition in the Great Lakes region were analyzed by using data from 5 monitoring networks in the USA and Canada for a 2002–2008 study period. High-resolution maps of calculated annual data, 7-year mean data, and net interannual change for the study period were prepared to assess spatial patterns. Areas with 7-year mean annual Hg concentrations higher than the 12 ng per liter water-quality criterion were mapped in 4 states. Temporal trends in measured weekly data were determined statistically. Monitoring sites with significant 7-year trends in weekly Hg wet deposition were spatially separated and were not sites with trends in weekly Hg concentration. During 2002–2008, Hg wet deposition was found to be unchanged in the Great Lakes region and its subregions. Any small decreases in Hg concentration apparently were offset by increases in precipitation. - Highlights: ► Data from 5 Hg and precipitation networks in the USA and Canada were combined for the first time. ► High-resolution maps and statistical trends tests were used for spatial and temporal data analysis. ► Some 7-year mean annual Hg concentrations exceeded a 12 ng per liter water-quality criterion. ► Small, localized decreases in Hg concentration were offset by increases in precipitation. ► Hg wet deposition was unchanged in the Great Lakes region and its subregions during 2002–2008. - Analysis of monitoring data from 5 networks in the USA and Canada determined that mercury wet deposition was unchanged in the North American Great Lakes region during 2002–2008.

  18. Assessment of mercury exposure and malaria in a Brazilian Amazon riverine community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crompton, Peter; Ventura, Ana Maria; Souza, Jose Maria de; Santos, Elisabeth; Strickland, G. Thomas; Silbergeld, Ellen

    2002-01-01

    Small-scale gold mining in the Brazilian Amazon occurs in areas with high rates of malaria transmission. Amazonian populations can be exposed to mercury through direct contact with the mining process and/or through fish consumption. Because of data from experimental studies, we examined the potential for mercury to affect host response to malaria. A cross-sectional survey was done in Jacareacanga, a riverine community in Para state, in a region of intense alluvial gold mining. A sample of 205 persons was selected by cluster sampling from the total population of approximately 2000. A brief medical history and exam were conducted, malaria slides were obtained, and air samples were taken to measure mercury levels. The average hair mercury level was 8.6 μg/g, ranging from 0.3 to 83.2 μg/g. The most important predictors of elevated mercury levels were high fish consumption and low income. Although there was no prevalent malaria, the odds of reporting a past malaria infection was four times higher for those also reporting a history of working with mercury

  19. Gaseous Oxidized Mercury Dry Deposition Measurements in the FourCorners Area and Eastern Oklahoma, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM) dry deposition measurements using surrogate surface passive samplers were collected in the Four Corners area and eastern Oklahoma from August, 2009–August, 2011. Using data from a six site area network, a characterization of the magnitude and spatia...

  20. Microbial N and P mining regulates the effect of N deposition on soil organic matter turnover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Nele; Welp, Gerhard; Rodionov, Andrei; Borchard, Nils; Martius, Christopher; Amelung, Wulf

    2017-04-01

    Nitrogen (N) deposition to soils has become a global issue during the last decades. Its effect on mineralization of soil organic carbon (SOC), however, is still debated. Common theories based on Liebig's law predict higher SOC mineralization rates in nutrient-rich than in nutrient-poor soils. Contrastingly, the concept of microbial N mining predicts lower mineralization rates after N deposition. The latter is explained by ceased decomposition of recalcitrant soil organic matter (SOM) as the need of microbes to acquire N from this pool decreases. As N deposition might shift the nutrient balance towards relative phosphorus (P) deficiency, it is also necessary to consider P mining in this context. Due to limited knowledge about microbial nutrient mining, any predictions of N deposition effects are difficult. This study aims at elucidating the preconditions under which microbial nutrient mining occurs in soil. We hypothesized that the occurrence of N and P mining is controlled by the current nutrient status of the soil. Likewise, soils might respond differently to N additions. To investigate this hypothesis, we conducted substrate-induced respiration measurements on soils with pronounced gradients of N and P availability. We used topsoil samples taken repeatedly from a site which was up to 7 years under bare fallow (Selhausen, Germany) and up to 4 m deep tropical forest soils (Kalimantan, Indonesia). Additional nutrient manipulations (glucose, glucose+N, glucose+P, glucose+N+P additions) were conducted to study the effect of nutrient additions. Samples were incubated for one month. We further conducted 13C labeling experiments to trace the sources of CO2 (sugar vs. SOM derived CO2) for further hints on nutrient mining. Mineralization of glucose was limited by a lack of available N in the bare fallow soil but microbes were able to slowly acquire N from previously unavailable pools. This resulted in a slightly higher release of native SOM-derived CO2 compared to N

  1. The effect of mercury deposition to ecosystem around coal-power plants in Tan-An peninsular, S. Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Y.; Lee, J.; Song, K.; Shin, S.; Han, J.; Hong, E.; Jung, G.

    2009-12-01

    According to UNEP’s Report in 2008, Korea is one of the largest mercury emitting country with emission amount of 32 tones and the contribution of stationary coal combustion is estimated around 59%, as one of major mercury emission sources. There are growing needs of ecosystem mercury monitoring to evaluate the effectiveness on mercury emission controls by regulations. Thus, the aim of this study was to identify the useful monitoring indicators by comparing mercury levels of various environmental matrices in different ecosystems. Tae-an coal power plant, located on the west coastal of Korea is selected for study sites since it is one of the largest coal power plant in Korea with 4000 MW capacities. We chose 2 reservoirs near to Tae-an coal power plant and 2 others in An-myeon and Baeg-ryeong island for control study. Total gaseous mercury of ambient air was 3.6, 4.5 and 1.2 ng/m3 for Tae-an, An-myeon and Baeg-ryeong sites, respectively. From these results, we investigated and compared total mercury and methylmercury concentrations in surface water, soil, sediment, leaves and freshwater fish between reservoirs, which were known for the indicators of mercury atmospheric deposition. Estimates for the potential rates of methylation and activities of sulfur reducing bacteria were also made by injection radioactive isotopes of 203Hg and 35S. Potential methylation rate and acid volatile sulfide formation potential were dramatically changed by depth and maximum values were found in the top sediment section.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  4. Isolation of Mercury-Resistant Fungi from Mercury-Contaminated Agricultural Soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reginawanti Hindersah

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Illegal gold mining and the resulting gold mine tailing ponds on Buru Island in Maluku, Indonesia have increased Mercury (Hg levels in agricultural soil and caused massive environmental damage. High levels of Hg in soil lowers plant productivity and threatens the equilibrium of the food web. One possible method of handling Hg-contaminated soils is through bioremediation, which could eliminate Hg from the rhizosphere (root zone. In this study, indigenous fungi isolated from Hg-contaminated soil exhibited Hg-resistance in vitro. Soil samples were collected from the rhizosphere of pioneer plants which grew naturally in areas contaminated with gold mine tailing. The fungi’s capacity for Hg-resistance was confirmed by their better growth in chloramphenicol-boosted potato dextrose agar media which contained various HgCl2 concentrations. Four isolates exhibited resistance of up to 25 mg kg−1 of Hg, and in an experiment with young Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. test plants, two fungi species (including Aspergillus were demonstrated to increase the soil’s availability of Hg. The results suggest that Hg-resistant indigenous fungi can mobilize mercury in the soil and serve as potential bioremediation agents for contaminated agricultural land.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  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 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.

  10. Plant succession patterns on residual open-pit gravel mines deposits Bogota

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo A. Mora Goyes

    1999-07-01

    Full Text Available Based on both: the study of composition and structure of plant communities and the analysis of the physico-chemical characteristics of mining wastes, the initial patterns of primary succession were determined. These patterns were present in three deposits of waste material abandoned during 18, 36 and 120 months respectively. Sue materials were originated in open-pit gravel mines located to the south of Bogota (Colombia. This study pretends to contribute to the knowledge of the meehanlsms of natural restauration of tropical ecosystems subjected to man-borne degradation.

  11. Trade-Induced Atmospheric Mercury Deposition over China and Implications for Demand-Side Controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Long; Meng, Jing; Liang, Sai; Zhang, Haoran; Zhang, Wei; Liu, Maodian; Tong, Yindong; Wang, Huanhuan; Wang, Wei; Wang, Xuejun; Shu, Jiong

    2018-02-20

    Mercury (Hg) is of global concern because of its adverse effects on humans and the environment. In addition to long-range atmospheric transport, Hg emissions can be geographically relocated through economic trade. Here, we investigate the effect of China's interregional trade on atmospheric Hg deposition over China, using an atmospheric transport model and multiregional input-output analysis. In general, total atmospheric Hg deposition over China is 408.8 Mg yr -1 , and 32% of this is embodied in China's interregional trade, with the hotspots occurring over Gansu, Henan, Hebei, and Yunnan provinces. Interprovincial trade considerably redistributes atmospheric Hg deposition over China, with a range in deposition flux from -104% to +28%. Developed regions, such as the Yangtze River Delta (Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang) and Guangdong, avoid Hg deposition over their geographical boundaries, instead causing additional Hg deposition over developing provinces. Bilateral interaction among provinces is strong over some regions, suggesting a need for joint mitigation, such as the Jing-Jin-Ji region (Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei) and the Yangtze River Delta. Transferring advanced technology from developed regions to their developing trade partners would be an effective measure to mitigate China's Hg pollution. Our findings are relevant to interprovincial efforts to reduce trans-boundary Hg pollution in China.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Small-scale gold miners in Ghana have been using mercury to amalgamate gold for many years. Mercury is toxic even at low concentration. We assessed occupational exposure of small-scale gold miners to mercury in Prestea, a gold mining town in Ghana . We conducted a cross-sectional study in which we collected morning urine samples from 343 small-scale gold miners and tested for elemental mercury. Data on small-scale gold miner's socio-demographics, adverse health effects and occupational factors for mercury exposure were obtained and analyzed using SPSS Version 16 to determine frequency and percentage. Bivariate analysis was used to determine occupational factors associated with mercury exposure at 95% confidence level. The mean age of the small-scale gold miners was 29.5 ±9.6 years, and 323(94.20%) were males. One hundred and sixty (46.65%) of the small-scale gold miners had urine mercury above the recommended exposure limit (mercury exposure among those who have previously worked at other small-scale gold mines (χ 2 =4.96, p=0.03). The use of personal protective equipment among the small-scale gold miners was low. Retorts, which are globally recommended for burning amalgam, were not found at mining sites. A large proportion of small-scale gold miners in Prestea were having mercury exposure in excess of occupational exposure limits, and are at risk of experiencing adverse health related complications. Ghana Environmental Protection Agency should organize training for the miners.

  13. 40 CFR 440.40 - Applicability; description of the mercury ore subcategory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... mercury ore subcategory. 440.40 Section 440.40 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) EFFLUENT GUIDELINES AND STANDARDS ORE MINING AND DRESSING POINT SOURCE CATEGORY Mercury Ore Subcategory § 440.40 Applicability; description of the mercury ore subcategory. The provisions of subpart D...

  14. Mobility and contamination assessment of mercury in coal fly ash, atmospheric deposition, and soil collected from Tianjin, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Zheng; Wu, Guanghong; Su, Ruixian; Li, Congwei; Liang, Peiyu

    2011-09-01

    Samples of class F coal fly ash (levels I, II, and III), slag, coal, atmospheric deposition, and soils collected from Tianjin, China, were analyzed using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Method 3052 and a sequential extraction procedure, to investigate the pollution status and mobility of Hg. The results showed that total mercury (HgT) concentrations were higher in level I fly ash (0.304 µg/g) than in level II and level III fly ash and slag (0.142, 0.147, and 0.052 µg/g, respectively). Total Hg in the atmospheric deposition was higher during the heating season (0.264 µg/g) than the nonheating season (0.135 µg/g). Total Hg contents were higher in suburban area soils than in rural and agricultural areas. High HgT concentrations in suburban area soils may be a result of the deposition of Hg associated with particles emitted from coal-fired power plants. Mercury in fly ash primarily existed as elemental Hg, which accounted for 90.1, 85.3, and 90.6% of HgT in levels I, II, and III fly ash, respectively. Mercury in the deposition existed primarily as sulfide Hg, which accounted for 73.8% (heating season) and 74.1% (nonheating season) of HgT. However, Hg in soils existed primarily as sulfide Hg, organo-chelated Hg and elemental Hg, which accounted for 37.8 to 50.0%, 31.7 to 41.8%, and 13.0 to 23.9% of HgT, respectively. The percentage of elemental Hg in HgT occurred in the order fly ash > atmospheric deposition > soils, whereas organo-chelated Hg and sulfide Hg occurred in the opposite order. The present approach can provide a window for understanding and tracing the source of Hg in the environment in Tianjin and the risk associated with Hg bioaccessibility. Copyright © 2011 SETAC.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clark, Heather F.; Benoit, Gaboury

    2009-01-01

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

  16. The Application of Borehole Seismic Techniques in Mine Development at the Millennium Uranium Deposit, Northern Saskatchewan, Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wood, G.; O’Dowd, C., E-mail: garnet_wood@cameco.com [Cameco Corporation, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Canada); Cosma, C.; Enescu, N. [Vibrometric Canada Ltd., Toronto, Ontario (Canada)

    2014-05-15

    The Millennium uranium deposit is located within the Athabasca Basin of northern Saskatchewan, Canada. The deposit is situated in metasedimentary rocks, is controlled by multiple sub-vertical faults, and crossfaults and is overlain by over 500 m of intensely altered, porous Manitou Falls group sandstones. The rock quality directly surrounding the deposit is greatly reduced because of alteration and post-Athabasca sandstone structures, which provide conduits for the migration of basinal and meteoric fluids. This leads to significant risk for mine development and shaft sinking, because of the increased potential for water inflow into mine workings. To mitigate the risk involved with mining in such complex geology several projects were proposed as part of a pre-feasibility study. Of these, seismic methods were identified as the best tool to potentially identify alteration and structurally compromised zones. Subsequently, a comprehensive surface and borehole seismic program was completed in an attempt to delineate these engineering hazards and to provide assurance of success of the shaft sinking and mine development. This was the first time a seismic program of this scale was undertaken for geotechnical studies during mine development in the Athabasca Basin. (author)

  17. 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

  18. Introduction of Mercury-free Gold Extraction Methods to Medium-Scale Miners and Education of Health Care Providers to Reduce the use of Mercury in Sorata, Bolivia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter W. U. Appel

    2015-01-01

    Conclusions. The gold ores tested during the project proved amenable to mercury-free gold extraction using borax smelting. The miners also realized that gold recovery increased when performing mercury-free gold extraction. The miners decided to stop using mercury and a follow-up project cleaned their mining equipment for mercury and modified the processing lines. The health care providers were also successfully trained.

  19. 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

  20. METAALICUS : mercury experiment to assess atmospheric loading in Canada and the United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rudd, J.W.M.; Kelly, C.A. [Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Ottawa, ON (Canada). Freshwater Inst.; Branfireun, B. [Toronto Univ., ON (Canada). Dept. of Geography; Gilmour, C.; Heyes, A. [Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA (United States); Harris, R. [Tetra Tech Inc., Pasadena, CA (United States); Hintelmann, H. [Trent Univ., Peterborough, ON (Canada). Dept. of Chemistry; Hurley, J.P. [Wisconsin Univ., Madison, WI (United States). Water Resources Inst.; Krabenhoft, D.P. [U.S. Geological Survey (United States); Lindberg, S. [Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN (United States); St Louis, V.L. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Biological Sciences; Scott, K.J. [Manitoba Univ., Winnipeg, MB (Canada). Dept. of Microbiology

    2000-07-01

    Mercury emitted from coal-fired utilities is one of the major sources of anthropogenic mercury in the environment. Recently proposed control strategies for these emissions are expected to cost several billion dollars per year for North America alone. The major objective in controlling mercury emissions is to decrease levels of mercury in fish consumed by humans. However, since the actual relationship between atmospheric mercury deposition and fish mercury is still unknown, a unique whole-ecosystem study was conducted to address this issue. During the course of this study at the experimental Lakes Area in northwestern Ontario, the load of mercury in a small lake was increased by a factor of four to simulate the atmospheric loadings to lakes in northeastern North America. The mercury was added as three different stable isotopes to determine the most important sources of mercury to fish. The isotopes also made it possible to compare the availability of newly deposited mercury with old mercury stored in lake sediments and soils by analyzing mercury isotope patterns in biota. The response time in a catchment area to an increase in the rate of atmospheric deposition of mercury was calculated to determine if newly deposited mercury behaves in the same way as mercury that has accumulated in upland soils over many years.

  1. 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

  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. 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.

  4. Mercury Emissions: The Global Context

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  5. Balance model of masses for mercury and cyanide in the Surata River

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amaya S, Cesar Jovane

    2004-01-01

    The pattern of masses balance consists of a comparison through the time of pollutants quantity (mercury and cyanide) poured in the mining region of Vetas and California, with the values of these same pollutants detected in the Bosconia plant of the metropolitan aqueduct of Bucaramanga. The mercury and the cyanide are used in the mining region for the gold benefit and they already arrive as residuals to the air sources and to the water that arrives to Surata River, one of the sources of supply of drinkable water of the aqueduct. In the gold benefit in the region, two different groups work:; the mining companies and the barrileros. The barrileros is particular people that work mainly the amalgamation of the mineral in barrels, and they discard their residuals to the environment, the same as the mining companies. The mining companies of California pour their residuals in the gulch La Baja, above of the monitoring point LB-01 (Round Hill) of the CDMB; as long as the mining companies of Vetas, pour them above of the monitoring point RV-05 (Borrero) also of the CDMB, to the River Vetas. Few data exist on the used of mercury and cyanide quantities through the time for the mining companies and the barrileros. In the monitored points of the CDMB, RV-02 and LB-01 (Round Hill), it is had temporary registrations of so much of concentrations of mercury and total cyanide in the water, as well as of flows. In the plant Bosconia registers concentrations of mercury and cyanide in the water of the Surata River every two hours daily, as long as the data of flows are measured in the point MA-01 (Majadas) By means of the flow multiplication and concentration they can register the masses of mercury and cyanide that happen at one time determined by the sampling points. A very simple balance of masses is obtained measuring in the different sampling points the masses of mercury and cyanide poured in the mining region. In the ideal case all the data required should exist in with a high

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Source identification and mass balance studies of mercury in Lake An-dong, S. Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, J.; Byeon, M.; Yoon, J.; Park, J.; Lee, M.; Huh, I.; Na, E.; Chung, D.; Shin, S.; Kim, Y.

    2009-12-01

    In this study, mercury and methylmercury were measured in atmospheric, tributary, open-lake water column, sediment, planktons and fish samples in the catchments area of Lake An-dong, S. Korea. Lake An-dong, an artificial freshwater lake is located on the upstream of River Nak-dong. It has 51.5 km2 of open surface water and 1.33 year of hydraulic residence time. It is a source of drinking water for 0.3 million S. Koreans. Recently, the possibilities of its mercury contamination became an issue since current studies showed that the lake had much higher mercury level in sediment and certain freshwater fish species than any other lakes in S. Korea. This catchments area has the possibilities of historical mercury pollution by the location of more than 50 abandoned gold mines and Young-poong zinc smelter. The objective of this study was to develop a mercury mass balance and identify possible mercury sources in the lake. The results of this study are thus expected to offer valuable insights for the sources of mercury loading through the watershed. In order to estimate the mercury flux, TGM, RGM and particulate mercury were measured using TEKRAN 2537 at the five sites surrounding Lake An-dong from May, 2009 with wet and dry deposition. The fate and transport of mercury in water body were predicted by using EFDC (Environmental Dynamic Fluid Code) and Mercury module in WASP7 (Water quality analysis program) after subsequent distribution into water body, sediments, followed by bioaccumulation and ultimate uptake by humans. The mercury mass balance in Young-poong zinc smelter was also pre-estimated by measuring mercury content in zinc ores, emission gases, sludge, wastewater and products.

  9. Mercury concentrations in cattle from NW Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López Alonso, M; Benedito, J L; Miranda, M; Castillo, C; Hernández, J; Shore, R F

    2003-01-20

    Mercury is a toxic metal that is released into the environment as a result of various industrial and agricultural processes. It can be accumulated by domestic animals and so contaminate human foodstuffs. To date, there is no information on mercury residues in livestock in Spain and the aim of the present study was to quantify the concentrations of mercury in cattle in two of the major regions in north-west Spain, Galicia (a largely rural region) and Asturias, which is characterised by heavy industry and mining. Total mercury concentrations were determined in tissue (liver, kidney and muscle) and blood from 284 calves (6-10 months old) and 56 cows (2-16 years old) from across the whole of the two regions. Mercury was usually detected in the kidney (62.4-87.5% of samples) but most (79.5-96%) liver, muscle and blood samples did not contain detectable residues. Renal mercury concentrations did not differ between male and female calves but were significantly greater in female calves than in cows. Unexpectedly, kidney mercury concentrations were significantly higher in calves from the predominantly rural region of Galicia (geometric mean: 12.2 microg/kg w.wt.) than in animals from the industrialised-mining region of Asturias (3.40 microg/kg w.wt.). Overall, mercury residues in cattle from NW Spain were similar to those reported in cattle from non-polluted areas in other countries and do not constitute a risk to animal or human health. Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.

  10. Biogeochemistry of mercury in contaminated environment in the wider Idrija region and the Gulf of Trieste. Highlights and achievements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horvat, Milena

    2002-01-01

    Activities at mercury (Hg) mines can lead to the mobilization of large quantities of Hg that enter the environment and are transported downstream. Although much of this Hg is deposited near the source, over time much of this Hg can be carried hundreds of kilometers where it can potentially enter and bioaccumulate in distant food webs. Mining activities in the ldrija, Slovenia mining district occurred for 500 years and the legacy of that mining can be seen in high concentrations of Hg throughout the watershed and into the Gulf of Trieste. Mercury concentrations are high in the sediments near the mouth of the Soca/Isonzo, River in the Gulf, and the Soca River continues to deliver ∼1.5 tons of Hg to the marine environment ∼100 km from the mine. Much of the Hg carried to the sea is probably as fine cinnabar particles, and the potential remobilization and further transformation of this Hg is of concern with regard to local environmental and the accumulation of methylmercury (MeHg in seafood. Mercury sulfide minerals are subject to dissolution and increased bioavailability when they contact sulfidic environments such as what occurs in coastal marine sediments. This 'newly' available Hg can potentially undergo methylation to supply the environment with newly formed MeHg. Indeed, Gulf sediments contain significant concentrations of MeHg and effluxes of MeHg from Gulf sediments have been observed in recent studies. However, sediments can also support active demethylation by aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. This demethylation can be due to either oxidative or reductive pathways. The present study was conducted to determine the potential of sediments from the Gulf of Trieste to methylate and demethylate Hg including an assessment of which demethylation pathway is most prevalent

  11. Gaseous Oxidized Mercury Dry Deposition Measurements in Southwestern USA: Comparison between texas, Eastern Oklahoma, and the Four Corners Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM) dry deposition measurements using aerodynamic surrogate surface passive samplers were collected in central and eastern Texas and eastern Oklahoma, from September 2011 to September 2012.The purpose of this study was to provide an initial characteriza...

  12. Wet deposition of mercury in Qingdao, a coastal urban city in China: Concentrations, fluxes, and influencing factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lufeng; Li, Yanbin; Liu, Chang; Guo, Lina; Wang, Xiulin

    2018-02-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a global pollutant of public concern because of its high toxicity and capability for worldwide distribution via long-range atmospheric transportation. Wet atmospheric deposition is an important source of Hg in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. Concentrations of various Hg species in precipitation were monitored from March 2016 to February 2017 in a coastal urban area of Qingdao, and their wet deposition fluxes were estimated. The results showed that the volume-weighted mean (VWM) concentrations of total mercury (THg), reactive mercury (RHg), dissolved THg (DTHg), particulate THg (PTHg), total methylmercury (TMeHg), and dissolved and particulate MeHg (DMeHg and PMeHg) in Qingdao's precipitation were 13.6, 1.5, 5.4, 8.2, 0.38, 0.15, and 0.22 ng L-1, respectively, and their annual deposition fluxes were estimated to be 5703.0 (THg), 666.6 (RHg), 2304.0 (DTHg), 3470.4 (PTHg), 161.6 (TMeHg), 64.0 (DMeHg), and 95.7 (PMeHg) ng m-2 y-1, respectively. A relatively high proportion of MeHg in THg was observed in precipitation (3.0 ± 2.6%) possibly due to higher methylation and contributions from an oceanic source to MeHg in the precipitation. Obvious seasonal variations in Hg concentrations and deposition fluxes were observed in the precipitation in Qingdao. Correlation analyses and multiple regression analyses showed that SO2, pH, and NO3- were the controlling factors for THg in precipitation, whereas the MeHg concentration was primarily controlled by the SO2, WS, Cl-, and THg concentrations. PM2.5 and Cl- were the major controlling factors for PMeHg/TMeHg, whereas the TMeHg/THg ratio was mainly influenced by Cl-. The THg and MeHg fluxes were primarily controlled by precipitation, whereas Cl- was also an important factor for the MeHg wet deposition flux. The results of a 72-h backward trajectory analysis in the study region with the Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model indicated that Hg deposition in Qingdao mainly

  13. Does seasonal snowpacks enhance or decrease mercury contamination of high elevation ecosystems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, A.; Fain, X.; Obrist, D.; Helmig, D.; Barth, C.; Jacques, H.; Chowanski, K.; Boyle, D.; William, M.

    2009-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) is an extremely toxic pollutant globally dispersed in the environment. Natural and anthropogenic sources emit Hg to the atmosphere, either as gaseous elemental mercury (GEM; Hg0) or as divalent mercury species. Due to the long lifetime of GEM mercury contamination is not limited to industrialized sites, but also a concern in remote areas such as high elevation mountain environments. During winter and spring 2009, we investigated the fate of atmospheric mercury deposited to mountain ecosystems in the Sierra Nevada (Sagehen station, California, USA) and the Rocky Mountains (Niwot Ridge station, Colorado, USA). At Sagehen, we monitored mercury in snow (surface snow sampling and snow pits), wet deposition, and stream water during the snow-dominated season. Comparison of Hg stream discharge to snow Hg wet deposition showed that only a small fraction of Hg wet deposition reached stream in the melt water. Furthermore, Hg concentration in soil transects (25 different locations) showed no correlations to wet deposition Hg loads due to pronounced altitudinal precipitation gradient suggesting that Hg deposited to the snowpack was not transferred to ecosystems. At Niwot Ridge, further characterization of the chemical transformation involving mercury species within snowpacks was achieved by 3-months of continuous monitoring of GEM and ozone concentrations in the snow air at eight depths from the soil-snow interface to the top of the up to 2 meter deep snowpack. Divalent mercury concentrations were monitored as well (surface snow sampling and snow pits). GEM levels in snow air exhibited strong diurnal pattern indicative of both oxidation and reduction processes. Low levels of divalent mercury concentrations in snow pack suggest that large fractions of Hg originally deposited as wet deposition was reemitted back to the atmosphere after reduction. Hence, these results suggest that the presence of a seasonal snowpack may decrease effective wet deposition of mercury and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Model analyses of atmospheric mercury: present air quality and effects of transpacific transport on the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, H.; Liang, X.-Z.; Wuebbles, D. J.; Tao, Z.

    2013-11-01

    Atmospheric mercury is a toxic air and water pollutant that is of significant concern because of its effects on human health and ecosystems. A mechanistic representation of the atmospheric mercury cycle is developed for the state-of-the-art global climate-chemistry model, CAM-Chem (Community Atmospheric Model with Chemistry). The model simulates the emission, transport, transformation and deposition of atmospheric mercury (Hg) in three forms: elemental mercury (Hg(0)), reactive mercury (Hg(II)), and particulate mercury (PHg). Emissions of mercury include those from human, land, ocean, biomass burning and volcano related sources. Land emissions are calculated based on surface solar radiation flux and skin temperature. A simplified air-sea mercury exchange scheme is used to calculate emissions from the oceans. The chemistry mechanism includes the oxidation of Hg(0) in gaseous phase by ozone with temperature dependence, OH, H2O2 and chlorine. Aqueous chemistry includes both oxidation and reduction of Hg(0). Transport and deposition of mercury species are calculated through adapting the original formulations in CAM-Chem. The CAM-Chem model with mercury is driven by present meteorology to simulate the present mercury air quality during the 1999-2001 period. The resulting surface concentrations of total gaseous mercury (TGM) are then compared with the observations from worldwide sites. Simulated wet depositions of mercury over the continental United States are compared to the observations from 26 Mercury Deposition Network stations to test the wet deposition simulations. The evaluations of gaseous concentrations and wet deposition confirm a strong capability for the CAM-Chem mercury mechanism to simulate the atmospheric mercury cycle. The general reproduction of global TGM concentrations and the overestimation on South Africa indicate that model simulations of TGM are seriously affected by emissions. The comparison to wet deposition indicates that wet deposition patterns

  17. Mine surveying works for the purpose of excavating the remaining reserves of bauxite in the deposit of "Podbracan"

    OpenAIRE

    Milutinovic, Aleksandar; Ganic, Aleksandar; Diyab, Thamer Rayes; Tokalic, Rade; Ganic, Meri

    2015-01-01

    Mining projects for mineral resource mining contain in certain cases specific technical and technological solutions, these being the result of the mine’s characteristic spatial position and the geometry of the ore deposit, existing mining works, structures, and terrain relief etc. For the purpose of completion of the mining project, it is necessary to carry out a series of mining and surveying tasks during the pre-project and project stage of mining, as well as during the construction o...

  18. Characterizations of wet mercury deposition on a remote high-elevation site in the southeastern Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jie; Kang, Shichang; Zhang, Qianggong; Guo, Junming; Sillanpää, Mika; Wang, Yongjie; Sun, Shiwei; Sun, Xuejun; Tripathee, Lekhendra

    2015-11-01

    Accurate measurements of wet mercury (Hg) deposition are critically important for the assessment of ecological responses to pollutant loading. The Hg in wet deposition was measured over a 3-year period in the southeastern Tibetan Plateau. The volume-weighted mean (VWM) total Hg (HgT) concentration was somewhat lower than those reported in other regions of the Tibetan Plateau, but the VWM methyl-Hg concentration and deposition flux were among the highest globally reported values. The VWM HgT concentration was higher in non-monsoon season than in monsoon season, and wet HgT deposition was dominated by the precipitation amount rather than the scavenging of atmospheric Hg by precipitation. The dominant Hg species in precipitation was mainly in the form of dissolved Hg, which indicates the pivotal role of reactive gaseous Hg within-cloud scavenging to wet Hg deposition. Moreover, an increasing trend in precipitation Hg concentrations was synchronous with the recent economic development in South Asia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Elevated atmospheric deposition and dynamics of mercury in a remote upland forest of southwestern China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fu Xuewu; Feng Xinbin; Zhu Wanze; Rothenberg, S.; Yao Heng; Zhang Hui

    2010-01-01

    Mt. Gongga area in southwest China was impacted by Hg emissions from industrial activities and coal combustion, and annual means of atmospheric TGM and PHg concentrations at a regional background station were 3.98 ng m -3 and 30.7 pg m -3 , respectively. This work presents a mass balance study of Hg in an upland forest in this area. Atmospheric deposition was highly elevated in the study area, with the annual mean THg deposition flux of 92.5 μg m -2 yr -1 . Total deposition was dominated by dry deposition (71.8%), and wet deposition accounted for the remaining 28.2%. Forest was a large pool of atmospheric Hg, and nearly 76% of the atmospheric input was stored in forest soil. Volatilization and stream outflow were identified as the two major pathways for THg losses from the forest, which yielded mean output fluxes of 14.0 and 8.6 μg m -2 yr -1 , respectively. - Upland forest ecosystem is a great sink of atmospheric mercury in southwest China.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abraham, Joji; Dowling, Kim; Florentine, Singarayer

    2018-01-01

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

  1. Mercury pollution in the Upper Beni River, Amazonian basin : Bolivia

    OpenAIRE

    Maurice Bourgoin, Laurence; Quiroga, I.; Guyot, Jean-Loup; Malm, O.

    1999-01-01

    Mercury contamination caused by the amalgamation of gold in small-scale gold mining is an environmental problem of increasing concern, particularly in tropical regions like the Amazon, where a new boom of such gold mining started in the 1970s. In Brazil, research into these problems has been carried out for many years, but there is no available data for Bolivia. The present paper surveys mercury contamination of a Bolivian river system in the Amazon drainage basin, measured in water, fish, an...

  2. Seafloor massive sulfide deposits support unique megafaunal assemblages: Implications for seabed mining and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boschen, Rachel E; Rowden, Ashley A; Clark, Malcolm R; Pallentin, Arne; Gardner, Jonathan P A

    2016-04-01

    Mining of seafloor massive sulfides (SMS) is imminent, but the ecology of assemblages at SMS deposits is poorly known. Proposed conservation strategies include protected areas to preserve biodiversity at risk from mining impacts. Determining site suitability requires biological characterisation of the mine site and protected area(s). Video survey of a proposed mine site and protected area off New Zealand revealed unique megafaunal assemblages at the mine site. Significant relationships were identified between assemblage structure and environmental conditions, including hydrothermal features. Unique assemblages occurred at both active and inactive chimneys and are particularly at risk from mining-related impacts. The occurrence of unique assemblages at the mine site suggests that the proposed protected area is insufficient alone and should instead form part of a network. These results provide support for including hydrothermally active and inactive features within networks of protected areas and emphasise the need for quantitative survey data of proposed sites. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  3. Genesis of uranium deposits of the Tono Mine, Japan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Katayama, N.; Kubo, K.; Hirono, S.

    1974-01-01

    The uranium deposits of the Tono mine, Gifu Prefecture, Japan, occur in the basal part of the Toki group of Miocene age, and are distributed in the tributaries or at the head of channels on the plane of unconformity under the formation. These features characterize the basal ground-water type of uranium deposit, and they are unique in that their typical ore mineral is a zeolite of the heulandite-clinoptilolite group, uranium being adsorbed in it. The paper presents the history of formation of the Tsukiyoshi deposits, the most intensely explored in the Tono mine. The matrices of conglomerates and sandstones of the Toki group usually contain tuffaceous material, which has been montmorillonitized or zeolitized diagenetically. The conduit of uranium-bearing ground waters that migrated from the basement granites into the Tertiary sediments was controlled by the impermeable barriers, which are rocks in which montmorillonite predominated, or by the Tsukiyoshi fault, as well as by channel structures. Where the waters became rather stagnant, uranium was adsorbed in zeolite from them. Enrichment of uranium further proceeded locally as follows. Pyrite was oxidized to produce sulphuric acid solution which leached the uranium that had been adsorbed in zeolite. The pH of the uranium-rich solution became higher and higher in the course of migration and, as soon as it reached about 4, the uranium in the solution was again adsorbed in zeolite, the uranium content of which may have been enriched up to 0.9%. Coffinites have been formed where uranium was accumulated over the adsorption capacity of zeolite or where strongly reducing conditions were maintained by carbonaceous matter. (author)

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Analysis on Heavy Metal Distribution in Overlying Deposit and Pollution Characteristics in Rivers around Dahongshan Fe&Cu Mine in Yunnan Province, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Qianrui; Cheng, Xianfeng; Qi, Wufu; Xu, Jun; Yang, Shuran

    2017-12-01

    Dahongshan Fe&Cu mine in Yunnan Province was endowed with the title of “National Green Mine Pilots” by Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources in April 2013. In order to verify the implementation effects of the green mine and better drive the construction of the green mine by other mine enterprises in Yunnan, the project team investigated overlying deposit in rivers around the Dahongshan mine in the wet season (August) of 2016, investigated mine enterprises, and applied the Potential Ecological Risk Index to evaluate potential ecological hazards of heavy metal pollution in overlying deposit. The results showed that all sampling points were less than 105, indicating the lower ecological hazard degree.

  7. Biomarkers of mercury exposure in two eastern Ukraine cities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, H.; Haver, C.; Kozlov, K.; Centeno, J.A.; Jurgenson, V.; Kolker, A.; Conko, K.M.; Landa, E.R.; Xu, H.

    2011-01-01

    This study evaluates biomarkers of mercury exposure among residents of Horlivka, a city in eastern Ukraine located in an area with geologic and industrial sources of environmental mercury, and residents of Artemivsk, a nearby comparison city outside the mercury-enriched area. Samples of urine, blood, hair, and nails were collected from study participants, and a questionnaire was administered to obtain data on age, gender, occupational history, smoking, alcohol consumption, fish consumption, tattoos, dental amalgams, home heating system, education, source of drinking water, and family employment in mines. Median biomarker mercury concentrations in Artemivsk were 0.26 ??g/g-Cr (urine), 0.92 ??g/L (blood), 0.42 ??g/g (hair), 0.11 ??g/g (toenails), and 0.09 ??g/g (fingernails); median concentrations in Horlivka were 0.15 ??g/g-Cr (urine), 1.01 ??g/L (blood), 0.14 ??g/g (hair), 0.31 ??g/g (toenails), and 0.31 ??g/g (fingernails). Biomarkers of mercury exposure for study participants from Horlivka and Artemivsk are low in comparison with occupationally exposed workers at a mercury recycling facility in Horlivka and in comparison with exposures known to be associated with clinical effects. Blood and urinary mercury did not suggest a higher mercury exposure among Horlivka residents as compared with Artemivsk; however, three individuals living in the immediate vicinity of the mercury mines had elevated blood and urinary mercury, relative to overall results for either city. For a limited number of residents from Horlivka (N = 7) and Artemivsk (N = 4), environmental samples (vacuum cleaner dust, dust wipes, soil) were collected from their residences. Mercury concentrations in vacuum cleaner dust and soil were good predictors of blood and urinary mercury. Copyright ?? 2011 JOEH, LLC.

  8. Exploring the techno-economic feasibility of mine rock waste utilisation in road works: The case of a mining deposit in Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agyeman, Stephen; Ampadu, Samuel I K

    2016-02-01

    Mine rock waste, which is the rock material removed in order to access and mine ore, is free from gold processing chemical contaminants but presents a significant environmental challenge owing to the large volumes involved. One way of mitigating the environmental and safety challenges posed by the large volume of mine rock waste stockpiled in mining communities is to find uses of this material as a substitute for rock aggregates in construction. This article reports on a study conducted to evaluate the engineering properties of such a mine deposit to determine its suitability for use as road pavement material. Samples of mine rock waste, derived from the granitic and granodioritic intrusive units overlying the gold-bearing metavolcanic rock and volcano-clastic sediments of a gold mining area in Ghana, were obtained from three mine rock waste disposal facilities and subjected to a battery of laboratory tests to determine their physical, mechanical, geotechnical, geometrical and durability properties. The overall conclusion was that the mine rock waste met all the requirements of the Ghana Ministry of Transportation specification for use as aggregates for crushed rock subbase, base and surface dressing chippings for road pavements. The recommendation is to process it into the required sizes for the various applications. © The Author(s) 2015.

  9. Dry deposition fluxes and deposition velocities of trace metals in the Tokyo metropolitan area measured with a water surface sampler.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakata, Masahiro; Marumoto, Kohji

    2004-04-01

    Dry deposition fluxes and deposition velocities (=deposition flux/atmospheric concentration) for trace metals including Hg, Cd, Cu, Mn, Pb, and Zn in the Tokyo metropolitan area were measured using an improved water surface sampler. Mercury is deposited on the water surface in both gaseous (reactive gaseous mercury, RGM) and particulate (particulate mercury, Hg(p)) forms. The results based on 1 yr observations found that dry deposition plays a significant if not dominant role in trace metal deposition in this urban area, contributing fluxes ranging from 0.46 (Cd) to 3.0 (Zn) times those of concurrent wet deposition fluxes. The deposition velocities were found to be dependent on the deposition of coarse particles larger than approximately 5 microm in diameter on the basis of model calculations. Our analysis suggests that the 84.13% diameter is a more appropriate index for each deposited metal than the 50% diameter in the assumed undersize log-normal distribution, because larger particles are responsible for the flux. The deposition velocities for trace metals other than mercury increased exponentially with an increase in their 84.13% diameters. Using this regression equation, the deposition velocities for Hg(p) were estimated from its 84.13% diameter. The deposition fluxes for Hg(p) calculated from the estimated velocities tended to be close to the mercury fluxes measured with the water surface sampler during the study periods except during summer.

  10. Letters initiating Clean Water Act 404(c) review of mining at Pebble deposit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correspondence between EPA and the Pebble Limited Partnership and the State of Alaska initiating review under section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act of potential adverse environmental effects associated with mining the Pebble deposit in southwest Alaska.

  11. 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.

  12. Trace metal depositional patterns from an open pit mining activity as revealed by archived avian gizzard contents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bendell, L I

    2011-02-15

    Archived samples of blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus) gizzard contents, inclusive of grit, collected yearly between 1959 and 1970 were analyzed for cadmium, lead, zinc, and copper content. Approximately halfway through the 12-year sampling period, an open-pit copper mine began activities, then ceased operations 2 years later. Thus the archived samples provided a unique opportunity to determine if avian gizzard contents, inclusive of grit, could reveal patterns in the anthropogenic deposition of trace metals associated with mining activities. Gizzard concentrations of cadmium and copper strongly coincided with the onset of opening and the closing of the pit mining activity. Gizzard zinc and lead demonstrated significant among year variation; however, maximum concentrations did not correlate to mining activity. The archived gizzard contents did provide a useful tool for documenting trends in metal depositional patterns related to an anthropogenic activity. Further, blue grouse ingesting grit particles during the time of active mining activity would have been exposed to toxicologically significant levels of cadmium. Gizzard lead concentrations were also of toxicological significance but not related to mining activity. This type of "pulse" toxic metal exposure as a consequence of open-pit mining activity would not necessarily have been revealed through a "snap-shot" of soil, plant or avian tissue trace metal analysis post-mining activity. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. A feasibility study on geological and hydrogeological setting or in-situ leaching mining in a sandstone-type uranium deposit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guo Sanmin.

    1992-01-01

    A comparative study is made of various conditions for in-situ leaching mining in a sandstone-type uranium deposit in Inner Mongolia with those of same types at home and abroad based on a large number of practical information. It is concluded that the deposit basically exhibits the geological conditions for in-situ leaching mining, and tentative plan and suggestion for further work are presented

  14. Impacts of gold mine waste disposal on deepwater fish in a pristine tropical marine system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brewer, D.T.; Milton, D.A.; Fry, G.C.; Dennis, D.M.; Heales, D.S.; Venables, W.N.

    2007-01-01

    Little is known about the impacts of mine waste disposal, including deep-sea tailings, on tropical marine environments and this study presents the first account of this impact on deepwater fish communities. The Lihir gold mine in Papua New Guinea has deposited both excavated overburden and processed tailings slurry into the coastal environment since 1997. The abundances of fish species and trace metal concentrations in their tissues were compared between sites adjacent to and away from the mine. In this study (1999-2002), 975 fish of 98 species were caught. Significantly fewer fish were caught close to the mine than in neighbouring regions; the highest numbers were in regions distant from the mine. The catch rates of nine of the 17 most abundant species were lowest, and in three species were highest, close to the mine. There appears to be limited contamination in fish tissues caused by trace metals disposed as mine waste. Although arsenic (several species) and mercury (one species) were found in concentrations above Australian food standards. However, as in the baseline (pre-mine) sampling, it appears they are accumulating these metals mostly from naturally-occurring sources rather than the mine waste

  15. How important is biomass burning in Canada to mercury contamination?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraser, Annemarie; Dastoor, Ashu; Ryjkov, Andrei

    2018-05-01

    Wildfire frequency has increased in past four decades in Canada and is expected to increase in future as a result of climate change (Wotton et al., 2010). Mercury (Hg) emissions from biomass burning are known to be significant; however, the impact of biomass burning on air concentration and deposition fluxes in Canada has not been previously quantified. We use estimates of burned biomass from FINN (Fire INventory from NCAR) and vegetation-specific emission factors (EFs) of mercury to investigate the spatiotemporal variability of Hg emissions in Canada. We use Environment and Climate Change Canada's GEM-MACH-Hg (Global Environmental Multi-scale, Modelling Air quality and Chemistry model, mercury version) to quantify the impact of biomass burning in Canada on spatiotemporal variability of air concentrations and deposition fluxes of mercury in Canada. We use North American gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) observations (2010-2015), GEM-MACH-Hg, and an inversion technique to optimize the EFs for GEM for five vegetation types represented in North American fires to constrain the biomass burning impacts of mercury. The inversion results suggest that EFs representing more vegetation types - specifically peatland - are required. This is currently limited by the sparseness of measurements of Hg from biomass burning plumes. More measurements of Hg concentration in the air, specifically downwind of fires, would improve the inversions. We use three biomass burning Hg emissions scenarios in Canada to conduct three sets of model simulations for 2010-2015: two scenarios where Hg is emitted only as GEM using literature or optimized EFs and a third scenario where Hg is emitted as GEM using literature EFs and particle bound mercury (PBM) emitted using the average GEM/PBM ratio from lab measurements. The three biomass burning emission scenarios represent a range of possible values for the impacts of Hg emissions from biomass burning in Canada on Hg concentration and deposition. We find

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  18. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, H.J.; Kozlov, K.; Buckley, J.P.; Centeno, J.; Jurgenson, V.; Kolker, A.; Conko, K.; Landa, E.; Panov, B.; Panov, Y.; Xu, H.

    2008-01-01

    This study evaluates biomarkers of occupational mercury exposure among workers at a mercury recycling operation in Gorlovka, Ukraine. The 29 study participants were divided into three occupational categories for analysis: (1) those who worked in the mercury recycling operation (Group A, n = 8), (2) those who worked at the facility but not in the yard where the recycling was done (Group B, n = 14), and (3) those who did not work at the facility (Group C, n = 7). Urine, blood, hair, and nail samples were collected from the participants, and a questionnaire was administered to obtain data on age, gender, occupational history, smoking, alcohol consumption, fish consumption, tattoos, dental amalgams, home heating system, education, source of drinking water, and family employment in the former mercury mine/smelter located on the site of the recycling facility. Each factor was tested in a univariate regression with total mercury in urine, blood, hair, and nails. Median biomarker concentrations were 4.04 ??g/g-Cr (urine), 2.58 ??g/L (blood), 3.95 ??g/g (hair), and 1.16 ??g/g (nails). Occupational category was significantly correlated (p < 0.001) with both blood and urinary mercury concentrations but not with hair or nail mercury. Four individuals had urinary mercury concentrations in a range previously found to be associated with subtle neurological and subjective symptoms (e.g., fatigue, loss of appetite, irritability), and one worker had a urinary mercury concentration in a range associated with a high probability of neurological effects and proteinuria. Comparison of results by occupational category found that workers directly involved with the recycling operation had the highest blood and urinary mercury levels. Those who worked at the facility but were not directly involved with the recycling operation had higher levels than those who did not work at the facility. Copyright ?? 2008 JOEH, LLC.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-08-01

    This study evaluates biomarkers of occupational mercury exposure among workers at a mercury recycling operation in Gorlovka, Ukraine. The 29 study participants were divided into three occupational categories for analysis: (1) those who worked in the mercury recycling operation (Group A, n = 8), (2) those who worked at the facility but not in the yard where the recycling was done (Group B, n = 14), and (3) those who did not work at the facility (Group C, n = 7). Urine, blood, hair, and nail samples were collected from the participants, and a questionnaire was administered to obtain data on age, gender, occupational history, smoking, alcohol consumption, fish consumption, tattoos, dental amalgams, home heating system, education, source of drinking water, and family employment in the former mercury mine/smelter located on the site of the recycling facility. Each factor was tested in a univariate regression with total mercury in urine, blood, hair, and nails. Median biomarker concentrations were 4.04 microg/g-Cr (urine), 2.58 microg/L (blood), 3.95 microg/g (hair), and 1.16 microg/g (nails). Occupational category was significantly correlated (p recycling operation had the highest blood and urinary mercury levels. Those who worked at the facility but were not directly involved with the recycling operation had higher levels than those who did not work at the facility.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-17

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

  3. Fate and Transport of Mercury in Environmental Media and Human Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Moon-Kyung

    2012-01-01

    Mercury is emitted to the atmosphere from various natural and anthropogenic sources, and degrades with difficulty in the environment. Mercury exists as various species, mainly elemental (Hg0) and divalent (Hg2+) mercury depending on its oxidation states in air and water. Mercury emitted to the atmosphere can be deposited into aqueous environments by wet and dry depositions, and some can be re-emitted into the atmosphere. The deposited mercury species, mainly Hg2+, can react with various organic compounds in water and sediment by biotic reactions mediated by sulfur-reducing bacteria, and abiotic reactions mediated by sunlight photolysis, resulting in conversion into organic mercury such as methylmercury (MeHg). MeHg can be bioaccumulated through the food web in the ecosystem, finally exposing humans who consume fish. For a better understanding of how humans are exposed to mercury in the environment, this review paper summarizes the mechanisms of emission, fate and transport, speciation chemistry, bioaccumulation, levels of contamination in environmental media, and finally exposure assessment of humans. PMID:23230463

  4. The effects of land use change on mercury distribution in soils of Alta Floresta, Southern Amazon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lacerda, Luiz D.; Souza, Margareth de; Ribeiro, Mario G.

    2004-01-01

    This study presents the spatial distribution, degree of contamination and storage capacity of Hg in surface forest and pasture soils from Alta Floresta, Southern Amazon, a significant gold mining site from 1980 to 1996. During that period, average annual gold production was about 6.5 tons, with an estimated Hg annual emission to the environment of about 8.8 tons, 60-80% of it being emitted to the atmosphere. Mercury sources to the region are mining sites and gold-dealer shops at the city of Alta Floresta, where gold is smelted and commercialized. Mercury concentrations in forest soils (15-248 ng g -1 , average=61.9 ng g -1 ) were 1.5-3.0 times higher than in pasture soils (10-74 ng g -1 , average=33.8 ng g -1 ), suggesting strong re-mobilization after deforestation. Highest Hg concentrations were found within a distance of 20-30 km from mining sites in both soil types. The influence of the refining operations within the city of Alta Floresta, however, was less clear. Somewhat higher concentrations were observed only within a 5 km radius from the city center where gold-dealer shops are located. Wind direction controls the spatial distribution of Hg. Background concentrations (15-50 ng g -1 ) were generally found at the outer perimeter of the sampling grid, about 40 km from sources. This suggests that Hg released from mining and refining activities undergoes rapid deposition. Estimated cumulative Hg burdens for the first 10 cm of soil averaged 8.3 mg m -2 and 4.9 mg m -2 , for forest and pasture soils respectively and compare well with ultisols and hydromorphic oxisols, but were lower than those found in yellow-red and yellow latosols and podsols from other Amazonian areas. Our results show that changing land use in the Amazon is a strong re-mobilizing agent of Hg deposited on soils from the atmosphere. - Land use change is a strong re-mobilizing agent of Hg distribution in Amazon soils

  5. Mercury in the South African environment

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Matooane, M

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available ? Mercury, also known as quick silver, is ubiquitous in the environment ? Uses - Medical: medicines, thermometers, dental amalgam, etc. - Manufacturing industry: batteries, gold mining, chlorine production, cement production, etc. - Personal care.../day - Adult: >18 yrs - Child: 10 yrs Mercury Health Risks ? Freshwater Fish WMA Species Hazard Quotient Adult Child Berg Silverfish, Catfish; Yellowfish 1.44 ? 2.34 (0.03 ? 0.35) 1.27 ? 13.67 (1.20 ? 1.95) Upper Vaal Yellow fish Banded Tilapia 0...

  6. PSYCHROPHILIC PSEUDOMONAS SP. RESISTANT TO MERCURY FROM PAVLODAR, KAZAKHSTAN

    Science.gov (United States)

    As mercury circulates and deposits globally, the remediation of extensive mercury contamination surrounding a chloralkali plant in Pavlodar, Kazakhstan is critical. High-levels of mercury contamination exist within the confines of the plant, at nearby off-site waste storage and e...

  7. Reflectance of Mercury's Polar Regions: Calibration and Implications for Mercury's Volatiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, G. A.; Sun, X.; Cao, A.; Deutsch, A. N.; Head, J. W.

    2018-05-01

    Calibration of laser altimeter reflectances under widely varying conditions is supported by laboratory data from an engineering simulator to address the distribution of volatile deposits in Mercury's polar cold traps.

  8. Annual ambient atmospheric mercury speciation measurement from Longjing, a rural site in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Guor-Cheng; Lo, Chaur-Tsuen; Cho, Meng-Hsien; Zhuang, Yuan-Jie; Tsai, Kai-Hsiang; Huang, Chao-Yang; Xiao, You-Fu

    2017-08-01

    The main purpose of this study was to monitor ambient air particulates and mercury species [RGM, Hg(p), GEM and total mercury] concentrations and dry depositions over rural area at Longjing in central Taiwan during October 2014 to September 2015. In addition, passive air sampler and knife-edge surrogate surface samplers were used to collect the ambient air mercury species concentrations and dry depositions, respectively, in this study. Moreover, direct mercury analyzer was directly used to detect the mercury Hg(p) and RGM concentrations. The result indicated that: (1) The average highest RGM, Hg(p), GEM and total mercury concentrations, and dry depositions were observed in January, prevailing dust storm occurred in winter season was the possible major reason responsible for the above findings. (2) The highest average RGM, Hg(p), GEM and total mercury concentrations, dry depositions and velocities were occurred in winter. This is because that China is the largest atmospheric mercury (Hg) emitter in the world. Its Hg emissions and environmental impacts need to be evaluated. (3) The results indicated that the total mercury ratios of Kaohsiung to that of this study were 5.61. This is because that Kaohsiung has the largest industry density (~60 %) in Taiwan. (4) the USA showed average lower mercury species concentrations when compared to those of the other world countries. The average ratios of China/USA values were 89, 76 and 160 for total mercury, RGM and Hg(p), respectively, during the years of 2000-2012.

  9. Trace metal depositional patterns from an open pit mining activity as revealed by archived avian gizzard contents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bendell, L.I., E-mail: bendell@sfu.ca

    2011-02-15

    Archived samples of blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus) gizzard contents, inclusive of grit, collected yearly between 1959 and 1970 were analyzed for cadmium, lead, zinc, and copper content. Approximately halfway through the 12-year sampling period, an open-pit copper mine began activities, then ceased operations 2 years later. Thus the archived samples provided a unique opportunity to determine if avian gizzard contents, inclusive of grit, could reveal patterns in the anthropogenic deposition of trace metals associated with mining activities. Gizzard concentrations of cadmium and copper strongly coincided with the onset of opening and the closing of the pit mining activity. Gizzard zinc and lead demonstrated significant among year variation; however, maximum concentrations did not correlate to mining activity. The archived gizzard contents did provide a useful tool for documenting trends in metal depositional patterns related to an anthropogenic activity. Further, blue grouse ingesting grit particles during the time of active mining activity would have been exposed to toxicologically significant levels of cadmium. Gizzard lead concentrations were also of toxicological significance but not related to mining activity. This type of 'pulse' toxic metal exposure as a consequence of open-pit mining activity would not necessarily have been revealed through a 'snap-shot' of soil, plant or avian tissue trace metal analysis post-mining activity. - Research Highlights: {yields} Archived gizzard samples reveals mining history. {yields} Grit ingestion exposes grouse to cadmium and lead. {yields} Grit selection includes particles enriched in cadmium. {yields} Cadmium enriched particles are of toxicological significance.

  10. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-01-15

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

  13. Atmospheric deposition of mercury in Atlantic Forest and ecological risk to soil fauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristhy Buch, Andressa; Cabral Teixeira, Daniel; Fernandes Correia, Maria Elizabeth; Vieira Silva-Filho, Emmanoel

    2014-05-01

    The increasing levels of mercury (Hg) found in the atmosphere nowadays has a great contribution from anthropogenic sources and has been a great concern in the past two decades in industrialized countries. Brazil is the seventh country with the highest rate of mercury in the atmosphere. Certainly, the petroleum refineries have significant contribution, seen that 100 million m3 of crude oil are annually processed. These refineries contribute with low generation of solid waste; however, a large fraction of Hg can be emitted to the atmosphere. There are sixteen refineries in Brazil, three of them located in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The Hg is a toxic and hazardous trace element, naturally found in the earth crust. The major input of Hg to ecosystems is through atmospheric deposition (wet and dry), being transported in the atmosphere over large distances. The forest biomes are of great importance in the atmosphere/soil cycling of elemental Hg through foliar uptake and subsequent transfer to the soil through litterfall, which play an important role as Hg sink. The Atlantic Forest of Brazil is the greater contributor of fauna and flora biodiversity in the world and, according to recent studies, this biome has the highest concentrations of mercury in litter in the world, as well as in China, at Subtropical Forest. Ecotoxicological assessments can predict the potential ecological risk of Hg toxicity in the soil can lead to impact the soil fauna and indirectly other trophic levels of the food chain within one or more ecosystems. This study aims to determine mercury levels that represent risks to diversity and functioning of soil fauna in tropical forest soils. The study is conducted in two forest areas inserted into conservation units of Rio de Janeiro state. One area is located next to an important petroleum refinery in activity since fifty-two years ago, whereas the other one is located next to other refinery under construction (beginning activities in 2015), which will

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

    OpenAIRE

    Muddarisna, N; Siahaan, B C

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Factors controlling localization of uranium deposits in the Dakota Sandstone, Gallup and Ambrosia Lake mining districts, McKinley County, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierson, Charles Thomas; Green, Morris W.

    1977-01-01

    Geologic studies were made at all of the uranium mines and prospects in the Dakota Sandstone of Early(?) and Late Cretaceous age in the Gallup mining district, McKinley County, New Mexico. Dakota mines in the adjacent Ambrosia Lake mining district were visited briefly for comparative purposes. Mines in the eastern part of the Gallup district, and in the Ambrosia Lake district, are on the Chaco slope of the southern San Juan Basin in strata which dip gently northward toward the central part of the basin. Mines in the western part of the Gallup district are along the Gallup hogback (Nutria monocline) in strata which dip steeply westward into the Gallup sag. Geologic factors which controlled formation of the uranium deposits in the Dakota Sandstone are: (1) a source of uranium, believed to be uranium deposits of the underlying Morrison Formation of Late Jurassic age; (2) the accessibility to the Dakota of uranium-bearing solutions from the Morrison; (3) the presence in the Dakota of permeable sandstone beds overlain by impermeable carbonaceous shale beds; and (4) the occurrence within the permeable Dakota sandstone beds of carbonaceous reducing material as bedding-plane laminae, or as pockets of carbonaceous trash. Most of the Dakota uranium deposits are found in the lower part of the formation in marginal-marine distributary-channel sandstones which were deposited in the backshore environment. However, the Hogback no. 4 (Hyde) Mine (Gallup district) occurs in sandy paludal shale of the backshore environment, and another deposit, the Silver Spur (Ambrosia Lake district), is found in what is interpreted to be a massive beach or barrier-bar sandstone of the foreshore environment in the upper part of the Dakota. The sedimentary depositional environment most favorable for the accumulation of uranium is that of backshore areas lateral to main distributary channels, where levee, splay, and some distributary-channel sandstones intertongue with gray carbonaceous shales and

  16. Evaluation of mercury pollution in cultivated and wild plants from two small communities of the Tapajós gold mining reserve, Pará State, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egler, Silvia G; Rodrigues-Filho, Saulo; Villas-Bôas, Roberto C; Beinhoff, Christian

    2006-09-01

    This study examines the total Hg contamination in soil and sediments, and the correlation between the total Hg concentration in soil and vegetables in two small scale gold mining areas, São Chico and Creporizinho, in the State of Para, Brazilian Amazon. Total Hg values for soil samples for both study areas are higher than region background values (ca. 0.15 mg/kg). At São Chico, mean values in soils samples are higher than at Creporizinho, but without significant differences at alpha1 in all of São Chico's produce samples, soil-plant parts regression were not significant, and Hg uptake probably occurs through stomata by atmospheric mercury deposition. Wild plants aboveground:root ratios were <1 at both study areas, and soil-plant parts regressions were significant in samples of Creporizinho, suggesting that they function as an excluder. The average total contents of Hg in edible parts of produces were close to FAO/WHO/JECFA PTWI values in São Chico area, and much lower in Creporizinho. However, Hg inorganic small gastrointestinal absorption reduces its adverse health effects.

  17. Effluent water quality and the ochre deposit characteristics of the abandoned Smolník mine, East Slovakia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Kupka

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the results of a 20-year survey of selected physical and chemical parameters of mine drainage and associatedstream sediments at the abandoned Smolník deposit (East Slovakia. The Smolník mine was in operation intermittently fromthe 14th century for Au, Ag, Cu, Fe and pyrite (FeS2. In 1990 - 1994 the mine was finally closed and flooded. In 1997 a remediationeffort was initiated in an attempt to improve the quality of acid mine drainage (AMD from the mine site. Monitoring of the AMD waterparameters has continued since 2000 in quarterly intervals. Considering the concentration of dissolved constituents and the flow rateof the AMD, the abandoned Smolník deposit brings about continuous loading of more than 500 kg of dissolved metals per dayto the adjacent Smolník stream.The ochreous precipitates formed from AMD stream were characterized by elemental analysis, X-ray diffraction and scanningelectron microscopy. Schwertmannite was the dominant solid phase in the precipitates. The chemical analysis of AMD and the elementalcomposition of related sediments indicated selective scavenging potential of the precipitates for arsenic and other metal species.

  18. Deposition of airborne metals around the lead-zinc mine in Maarmorilik monitored by lichens and mosses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pilegaard, K.

    1994-01-01

    The deposition of heavy metals around the Pb-Zn mine in Maarmorilik (Greenland) was monitored during the year 1979-1990 by analyses of concentrations in in situ lichens (Cetraria nivalis and Umbilicaria Lyngei) and higher plants (rhododendron lapponicum). Concentrations of the metals Ag, As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, S b and Zn decreased with increasing distance from the mining and milling complex according to the model: y = ax b + C where y = concentrations, x = distance, c = background concentration, a and b = constants. The spread was most pronounced west of Maarmorilik. Exposed Pb-Zn mineralizations in the area were found not to influence the overall deposition pattern. The transport of pollutants to higher altitudes was little. Airborne pollution with Cd, Pb and Zn was monitored with suspended Sphagnumbags during a period with ship-loading of concentrates and compared to a period without this activity. There was a strongly increased deposition of airborne Cd, Pb and Zn during periods of ship-loading. The primary sources of pollution were the concentrate conveyor and the ship-loader. Sphagnum-bags were also used to monitor the effects of remedial actions carried out in the mining town. Analyses of the concentrations of Pb in Cetraria during the years 1979 to 1990 showed that pollution during the last years was only about half as large as during the early years. This decrease is attributed to the pollution abatement carried out at the mining complex. (au) (23 refs.)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatsy Y. G.

    2013-04-01

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

  20. Modeling dynamic exchange of gaseous elemental mercury at polar sunrise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dastoor, Ashu P; Davignon, Didier; Theys, Nicolas; Van Roozendael, Michel; Steffen, Alexandra; Ariya, Parisa A

    2008-07-15

    At polar sunrise, gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) undergoes an exceptional dynamic exchange in the air and at the snow surface during which GEM can be rapidly removed from the atmosphere (the so-called atmospheric mercury depletion events (AMDEs)) as well as re-emitted from the snow within a few hours to days in the Polar Regions. Although high concentrations of total mercury in snow following AMDEs is well documented, there is very little data available on the redox transformation processes of mercury in the snow and the fluxes of mercury at the air/snow interface. Therefore, the net gain of mercury in the Polar Regions as a result of AMDEs is still an open question. We developed a new version of the global mercury model, GRAHM, which includes for the first time bidirectional surface exchange of GEM in Polar Regions in spring and summer by developing schemes for mercury halogen oxidation, deposition, and re-emission. Also for the first time, GOME satellite data-derived boundary layer concentrations of BrO have been used in a global mercury model for representation of halogen mercury chemistry. Comparison of model simulated and measured atmospheric concentrations of GEM at Alert, Canada, for 3 years (2002-2004) shows the model's capability in simulating the rapid cycling of mercury during and after AMDEs. Brooks et al. (1) measured mercury deposition, reemission, and net surface gain fluxes of mercury at Barrow, AK, during an intensive measurement campaign for a 2 week period in spring (March 25 to April 7, 2003). They reported 1.7, 1.0 +/- 0.2, and 0.7 +/- 0.2 microg m(-2) deposition, re-emission, and net surface gain, respectively. Using the optimal configuration of the model, we estimated 1.8 microg m(-2) deposition, 1.0 microg m(-2) re-emission, and 0.8 microg m(-2) net surface gain of mercury for the same time period at Barrow. The estimated net annual accumulation of mercury within the Arctic Circle north of 66.5 degrees is approximately 174 t with +/-7 t of

  1. Numerical modelling of the atmospheric transport, chemical tranformations and deposition of mercury

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petersen, G; Schneider, B; Eppel, D [GKSS-Forschungszentrum Geesthacht GmbH, Geesthacht-Tesperhude (Germany, F.R.). Inst. fuer Physik; Grassl, H [Hamburg Univ. (Germany, F.R.). Meteorologisches Inst. Max-Planck-Institut fuer Meteorologie, Hamburg (Germany, F.R.); Iverfeldt, A [Swedish Environmental Research Inst., Goeteborg (Sweden); Misra, P K; Bloxam, R; Wong, S [Ontario Ministry of the

    1990-01-01

    Based on recent progress in the understanding of mercury chemistry and biogeochemistry and on the availability of mercury emission data bases this study makes an attempt to model the atmospheric transport of mercury, its chemical transformations in the atmosphere, and the fluxes of mercury to and from the earth's surface by means of an EMEP-type Lagrangian trajectory model for Europe and an Eulerian grid model (ADOM) for North America. Preliminary results with a simplified mercury chemistry scheme in the comprehensive Eulerian model and with a linear chemistry in the Lagrangian model show reasonable agreement with observed mercury concentrations in air and precipitation. (orig.) With 3 figs., 4 tabs.

  2. Mercury in San Francisco Bay forage fish

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-08-15

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

  3. Mercury in San Francisco Bay forage fish

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greenfield, Ben K.; Jahn, Andrew

    2010-01-01

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

  4. 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

  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. The Process of People Gold Mining in Paningkaban Village Banyumas Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muslihudin Muslihudin

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Gold mining in Paningkaban Banyumas conducted by the community is called the People gold mining. At the beginning, many miners from outside the region have involved and transferred of method, technic and knowledge about gold mining to local people. The aim of the study is to identify the existing process of public gold mining. The method of the study is qualitative by using observation and interview. The result showed that the mining process are: 1. Determining the location of mining well; in this determination there are two references; rational and intuition 2. Mining; at this stage, a deep well is drawn about 50-100 meters that leads vertically and horizontally. It is the most high-risk stage because of work accidents that occurred and potentially environment destruction. 3. Pulverization; this stage is classified as the lowest level of difficulty and risk, therefore in this work many woman included. 4. Rolling; in this stage involves enough technology, electrical mechanic and energy with the dynamo and using mercury that potentially contaminate environment. 5. Filtering; this stage is a quite risky because the workers contact directly with mercury. 6. Burning; is the shortest process to separate mercury with gold grains. 7. Sales to local buyer guided by the international gold market in every Thursday.

  7. The Process of People Gold Mining in Paningkaban Village Banyumas Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muslihudin; Bambang, Azis Nur; Hendarto, Eko; Putranto, Thomas Triadi

    2018-02-01

    Gold mining in Paningkaban Banyumas conducted by the community is called the People gold mining. At the beginning, many miners from outside the region have involved and transferred of method, technic and knowledge about gold mining to local people. The aim of the study is to identify the existing process of public gold mining. The method of the study is qualitative by using observation and interview. The result showed that the mining process are: 1. Determining the location of mining well; in this determination there are two references; rational and intuition 2. Mining; at this stage, a deep well is drawn about 50-100 meters that leads vertically and horizontally. It is the most high-risk stage because of work accidents that occurred and potentially environment destruction. 3. Pulverization; this stage is classified as the lowest level of difficulty and risk, therefore in this work many woman included. 4. Rolling; in this stage involves enough technology, electrical mechanic and energy with the dynamo and using mercury that potentially contaminate environment. 5. Filtering; this stage is a quite risky because the workers contact directly with mercury. 6. Burning; is the shortest process to separate mercury with gold grains. 7. Sales to local buyer guided by the international gold market in every Thursday.

  8. Reconstruction of the 2015 Atacama Floods: Influence of Legacy Mining Deposits in the Salado River Mouth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuenzalida Callejas, M. J.; Contreras Vargas, M. T.; Escauriaza, C. R.

    2016-12-01

    In March 2015, the Salado watershed in the Atacama Desert was affected by unusual storms that unleashed floods never recorded before in northern Chile. Chañaral, an urban center located at the mouth of the Salado River, suffered the most catastrophic consequences on the population and infrastructure. Several natural and anthropic factors contributed to the magnitude and effects observed in this event. The total precipitation, of more than 80 mm in the upper section of the basin, produced a massive and rapid hyperconcentrated flow from the Andean foothills, which propagated along the channel with high velocities, depositing more than 2 m of mud in Chañaral. The dynamics of the flood in the city was also influenced by mine tailings deposited at the river mouth. The mining industry in this region during the previous century deposited approximately 200 million tons of mine tailings in the Chañaral Bay. The accumulation of this legacy mining deposits at the river mouth changed the local morphodynamics, which exacerbated the impacts of the flood. The objective of this work is to improve our understanding of the factors that affect the hydrodynamic of floods in hyper-arid regions. We perform numerical simulations using data collected in the field to reconstruct the event of March 2015 in Chañaral, integrating hydrological and hydrodynamic models to propagate the hydrograph in the city with high resolution. By using the reconstruction of the hydrograph and peak flow estimated by Wilcox et al., 2016, we simulate the flood using a two-dimensional model of the shallow-water equations, fully coupled with the sediment concentration (Contreras & Escauriaza, 2016). To identify the influence of the tailing deposits on the flow hydrodynamics, we use high-resolution data of the pre- and post-disaster topography. We compare the performance of different methodologies to assess the destructive power of the flood, considering also the influence of the sediment concentration in the

  9. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul E. Ouboter

    2018-05-01

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

  11. A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT OF ELEMENTAL MERCURY AIR/WATER EXCHANGE PARTNERS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Although evasion of elemental mercury from aquatic systems can significantly deplete net mercury accumulation resulting from atmospheric deposition, the current ability to model elemental mercury air/water exchange is limited by uncertainties in our understanding of all gaseous a...

  12. Uranium distribution in mined deposits and in the earth's crust. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deffeyes, K.; MacGregor, I.

    1978-08-01

    Examination of both the global distribution of uranium in various geological units and the distribution of uranium ore grades mined in the U.S. shows that both distributions can be described by a single lognormal curve. The slope of that distribution indicates approximately a 300-fold increase in the amount of uranium contained for each 10-fold decrease in ore grade. Dividing up the U.S. production by depth zones, by geologic setting, by mineralogical types, by geographic regions, and by deposit thicknesses shows substantially the same 300-fold increase in contained uranium for each 10-fold decrease in ore grade. Lieberman's (1976) analysis of uranium discoveries as an exponentially declining function of the feet of borehole drilled was extended. The analysis, in current dollars and also in constant-value dollars, using exploration expenditures and acreage leases as well as drilling effort, shows that a wide range of estimates results. The conclusion suggests that the total uranium available in the 300 to 800 part-per-million range will expand through byproduct and coproduct mining of uranium, through increased exploitation of low-grade ores in known areas, and through the exploration of terrains which historically never produced high-grade ores. These sources of uranium (coupled with efficient reactors like the heavy-water reactors) could postpone the economic need for mining 100 part-per-million deposits, and the need for the breeder reactor and fuel reprocessing, well into the next century

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. LOCAL IMPACTS OF MERCURY EMISSIONS FROM COAL FIRED POWER PLANTS.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    SULLIVAN, T.M.; BOWERMAN, B.; ADAMS, J.; LIPFERT, D.D.; MORRIS, S.M.; BANDO, A.; ET AL.

    2004-03-30

    A thorough quantitative understanding of the processes of mercury emissions, deposition, and translocation through the food chain is currently not available. Complex atmospheric chemistry and dispersion models are required to predict concentration and deposition contributions, and aquatic process models are required to predict effects on fish. There are uncertainties in all of these predictions. Therefore, the most reliable method of understanding impacts of coal-fired power plants on Hg deposition is from empirical data. A review of the literature on mercury deposition around sources including coal-fired power plants found studies covering local mercury concentrations in soil, vegetation, and animals (fish and cows (Lopez et al. 2003)). There is strong evidence of enhanced local deposition within 3 km of the chlor-alkali plants, with elevated soil concentrations and estimated deposition rates of 10 times background. For coal-fired power plants, the data show that atmospheric deposition of Hg may be slightly enhanced. On the scale of a few km, modeling suggests that wet deposition may be increased by a factor of two or three over background. The measured data suggest lower increases of 15% or less. The effects of coal-fired plants seem to be less than 10% of total deposition on a national scale, based on emissions and global modeling. The following summarizes our findings from published reports on the impacts of local deposition. In terms of excesses over background the following increments have been observed within a few km of the plant: (1) local soil concentration Hg increments of 30%-60%, (2) sediment increments of 18-30%, (3) wet deposition increments of 11-12%, and (4) fish Hg increments of about 5-6%, based on an empirical finding that fish concentrations are proportional to the square root of deposition. Important uncertainties include possible reductions of RGM to Hg(0) in power plant plumes and the role of water chemistry in the relationship between Hg

  15. Mercury-cycling in surface waters and in the atmosphere - species analysis for the investigation of transformation and transport properties of mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ebinghaus, R.; Hintelmann, H.; Wilken, R.D.

    1994-01-01

    The river Elbe has been one of the most contaminated rivers with regard to mercury for many years. In 1991 a length-profile has been measured for mercury and methylmercury (CH 3 Hg + ) from Obristvi, Czech Republic, to the German bight. Total mercury has been measured by cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry (CVAAS). The organo mercury compounds have been separated by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) connected on-line to an atomic fluorescence spectrometer (AFS) by a continuous flow-system. Total mercury up to 120 mg Hg + /kg and CH 3 Hg + concentrations up to 130 μg CH 3 Hg + /kg could be detected in special sites. The formation of CH 3 Hg + in sediments can be caused besides the methylation of mercury, by sulphate reducing or methanogenic bacteria and transmethylation reactions with organometals. Atmospheric mercury concentrations have been measured at three different European sites. Samples have been collected on gold-coated glass balls or on quartz wool, respectively. After thermal desorption mercury has been determined using the two step amalgamation technique with AFS detection. Compared to natural background concentrations of total gaseous mercury (TGM), slightly increased levels could be detected at a rural site in Germany. This increase can probably be explained by long-range transport processes. Within the vicinity of a inactivated mercury production plant high concentrations of up to 13.5 ng/m 3 particle associated mercury (Hg part ) have been detected. Consequently, dry deposition of mercury in the particulate form can intensify the total deposition flux close to Hg-emitting sources. (orig.)

  16. Geology and ore deposits of Johnny M mine, Ambrosia Lake District

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Falkowski, S.K.

    1980-01-01

    The Johnny M mine is one of very few mines in the Ambrosia Lake district with uranium ore in two members of the Morrison Formation (Jurassic); these members are the Westwater Canyon Sandstone and the Brushy Basin Shale. The Westwater Canyon ore is contained in the two upper sandstone units of the member, and the Brushy Basin ore is contained in the Poison Canyon sandstone (informal usage). The sedimentary features and structures in the Westwater Canyon sandstones indicate that the sediments were deposited by a system of aggrading braided streams, possibly at the distal end of coalescing alluvial fans. The Poison Canyon sandstone was probably the result of deposition in a complex environment of meandering and braided streams. Paleocurrent-direction indicators, such as fossilized-log orientation, foreset azimuths, and the axes of crossbeds and channel scours, suggest that the local palostream flow was to the east and southeast. The uranium mineralization is closely associated with 1) local accumulations of carbonaceous (humate) matter derived from the decay of organic material and 2) paleostream channels preserved in the rocks. The ore elements were derived from the leaching of volcanic air-fall tuffs and ash, which were introduced into the fluvial system during volcanic activity in the western United States. The mobile ore-element ions were reduce and concentrated by humic acids and bacteria present in the fluvial system and ultimately remobilized into the forms present today. The uranium is thus envisioned as forming either essentially on the surface as the sediments were being deposited or at very shallow depth

  17. Pitchblende deposits at the Wood and Calhoun mines, Central City mining district, Gilpin County, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Frank R.; Butler, C.R.

    1952-01-01

    Pitchblende has been mined in commercial quantities from four gold- and silver-bearing pyrite-sphalerite-galena veins that occur in an area about one-half mile square on the south side of Quartz Hill, Central City district, Gilpin County, Colo. These veins are the Kirk, the German-Belcher, the Wood, and the Calhoun. Two of these veins, the Wood and the Calhoun, were studied in an attempt to determine the geologic factors favorable for pitchblende deposition. All accessible workings at the Wood and East Calhoun mines were mapped by tape and compass, and the distribution of radioactivity was studied in the field. Channel and chip samples were taken for chemical assay to compare radioactivity with uranium content. The pitchblende-bearing veins cat both pre-Cambrian granite gneiss and quartz-biotite schist; however, the gneiss was the more favorable host rock. Two bostonite porphyry dikes of Tertiary(?) age were crosscut by the Wood and Calhoun veins. The pitchblende occurs in lenses erratically distributed along the veins and in stringers extending outward from the veins. In the lenses it forms hard'. masses, but elsewhere it is Soft and powdery. The pitchblende is contemporaneous with the pyrite bat earlier than the sphalerite and galena in the same vein. All the observed pitchblende was at depths of less than 400 ft. The veins probably cannot be mined profitably for the pitchblende alone under present conditions.

  18. Geology and ore deposits of the Section 23 Mine, Ambrosia Lake District, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granger, H.C.; Santos, E.S.

    1982-01-01

    The section 23 mine is one of about 18 large uranium mines opened in sandstones of the fluvial Westwater Canyon Member of the Jurassic Morrison Formation in the Ambrosia Lake mining district during the early 1960s. The Ambrosia Lake district is one of several mining districts within the Grants mineral belt, an elongate zone containing many uranium deposits along the southern flank of the San Juan basin. Two distinct types of ore occur in the mine. Primary ore occurs as peneconcordant layers of uranium-rich authigenic organic matter that impregnates parts of the reduced sandstone host rocks and which are typically elongate in an east-southeast direction subparallel both to the sedimentary trends and to the present-day regional strike of the strata. These are called prefault or trend ores because of their early genesis and their elongation and alinement. A second type of ore in the mine is referred to as postfault, stacked, or redistributed ore. Its genesis was similar to that of the roll-type deposits in Tertiary rocks of Wyoming and Texas. Oxidation, related to the development of a large tongue of oxidized rock extending from Gallup to Ambrosia Lake, destroyed much of the primary ore and redistributed it as massive accumulations of lower grade ores bordering the redox interface at the edge of the tongue. Host rocks in the southern half of sec. 23 (T. 14 N., R. 10 W.) are oxidized and contain only remnants of the original, tabular, organic-rich ore. Thick bodies of roll-type ore are distributed along the leading edge of the oxidized zone, and pristine primary ore is found only near the north edge of the section. Organic matter in the primary ore was derived from humic acids that precipitated in the pores of the sandstones and fixed uranium as both coffinite and urano-organic compounds. Vanadium, molybdenum, and selenium are also associated with the ore. The secondary or roll-type ores are essentially free of organic carbon and contain uranium both as coffinite and

  19. Atmospheric wet deposition of mercury and other trace elements in Pensacola, Florida

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. M. Landing

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available In an effort to understand and quantify the impact of local, regional, and far-distant atmospheric mercury sources to rainfall mercury deposition in the Pensacola, Florida watershed, a program of event-based rainfall sampling was started in late 2004. Modified Aerochem-Metrics wet/dry rainfall samplers were deployed at three sites in the region around the Crist coal-fired power plant and event-based samples were collected continuously for three years. Samples were analyzed for total Hg and a suite of trace elements including Al, As, Ba, Bi, Cd, Ce, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Fe, Ga, La, Li, Mg, Mn, Na, Nb, Ni, P, Pb, Sb, Se, Si, Sn, Sr, Th, U, V, and Zn. Nutrients (ammonia and nitrate and major anions (chloride and sulfate were also measured on each sample. Multivariate statistical methods were used to sort these tracers into factors that represent potential source categories contributing to the rainfall chemistry. As, Hg, Sb, Se, Sn, and non sea-salt sulfate were all significantly correlated (R>0.6 with one factor which we interpret as an anthropogenic source term reflecting input from coal combustion throughout the southeastern US. Using ratios of total Hg to volatile elements, we estimate that 22–33% of the rainfall Hg results from coal combustion in the southeastern US with the majority coming from the global background.

  20. Sediment-water interactions affecting dissolved-mercury distributions in Camp Far West Reservoir, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuwabara, James S.; Alpers, Charles N.; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark; Topping, Brent R.; Carter, James L.; Stewart, A. Robin; Fend, Steven V.; Parcheso, Francis; Moon, Gerald E.; Krabbenhoft, David P.

    2003-01-01

    Field and laboratory studies were conducted in April and November 2002 to provide the first direct measurements of the benthic flux of dissolved (0.2-micrometer filtered) mercury species (total and methylated forms) between the bottom sediment and water column at three sampling locations within Camp Far West Reservoir, California: one near the Bear River inlet to the reservoir, a second at a mid-reservoir site of comparable depth to the inlet site, and the third at the deepest position in the reservoir near the dam (herein referred to as the inlet, midreservoir and near-dam sites, respectively; Background, Fig. 1). Because of interest in the effects of historic hydraulic mining and ore processing in the Sierra Nevada foothills just upstream of the reservoir, dissolved-mercury species and predominant ligands that often control the mercury speciation (represented by dissolved organic carbon, and sulfides) were the solutes of primary interest. Benthic flux, sometimes referred to as internal recycling, represents the transport of dissolved chemical species between the water column and the underlying sediment. Because of the affinity of mercury to adsorb onto particle surfaces and to form insoluble precipitates (particularly with sulfides), the mass transport of mercury in mining-affected watersheds is typically particle dominated. As these enriched particles accumulate at depositional sites such as reservoirs, benthic processes facilitate the repartitioning, transformation, and transport of mercury in dissolved, biologically reactive forms (dissolved methylmercury being the most bioavailable for trophic transfer). These are the forms of mercury examined in this study. In contrast to typical scientific manuscripts, this report is formatted in a pyramid-like structure to serve the needs of diverse groups who may be interested in reviewing or acquiring information at various levels of technical detail (Appendix 1). The report enables quick transitions between the initial

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Application for trackless mining technique in Benxi uranium mine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Bingguo

    1998-01-01

    The author narrates the circumstances achieving constructional target in Benxi Uranium Mine under relying on advance of science and technology and adopting small trackless mining equipment, presents the application of trackless mining equipment at mining small mine and complex mineral deposit and discusses the unique superiority of trackless mining technique in development work, mining preparation work and backstoping

  3. 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.

  4. Mercury in products - a source of transboundary pollutant transport

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Munthe, J; Kindbom, K [Swedish Environmental Research Inst., Stockholm (Sweden)

    1997-12-01

    The purpose of this report is to summarize current knowledge on product-related emissions of mercury to air on a European scale, and to estimate the contribution from mercury contained in products, to the total anthropogenic emissions of mercury to air and transboundary transport of mercury in Europe. Products included in this study are batteries, measuring and control instruments, light sources and electrical equipment, all intentionally containing mercury. The main result of this study is that product-related emission of mercury can contribute significantly to total emissions and transboundary transport of mercury in the European region and that measures to limit the use of mercury in products can contribute to an overall decrease of the environmental input of mercury in Europe. It is concluded that: -Mercury contained in products may be emitted to air during consumption, after disposal when incinerated or when volatilized from landfill. Mercury may also be emitted to air during recycling of scrap metal or when accumulated (stored) in society. -The amount of mercury consumed in batteries and in measuring and control instruments had decreased since the late 1980`s. The total use of mercury in light sources and electrical equipment has not changed significantly during the same time period. The contribution to total anthropogenic emissions of mercury to air in Europe in the mid 1990`s is estimated to be: for batteries 4%; for measuring and control instruments 3%; for lighting and electrical equipment 11%. -Mercury in products leads to significant wet deposition input in Scandinavia. The relative amount of the total deposition flux attributable to products is estimated to be 10-14% 26 refs, 4 figs, 10 tabs

  5. A large industrial pollution problem on the Kyrgyzstan - Uzbekistan border: Soviet production of mercury and stibium for the Soviet military

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hadjamberdiev, I.; Tukhvatshin, R.

    2009-01-01

    Soviet industry of mercury and stibium was located in South-East Fergana in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan boarder. Khaidarken combine produced high pure mercury (99.9997 percent) since 1940, it was the second source in the World (after Almadena, Spain). Maximal production was 790 t in 1990, after Transitional Shock about 300 tons a year. Tail was established in 1967. There is special tube 5500 m transporting pulp to tail. The pulp contains about 0,003 mg/liter mercury, 0,005 mg/liter arsenic, 21 mg/liter stibium, etc. Pulp is cleaned by aluminum sulfuric and mortar. After drying and compressing by itself the concentrations rises: mercury 90-250 mg/kg, arsenic 190-400, stibium 800-1700 mg/kg. Environment pollution problem contains three kinds: ground water infiltration; old tube corroding some places (leaking from chink of tube) - both mentioned lead to vegetables cumulating; combine work spreading mercury by air to settlement Khaidarken. Kadamjay enterprise for stibium (mines, combine, purify plant, tails) began work in 1936. Most part of production used in soviet military. Maximal production was 17.000 t clearing ore in 1990, after USSR collapse 1-6 t/year. Tremendous tails and dams (total 150 mln t) remains non re-cultivated until now. The tails contain electrolysis wastage: sodium-sulfides, sulfites, sulfates; stibium; arsenic; cadmium; stibium; etc. Seven deposits (tail-damp really) established 1976, total square 76.1 thousands sq m, total volume 250 thousand cub m. The deposits over-filled, contents filtrating - little saline or lakes generated (one situated 50m near Uzbekistan boarder). River Shakhimardan flow to Uzbekistan (settlement Vuadil, Ferghana town). There are health damage indices in the areas.(author)

  6. Five Hundred Years of Mercury Exposure and Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, Guido; Lanzirotti, Antonio; Qualls, Clifford; Socola, Francisco; Ali, Abdul-Mehdi; Appenzeller, Otto

    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 Peru. This would generally benefit survival in the Anthropocene, the man-made world, we now live in. PMID:22910643

  7. 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

  8. 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

    Environmental concerns have led to numerous regulations that have dramatically decreased the reported production and use of mercury in the United States since the 1980s. Government legislation and subsequent industry actions have led to increased collection of mercury-containing materials and the recovery of mercury through recycling. Mercury emissions have been reduced and effective alternatives to mercury products have been developed for many applications. This study updates and quantifies the changes in demand, supply, use, and material flow for mercury in various sectors in the United States that have taken place since 1996. Nearly all primary mercury produced in the United States is derived as a byproduct of processing of gold and silver ore in Nevada. Since 2001, annual production of mercury from gold and silver mining in Nevada has decreased by 22 percent overall because ore from greater depths containing low grade mercury is recovered, and mercury emissions from this source have decreased by 95 percent as a result of increased regulation and improved collection and suppression technology. The distribution of consumption of mercury in the United States has changed as a result of regulation (elimination of large-scale mercury use in the paint and battery sectors), reduction by consumers (decommissioning of mercury-cell chloralkali manufacturing capacity), and technological advances (improvements in dental, lighting, and wiring sectors). Mercury use in the chloralkali sector, the leading end-use sector in the United States in 1996, has declined by 98 percent from 136 metric tons (t) in 1996 to about 0.3 t in 2010 because of increased processing and recycling efficiencies and plant closures or conversion to other technologies. As plants were closed, mercury recovered from the infrastructure of decommissioned plants has been exported, making the United States a net exporter of mercury, even though no mercury has been produced as the primary product from mines in

  9. Applications of Geomatics in Surface Mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blachowski, Jan; Górniak-Zimroz, Justyna; Milczarek, Wojciech; Pactwa, Katarzyna

    2017-12-01

    In terms of method of extracting mineral from deposit, mining can be classified into: surface, underground, and borehole mining. Surface mining is a form of mining, in which the soil and the rock covering the mineral deposits are removed. Types of surface mining include mainly strip and open-cast methods, as well as quarrying. Tasks associated with surface mining of minerals include: resource estimation and deposit documentation, mine planning and deposit access, mine plant development, extraction of minerals from deposits, mineral and waste processing, reclamation and reclamation of former mining grounds. At each stage of mining, geodata describing changes occurring in space during the entire life cycle of surface mining project should be taken into consideration, i.e. collected, analysed, processed, examined, distributed. These data result from direct (e.g. geodetic) and indirect (i.e. remote or relative) measurements and observations including airborne and satellite methods, geotechnical, geological and hydrogeological data, and data from other types of sensors, e.g. located on mining equipment and infrastructure, mine plans and maps. Management of such vast sources and sets of geodata, as well as information resulting from processing, integrated analysis and examining such data can be facilitated with geomatic solutions. Geomatics is a discipline of gathering, processing, interpreting, storing and delivering spatially referenced information. Thus, geomatics integrates methods and technologies used for collecting, management, processing, visualizing and distributing spatial data. In other words, its meaning covers practically every method and tool from spatial data acquisition to distribution. In this work examples of application of geomatic solutions in surface mining on representative case studies in various stages of mine operation have been presented. These applications include: prospecting and documenting mineral deposits, assessment of land accessibility

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. Litterfall mercury deposition in Atlantic forest ecosystem from SE – Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teixeira, Daniel C.; Montezuma, Rita C.; Oliveira, Rogério R.; Silva-Filho, Emmanoel V.

    2012-01-01

    Litterfall is believed to be the major flux of Hg to soils in forested landscapes, yet much less is known about this input on tropical environment. The Hg litterfall flux was measured during one year in Atlantic Forest fragment, located within Rio de Janeiro urban perimeter, in the Southeastern region of Brazil. The results indicated a mean annual Hg concentration of 238 ± 52 ng g −1 and a total annual Hg deposition of 184 ± 8.2 μg m −2 y −1 . The negative correlation observed between rain precipitation and Hg concentrations is probably related to the higher photosynthetic activity observed during summer. The total Hg concentration in leaves from the most abundant species varied from 60 to 215 ng g −1 . Hg concentration showed a positive correlation with stomatal and trichomes densities. These characteristics support the hypothesis that Tropical Forest is an efficient mercury sink and litter plays a key role in Hg dynamics. - Highlights: ► The litter production from an Atlantic Forest was measured by one year. ► Concentration and flux of mercury was measured from these litter samples. ► The Hg concentrations from 5 trees were taken. ► Correlations between the data found and meteorological and anatomical plant parameters were confronted. ► The high Hg values found and their distribution points to a great sequester potential from this biome. - Hg high values in litter are a pattern found at Tropical Forest, it seems to be correlated with physio-anatomical plant characteristics from this biome.

  13. Local deposition of mercury in topsoils around coal-fired power plants: is it always true?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez Martin, José Antonio; Nanos, Nikos; Grigoratos, Theodoros; Carbonell, Gregoria; Samara, Constantini

    2014-09-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a toxic element that is emitted to the atmosphere through human activities, mainly fossil fuel combustion. Hg accumulations in soil are associated with atmospheric deposition, while coal-burning power plants remain the most important source of anthropogenic mercury emissions. In this study, we analyzed the Hg concentration in the topsoil of the Kozani-Ptolemais basin where four coal-fired power plants (4,065 MW) run to provide 50 % of electricity in Greece. The study aimed to investigate the extent of soil contamination by Hg using geostatistical techniques to evaluate the presumed Hg enrichment around the four power plants. Hg variability in agricultural soils was evaluated using 276 soil samples from 92 locations covering an area of 1,000 km(2). We were surprised to find a low Hg content in soil (range 1-59 μg kg(-1)) and 50 % of samples with a concentration lower than 6 μg kg(-1). The influence of mercury emissions from the four coal-fired power plants on soil was poor or virtually nil. We associate this effect with low Hg contents in the coal (1.5-24.5 μg kg(-1)) used in the combustion of these power plants (one of the most Hg-poor in the world). Despite anthropic activity in the area, we conclude that Hg content in the agricultural soils of the Kozani-Ptolemais basin is present in low concentrations.

  14. Two new sources of reactive gaseous mercury in the free troposphere

    OpenAIRE

    H. Timonen; J. L. Ambrose; D. A. Jaffe

    2012-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a neurotoxin that bioaccumulates in the food chain. Mercury is emitted to the atmosphere primarily in its elemental form, which has a long lifetime allowing global transport. It is known that atmospheric oxidation of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) generates reactive gaseous mercury (RGM) which plays an important role in the atmospheric mercury cycle by enhancing the rate of mercury deposition to ecosystems. However, the primary GEM oxidants, and the sources and chemical ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Occupational and environmental mercury exposure among small-scale gold miners in the Talensi-Nabdam District of Ghana's Upper East region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paruchuri, Yasaswi; Siuniak, Amanda; Johnson, Nicole; Levin, Elena; Mitchell, Katherine; Goodrich, Jaclyn M; Renne, Elisha P; Basu, Niladri

    2010-11-15

    Mercury use in small-scale gold mining is ubiquitous across Ghana but little is known about the extent to which such activities have contaminated community residents and miners. Here, occupational exposures to elemental mercury (via urine sampling) and dietary exposures to methylmercury (via hair sampling) were assessed among 120 participants recruited from a mining community located in the Talensi-Nabdam District of Ghana's Upper East region during summer 2009. More than one-fifth of the participants had moderately high levels of urinary mercury (>10μg/L) and 5% had urine mercury levels that exceeded the WHO guideline value of 50μg/L. When participants were stratified according to occupation, those active in the mining industry had the highest mercury levels. Specifically, individuals that burned amalgam had urine mercury levels (median: 43.8μg/L; mean ± SD: 171.1±296.5μg/L; n=5) significantly higher than median values measured in mechanical operators (11.6μg/L, n=4), concession managers/owners (5.6μg/L, n=11), excavators that blast and chisel ore (4.9μg/L, n=33), individuals that sift and grind crushed ore (2.2μg/L, n=47), support workers (0.5μg/L, n=14), and those with no role in the mining sector (2.5μg/L, n=6). There was a significant positive Spearman correlation between fish consumption and hair mercury levels (r=0.30) but not with urine mercury (r=0.18) though further studies are needed to document which types of fish are consumed as well as portion sizes. Given that 200,000 people in Ghana are involved in the small-scale gold mining industry and that the numbers are expected to grow in Ghana and many other regions of the world, elucidating mercury exposure pathways in such communities is important to help shape policies and behaviors that may minimize health risks. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Isotopic Fractionation of Mercury in Great Lakes Precipitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gratz, L. E.; Keeler, G. J.; Blum, J. D.; Sherman, L. S.

    2009-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a hazardous bioaccumulative neurotoxin, and atmospheric deposition is a primary way in which mercury enters terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. However, the chemical processes and transport regimes that mercury undergoes from emission to deposition are not well understood. Thus the use of mercury isotopes to characterize the biogeochemical cycling of mercury is a rapidly growing area of study. Precipitation samples were collected in Chicago, IL, Holland, MI, and Dexter, MI from April 2007 - October 2007 to begin examining the isotopic fractionation of atmospheric mercury in the Great Lakes region. Results show that mass-dependent fractionation relative to NIST-3133 (MDF - δ202Hg) ranged from -0.8‰ to 0.2‰ (±0.2‰) in precipitation samples, while mass-independent fractionation (MIF - Δ199Hg) varied from 0.1‰ to 0.6‰ (±0.1‰). Although clear urban-rural differences were not observed, this may be due to the weekly collection of precipitation samples rather than collection of individual events, making it difficult to truly characterize the meteorology and source influences associated with each sample and suggesting that event-based collection is necessary during future sampling campaigns. Additionally, total vapor phase mercury samples were collected in Dexter, MI in 2009 to examine isotopic fractionation of mercury in ambient air. In ambient samples δ202Hg ranged from 0.3‰ to 0.5‰ (±0.1‰), however Δ199Hg was not significant. Because mercury in precipitation is predominantly Hg2+, while ambient vapor phase mercury is primarily Hg0, these results may suggest the occurrence of MIF during the oxidation of Hg0 to Hg2+ prior to deposition. Furthermore, although it has not been previously reported or predicted, MIF of 200Hg was also detected. Δ200Hg ranged from 0.0‰ to 0.2‰ in precipitation and from -0.1‰ to 0.0‰ in ambient samples. This work resulted in methodological developments in the collection and processing of

  18. Design of a deposit of waste materials coming from mining exploitations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Castro, Alvaro; Pinzon, Hernan; Vargas, William; Pinzon, Andres

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents the design process and stability assessment of a waste backfill in a limestone quarry method. The study shows the geotechnical and mining features of waste and underground materials affected by backfill. The mainly waste materials are: clay, gravel, and blocks of clay stone, sandstone and limestone, all to be disposed by a layered embankment. The constructive method is selected and the stability analysis of deposit and soil foundation was made by equilibrium method without considering deformations

  19. Mined-out land

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reinsalu, Enno; Toomik, Arvi; Valgma, Ingo

    2002-01-01

    Estonian mineral resources are deposited in low depth and mining fields are large, therefore vast areas are affected by mining. There are at least 800 deposits with total area of 6,000 km 2 and about the same number of underground mines, surface mines, peat fields, quarries, and sand and gravel pits. The deposits cover more than 10% of Estonian mainland. The total area of operating mine claims exceeds 150 km 2 that makes 0.3 % of Estonian area. The book is written mainly for the people who are living or acting in the area influenced by mining. The observations and research could benefit those who are interested in geography and environment, who follow formation and look of mined-out landscapes. The book contains also warnings for careless people on and under the surface of the mined-out land. Part of the book contains results of the research made in 1968-1993 by the first two authors working at the Estonian branch of A.Skochinsky Institute of Mining. Since 1990, Arvi Toomik continued this study at the Northeastern section of the Institute of Ecology of Tallinn Pedagogical University. Enno Reinsalu studied aftereffects of mining at the Mining Department of Tallinn Technical University from 1998 to 2000. Geographical Information System for Mining was studied by Ingo Valgma within his doctoral dissertation, and this book is one of the applications of his study

  20. Syrian bean-caper (Zygophyllum fabago L.) improves organic matter and other properties of mine wastes deposits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabas, S; Arocena, J M; Acosta, J A; Faz, A; Martínez-Martínez, S; Zornoza, R; Carmona, D M

    2014-01-01

    The omni-presence of Zygophyllum fabago L. (Syrian bean-caper) natural colonies in post mining areas prompted us to investigate its contributions to reclamation of mine wastes deposits in southeast Spain. Select plant-related (edaphic) characteristics and bio- and water soluble-Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in rhizosphere of Z. fabago were compared to deposits one year since application of pig slurry and marble waste. Total N in rhizosphere increased up to a factor of 20X (339 vs 17 mg N kg(-1)) in El Gorguel and 27X (85 vs 3.1 mg N kg(-1)) in El Lirio sites. Organic matter accumulation in rhizosphere from litter and roots of Z. fabago increased organic C from 6.6 to 19.5 g kg(-1) in El Gorguel and from 2.1 to 5.7 g kg(-1) in El Lirio in one year. Dissolution of inorganic C takes place due to organic acids from root exudates of Z. fabago. Reduction in bio-available Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in rhizosphere of Z. fabago at El Lirio is attributed to increase in pH from 5.3 to 7.7 through marble waste addition, although increased cation exchange capacity may also have played a role. Addition of marble waste to encourage colonization by Z. fabago in acidic mine wastes deposits was recommended.

  1. 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)

  2. Scavenging of gaseous mercury by acidic snow at Kuujjuarapik, Northern Quebec

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lahoutifard, Nazafarin; Poissant, Laurier; Scott, Susannah L.

    2006-01-01

    One fate of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) in the Arctic has been identified as gas phase oxidation by halogen-containing radicals, leading to abrupt atmospheric mercury depletion concurrent with ozone depletion. Rapid deposition of oxidized mercury leads to snow enrichment in mercury. In this report, we describe experiments that demonstrate the ability of snow to directly scavenge atmospheric mercury. The study was conducted at Kuujjuarapik, Quebec, Canada (latitude 55 o 17'N). A mercury depletion event (MDE) caused the mercury concentration in the surface snow of the coastal snowpack to double, from (9.4 ± 2.0) to (19.2 ± 1.7) ng/L. Independent of the MDE, mercury concentrations increased five-fold, from (10.0 ± 0.1) to (51.4 ± 6.0) ng/L, upon spiking the snow with 500 μM hydrogen peroxide under solar irradiation. Total organic carbon in the spiked irradiated snow samples also decreased, consistent with the formation of strongly oxidizing species. The role of the snowpack in releasing GEM to the atmosphere has been reported; these findings suggest that snow may also play a role in enhancing deposition of mercury

  3. Comparison of braided-stream depositional environment and uranium deposits at Saint Anthony underground mine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baird, C.W.; Martin, K.W.; Lowry, R.M.

    1980-01-01

    United Nuclear's Saint Anthony mine, located in the Laguna district, produces uranium ore from the Jackpile sandstone unit of the Morrison Formation. The Jackpile sediments were deposited in a fluvial environment characterized by aridity, gentle slope, distant source area, and limited flow volume. Resultant stratigraphy consists of an intricate assemblage of trough and tabular cross-stratification grading to near massive bedding at some locations. Interbedded with the Jackpile sands are green mudstones and siltstones that commonly display irregular thicknesses of less than 2 ft and that are laterally discontinuous. Major penecontemporaneous and postdepositional alteration of originally deposited sands, silts, and clays includes: 1) infiltration and filling of interstices by kaolinitic clays; 2) mobilization and relocation of organic carbonaceous material; and 3) geochemical alteration of mineral constituents and fixation of uranium ions in organic carbonaceous material. Mineralized zones of economic volume display a spatial relationship to bedding features indicative of loosely packed sand deposited in dune and trough foresets. This relationship indicates possible permeability control by initial stratigraphy upon the flow of mineralizing solutions. Additionally, the low-energy foreset environment facilitates the accumulation of low-specific-gravity carbonaceous material necessary for interaction with mineralizing solutions. Large volumes of loosely packed foreset sands accumulate in transverse bars in braided-stream environments. These structures have a great potential for conducting large volumes of mineralizing fluids and hosting economic quantities of uranium ore

  4. Characterizations of wet mercury deposition on a remote high-elevation site in the southeastern Tibetan Plateau

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huang, Jie; Kang, Shichang; Zhang, Qianggong; Guo, Junming; Sillanpää, Mika; Wang, Yongjie; Sun, Shiwei

    2015-01-01

    Accurate measurements of wet mercury (Hg) deposition are critically important for the assessment of ecological responses to pollutant loading. The Hg in wet deposition was measured over a 3-year period in the southeastern Tibetan Plateau. The volume-weighted mean (VWM) total Hg (Hg_T) concentration was somewhat lower than those reported in other regions of the Tibetan Plateau, but the VWM methyl-Hg concentration and deposition flux were among the highest globally reported values. The VWM Hg_T concentration was higher in non-monsoon season than in monsoon season, and wet Hg_T deposition was dominated by the precipitation amount rather than the scavenging of atmospheric Hg by precipitation. The dominant Hg species in precipitation was mainly in the form of dissolved Hg, which indicates the pivotal role of reactive gaseous Hg within-cloud scavenging to wet Hg deposition. Moreover, an increasing trend in precipitation Hg concentrations was synchronous with the recent economic development in South Asia. - Highlights: • The lowest Hg_T concentration in precipitation was found at Southeast Tibet Station. • MeHg concentration and wet deposition flux were among the highest at our study site. • Hg_D dominated the concentration and flux of Hg_T in wet Hg deposition. • A long-term increasing trend in the Hg_T concentration was found at our study site. - An increasing trend in the precipitation Hg concentrations was synchronous with the recent economic development in South Asia.

  5. Tundra uptake of atmospheric elemental mercury drives Arctic mercury pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obrist, Daniel; Agnan, Yannick; Jiskra, Martin; Olson, Christine L; Colegrove, Dominique P; Hueber, Jacques; Moore, Christopher W; Sonke, Jeroen E; Helmig, Detlev

    2017-07-12

    Anthropogenic activities have led to large-scale mercury (Hg) pollution in the Arctic. It has been suggested that sea-salt-induced chemical cycling of Hg (through 'atmospheric mercury depletion events', or AMDEs) and wet deposition via precipitation are sources of Hg to the Arctic in its oxidized form (Hg(ii)). However, there is little evidence for the occurrence of AMDEs outside of coastal regions, and their importance to net Hg deposition has been questioned. Furthermore, wet-deposition measurements in the Arctic showed some of the lowest levels of Hg deposition via precipitation worldwide, raising questions as to the sources of high Arctic Hg loading. Here we present a comprehensive Hg-deposition mass-balance study, and show that most of the Hg (about 70%) in the interior Arctic tundra is derived from gaseous elemental Hg (Hg(0)) deposition, with only minor contributions from the deposition of Hg(ii) via precipitation or AMDEs. We find that deposition of Hg(0)-the form ubiquitously present in the global atmosphere-occurs throughout the year, and that it is enhanced in summer through the uptake of Hg(0) by vegetation. Tundra uptake of gaseous Hg(0) leads to high soil Hg concentrations, with Hg masses greatly exceeding the levels found in temperate soils. Our concurrent Hg stable isotope measurements in the atmosphere, snowpack, vegetation and soils support our finding that Hg(0) dominates as a source to the tundra. Hg concentration and stable isotope data from an inland-to-coastal transect show high soil Hg concentrations consistently derived from Hg(0), suggesting that the Arctic tundra might be a globally important Hg sink. We suggest that the high tundra soil Hg concentrations might also explain why Arctic rivers annually transport large amounts of Hg to the Arctic Ocean.

  6. 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...

  7. Current and future levels of mercury atmospheric pollution on global scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pacyna, Jozef M.; Travnikov, Oleg; De Simone, Francesco; Hedgecock, Ian M.; Sundseth, Kyrre; Pacyna, Elisabeth G.; Steenhuisen, Frits; Pirrone, Nicola; Munthe, John; Kindbom, Karin

    2016-01-01

    An assessment of current and future emissions, air concentrations and atmospheric deposition of mercury world-wide are presented on the basis of results obtained during the performance of the EU GMOS (Global Mercury Observation System) project. Emission estimates for mercury were prepared with the

  8. Occupational and environmental mercury exposure among small-scale gold miners in the Talensi-Nabdam District of Ghana’s Upper East region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paruchuri, Yasaswi; Siuniak, Amanda; Johnson, Nicole; Levin, Elena; Mitchell, Katherine; Goodrich, Jaclyn M.; Renne, Elisha P.; Basu, Niladri

    2014-01-01

    Mercury use in small-scale gold mining is ubiquitous across Ghana but little is known about the extent to which such activities have contaminated community residents and miners. Here, occupational exposures to elemental mercury (via urine sampling) and dietary exposures to methylmercury (via hair sampling) were assessed among 120 participants recruited from a mining community located in the Talensi-Nabdam District of Ghana’s Upper East region during summer 2009. More than one-fifth of the participants had moderately high levels of urinary mercury (>10 µg/L) and 5% had urine mercury levels that exceeded the WHO guideline value of 50 µg/L. When participants were stratified according to occupation, those active in the mining industry had the highest mercury levels. Specifically, individuals that burned amalgam had urine mercury levels (median: 43.8 µg/L; mean ± SD: 171.1 ± 296.5 µg/L; n=5) significantly higher than median values measured in mechanical operators (11.6 µg/L, n=4), concession managers/owners (5.6 µg/L, n=11), excavators that blast and chisel ore (4.9 µg/L, n=33), individuals that sift and grind crushed ore (2.2 µg/L, n=47), support workers (0.5 µg/L, n=14), and those with no role in the mining sector (2.5 µg/L, n=6). There was a significant positive spearman correlation between fish consumption and hair mercury levels (r = 0.30) but not with urine mercury (r = 0.18) though further studies are needed to document which types of fish are consumed as well as portion sizes. Given that 200,000 people in Ghana are involved in the small-scale gold mining industry and that the numbers are expected to grow in Ghana and many other regions of the world, elucidating mercury exposure pathways in such communities is important to help shape policies and behaviors that may minimize health risks. PMID:20875913

  9. Ice Core Perspective on Mercury Pollution during the Past 600 Years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beal, Samuel A; Osterberg, Erich C; Zdanowicz, Christian M; Fisher, David A

    2015-07-07

    Past emissions of the toxic metal mercury (Hg) persist in the global environment, yet these emissions remain poorly constrained by existing data. Ice cores are high-resolution archives of atmospheric deposition that may provide crucial insight into past atmospheric Hg levels during recent and historical time. Here we present a record of total Hg (HgT) in an ice core from the pristine summit plateau (5340 m asl) of Mount Logan, Yukon, Canada, representing atmospheric deposition from AD 1410 to 1998. The Colonial Period (∼1603-1850) and North American "Gold Rush" (1850-1900) represent minor fractions (8% and 14%, respectively) of total anthropogenic Hg deposition in the record, with the majority (78%) occurring during the 20th Century. A period of maximum HgT fluxes from 1940 to 1975 coincides with estimates of enhanced anthropogenic Hg emissions from commercial sources, as well as with industrial emissions of other toxic metals. Rapid declines in HgT fluxes following peaks during the Gold Rush and the mid-20th Century indicate that atmospheric Hg deposition responds quickly to reductions in emissions. Increasing HgT fluxes from 1993 until the youngest samples in 1998 may reflect the resurgence of Hg emissions from unregulated coal burning and small-scale gold mining.

  10. Interior Volatile Reservoirs in Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anzures, B. A.; Parman, S. W.; Milliken, R. E.; Head, J. W.

    2018-05-01

    More measurements of 1) surface volatiles, and 2) pyroclastic deposits paired with experimental volatile analyses in silicate minerals can constrain conditions of melting and subsequent eruption on Mercury.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-10-01

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

  12. Use of structural geology in exploration for and mining of sedimentary rock-hosted Au deposits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Stephen G.

    2001-01-01

    Structural geology is an important component in regional-, district- and orebody-scale exploration and development of sedimentary rock-hosted Au deposits.Identification of timing of important structural events in an ore district allows analysis and classification of fluid conduits and construction of genetic models for ore formation.The most practical uses of structural geology deal with measurement and definition of various elements that comprise orebodies, which can then be directly applied to ore-reserve estimation,ground control,grade control, safety issues,and mine planning.District- and regional-scale structural studies are directly applicable to long-term strategic planning,economic analysis,and land ownership. Orebodies in sedimentary rock-hosted Au deposits are discrete, hypogene, epigenetic masses usually hosted in a fault zone,breccia mass, or lithologic bed or unit. These attributes allow structural geology to be directly applied to the mining and exploration of sedimentary rock-hosted Au deposits. Internal constituents in orebodies reflect unique episodes relating to ore formation.The main internal constituents in orebodies are ore minerals, gangue, and alteration minerals that usually are mixed with one another in complex patterns, the relations among which may be used to interpret the processes of orebody formation and control.Controls of orebody location and shape usually are due to structural dilatant zones caused by changes in attitude, splays, lithologic contacts,and intersections of the host conduit or unit.In addition,conceptual parameters such as district fabric,predictable distances, and stacking also are used to understand the geometry of orebodies.Controls in ore districts and location and geometry of orebodies in ore districts can be predicted to various degrees by using a number of qualitative concepts such as internal and external orebody plunges,district plunge, district stacking, conduit classification, geochemical, geobarometric and

  13. Fine evaluation of the Bondons deposit and a methodology of selective mining

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Donnadieu, J.P.; Mascarino, M.

    1990-01-01

    The metamorphic deposit of Bondons is characterized by a low-grade in uranium (400 t at 600 ppm). No visual criterion permits to localize the ore which rules out the classical methods of sorting. The considerable rate of dilution which was found during the first mining stages threatened to compromise the profitability. The mining company CFM decided to apply a sorting method which permits to distinguish three categories of products: waste; low-grade ore for dump leaching; higher-grade ore for processing in the mill. This method relies basically on a very detailed geological and radiometric follow-up of the mining operation. A data acquisition system by CMS (Radacq) permits the recording of the data of radioactive logging of the shotholes at every level. The latter are processed by computer to produce finally plans for every level, in which one can see in two dimensions the geometry and the quality of the ore to be mined. The Head of the Mining Operation establishes a mining project in slices. The latter are materialized on the spot. A sampler guides the shovel operator for recovery of the mill ore. A check system for the quality of the ore contained in the shovel is installed on the arm of the digger loading the dumpers. The quality of the ore contained in the dumpers is then checked by a radiometric bridge, which completes the account of the production on a CMS. This provides the information at every instant of the quality, the quantity and the origin of any batch of ore. The system has permitted a gain of 15% of uranium metal without reducing the average grade [fr

  14. Uranium mining in Australia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1980-01-01

    Known uranium deposits and the companies involved in uranium mining and exploration in Australia are listed. The status of the development of the deposits is outlined and reasons for delays to mining are given

  15. Mining and processing of uranium deposits in Salamanca, Spain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Jaen, J.P.; Otero, J.; Serrano, J.R.; Membrillera, J.R.; Josa, J.M.

    1977-01-01

    In July, 1974, Empresa Nacional del Uranio, S.A. (ENUSA), took the decision to mine uranium in the province of Salamanca, based on geological and processing studies carried out by the Junta de Energia Nuclear (JEN). The milling plant was designed by JEN and assembled by ENUSA, and operations were begun on 22 May, 1975. The orebody, FE-1, is composed of slate of Cambrain age and the fissures are filled by primary minerals. Secondary minerals are impregnated in the zone affected by the hydrostatic level. The orebody is of the stockwork type in which carbonaceous matter has acted as a reducing agent. The average grade of the ore is 0.09% U 3 O 8 at a cutoff grade of 0.02% U 3 O 8 : the deposit is therefore among the lowest-grade deposits that are currently mined. Annual production is 1 200 000 t of rock, of which 200 000 t is ore-bearing. The milling plant uses a static heap-leaching method, followed by solvent extraction (tertiary amines) and precipitation by ammonia. Joint studies by JEN and ENUSA have led to the introduction of modifications that have increased the production capacity from 75 to 112 t U 3 O 8 per annum with no significant alteration in the initial planned investment. The total recovery after processing is 75% of the U 3 O 8 contained in the ore. Approximately 100 people are employed in the overall operation. ENUSA has decided to expand operations in Salamanca with the construction of a new milling plant (technological aid by JEN), which will be capable of processing 825 000 t of ore per year, with an annual production of 500 t U 3 O 8 . The new plant is expected to begin operations in 1979. (author)

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  18. Mercury bioaccumulation in Southern Appalachian birds, assessed through feather concentrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebecca Hylton Keller; Lingtian Xie; David B. Buchwalter; Kathleen E. Franzreb; Theodore R Simons

    2014-01-01

    Mercury contamination in wildlife has rarely been studied in the Southern Appalachians despite high deposition rates in the region. From 2006 to 2008 we sampled feathers from 458 birds representing 32 species in the Southern Appalachians for total mercury and stable isotope ä 15N. Mercury concentrations (mean ± SE) averaged 0.46...

  19. Controlling Factors of Mercury Wet Deposition and Precipitation Concentrations in Upstate New York

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Z.; Mao, H.; Driscoll, C. T.

    2017-12-01

    Observations from the Mercury Deposition Network (MDN) at Huntington Wildlife Forest (HWF) suggested that a significant decline in Hg concentrations in precipitation was linked to Hg emission decreases in the United States, especially in the Northeast and Midwest, and yet Hg wet deposition has remained fairly constant over the past two decades. The present study was aimed to investigate how climatic, terrestrial, and anthropogenic factors had influenced the Hg wet deposition flux in upstate New York (NY). To achieve this, an improved Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model was employed, which included state-of-the-art Hg and halogen chemistry mechanisms. A base simulation and five sensitivity simulations were conducted. The base simulation used 2010 meteorology, U.S. EPA NEI 2011, and GEOS-Chem output as initial and boundary conditions (ICs and BCs). The five sensitivity runs each changed one condition at the time as follows: 1-3) 2004, 2005, and 2007 meteorology instead of 2010, 4) NEI 2005 Hg anthropogenic emission out of NYS instead of NEI