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22 may 2022 10:48:21

 
IJERPH, Vol. 19, Pages 6290: Mercury Pollution from Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Myanmar and Other Southeast Asian Countries (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
 


Mercury (Hg) is one of the most harmful metals and has been a public health concern according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the world’s fastest-growing source of Hg and can release Hg into the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere. Hg has been widely used in ASGM industries throughout Southeast Asia countries, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand. Here, 16 relevant studies were systematically searched by performing the PRISMA flow, combining the keywords of “Hg”, “ASGM”, and relevant study areas. Mercury concentrations exceeding the WHO and United States Environmental Protection Agency guideline values were reported in environmental (i.e., air, water, and soil) and biomonitoring samples (i.e., plants, fish, and human hair). ASGM-related health risks to miners and nonminers, specifically in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Myanmar, were also assessed. The findings indicated severe Hg contamination around the ASGM process, specifically the gold-amalgamation stage, was significantly high. To one point, Hg atmospheric concentrations from all observed studies was shown to be extremely high in the vicinity of gold operating areas. Attentions should be given regarding the public health concern, specifically for the vulnerable groups such as adults, pregnant women, and children who live near the ASGM activity. This review summarizes the effects of Hg in Myanmar and other Southeast Asian countries. In the future, more research and assessment will be required to investigate the current and evolving situation in ASGM communities.


 
97 viewsCategory: Medicine, Pathology, Toxicology
 
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