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Mercury Exposure Assessment and Spatial Distribution in A Ghanaian Small-Scale Gold Mining Community.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Sep 01; 12(9):10755-82.IJ

Abstract

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.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. mrajae@umich.edu.Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. rachlong@umich.edu.Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan, 101 West Hall, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. erenne@umich.edu. Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan, 4700 Haven Hall, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. erenne@umich.edu.Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. niladri.basu@mcgill.ca. Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University, 21, 111 Lakeshore Rd., Ste. Anne de Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9, Canada. niladri.basu@mcgill.ca.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26340636

Citation

Rajaee, Mozhgon, et al. "Mercury Exposure Assessment and Spatial Distribution in a Ghanaian Small-Scale Gold Mining Community." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 12, no. 9, 2015, pp. 10755-82.
Rajaee M, Long RN, Renne EP, et al. Mercury Exposure Assessment and Spatial Distribution in A Ghanaian Small-Scale Gold Mining Community. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015;12(9):10755-82.
Rajaee, M., Long, R. N., Renne, E. P., & Basu, N. (2015). Mercury Exposure Assessment and Spatial Distribution in A Ghanaian Small-Scale Gold Mining Community. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 12(9), 10755-82. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120910755
Rajaee M, et al. Mercury Exposure Assessment and Spatial Distribution in a Ghanaian Small-Scale Gold Mining Community. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Sep 1;12(9):10755-82. PubMed PMID: 26340636.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Mercury Exposure Assessment and Spatial Distribution in A Ghanaian Small-Scale Gold Mining Community. AU - Rajaee,Mozhgon, AU - Long,Rachel N, AU - Renne,Elisha P, AU - Basu,Niladri, Y1 - 2015/09/01/ PY - 2015/06/02/received PY - 2015/08/18/revised PY - 2015/08/26/accepted PY - 2015/9/5/entrez PY - 2015/9/5/pubmed PY - 2016/4/29/medline KW - ASGM KW - GIS KW - Ghana KW - mercury KW - small-scale gold mining SP - 10755 EP - 82 JF - International journal of environmental research and public health JO - Int J Environ Res Public Health VL - 12 IS - 9 N2 - 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. SN - 1660-4601 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26340636/Mercury_Exposure_Assessment_and_Spatial_Distribution_in_A_Ghanaian_Small_Scale_Gold_Mining_Community_ L2 - https://www.mdpi.com/resolver?pii=ijerph120910755 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -