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– New study to determine impact of mercury on mining communityThe World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Guianas will be signing a $12M grant agreement with the Ministry of Health to study the health implications resulting from occupational and other forms of exposure to mercury among vulnerable members in mining communities.According to the WWF Guianas in a release yesterday, the objectives of the project are four-fold.First, it sets out to assess the level and effects of mercury amongst small to medium-scale gold miners, gold traders, gold jewellers and the population of mining communities.Secondly, it attempts to build awareness amongst medical practitioners on the implications of mercury use on human health, and to recognize signs and symptoms, and appropriate treatment procedures.Thirdly, capacity-building in the health sector to assess the levels of mercury in humans and the environment is envisaged.And additionally,NFL Jerseys China Cheap, awareness is established among small to medium-scale gold miners, community members and other important groups on the potential negative impacts of mercury use on human health,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, and precautionary measures to minimize these impacts.This project is being funded by Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial (FFEM), Discretionary Grant Information System (DGIS) and WWF-NL, and falls under the Goldmining Pollution Abatement component of the Guianas Sustainable Natural Resource Management Project 2007-2011. It is scheduled to be implemented over a period of 10 months.In addition to the activities identified above, a cold vapour atomic absorption spectrometer to assess the level of mercury in persons will be donated to the National Reference Laboratory, and medical technologists at this institution will be trained on its useOver the past 15 years,Cheap Jerseys, WWF Guianas said, mercury pollution assessments were done in gold mining areas and in non-gold mining areas for control. Two such studies were supported by WWF Guianas in the Upper Mazaruni and North-West Districts.Mercury accumulates in waterways, where it is transformed into methyl mercury which usually accumulates in fish tissue.“The studies concluded that mercury was present in the bio-physical environment in a number of mining areas. The current study is a follow-up to the earlier studies and is designed to focus on an epidemiological research that involves the physical and mental conditions of individuals and possible influences on external factors that may or may not contribute to the aggravation of their health.”The use of mercury in Guyana occurs predominantly in the mining industry, which results in direct human exposure as well as a build-up in the environment and subsequent transfer to humans through the consumption of fish.In 2000, the Upper Mazaruni study conducted by the Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST) in collaboration with WWF Guianas, observed that there was strong positive correlation between the occurrence of mercury in the environment and high concentrations of mercury among gold miners and some neighbouring communities.“Generally,cheap jerseys from china, in the aquatic ecosystem, mercury is known to collect and concentrate within the food chain, particularly in carnivorous fish. Consumption of such fish, especially by pregnant women and young children, results in unsafe accumulation and toxic blood levels, putting health at risk,” the organization said.The significance of this study needs to be seen in the context of the potential harmful effects of mercury contamination on the physical and human environment. Among the mining community, for instance, the burning of gold with the open flame and without the use of protective gear contributes to harmful exposure from mercury vapour, if inhaled.“Similarly,Nike NFL Jerseys China, a health hazard exists if mercury is absorbed through the skin due to direct exposure to the liquid or its vapour. Mercury vapours cause immediate and potentially life threatening lung damage at high doses,NFL Jerseys Cheap, and harmful effects to the kidneys, nervous, digestive, and respiratory and immune systems at lower doses. The most devastating effect of mercury is the toxicity produced by methyl mercury which can manifest itself at low levels.”Mercury accumulates in waterways,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, where it is transformed into methyl mercury which usually accumulates in fish tissue. This form causes the most serious health and environmental harm since it is widely present in oceans and lakes and builds up in predator fish at the top of the aquatic food chain and in crustaceans.WWF Guianas assured that it is fully committed to working with all the various stakeholders in the mining sector in Guyana to ensure that some of the major threats to the human and physical environment from mercury contamination are minimized.“The tasks are undoubtedly enormous, but the organization will continue to make gold mining pollution abatement one of the central planks of its regional environmental conservation program for the benefit of present and future generations.”
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