Document Detail

Human exposure to mercury due to small scale gold mining in northern Tanzania.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11032134     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In northern Tanzania large numbers of small scale miners use mercury in the gold extraction process causing contamination of the environment and risks to human health. Human exposure to Hg was assessed in populations in and around small scale gold mining camps by means of human hair and urine surveys. We also determined Hg concentration in fish in aquatic bodies close to these camps. Urinary Hg testing in three communities showed that 36% of the gold miners working with amalgam exceeded the WHO guideline concentration of 50 microg Hg/g creatinine. Data from a hair survey of fishermen and farmers confirm that at present, the fish-eating population close to the southern tip of Lake Victoria is at low risk with regard to Hg exposure. Concentrations in fish were low and > 90% of the hair samples from the fish-eating population were below 2 microg/g T-Hg. Highest Hg concentrations in fish caught along the southern shores of Lake Victoria and in rivers draining from gold processing sites were detected in lungfish species (Protopterus aethiopicus), and lowest Hg concentrations in tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus and Tilapia zilii).
P van Straaten
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Science of the total environment     Volume:  259     ISSN:  0048-9697     ISO Abbreviation:  Sci. Total Environ.     Publication Date:  2000 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-11-01     Completed Date:  2000-11-01     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0330500     Medline TA:  Sci Total Environ     Country:  NETHERLANDS    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  45-53     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Land Resource Science, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Environmental Exposure*
Food Contamination
Hair / chemistry
Mercury / adverse effects,  analysis*
Occupational Exposure*
Reg. No./Substance:
7439-97-6/Mercury; 7440-57-5/Gold

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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