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Hazardous levels of mercury found hundreds of miles downstream from Peruvian gold mines

Researchers have determined that the taken on by artisanal, small-scale extend far beyond the miners themselves.

River Gold
A small-scale operation docks along the in . Small boats remove sediment from nearby riverbank where mercury is added to extract gold. Recently, the Peruvian Navy has begun to crackdown on mining operations directly on the river by bombing small boats such as this one.
Credit:Sarah Diringer,


This research was supported by the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (CRN3036).

CITATION: “River transport of mercury from artisanal and small-scale gold mining and risks for dietary mercury exposure in Madre de Dios, Peru ,” Diringer, S. Feingold, B. Ortiz, EJ. Gallis, JA. Araujo-Flores, JM. Berky, A. Pan, WK. Hsu-Kim, H. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, Dec. 19, 2014.

DOI: 10.1039/C4EM00567H

Duke University