Amazon tribe suffers mercury contamination as illegal mining spreads

Updated: Feb 24

| Thomson Reuters Foundation | December 17, 2021 |

| 7:54 am Education Latin America Gold |



Nearly 60% of tested people in Munduruku villages had mercury levels above what global health organizations consider safe. (Image: Katiabraga | Pixabay.)




Illegal gold mining in the north Amazonian territory of Brazil’s indigenous Munduruku people has led to more than half of several hundred people tested showing unsafe mercury levels in their bodies, including children, health researchers say.


The spread of mines — with mercury used to extract gold from other minerals — is also helping drive Amazon deforestation, which has soared 22% in the last year to the highest levels since 2006, a government report showed last month.

 
It’s everywhere: in the rain, snow, our food, our waters, even in the human placenta! Mercury is poisoning life on Earth.

ARE YOU AWARE artisanal miners' gold ore processing produces 20% of the world's supply of gold used in our jewellery, iPad’s, iPhone, computers, and other electronics devices and is the world's largest anthropogenic source of deadly mercury pollution overtaking coal fired plants mercury emissions in 2017?


Artisanal miners' ore processing uses mercury, a deadly neurotoxin to extract liberated gold from crushed or milled ore by forming an amalgam which is vaporized to our atmosphere releasing 2,000 tonnes of mercury vapor to our atmosphere annually



Mercury pollution is documented in 2021 by Oxford University earth scientists to stay airborne up to one year then precipitates back to Earth in the form of rain and snow.




The morbid irony lies in the fact the same vaporized mercury is polluting the air we all breathe, contaminating our drinking water, polluting the Oceans we swim, poisoning the fish we consume especially tuna where mercury bioaccumulates the most causing health issues, and global biodiversity destruction.


But finally there's hope!

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