Publicações 1995

Mercury pollution, Hair, Urine, Methylmercury, Fish


An assessment of Hg pollution in different goldmining areas, Amazon Brazil

Olaf Malm, Miriam B. Castro, Wanderley R. Bastos, Fernando J.P. Branche, Jean R.D. Guimarães, Cátia E. Zuffo, Wolfgang C. Pfeiffer

Abstract: Metallic mercury used in gold prospecting is being dispersed over Amazon ecosystems through atmospheric emissions as well as directly to aquatic systems. Total mercury concentrations in the more representative environmental (air, soil, bottom sediments, fishes and plants) and human (hair and urine) indicators, collected in the last 7 years in different goldmining areas (garimpos) are presented and discussed. Critical exposure situations, pathways, areas and human groups are indicated. The goldminers (garimpeiros) that manipulate a major part of the Hg are not the critical group either from exposure to metallic mercury (Hg⁰) by inhalation or exposure to methylmercury by ingestion of contaminated fish. Results obtained from air and urine sampling show that people working in gold dealers shops are the critical group concerning Hg⁰ risk, while riverine communities are the risk group with respect to methylmercury.

Menu PublicaçõesMenu Publicações