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Document ID (ISN)112304
CIS number 12-0226
ISSN - Serial title 0340-0131 - International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Year 2011
Convention or series no.
Author(s) Tomicic C., Vernez D., Belem T., Berode M.
Title Human mercury exposure associated with small-scale gold mining in Burkina Faso
Bibliographic information June 2011, Vol.84, No.5, p.539-546. Illus. 23 ref.
Internet access Human_mercury_exposure_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Abstract In Burkina Faso, gold ore is one of the main sources of income for an important part of the active population. Artisan gold miners use mercury in the extraction, a toxic metal whose human health risks are well known. The aim of this study was to assess mercury exposure as well as to understand the exposure determinants of gold miners in small-scale mines. The study population was composed of 93 persons who were directly and indirectly related to gold mining activities on eight sites. Work-related exposures were evaluated based on the specific tasks carried out. Urinary samples were collected and participants were examined by a local medical team for possible symptoms related to the toxic effects of mercury. Mercury levels were high, with 69% of the measurements exceeding the ACGIH biological exposure index of 35 ┐g per g of creatinine (┐g/g-Cr) (prior to shift) while 16% even exceeded 350 ┐g/g-Cr. Various symptoms related to mercury toxicity were observed. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Descriptors (primary) Burkina Faso; mercury; mercury poisoning; exposure tests; informal sector; gold mining
Descriptors (secondary) determination in urine; exposure evaluation; job-exposure relation; developing countries
Document type D - Periodical articles
Subject(s) Mines and quarries
Toxic and dangerous substances
Broad subject area(s) Chemical safety
Browse category(ies) Mercury and compounds
Exposure evaluation
Mining and quarrying
OSH in developing countries