effects of mercury used in alluvial gold mining on health and the environment in the department of Chocó

  • Varona, Marcela Eugenia (PI)
  • Briceño, Leonardo (PI)
  • Diaz, Sonia , Instituto Nacional de Salud, Bogotá, Colombia, rpalma@ins.gov.co., (PI)
  • Palma, Ruth Marién (CoI)
  • Groot-Restrepo, Helena, Universidad de los Andes Colombia, (CoI)
  • Tirso Murillo, Carlos, Secretaría de Salud Departamental del Chocó, (CoI)
  • Ayala, Helcias , Instituto de Investigaciones Ambientales del Pacífico, (CoI)

Project: Research project

Description

The untechnified use of mercury in alluvial gold mining is a problem that is causing high environmental pollution and a parallel public health problem due to the environmental and occupational exposure of the population, which can generate significant alterations in their health. In addition to this, mining activity is related to the malaria epidemic that currently occurs in the department of Chocó, the product of abandoned wells left by mining. In this sense, and understanding that previous studies have shown this serious situation, this research aims to formulate and validate a regional health and environmental strategy to address the problem of mercury used in alluvial gold mining activity in the department of Chocó, using specific methodologies to determine mercury levels in different environmental (water, sediment, air, soil, macroinvertebrates, algae, fish and flora) and biological (blood, hair, urine and breast milk) matrices, as well as the application of clean technology models to recover and rehabilitate mercury-contaminated ecosystems. With the social, demographic, biological, environmental information and the results obtained in each of the proposed gold processes (extraction, transformation and commercialization), it is expected to propose integral interventions that contribute to the reduction of the risk derived from mercury exposure.
Short titleexposition to mercury at choco
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/20/176/5/17

Main Funding Source

  • National