Impacts of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) on Environment and Human Health of Gorontalo Utara Regency, Gorontalo Province, Indonesia

Yayu Arifin, Masayuki Sakakibara, Koichiro Sera
2015 Geosciences  
Mercury concentrations in the environment (river sediments and fish) and in the hair of artisanal gold miners and inhabitants of the Gorontalo Utara Regency were determined in order to understand the status of contamination, sources and their impacts on human health. Mercury concentrations in the sediments along the Wubudu and Anggrek rivers are already above the tolerable level declared safe by the World Health Organization (WHO). Meanwhile, commonly consumed fish, such as snapper, have
more » ... napper, have mercury levels above the threshold limit (0.5 μg/g). The mean mercury concentrations in the hair of a group of inhabitants from Anggrek and Sumalata are higher than those in hair from control group (the inhabitants of Monano, Tolinggula and Kwandang). The mean mercury concentration in the hair of female inhabitants is higher than that in the hair of male inhabitants in each group. Neurological examinations were performed on 44 participants of artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) miners and inhabitants of Anggrek and Sumalata. From the 12 investigated symptoms, four common symptoms were already observed among the participants, namely, bluish gums, Babinski reflex, labial reflex and tremor. OPEN ACCESS Geosciences 2015, 5 161
doi:10.3390/geosciences5020160 fatcat:xy233xrt5bh5ziibqa4hustmou