Mercury exposure of maroon workers in the small scale gold mining in Suriname.
International Conference on Human Health Effects of Mercury Exposure. Torshavn, FRO, 1997/06/24.
Suriname is experiencing a revival of small scale gold mining activities, with about 10,000 to 15,000 workers involved in 1996.
The estimated production in 1995 is at least 10,000 kg crude gold.
Gold is extracted with mercury and methods used are comparable with those described for gold mining in the Amazon Basin.
Since no data exist on the internal mercury exposure of workers in Suriname a study was performed.
A group of mercury-exposed Maroons, who are principally involved in the mining located in the tropical rainforest, is compared with nonexposed Maroons living in a non-gold mining area.
Blood and urine samples of both groups were analyzed for total mercury using an atomic absorption spectrometer with an FIAS hydride system.
In the study 28 exposed and 17 controls with a comparable mean age (P=0.544 ; exposed 27± 7.2 years, n=26 ; controls 26±7.7 years, n=17), all males, participated.
The urine levels for both groups differ statistically significantly from each other (P<0.001 ; exposed mean 27.5± 21.1 mug/g creatinine ; controls mean 5.2± 2.9 mug/g creatinine).
This is, however, not the case with the blood levels (P=0.036 : exposed mean 18.1±11.0 mug/L, n=25 ; controls mean 26.8±14.6 mug/L, n=16).
In contrast with blood the urine total mercury levels in this study confirm, on a group basis, exposure to mercury as described for individuals working in the gold mining in the Amazon Basin.
Mots-clés Pascal : Mercure, Métal lourd, Polluant, Environnement, Mine, Or, Industrie extractive, Surinam, Amérique du Sud, Amérique, Exposition professionnelle, Médecine travail, Taux, Sang, Urine, Négroïde, Homme
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Mercury, Heavy metal, Pollutant, Environment, Mine, Gold, Mining industry, Surinam, South America, America, Occupational exposure, Occupational medicine, Rate, Blood, Urine, Negroid, Human
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 98-0360962
Code Inist : 002B03M01. Création : 25/01/1999.