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Integrated Assessment of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Ghana-Part 2: Natural Sciences Review.

Rajaee M, Obiri S, Green A, Long R, Cobbina SJ, Nartey V, Buck D, Antwi E, Basu N - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2015)

Bottom Line: This paper focuses on the causes, status, trends, and consequences of ecological issues related to ASGM activity in Ghana.Soil and water mercury concentrations were generally lower than guideline values, but sediment mercury concentrations surpassed guideline values in 64% of samples.Additional ASGM-related stressors on environmental quality and ecosystem services include deforestation, land degradation, biodiversity loss, legacy contamination, and potential linkages to climate change.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. mrajae@umich.edu.

ABSTRACT
This paper is one of three synthesis documents produced via an integrated assessment (IA) that aims to increase understanding of artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) in Ghana. Given the complexities surrounding ASGM, an integrated assessment (IA) framework was utilized to analyze socio-economic, health, and environmental data, and co-develop evidence-based responses with stakeholders. This paper focuses on the causes, status, trends, and consequences of ecological issues related to ASGM activity in Ghana. It reviews dozens of studies and thousands of samples to document evidence of heavy metals contamination in ecological media across Ghana. Soil and water mercury concentrations were generally lower than guideline values, but sediment mercury concentrations surpassed guideline values in 64% of samples. Arsenic, cadmium, and lead exceeded guideline values in 67%, 17%, and 24% of water samples, respectively. Other water quality parameters near ASGM sites show impairment, with some samples exceeding guidelines for acidity, turbidity, and nitrates. Additional ASGM-related stressors on environmental quality and ecosystem services include deforestation, land degradation, biodiversity loss, legacy contamination, and potential linkages to climate change. Though more research is needed to further elucidate the long-term impacts of ASGM on the environment, the plausible consequences of ecological damages should guide policies and actions to address the unique challenges posed by ASGM.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Regional map of Ghana. Key mining areas (Obuasi, Tarkwa) and the capital (Accra) are indicated.
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ijerph-12-08971-f004: Regional map of Ghana. Key mining areas (Obuasi, Tarkwa) and the capital (Accra) are indicated.

Mentions: Concern about mercury contamination in ecological media near ASGM sites in Ghana has prompted a number of studies assessing the extent of contamination. In total, 47 studies were found in nine regions of Ghana that documented mercury levels in soil, foodstuffs, sediment, water, tailings, and fish (Tables S1–S6, S19). Of the 47 studies, 20 sampled in the Western Region, 11 sampled in the Ashanti Region, nine sampled in the Central Region, and eight sampled in the Greater Accra Region. Only two studies sampled in the Eastern and Upper East Regions, respectively, and one study sampled in each the Northern, Volta, and Brong-Ahafo Regions. Research has focused in the southeast (Western, Ashanti, and Central Regions), where ASGM has historically been most common, but ASGM also occurs in the Upper East and Upper West Regions. Figure 4 displays a regional map of Ghana for reference.


Integrated Assessment of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Ghana-Part 2: Natural Sciences Review.

Rajaee M, Obiri S, Green A, Long R, Cobbina SJ, Nartey V, Buck D, Antwi E, Basu N - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2015)

Regional map of Ghana. Key mining areas (Obuasi, Tarkwa) and the capital (Accra) are indicated.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4555259&req=5

ijerph-12-08971-f004: Regional map of Ghana. Key mining areas (Obuasi, Tarkwa) and the capital (Accra) are indicated.
Mentions: Concern about mercury contamination in ecological media near ASGM sites in Ghana has prompted a number of studies assessing the extent of contamination. In total, 47 studies were found in nine regions of Ghana that documented mercury levels in soil, foodstuffs, sediment, water, tailings, and fish (Tables S1–S6, S19). Of the 47 studies, 20 sampled in the Western Region, 11 sampled in the Ashanti Region, nine sampled in the Central Region, and eight sampled in the Greater Accra Region. Only two studies sampled in the Eastern and Upper East Regions, respectively, and one study sampled in each the Northern, Volta, and Brong-Ahafo Regions. Research has focused in the southeast (Western, Ashanti, and Central Regions), where ASGM has historically been most common, but ASGM also occurs in the Upper East and Upper West Regions. Figure 4 displays a regional map of Ghana for reference.

Bottom Line: This paper focuses on the causes, status, trends, and consequences of ecological issues related to ASGM activity in Ghana.Soil and water mercury concentrations were generally lower than guideline values, but sediment mercury concentrations surpassed guideline values in 64% of samples.Additional ASGM-related stressors on environmental quality and ecosystem services include deforestation, land degradation, biodiversity loss, legacy contamination, and potential linkages to climate change.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. mrajae@umich.edu.

ABSTRACT
This paper is one of three synthesis documents produced via an integrated assessment (IA) that aims to increase understanding of artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) in Ghana. Given the complexities surrounding ASGM, an integrated assessment (IA) framework was utilized to analyze socio-economic, health, and environmental data, and co-develop evidence-based responses with stakeholders. This paper focuses on the causes, status, trends, and consequences of ecological issues related to ASGM activity in Ghana. It reviews dozens of studies and thousands of samples to document evidence of heavy metals contamination in ecological media across Ghana. Soil and water mercury concentrations were generally lower than guideline values, but sediment mercury concentrations surpassed guideline values in 64% of samples. Arsenic, cadmium, and lead exceeded guideline values in 67%, 17%, and 24% of water samples, respectively. Other water quality parameters near ASGM sites show impairment, with some samples exceeding guidelines for acidity, turbidity, and nitrates. Additional ASGM-related stressors on environmental quality and ecosystem services include deforestation, land degradation, biodiversity loss, legacy contamination, and potential linkages to climate change. Though more research is needed to further elucidate the long-term impacts of ASGM on the environment, the plausible consequences of ecological damages should guide policies and actions to address the unique challenges posed by ASGM.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus