Posted by: r.m. | January 7, 2010

gold…and mercury

Here’s another reminder on why we should walk past that jewelry store and find another – benign – way to adorn ourselves (if so desired) and to tell those we love that we love them — another way other than wearing gold and buying gold and giving gold.

“Skyrocketing gold prices have spurred hundreds of thousands of small-time entrepreneurs to spend day after day trolling through mud, hoping for that brilliant yellow fleck. For every “Buy Gold NOW” ad you’ve seen, there’s a peasant here who’s decided to go forty-niner. “We’ve been here for a few days, but we haven’t found any gold yet,” Borian smiles. But he’s optimistic. He can make more in days than most of his nonmining peers can make in a month.

It takes about five grams of mercury to extract a gram of gold. That mercury is usually tossed overboard, poisoning one of the world’s most biodiverse rain forests. And Borian’s form of mining is among the most benign. Illegal cartels with heavy equipment clear-cut and mine huge areas of virgin forest, alarming environmental activists.”

Read the article in full



  1. We took it in environmental chemistry, Hg is used to extract gold.
    It is a heavy toxic metal that has alot of cosequences on the environment and on humans. People should know this in order to realize how risky it is and how bad this affects us.
    A new way of extracting gold should be provided.

    • 100% jeanette but what strategy can u follow to let ppl know about the bad effects of Hg on their health and their environment… as u read poor and illiteracy people are the gold miner…?????!!!!!

  2. The above comment is by me.

  3. major problems on health are presented…these people need more campains by ecologists to illustrate Hg effects on their health so they will consider changes…

  4. I don’t think that so many people, especially in the countries where gold extracted, know the effects of mercury. its results are not only environmental, besides it affects human health. Mercury has a number of outcomes on humans, that can all of them be simplified into the following main effects:
    – Disruption of the nervous system
    – Damage to brain functions
    – DNA damage and chromosomal damage
    – Allergic reactions, resulting in skin rashes, tiredness and headaches
    – Negative reproductive effects, such as sperm damage, birth defects and miscarriages
    In addition, Damaged brain functions can cause degradation of learning abilities, personality changes, tremors, vision changes, deafness, muscle incoordination and memory loss. Chromosomal damage is known to cause mongolism.(LENNTECH, )

  5. Amira, I do not understand your tendency to blame the poor people that are extracting the gold! They are just doing what they are asked to do. It would be more reasonable to blame the rich ladies that buy the gold. Those elegant creatures who usually spend the money of their husbands because,as we all know, a working lady would never spend so much money on gold due to her awarness of the hard work to be provided in order to make money. Anyway it is the society that consumes more than it needs that we need to reconsider and maybe a partial solution is to publish in magazines such as ” mondanite” and “prestige” which are ditributed in all the fancy beauty salons, articles about the effects of mercury on our health! 🙂

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