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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(5), 5143-5176; doi:10.3390/ijerph120505143

Integrated Assessment of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Ghana—Part 1: Human Health Review

1
Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University, CINE Building Macdonald Campus of McGill University, 21,111 Lakeshore Rd., Ste. Anne de Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9, Canada
2
Ghana Health Service, Accra, Ghana
3
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
4
Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana
5
Faculty of Science, Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
6
Department of Biological, Environmental, and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Legon Boundary, Accra, Ghana
7
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Water Research Institute, Accra, Ghana
8
Noguchi Institute for Medical Research, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon Boundary, Accra, Ghana
9
Department of Epidemiology, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Nil Basu, Susan Keane and Paleah Black Moher
Received: 31 March 2015 / Revised: 27 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 May 2015 / Published: 13 May 2015
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Abstract

This report 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 IA framework was utilized to analyze economic, social, health, and environmental data, and co-develop evidence-based responses with pertinent stakeholders. The current analysis focuses on the health of ASGM miners and community members, and synthesizes extant data from the literature as well as co-authors’ recent findings regarding the causes, status, trends, and consequences of ASGM in Ghana. The results provide evidence from across multiple Ghanaian ASGM sites that document relatively high exposures to mercury and other heavy metals, occupational injuries and noise exposure. The work also reviews limited data on psychosocial health, nutrition, cardiovascular and respiratory health, sexual health, and water and sanitation. Taken together, the findings provide a thorough overview of human health issues in Ghanaian ASGM communities. Though more research is needed to further elucidate the relationships between ASGM and health outcomes, the existing research on plausible health consequences of ASGM should guide policies and actions to better address the unique challenges of ASGM in Ghana and potentially elsewhere. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ghana; gold; mercury; heavy metals; occupational injuries; mining; noise; research; water; Minamata Convention Ghana; gold; mercury; heavy metals; occupational injuries; mining; noise; research; water; Minamata Convention
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Basu, N.; Clarke, E.; Green, A.; Calys-Tagoe, B.; Chan, L.; Dzodzomenyo, M.; Fobil, J.; Long, R.N.; Neitzel, R.L.; Obiri, S.; Odei, E.; Ovadje, L.; Quansah, R.; Rajaee, M.; Wilson, M.L. Integrated Assessment of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Ghana—Part 1: Human Health Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 5143-5176.

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