Next Article in Journal
Urbanization and Mental Health in China: Linking the 2010 Population Census with a Cross-Sectional Survey
Next Article in Special Issue
The Association between Noise, Cortisol and Heart Rate in a Small-Scale Gold Mining Community—A Pilot Study
Previous Article in Journal
Perspectives on Smoking Initiation and Maintenance: A Qualitative Exploration among Singapore Youth
Previous Article in Special Issue
Accumulation of Heavy Metals and Metalloid in Foodstuffs from Agricultural Soils around Tarkwa Area in Ghana, and Associated Human Health Risks
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(8), 8971-9011; doi:10.3390/ijerph120808971

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

1
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
2
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Water Research Institute, Tamale, Ghana
3
Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, University for Development Studies, Nyankpala, Ghana
4
Department of Chemistry, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana
5
Biodiversity Research Institute, Portland, ME 04103, USA
6
Centre for Energy, Environment & Sustainable Development, Kumasi, Ghana
7
Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 0G4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Susan Keane and Paleah Black Moher
Received: 7 May 2015 / Revised: 15 July 2015 / Accepted: 22 July 2015 / Published: 31 July 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2414 KB, uploaded 12 August 2015]   |  

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. View Full-Text
Keywords: small-scale gold mining; Ghana integrated assessment; mercury; metals; water; public health; ecotoxicology small-scale gold mining; Ghana integrated assessment; mercury; metals; water; public health; ecotoxicology
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).

Supplementary material

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Rajaee, M.; Obiri, S.; Green, A.; Long, R.; Cobbina, S.J.; Nartey, V.; Buck, D.; Antwi, E.; Basu, N. Integrated Assessment of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Ghana—Part 2: Natural Sciences Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 8971-9011.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top