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Geosciences 2015, 5(2), 160-176; doi:10.3390/geosciences5020160

Impacts of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) on Environment and Human Health of Gorontalo Utara Regency, Gorontalo Province, Indonesia

1
Graduate School of Science & Engineering, Ehime University, 2-5 Bunkyo-cho, Matsuyama 790-8577, Japan
2
Department of Geology, State University of Gorontalo, Jl. Jend. Sudirman No. 6 Kota Gorontalo, Gorontalo 96128, Indonesia
3
Cyclotron Research Center, Iwate Medical University, 348-58 Tomegamori, Takizawa, Iwate 020-0173, Japan
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jose A. Centeno, Robert B. Finkelman and Olle Selinus
Received: 29 December 2014 / Revised: 28 March 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Geology: Impacts of the Natural Environment on Public Health)
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Abstract

Mercury concentrations in the environment (river sediments and fish) and in the hair of artisanal gold miners and inhabitants of the Gorontalo Utara Regency were determined in order to understand the status of contamination, sources and their impacts on human health. Mercury concentrations in the sediments along the Wubudu and Anggrek rivers are already above the tolerable level declared safe by the World Health Organization (WHO). Meanwhile, commonly consumed fish, such as snapper, have mercury levels above the threshold limit (0.5 μg/g). The mean mercury concentrations in the hair of a group of inhabitants from Anggrek and Sumalata are higher than those in hair from control group (the inhabitants of Monano, Tolinggula and Kwandang). The mean mercury concentration in the hair of female inhabitants is higher than that in the hair of male inhabitants in each group. Neurological examinations were performed on 44 participants of artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) miners and inhabitants of Anggrek and Sumalata. From the 12 investigated symptoms, four common symptoms were already observed among the participants, namely, bluish gums, Babinski reflex, labial reflex and tremor. View Full-Text
Keywords: mercury; ASGM; Gorontalo Utara Regency mercury; ASGM; Gorontalo Utara Regency
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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

Arifin, Y.I.; Sakakibara, M.; Sera, K. Impacts of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) on Environment and Human Health of Gorontalo Utara Regency, Gorontalo Province, Indonesia. Geosciences 2015, 5, 160-176.

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