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Open AccessArticle

Mercury Contamination of Cattle in Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Bombana, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia

1
Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Ehime University, 2-5 Bunkyo-cho, Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture 790-8577, Japan
2
Makassar School of Health Science (Sekolah Tinggi Ilmu Kesehatan Makassar), Jl. Maccini Raya No. 197, Makassar 90231, Indonesia
3
Faculty of Collaborative Regional Innovation, Ehime University, 3 Bunkyo-cho, Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture 790-8577, Japan
4
Cyclotron Research Centre, Iwate Medical University, 348-58 Tomegamori, Takizawa, Iwate 020-0173, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences7040133
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 11 December 2017 / Published: 14 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Environmental and Medical Geochemistry)
The industrial mining sector is one of the main contributors to environmental damage and toxic metal pollution, although some contamination originates from natural geological sources. Due to their position at the top of the food chain, cattle tend to bioaccumulate mercury (Hg) in their bodies. We used analyses of cattle hair samples to investigate Hg contamination in cattle farmed within and outside of an artisanal and small-scale gold-mining area in Bombana, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. We also examined the factors that might have influenced the toxicity, such as the environmental conditions, sex, and age of the cattle. A total of 63 hair samples were analyzed by particle-induced X-ray emission spectrometry. The mean Hg concentration was significantly higher in hair from cattle farmed within the artisanal and small-scale gold mining area (11.44 μg/g hair) than in those farmed outside the area (2.89 μg/g hair, p < 0.05). A possible cause of this is contamination by mercury persistent in terrestrial food chain. The results indicates that the level of toxic metals such as Hg need to be controlled in food sources to protect human health, especially in Bombana, Indonesia. View Full-Text
Keywords: mercury contamination; cattle; artisanal and small-scale gold mining; terrestrial food chain; Bombana mercury contamination; cattle; artisanal and small-scale gold mining; terrestrial food chain; Bombana
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Basri; Sakakibara, M.; Sera, K.; Kurniawan, I.A. Mercury Contamination of Cattle in Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Bombana, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. Geosciences 2017, 7, 133.

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