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Asian Journal of Scientific Research
Year: 2017  |  Volume: 10  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 316 - 322

Assessing the Mercury Hazard Risks among Communities and Gold Miners in Artisanal Buladu Gold Mine, Indonesia

Anwar Mallongi, Irwan and A.L. Rantetampang    

Abstract: Background and Objective: Mercury (Hg) direct emission of amalgam open burning from Artisanal Buladu gold mine is the main Hg pollutant point source of air ambient, atmospheric deposition, surface water, soil and plants. This process has been occurred for more than 25 years in the Buladu gold mine but no informative data from this area is available. This study aimed to investigate the Hg emission in air, atmospheric dry deposition and Hg inhalation rate among the children school, communities and miners in the mining area. Materials and Methods: Dry deposition sampling was conducted using a set of glass dish sampler. Both Total dry deposition and THg atmosphere were estimated in the summer which corresponded to the climatologically dry seasons in Gorontalo Province, like wise personal inhalation rate were measured among the school children, communities and gold miners in nine respondents each. Statistical analyses of the survey data were performed using Stata 13.0 (Stata, College Station, TX, USA) and SPSS (Version 16). In addition to descriptive analyses, descriptive table, Student t-tests were used to compare means of Likert scales. Results: The average of total atmospheric of Hg showed a small concentration (0.0034 μg m–2) in the background site whereas highly elevated (1.19-1.54 μg m–2) in the study area. In addition, dry deposition Hg show a similar level (0.06 μg m–2) in background and (1.11-1.54 μg m–2) in the study area, respectively. Since St. 2 is the closest distance from the point source, the peak level THg generated by the direct fall of THg in the site. Result of target hazard quotient of the Hg are in the decreasing order of mine workers >community >students and their highest risk values are 1.54, 0.98 and 0.93, respectively. Finally, the THQ values obtained from this study due to this primary exposure route for the Hg investigated were higher than for all in the working mine site. Conclusion: The results showed that the working years have reasonable correlation with the sum of the positive findings in the 10 neurological symptoms among miners. Then, the closest Hg source distance the higher Hg concentration accumulation found. The recorded mercury in Buladu gold mine area showed that the magnitude concentrations of THg (p) in amalgam burning centre was higher than those of school and in community area.

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