Gold shop mercury emissions have serious local impacts on gold shop workers and their communities, and global impacts as the emissions travel widely in the air. Mercury exposure at high levels can harm the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, and immune system. High levels of methylmercury in the bloodstream of unborn babies and young children may harm the developing nervous system, making the child less able to think and learn.
- Reducing Mercury Pollution from Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining
- International Actions for Reducing Mercury Emissions and Use
We have an opportunity to address this problem. We can improve the health of mining communities, and of people throughout the world whose fish and other food sources are impacted by global mercury emissions.
Gold shops can reduce their emissions with low-cost mercury capture technologies, such as the Mercury Capture System, which was designed by U.S. EPA in cooperation with Argonne National Laboratory.