Study finds mounting mercury threat in Peru Amazon - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Study finds mounting mercury threat in Peru Amazon

Posted:

LIMA, Peru (AP) -- A study of mercury contamination in a southeastern Peruvian jungle region ravaged by illegal gold mining has found unsafe levels of the toxic metal in 78 percent of adults in the regional capital and in 60 percent of fish sold at markets.

The study by the Carnegie Institution for Science calls the contamination a "grave and mounting public health threat."

Mercury is a byproduct of the artisanal gold mining practiced by an estimated 40,000 miners in the Madre de Dios region.

The newly released study also says the population segment most vulnerable to mercury poisoning had the highest average mercury levels: women of childbearing age. As a neurotoxin, mercury can cause severe, permanent brain damage to an unborn child.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WAOW. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Chief Engineer Russ Crass at 715-842-2251. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.