Question – What two toxicants are commonly associated with the health and environmental issues associated with artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM)?
Answer – Mercury and cyanide are utilized in these settings (ASGM). Mercury is used as a means to amalgamate gold and mercury contaminated mine tailings undergo cyanidation in order to remove as much residual gold as possible. Theses chemicals are usually utilized in an unregulated and uncontrolled ASGM setting. (Drace K et al. Cyanidation of mercury contaminated tailing: Potential health effects and environmental justice. 2016 Curr Envir Health Rpt 3:443-449)