Global Burden of Disease of Mercury used in Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining

Steckling N, Tobollik M, Plaß D, Hornberg C, Ericson B, Fuller R, Bose-O'Reilly S (2017)
Annals of Global Health 83(2): 234-247.

Download
OA 705.23 KB
Journal Article | Original Article | Published | English
Author
; ; ; ; ; ;
Abstract
Background Artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the world's largest anthropogenic source of mercury emission. Gold miners are highly exposed to metallic mercury and suffer occupational mercury intoxication. The global disease burden as a result of this exposure is largely unknown because the informal character of ASGM restricts the availability of reliable data. Objective To estimate the prevalence of occupational mercury intoxication and the disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) attributable to chronic metallic mercury vapor intoxication (CMMVI) among ASGM gold miners globally and in selected countries. Methods Estimates of the number of artisanal small-scale gold (ASG) miners were extracted from reviews supplemented by a literature search. Prevalence of moderate CMMVI among miners was determined by compiling a dataset of available studies that assessed frequency of intoxication in gold miners using a standardized diagnostic tool and biomonitoring data on mercury in urine. Severe cases of CMMVI were not included because it was assumed that these persons can no longer be employed as miners. Cases in workers' families and communities were not considered. Years lived with disability as a result of CMMVI among ASG miners were quantified by multiplying the number of prevalent cases of CMMVI by the appropriate disability weight. No deaths are expected to result from CMMVI and therefore years of life lost were not calculated. Disease burden was calculated by multiplying the prevalence rate with the number of miners for each country and the disability weight. Sensitivity analyses were performed using different assumptions on the number of miners and the intoxication prevalence rate. Findings Globally, 14-19 million workers are employed as ASG miners. Based on human biomonitoring data, between 25% and 33% of these miners—3.3-6.5 million miners globally—suffer from moderate CMMVI. The resulting global burden of disease is estimated to range from 1.22 (uncertainty interval [UI] 0.87-1.61) to 2.39 (UI 1.69-3.14) million DALYs. Conclusions This study presents the first global and country-based estimates of disease burden caused by mercury intoxication in ASGM. Data availability and quality limit the results, and the total disease burden is likely undercounted. Despite these limitations, the data clearly indicate that mercury intoxication in ASG miners is a major, largely neglected global health problem.
Publishing Year
ISSN
PUB-ID

Cite this

Steckling N, Tobollik M, Plaß D, et al. Global Burden of Disease of Mercury used in Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining. Annals of Global Health. 2017;83(2):234-247.
Steckling, N., Tobollik, M., Plaß, D., Hornberg, C., Ericson, B., Fuller, R., & Bose-O'Reilly, S. (2017). Global Burden of Disease of Mercury used in Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining. Annals of Global Health, 83(2), 234-247. doi:10.1016/j.aogh.2016.12.005
Steckling, N., Tobollik, M., Plaß, D., Hornberg, C., Ericson, B., Fuller, R., and Bose-O'Reilly, S. (2017). Global Burden of Disease of Mercury used in Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining. Annals of Global Health 83, 234-247.
Steckling, N., et al., 2017. Global Burden of Disease of Mercury used in Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining. Annals of Global Health, 83(2), p 234-247.
N. Steckling, et al., “Global Burden of Disease of Mercury used in Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining”, Annals of Global Health, vol. 83, 2017, pp. 234-247.
Steckling, N., Tobollik, M., Plaß, D., Hornberg, C., Ericson, B., Fuller, R., Bose-O'Reilly, S.: Global Burden of Disease of Mercury used in Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining. Annals of Global Health. 83, 234-247 (2017).
Steckling, Nadine, Tobollik, Myriam, Plaß, Dietrich, Hornberg, Claudia, Ericson, Bret, Fuller, Richard, and Bose-O'Reilly, Stephan. “Global Burden of Disease of Mercury used in Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining”. Annals of Global Health 83.2 (2017): 234-247.
All files available under the following license(s):
Copyright Statement:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. [...]
Main File(s)
Access Level
OA Open Access
Last Uploaded
2017-08-14T11:52:40Z

This data publication is cited in the following publications:
This publication cites the following data publications:

1 Citation in Europe PMC

Data provided by Europe PubMed Central.

The Mercury Problem in Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining.
Esdaile LJ, Chalker JM., Chemistry (), 2018
PMID: 29314284

71 References

Data provided by Europe PubMed Central.

Mercury exposure among artisanal gold miners in Madre de Dios, Peru: a cross-sectional study.
Yard EE, Horton J, Schier JG, Caldwell K, Sanchez C, Lewis L, Gastanaga C., J Med Toxicol 8(4), 2012
PMID: 22926732
Mercury exposure in a low-income community in South Africa
Oosthuizen, South African Med J 100(), 2010
Mercury exposure of maroon workers in the small scale gold mining in Suriname.
de Kom JF, van der Voet GB, de Wolff FA., Environ. Res. 77(2), 1998
PMID: 9600801
Occupational exposure to airborne mercury during gold mining operations near El Callao, Venezuela.
Drake PL, Rojas M, Reh CM, Mueller CA, Jenkins FM., Int Arch Occup Environ Health 74(3), 2001
PMID: 11355295
Assessing mercury health effects in gold workers near El Callao, Venezuela.
Rojas M, Drake PL, Roberts SM., J. Occup. Environ. Med. 43(2), 2001
PMID: 11227634
Common values in assessing health outcomes from disease and injury: disability weights measurement study for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010.
Salomon JA, Vos T, Hogan DR, Gagnon M, Naghavi M, Mokdad A, Begum N, Shah R, Karyana M, Kosen S, Farje MR, Moncada G, Dutta A, Sazawal S, Dyer A, Seiler J, Aboyans V, Baker L, Baxter A, Benjamin EJ, Bhalla K, Bin Abdulhak A, Blyth F, Bourne R, Braithwaite T, Brooks P, Brugha TS, Bryan-Hancock C, Buchbinder R, Burney P, Calabria B, Chen H, Chugh SS, Cooley R, Criqui MH, Cross M, Dabhadkar KC, Dahodwala N, Davis A, Degenhardt L, Diaz-Torne C, Dorsey ER, Driscoll T, Edmond K, Elbaz A, Ezzati M, Feigin V, Ferri CP, Flaxman AD, Flood L, Fransen M, Fuse K, Gabbe BJ, Gillum RF, Haagsma J, Harrison JE, Havmoeller R, Hay RJ, Hel-Baqui A, Hoek HW, Hoffman H, Hogeland E, Hoy D, Jarvis D, Karthikeyan G, Knowlton LM, Lathlean T, Leasher JL, Lim SS, Lipshultz SE, Lopez AD, Lozano R, Lyons R, Malekzadeh R, Marcenes W, March L, Margolis DJ, McGill N, McGrath J, Mensah GA, Meyer AC, Michaud C, Moran A, Mori R, Murdoch ME, Naldi L, Newton CR, Norman R, Omer SB, Osborne R, Pearce N, Perez-Ruiz F, Perico N, Pesudovs K, Phillips D, Pourmalek F, Prince M, Rehm JT, Remuzzi G, Richardson K, Room R, Saha S, Sampson U, Sanchez-Riera L, Segui-Gomez M, Shahraz S, Shibuya K, Singh D, Sliwa K, Smith E, Soerjomataram I, Steiner T, Stolk WA, Stovner LJ, Sudfeld C, Taylor HR, Tleyjeh IM, van der Werf MJ, Watson WL, Weatherall DJ, Weintraub R, Weisskopf MG, Whiteford H, Wilkinson JD, Woolf AD, Zheng ZJ, Murray CJ, Jonas JB., Lancet 380(9859), 2012
PMID: 23245605
Disability weights for the Global Burden of Disease 2013 study.
Salomon JA, Haagsma JA, Davis A, de Noordhout CM, Polinder S, Havelaar AH, Cassini A, Devleesschauwer B, Kretzschmar M, Speybroeck N, Murray CJ, Vos T., Lancet Glob Health 3(11), 2015
PMID: 26475018
Assessing disability weights based on the responses of 30,660 people from four European countries.
Haagsma JA, Maertens de Noordhout C, Polinder S, Vos T, Havelaar AH, Cassini A, Devleesschauwer B, Kretzschmar ME, Speybroeck N, Salomon JA., Popul Health Metr 13(), 2015
PMID: 26778920
A mortality study of men exposed to elemental mercury.
Cragle DL, Hollis DR, Qualters JR, Tankersley WG, Fry SA., J Occup Med 26(11), 1984
PMID: 6502285

AUTHOR UNKNOWN, 2016

Zimmer, 1984
Mercury as a serious health hazard for children in gold mining areas.
Bose-O'Reilly S, Lettmeier B, Gothe RM, Beinhoff C, Siebert U, Drasch G., Environ. Res. 107(1), 2008
PMID: 18321481
Human biomonitoring data from mercury exposed miners in six artisanal small-scale gold mining areas in Asia and Africa
Baeuml, Minerals 1(), 2011

AUTHOR UNKNOWN, 2013
Four decades of support for artisanal and small-scale mining in sub-Saharan Africa: a critical review
Hilson, Extractive Industries Soc 1(), 2014

Veiga, 0

AUTHOR UNKNOWN, 2011

Boungnaphalom, 2003

Export

0 Marked Publications

Open Data PUB

Web of Science

View record in Web of Science®

Sources

PMID: 28619398
PubMed | Europe PMC

Search this title in

Google Scholar