Concentration of Total Mercury in the Blood, Urine and Hair of Gold Panners, Gold Traders, People Living in and Around Gold Panning Sites in the Territory of Fizi, DRC
International Journal of Ecotoxicology and Ecobiology
Volume 5, Issue 1, March 2020, Pages: 1-12
Received: Dec. 28, 2019; Accepted: Jan. 7, 2020; Published: Jan. 16, 2020
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Nsambu Mukondwa Pascal, Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Doctoral Cycle, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Environment, Evangelical University in Africa, Bukavu, D R of Congo; General Agronomy section, High Institute of Agronomic and Veterinary Studies of Mushweshwe, Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo
Musibono Eyul’Anki Dieudonné, Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Doctoral Cycle, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Mputu Kanyinda Jean-Noël, Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Doctoral Cycle, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
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This study covered a demographic sample of 384 people including gold panners, gold traders, people living in and around the gold panning sites in the Fizi territory who were selected from the total population of 17900 people using the stratified sampling technique. The main objective of this study was to determine total mercury content in samples of biological matrixes (blood, urine and hair) provided by the above-mentioned individuals over a 16-month cycle (August and December 2016 to August and December 2017). Total mercury was determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS) for each biological matrix studied. The results found revealed that only people residing in the reference site or non-mining site (Lulimba) had the lowest total mercury levels in compliance with WHO standards for all biological matrix studied (blood, hair and urine). In fact, for these entire biological matrixes, gold panners presented the highest total mercury levels, followed in turn by gold traders, subjects living near gold-mercury (Au-Hg) amalgamation incineration sites and gold trading houses, and villagers living in the gold panning sites. In view of the above, it is necessary to consider adequate solutions that can protect people from mercurial toxicity. To this end, particular attention would be focused on the scrupulous application of safety standards in relation to the handling of mercury in general and other toxic products in particular, the conduct to be followed during the incineration of gold-mercury amalgam, etc.
Gold Panners, Gold Traders, Fizi Territory, Blood, Urine, Hair, Gold Panning Sites, Eastern Democratic Republic of Cong
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Nsambu Mukondwa Pascal, Musibono Eyul’Anki Dieudonné, Mputu Kanyinda Jean-Noël, Concentration of Total Mercury in the Blood, Urine and Hair of Gold Panners, Gold Traders, People Living in and Around Gold Panning Sites in the Territory of Fizi, DRC, International Journal of Ecotoxicology and Ecobiology. Vol. 5, No. 1, 2020, pp. 1-12. doi: 10.11648/j.ijee.20200501.11
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