The Effects of Gold Mining

Topics: Pollution, Toxicology, Human Pages: 2 (556 words) Published: December 26, 2011
Gold mining is a serious problem due to air, water pollution it produces an it threatens the human health. It is a term used to define the series of processes to extract gold from underground. It is impossible to know the exact date that humans first began to mine gold, but some of the oldest known gold artifacts were found in the Varna Necropolis in Bulgaria. The graves of the necropolis were built between 4700 and 4200 BCE, indicating that gold mining could be at least 7000 years old (Oancea, 2008). Cyanide heap leaching is the most common way of gold mining due to its cheapness. It produces highly toxic materials such as cyanide which is extremely dangerous to the surrounding areas. There are lots of gold mines in Brazil’s Amazon, New Guinea and South Africa. These regions are known for their natural beauties and these mines are destroying them. Gold mining has severe effects on the environment but water, air pollution and the threats on the human life are the major problems.

First of all, gold mines release highly toxic substances that pollutes the water. Gold mines dispose of highly toxic substances in nearby water resources. These toxic substances cause crucial effects on these water resources. An article named Poisoned Waters from the website No Dirty Gold stated “Long term effects include acid mine drainage, which raises acid levels in rivers and Lakes ( harmful to wildlife and people),”. Cyanide heap leaching is the most common technique of gold mining, but by using that technique gold mines release cyanide. Cyanide is a highly toxic material and it poisons and pollutes the water.

Secondly, gold mining causes air pollution. Gold mines produces a lot of dust and toxic materials that pollutes the air. Borkowski states that the toxic substances which are contained in the waste that the gold mine produce could pollute the air, soil and water (2003). And also according to the article Polluted Air, dust and exhaust fumes and the pollution caused by them...
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