Background of the Study Skin diseases are one of the health problems posed by the mining industry to its workers and to those who are living near quarry sites. In Mindanao, the mining community in Brgy. Diwalwal Monkayo, Compostela Valley is perhaps the most important because of the number of small-scale mining operations that remains largely uncontrolled. The lack of technology among the small-scale miners in the area has caused serious environmental pollution that could be a major risk factor for the emergence of skin diseases, not just among the miners themselves but also in the local population. Mercury pollution is a common result of improper waste disposal from gold mines. In 2012, tests made by DENR in Naboc River, Compostela showed that mercury levels are as high as 1.25 mg/L. This result is such a dramatic increase from the previous tests of only 0.05 mg/L (Mellejor, 2012). This recent mercury pollution could cause an increase in the prevalence of skin diseases in the mining community. Several forms of skin diseases have been associated with exposure to mercury including eczema, miliary eruption, and chronic skin diseases such as herpes, psydracia, and impetigo (Acton, 2013; Fisher, 2008; WHO, 2008). Currently, epidemiological studies on skin diseases are rare and most of them are based from hospital admissions. This study will strengthen existing data on the health risks of mining, specifically on the skin-related problems experienced by the miners in Brgy. Diwalwal Monkayo, Compostela Valley. Although skin problems may not seem to be a threat to the overall health of a person, they should not be underestimated because they may be indications of an underlying serious disease that needs treatment. Skin diseases need attention because they have an impact on all the aspects of life, not just on the
References: Authors: Birmingham, Donald J. in 12. Skin Diseases, Durocher, Louis-Philippe, Editor, Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety, Jeanne Mager Stellman, Editor-in-Chief. International Labor Organization, Geneva. © 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/skin/ http://occmed.oxfordjournals.org/content/54/5/283.full.pdf http://www.ilo.org/oshenc/part-i/skin-diseases/item/467-overview-occupational-skin-diseases http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4839/m2/1/high_res_d/thesis.pdf Dermal exposure to hazardous agents can result in a variety of occupational diseases and disorders, including occupational skin diseases (OSD) and systemic toxicity. Historically, efforts to control workplace exposures to hazardous agents have focused on inhalation rather than skin exposures. As a result, assessment strategies and methods are well developed for evaluating inhalation exposures in the workplace; standardized methods are currently lacking for measuring and assessing skin exposures.