Graham Sustainability Institute

Multiple Metals Exposure In A Small-Scale Artisanal Gold Mining Community

April 2011

An analysis of metal exposures in male residents as a result of small-scale gold mining in Ghana.

Urinary metals were characterized in 57 male residents of a small-scale gold mining community in Ghana. Chromium and arsenic exceeded health guideline values for 52% and 34%, respectively, of all participants. About 10–40% of the participants had urinary levels of aluminum, copper, manganese, nickel, selenium, and zinc that fell outside the U.S. reference range. Exposures appear ubiquitous across the community as none of the elements were associated with occupation, age, and diet.