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Peru Declares State of Emergency as Mercury Contamination From Illegal Gold Mining Poisons People and Planet

The South American country, home to 13 percent of the iconic Amazon rainforest, is the sixth largest gold producer in the world. Covert mining for the luxury metal, however, has been a major cost to the environment and human health.“Gold has a dirty underbelly, whether the horrific mercury poisoning in the Peruvian Amazon from small-scale mining, or the human rights abuses in northern Peru perpetuated by multinational mining companies,” Earthworks mining program director Payal Sampat told EcoWatch.According to Mining.com, illicit gold production in Peru increased fivefold since 2012, and it is estimated to provide 100,000 direct jobs in the country, 40 percent of which are in the Madre de Dios region in southern Peru.Studies from Stanford University and other institutions have detected high levels of mercury in Peru’s citizens, fish and waterways.

Source: Peru Declares State of Emergency as Mercury Contamination From Illegal Gold Mining Poisons People and Planet

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