ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0298.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Geochemistry And Petrology Keywords: artisanal gold mining; Busia; environmental impacts; mercury pollution; Namukombe stream; panning; Syanyonja; Uganda
Online: 27 October 2019 (10:09:44 CET)
Syanyonja village in the gold district of Busia, South East of the Republic of Uganda contain geologically epigenetic gold quartz vein deposits in carbonate-altered mafic metavolcanic rocks, deposited as quartz reefs in mineralized shear zones. In supracrustal rocks, alluvial gold is obtained from weathered auriferous quartz veins, which are of late orogenic granitic activity. The Syanyonja gold deposits have long been subjected to artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) by the locals for livelihood. This study determined the amount of mercury discharged with tailings into Namukombe stream, a major water body in Syanyonja village and investigated the impacts of ASGM on the mining population and the environment. Quantitation of mercury discharged with tailings was done by mass balance method. Field survey at the mining sites was done followed by administration of questionnaires to 50 stampeders in the village. The study indicates that about 8% of mercury mixed with auriferous materials are lost in tailings, accounting for an annual mercury release of about 1.757 kg into the environment. Socio-demographic results indicate that the majority of the mining population (64%) are male and ASGM have left health and environmental footprints, which directly or indirectly affects the population. The most common health problems among miners are malaria (36%) and abdominal pain (20%). The standard of living of the miners are evidently low, and most mines are characterized by school dropouts, prostitutes and thieves. Mining sites have deplorably poor hygiene, with evident burning of amalgams to recover gold. ASGM have been accompanied by wanton mowing down of vegetation, land degradation as well as mercuric pollution of water, air, land and aquatic ecosystems. It is suggested that the Ugandan government should re-enforce committees to follow up on ASGM activities, train artisans on sustainable gold mining using borax, magnets, sluice boxes as well as take up farming actively as an alternative.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0113.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Landsat; artisanal-scale gold mining; infrastructure; protected areas; commodity
Online: 30 November 2018 (10:02:42 CET)
While deforestation rates decline globally they are rising in the Western Amazon. Artisanal-scale gold mining (ASGM) is a large cause of this deforestation and brings with it extensive environmental, social, governance, and public health impacts, including large carbon emissions and mercury pollution. Underlying ASGM is a broad network of factors that influence its growth, distribution, and practices such as poverty, flows of legal and illegal capital, conflicting governance, and global economic trends. Despite its central role in land use and land cover change in the Western Amazon and the severity of its social and environmental impacts, it is relatively poorly studied. While ASGM in Southeastern Peru has been quantified previously, doing so is difficult due to the heterogeneous nature of the resulting landscape. Using a novel approach to classify mining that relies on a fusion of CLASlite and the Global Forest Change dataset, two Landsat-based deforestation detection tools, we sought to quantify ASGM-caused deforestation in the period 1984–2017 in the southern Peruvian Amazon and examine trends in the geography, methods, and impacts of ASGM across that time. We identify nearly 100,000 ha of deforestation due to ASGM in the 34-year study period, an increase of 21% compared to previous estimates. Further, we find that 10% of that deforestation occurred in 2017, the highest annual amount of deforestation in the study period, with 53% occurring since 2011. Finally, we demonstrate that not all mining is created equal by examining key patterns and changes in ASGM activity and techniques through time and space. We discuss their connections with, and impacts on, socio-economic factors, such as land tenure, infrastructure, international markets, governance efforts, and social and environmental impacts.
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Artisanal mining; PPE; Occupational factors; Occupational health and safety
Online: 13 September 2021 (08:43:37 CEST)
Artisanal goldminers in Ghana are exposed to various levels and forms of health, safety and environmental threats. Without the required legislation and regulations, artisanal miners are responsible for their own health and safety at work. Consequently, understanding the probabilities of self-protection at work by artisanal goldminers is crucial. A cross-sectional survey of 500 artisanal goldminers was conducted to examine the probabilities of personal protective equipment use among artisanal goldminers in Ghana. The data was subjected to both descriptive and inferential statistics. Initial findings showed that personal protective equipment use among artisanal miners was 77.4%. Overall, higher probabilities of personal protective equipment use was observed among artisanal goldminers who work in good health and safety conditions as compared to artisanal miners who work in poor health and safety conditions. Also, personal protective equipment use was more probable among the highly educated artisanal goldminers, miners who regularly go for medical screening and the most experienced miners. Additionally, personal protective equipment use was more probable among artisanal miners who work in non-production departments and miners who work in the medium scale subsector. Inversely, personal protective equipment use was less probable among female artisanal miners and miners who earn more monthly income ($174 and above). To increase self-care and safety consciousness in artisanal mining, there is the need for a national occupational health and safety legislation in Ghana. Also, interventions and health promotion campaigns for better occupational conditions in artisanal mining should target and revise the health and safety related workplace programs and conditions
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0076.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Toxicology Keywords: mercury; exposure assessment; human health; artisanal and small-scale gold mining
Online: 14 March 2017 (08:40:59 CET)
Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) has been an important source of income for communities in the Madre de Dios River Basin in Peru for hundreds of years. However, in recent decades, the scale of ASGM activities in the region has increased dramatically, and exposures to a variety of occupational and environmental hazards related to ASGM, including mercury, are becoming more widespread. The aims of our study were to: (1) examine patterns in the total hair mercury level of human participants in several communities in the region and compare these results to the 2.2 µg/g total hair mercury level equivalent to the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee of Food Additives (JECFA)’s Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake (PTWI); and (2), to measure the mercury levels of paco (Piaractus brachypomus) fish raised in local aquaculture ponds, in order to compare these levels to the EPA Fish Tissue Residue Criterion of 0.3 µg Hg/g fish (wet weight). We collected hair samples from 80 participants in four communities (one control and three where ASGM activities occurred) in the region, and collected 111 samples from fish raised in 24 local aquaculture farms. We then analyzed the samples for total mercury. Total mercury levels in hair were statistically significantly higher in the mining communities than in the control community, and increased with increasing distance away from the Madre de Dios headwaters (as the crow flies), did not differ by sex, and frequently exceeded the reference level. Regression analyses indicated that higher hair mercury levels were associated with residence in ASGM communities. The analysis of paco fish samples found no samples that exceeded the EPA tissue residue criterion. Collectively, these results align with other recent studies showing that ASGM activities are associated with elevated human mercury exposure. The fish farmed through the relatively new process of aquaculture in ASGM areas appeared to have little potential to contribute to human mercury exposure. More research is needed on human health risks associated with ASGM to discern occupational, residential, and nutritional exposure, especially through tracking temporal changes in mercury levels as fish ponds age, and assessing levels in different farmed fish species. Additionally, research is needed to definitively determine that elevated mercury levels in humans and fish result from the elemental mercury from mining, rather than from a different source, such as the mercury released from soil erosion during deforestation events from mining or other activities.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0123.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Brazilian artisanal cheeses; safety; challenges
Online: 5 September 2020 (06:08:11 CEST)
Artisanal cheeses made with raw milk are highly appreciated products in Brazil. Most of these cheeses are produced in small properties across different production regions in the country, many of which have been granted a protected designation of origin. The most prominent state that manufactures these products is Minas Gerais, but production is also gaining strength in other Brazilian states. This text presents an overview of the many types of artisanal cheeses produced in the country, grouped by geographical regions, and reviews the current challenges faced by producers and government considering the safety of these cheeses.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201709.0017.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Food Chemistry Keywords: artisanal spirit; alcohol strength; volatiles
Online: 5 September 2017 (17:36:25 CEST)
Cheap licit and artisanal illicit spirit drinks have been associated with numerous outbreaks of alcohol poisoning especially with methanol. This study aimed to evaluate the quality of cheap spirit drinks in Kibera slums in Nairobi County, Kenya. The samples consisted of cheap licit spirits (n=11) and the artisanal spirit drink, ‘chang’aa’, (n=28). The parameters of alcoholic strength and volatile composition were used as indicators of quality and were determined using GC-FID and GC-MS respectively. The pH of chang’aa was 3.3-4.2 and 4.4-8.8 for licit spirit drinks while ranges for alcoholic strength were 42.8-85.8 % vol. and 28.3-56.7% vol. for chang’aa and licit spirit drinks respectively. The majority of volatiles were found in artisanal spirits and they included higher alcohols, ethyl esters and carbonyl compounds. The alcoholic strength of all the artisanal spirits (100%) and 91% of the licit spirits was above the 40% vol. of standard spirits such as vodka. The high ethanol content of the alcohol products was the only element of public health significance in this study.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0274.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Orthopedics And Sports Medicine Keywords: musculoskeletal disorders; lower back pain; female artisanal fisher; shellfish gatherers
Online: 28 January 2019 (10:19:59 CET)
Lower back musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are an important public health problem and the leading cause of disability worldwide, but with prevalence yet unknown among shellfish gatherers. To investigate the prevalence and work-related factors associated with lower back MSD in a population of female shellfish gatherers, an epidemiological cross-sectional study was carried out in Saubara, Bahia – Brazil, in 2013. The Brazilian version of the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) and the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ), in addition to a questionnaire containing the physical demands adapted to the artisanal work, were applied to a random sample of 209 female shellfish gatherers. The prevalence of lower back MSD was 72.7%. Using multivariate logistic regression, the shellfish gatherers who had worked for more than 26 years in the activity showed a prevalence of 1.22 (95% CI: 1.04-1.44) times higher compared to those unexposed. Lower back MSD was 1.24 (95%CI: 1.08-1.42) times higher among those more exposed to work sitting with trunk flexion. Those performed manual handling and muscle force with the arms had a prevalence ratio of 1.18 (95%CI: 1.01-1.39). These results show the need for greater awareness of health and social welfare factors impacting workers in small-scale fisheries and will promote the elaboration of health care policies for this occupational class.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0265.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: craft brewing; saccharomyces cerevisiae; saccharomyces eubayanus; hybrids; 4-vinyl guaiacol; non-conventional yeasts; evolutionary engineering; artisanal fermented food; natural biodiversity
Online: 24 November 2019 (04:35:23 CET)
Beer is a fermented beverage with a history as old as human civilization and its productive process has been spread all around the world becoming unique in every country and iconic of entire populations. Ales and lagers are by far the most common beers; however, the combination of raw materials, manufacture techniques and aroma profiles are almost infinite, so it is not surprising to notice that there is a large amount of different beer styles, each of them with unique characteristics. Nowadays, diversification is becoming increasingly important in the brewing market and the brewers are continuously interested in improving and extending the already wide range of products, especially in craft brewery. One of the major components that can have a deep impact on the final product is yeast, since it is able to convert carbohydrates in wort, especially maltose and maltotriose, into ethanol, carbon dioxide and other minor aroma-active compounds. Saccharomyces cerevisiae (top‐fermenting yeasts used to produce ales) and Saccharomyces pastorianus (cryotolerant bottom‐fermenting hybrids between S. cerevisiae and Saccharomyces eubayanus responsible for the fermentation of lagers) are most used in breweries. However, an increasing number of different yeast starter cultures are commercially available, to improve the production efficiency also at relative low temperatures and to obtain desirable and diversified aroma profiles avoiding undesired compounds. Four main genetic engineering-free trends are becoming popular in craft brewing yeast development: 1) the research for novel reservoirs as source of new performant S. cerevisiae yeasts; 2) the creation of synthetic hybrids between S. cerevisiae and Saccharomyces non-cerevisiae in order to mimic lager yeasts by expanding their genetic background; 3) the exploitation of evolutionary engineering approaches; 4) the usage of non-Saccharomyces yeasts either in co-coculture or in sequential fermentation with S. cerevisiae. In the present work we summarized pro and contra of these approaches and provided an overview on the most recent advances on how brewing yeast genome evolved and domestication took place. Finally, we delineated how the correlations maps between genotypes and relevant brewing phenotypes can assist and further improve the search for novel craft beer starter yeasts.