ANALYZING MERCURY IN THE PERUVIAN AMAZON: ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF ILLEGAL ARTISANAL GOLD MINING
Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 10:30am EST | 3:30pm GMT | 4:30pm CET
Speakers: Luis E. Fernandez, Executive Director
Center for Amazonian Scientific Innovation,
Roberto Federico-Perez, PhD, Product Specialist, Milestone Inc.
Who should attend
Academics and analytical chemists who want a better understanding of the methodology behind sampling and determining mercury in the field by means of direct mercury analysis.
Mercury is a well-known neurotoxin that biomagnifies as it moves up the food chain. For thousands of years it has been used for gold extraction, since it forms amalgams that helps miners separate fine gold particles from ore bearing sediments. Even now, an estimated approximately 20% of global gold production uses mercury. However, this use of mercury has resulted in large-scale environmental contamination of watersheds and communities in over 80 countries. Prof. Luis E. Fernandez and his team have focused on investigating the extent of mercury contamination in Peruvian Amazon, a region where 185 tons of mercury each year are released, and its effects on humans and wildlife.
Our webcast will provide an overview of Prof. Fernandez’s motivation behind this project. We will discuss his sampling methodology and how Direct Mercury Analysis has helped overcome the challenges posed by operating in the field to allow for on-site mercury characterization.