Biogeochemical, Health, and Ecotoxicological Perspectives on Gold and Gold Mining: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Biogeochemical, Health, and Ecotoxicological Perspectives on Gold and Gold Mining

1st Edition

By Ronald Eisler

CRC Press

376 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2004-10-28
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Description

Despite the esteemed nature of gold in society, evidence of adverse ecotoxicological effects and risk to human health in various mining and extraction techniques has generated increasing interest in the biological and environmental implications of gold. Biogeochemical, Health, and Ecotoxicological Perspectives on Gold and Gold Mining is the first comprehensive book to evaluate the effect of gold production and use on human health as well as the environmental impact of gold mining and extraction.

Dr. Ronald Eisler, a well-known senior research biologist and expert in the chemical and biological effects of various compounds on wildlife, provides a thorough risk assessment of gold, including its geology and sources and physical, chemical, and metabolic properties. The author documents gold concentrations and field collections of abiotic materials and biota and presents research on the lethal and sublethal effects of gold on plants and animals. Supported by case histories, the book examines health risks in gold miners, human sensitivity to jewelry and dental implants, and medicinal uses. It uses examples in several countries to thoroughly explore the environmental effects of gold extraction, including tailings disposal, acid mine drainage, cyanide, arsenic, and mercury contamination, water management issues, and abandoned mines.

Unlike traditional risk assessments, the author also takes into account social, political, economic, medicinal, and psychological variables for a more complete perspective on gold's impact on health and the environment. Biogeochemical, Health, and Ecotoxicological Perspectives on Gold and Gold Mining concludes with a discussion on mining legislation, safety, and procedures.

Reviews

"The single most comprehensive and authoritative book ever published dealing with virtually all biological aspects of gold ranging from medicinal to the ecosystem effects of mining and extraction. The book also provides a good background on the geology, sources and production of gold, which are integral to a complete understanding of how ecosystems may be impacted."

-David J. Hoffman, Ph. D., Senior Research Biologist, U.S. Geological Survey

"This book is a comprehensive treatise on the biological and environmental effects of gold. It contains information on virtually everything one seeks to know about gold-its occurrence in plants, animals, and abiotic materials, it production, effects on human health and natural resources, it uses in medicine and dentistry, toxicity of and mechanisms of its accumulation, and the environmental impact on gold mining. Concisely written, well-referenced, up to date, yet full of historical data, the book is a pleasure to read and to consult, I recommend it wholeheartedly."

-G.N. Schrauzer, Biological Trace Element Research, Vol. 105, 2005

Table of Contents

Part 1: Gold and Gold Compounds

INTRODUCTION

Literature Cited

GEOLOGY, SOURCES, AND PRODUCTION

Geology

Sources and Production

Summary

Literature Cited

USES

Jewelry

Coinage

Electronics

Radiogold

Medicine

Dentistry

Delivery Vehicle

Electron Microscopy

Other

Summary

Literature Cited

PROPERTIES

Physical Properties

Chemical Properties

Biochemical Properties

Summary

Literature Cited

GOLD CONCENTRATIONS IN FIELD COLLECTIONS

Abiotic Materials

Plants

Animals

Summary

Literature Cited

THE EFFECTS OF GOLD ON PLANTS AND ANIMALS

Aquatic Organisms

Accumulation

Laboratory Mammals

Summary

Literature Cited

Part 2: Human Health Impacts

HEALTH RISKS OF GOLD MINERS

Historical Background

Health Risks: Underground Miners

Health Risks: Surface Miners Who Use Mercury

Summary

Literature Cited

HUMAN SENSITIVITY TO GOLD

History

Adverse Reactions

Case Histories

Dental Aspects

Summary

Literature Cited

CHRYSOTHERAPY

History

Proposed Modes of Action

Treatment Regimes, Case Histories, and Adverse Effects

Summary

Literature Cited

Part 3: Effects of Gold Extraction on Ecosystems

GOLD MINE WASTES: HISTORY, ACID MINE DRAINAGE, AND TAILINGS DISPOSAL

Overview

Acid Mine Drainage

Tailings

Waste Rock

Summary

Literature Cited

CYANIDE HAZARDS TO PLANTS AND ANIMALS FROM GOLD MINING AND RELATED WATER ISSUES

History of Cyanide Use in Gold Mining

Cyanide Hazards

Cyanide Mitigation and Research Needs

Water Management Issues

Water Quality and Management Research Needs

Summary

Literature Cited

ARSENIC HAZARDS FROM GOLD MINING FOR HUMANS, PLANTS, AND ANIMALS

Arsenic Sources to the Biosphere from Gold Mining

Arsenic Risks to Human Health

Arsenic Concentrations in Abiotic Materials and Biota near Gold

Extraction Facilities

Arsenic Effects on Sensitive Species

Proposed Arsenic Criteria

Summary

Literature Cited

MERCURY HAZARDS FROM GOLD MINING FOR HUMANS, PLANTS, AND ANIMALS

History of Mercury in Gold Mining

Ecotoxicological Aspects of Amalgamation

Lethal and Sublethal Effects of Mercury

Proposed Mercury Criteria

Summary

Literature Cited

ABANDONED UNDERGROUND GOLD MINES

Habitat for Biota

Land Development

Effects on Water Quality

Science Site Potential

Summary

Literature Cited

Part 4: Mining Legislation, Concluding Remarks, and

Indices

SELECTED MINING LEGISLATION

United States

Foreign

Summary

Literature Cited

CONCLUDING REMARKS

GENERAL INDEX

SPECIES INDEX

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCI026000
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
TEC010000
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General
TEC021000
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Material Science