376 pages | 1 B/W Illus.
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.
"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
Part 1: Gold and Gold Compounds
GEOLOGY, SOURCES, AND PRODUCTION
Sources and Production
GOLD CONCENTRATIONS IN FIELD COLLECTIONS
THE EFFECTS OF GOLD ON PLANTS AND ANIMALS
Part 2: Human Health Impacts
HEALTH RISKS OF GOLD MINERS
Health Risks: Underground Miners
Health Risks: Surface Miners Who Use Mercury
HUMAN SENSITIVITY TO GOLD
Proposed Modes of Action
Treatment Regimes, Case Histories, and Adverse Effects
Part 3: Effects of Gold Extraction on Ecosystems
GOLD MINE WASTES: HISTORY, ACID MINE DRAINAGE, AND TAILINGS DISPOSAL
Acid Mine Drainage
CYANIDE HAZARDS TO PLANTS AND ANIMALS FROM GOLD MINING AND RELATED WATER ISSUES
History of Cyanide Use in Gold Mining
Cyanide Mitigation and Research Needs
Water Management Issues
Water Quality and Management Research Needs
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
Arsenic Effects on Sensitive Species
Proposed Arsenic Criteria
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
ABANDONED UNDERGROUND GOLD MINES
Habitat for Biota
Effects on Water Quality
Science Site Potential
Part 4: Mining Legislation, Concluding Remarks, and
SELECTED MINING LEGISLATION