Mercury is considered one of the top ten chemicals of major public health concern by the World Health Organization. Exposure to mercury, particularly methyl mercury, even at low levels, can cause irreparable harm to the developing brain and nervous system and is especially concerning for pregnant women and children. The top two sources of mercury contamination in the Arctic are atmospheric transport of mercury from coal combustion and from more localized releases of mercury from active and abandoned gold and mercury mines. Mercury released from these sites enters aquatic and marine environments, bioaccumulating up the food chain into larger fish, marine mammals, birds, and terrestrial animals including humans. In Southwest Alaska, a vibrant region rich in fish and marine and terrestrial life, the proposed Donlin Gold Mine has raised questions about the risk of mercury releases from the mine and health risks associated with increased methylmercury contamination in local foods.
On May 26, 12:00 to 1:30 PM, CHE-Alaska, CSP2, and the Northern Alaska Environmental Center are hosting a Lunch and Learn Webinar entitled Mercury, Fish, and Public Health Concerns: The Proposed Donlin Gold Mine will include a panel of speakers discussing concerns associated with the proposed Donlin Gold Mine, potential releases of mercury from the mine, existing sources of mercury in the region, contamination and consumption of fish, and potential human health concerns.
More details can be found at our website - https://www.akaction.org/mercury-fish-and-public-health-concerns-the-proposed-donlin-gold-mine/