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Wednesday, October 12, 2011
However, the article omits another potential threat – mercury pollution. Mercury could enter the waterways if the mines employ the common practice of using mercury to extract gold. The mercury could pass into the fish, which would offer a conduit into people and wildlife. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that is especially dangerous to the developing brains of fetuses and children.
The spread of illegal gold mining in southern Peru has driven a growth in deforestation so rampant that government officials may declare an environmental emergency, according to a news report.