Proof of concept for a passive sampler for monitoring of gaseous elemental mercury in artisanal gold mining

Proof of concept for a passive sampler for monitoring of gaseous elemental mercury in artisanal gold mining

Author Santos, Elias de Barros Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Moher, Paleah Google Scholar
Ferlin, Stacy Google Scholar
Fostier, Anne Helene Google Scholar
Mazali, Italo Odone Google Scholar
Telmer, Kevin Google Scholar
Brolo, Alexandre Guimaraes Google Scholar
Abstract Mercury emissions from artisanal gold mining operations occurring in roughly 80 developing countries are a major workplace health hazard for millions of people as well as the largest contributor to global mercury pollution. There are no portable, cheap, and rapid methods able to inform workers or health practitioners of mercury exposure on site in remote locations. In this work, a proof of concept for a miniaturized mercury sampler, prepared by the direct reduction of gold into the porous nanostructures of Vycor glass (PVG), is introduced. Mercury retention on the PVG/Au sampler induces significant color changes, due to the formation of Au-Hg amalgam that affects the surface plasmon resonance characteristics of the material. The color change can potentially be quantified by the analysis of pictures obtained with a cell phone camera rapidly and onsite. Laboratory experiments showed the viability of using PVG/Au as passive sampler for monitoring of Hg degrees. PVG/Au samplers were then deployed in an artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) operations in Burkina Faso and it was able to indicate personal mercury exposures. The amount of mercury quantified in the samplers for all miners was higher than the current personal exposure limit set by the US Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
xmlui.dri2xhtml.METS-1.0.item-coverage London
Language English
Sponsor FAPESP
NSERC
United States Department of State (USDoS)
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
post-doctoral fellowship from CNPq (Science Without Borders)
post-doctoral fellowship from CIHR
Artisanal Gold Council
Ministry of the Environment
Ministry of Mines
Ministry of Health of Burkina Faso
Grant number FAPESP: 2016/03559-7
FAPESP: 2013/22127-2
FAPESP: 2014/50906-9
United States Department of State (USDoS): S-LMAQM-15-GR-1178
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO): GF/RAF/12/001
Date 2017
Published in Scientific Reports. London, v. 7, p. -, 2017.
ISSN 2045-2322 (Sherpa/Romeo, impact factor)
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Extent -
Origin http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-16713-7
Access rights Open access Open Access
Type Article
Web of Science ID WOS:000416398100063
URI https://repositorio.unifesp.br/handle/11600/58162

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