Mining companies in Colombia are causing mental disorders and serious diseases in inhabitants

Mining companies in Colombia are causing mental disorders and serious diseases in inhabitants

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The contamination of natural resources such as water, soil and air, is only one of the most common consequences of mining activity; another is associated with the abuse, harassment and violence exercised by companies towards indigenous communities that cannot defend their lands. However, very little is said about the deadly impact of the release of vapors and liquids from mines in Colombia, China, Indonesia, Mexico and more; as is the case that the population of Segovia, in Colombia, faces mercury poisoning.

For Natalio Cosoy, from theBBC Latin America, Segovia is “the municipality with the most cases of mercury poisoning in Colombia, […] which is, in turn, the third nation that releases the most mercury into the environment in the world –75 tons per year–, behind China and Indonesia. " This phenomenon that puts the physical and mental health of the inhabitants at risk is due to decades of gold mining and the use of mercury to extract gold from stones.

Mercury poisoning begins with nausea, dizziness; continues to destroy the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs, kidneys, skin, eyes; and ends with death. Although no one in Segovia has died from mercury, around 45,000 people are suffering the effects of the poisoning.

There, where the mercury is burned in a kind of oven with an open door and the extractors push the vapors into the pipes of the machine, the risk continues to affect every member of the population. For Carlos Federico Molina Castaño, a toxicologist and a specialist in both occupational health and epidemiology, “the risk is still present whenever mercury is handled, a metal that evaporates, on the other hand, at a fairly low temperature, around 40 degrees. If there is more than 20 micrograms per gram of creatinine in the urine, the person is considered intoxicated. It is difficult to find a Segovian miner below 20. One told me that he had 500. […] The maximum that I had to see was one of 3,000. " Even nursing babies are under the effects of intoxication: “Although in low amounts, women pass the poison to their children through breast milk. None of my mothers worked with mercury at the time, they had not been directly exposed to mercury for a year, so it is an environmental exposure. "

More than death, explains Molina Castaño, mercury "generates more disability than mortality." Conditions that involve the mental aspect, which can range from psychosis to bipolarity. Mental disorders are a consequence of long-term exposure to mercury: “It's like when the nutritionist tells you that if you eat a lot of meat, you will get sick, or if you eat a lot of flour; it is the same, I say that if a person is evaporating the mercury, they are breathing it in, later it can have effects, but that is not very common here ”.


Video: 10 Celebs With Dangerous Mental Health Problems (June 2022).


  1. Vorisar

    Thanks for your support.

  2. Frika

    You are absolutely right. There is something in this and a good idea, I support it.

  3. Kesegowaase

    This topic is simply incomparable :), I really like it.

  4. Akecheta

    In your place I would have tried to solve the problem itself.

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