Academic Venture Fund - 2017

Taking the Quicksilver out of Gold Mining

Hand holding liquid mercury

Artisanal gold mining is the largest source of mercury emissions globally, as miners use the toxic element to tease out every bit of gold. Indonesia's small-scale mining operations lead the world in mercury use--and environmental contamination, since mining's mercury ends up in rivers and fish. This project aims to reduce mercury use in the mines and mitigate exposure in local food and water systems, while helping communities build alternative livelihoods. The team will also develop strategies for rehabilitating forest land degraded by mining.

[Thanks to a generous gift from David Atkinson, this project is partly sponsored by Cornell's new Master of Public Health (MPH)--an interdisciplinary program using a One Health approach.]

Investigators: Jenny Goldstein, Thomas Pepinsky, Matthew Reid