Mercury pollution from the past mining of gold and silver in the Americas

  title={Mercury pollution from the past mining of gold and silver in the Americas},
  author={Jerome O. Nriagu},
The development of the patio amalgamation process into an industrial scale operation in 1554 stimulated the massive production of silver in the New World but left behind an unprecedented quantity of mercury pollution. The annual loss of mercury in the silver mines of Spanish America averaged 612 tonnes/year (range 292-1085 tonnes/year) between 1580 and 1900. The production and importation of mercury into the United States ranged from 268 to 2820 tonnes/year and averaged 1360 tonnes/year between… CONTINUE READING
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