There continues to be concerns about the health issues from mercury at the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC).
The recently established joint committee to examine the numerous concerns from staff met to focus on the ongoing air quality sampling which is being undertaken, and the next steps forward.
“In addition to a rigid investigation, the team has been working on measures and methods of addressing concerns about the environment to ensure that action is taken and the requisite systems are put in place to protect the safety and health of workers who were exposed to mercury emissions within that area,” a Government statement noted.
The inter–agency team comprises the department of Occupational Safety and Health – Ministry of Social Protection, the National Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH), the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission and staff representing the interest of the workers of the GGMC.
Government recently announced that it will be getting international assistance from an expert group expected to undertake a number of critical assignments, including ascertaining the safety of the environment and making recommendations on best practices.
The group will also undertake data analyses and provide the Government with periodic updates to chart the way forward.
The Central Board of Health is also expected to begin working closely with GGMC and other stakeholders including the wider mining sector on programmes to provide life-protecting strategies against mercury exposure.
Government is said to be awaiting the results of tests done on employees whose deaths were suspected to have been linked to exposure to elevated levels of mercury.
The government remains firm that there is simply no existing empirical data, which established that mercury is responsible for the deaths of miners and GGMC workers in recent times.
However, the Ministry of Natural Resources has stated that efforts are already in train to establish, scientifically, whether there is such a link.
Workers have been pleading with Government to intervene following elevated concerns about mercury emanating from GGMC’s operations through the burring of amalgamated gold.
There was no public announcement when workers were found with elevated levels of mercury in their blood. However, after media reports, GGMC admitted the incident.
Workers complained that despite many of them being in danger, the matter was not being treated with urgency.
Oct 16, 2018By Sean Devers in Trinidad In association with Regal, Vnet, Noble House Seafoods & Cascadia Hotel In murky conditions and played before virtually empty stands, Guyana Jaguars, led by a 79-run...
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