As a follow up to our two recent studies on human exposure to legacy mining toxins, The Sierra Fund has produced new educational materials with precautionary guidelines for people who live, work or recreate in the Sierra.
Two new brochures, “Abandoned Mines, Dust and You” and “Fish, Mercury and You” are now available for distribution. They address the two main ways people can be exposed to pollution from historic mining: either by coming in contact with dust at abandoned mine sites or eating locally caught fish that are high in mercury.
Special thanks to the following organizations and individuals, who provided information, review or graphics for these materials:
- California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)
- California Indian Environmental Alliance (CIEA)
- RiderPlanet USA
- Chris Collard
- California Department of Conservation
In order to address the lack of information available about human exposure to arsenic, lead, mercury and other toxins from historic mining, The Sierra Fund conducted three pilot studies:
- Gold Country Recreational Trails and Abandoned Mines Assessment (2009)
- Gold Country Angler Survey (2009-2010)
- Environmental History Survey (2010)
Results of these studies confirm the potential for human exposure to mining toxins, and the critical lack of information available to the public about these threats. The two brochures now available from The Sierra Fund are the first step in an outreach strategy to help families in the Sierra protect their health.
Summaries of The Sierra Fund’s original research is available in the booklet “Assessing Environmental Health Risks from Abandoned mines in the Sierra Nevada” and full copies of the scientific reports may be found on our website, www.reclaimingthesierra.org
The Sierra Fund’s Reclaiming the Sierra Initiative is an ongoing effort to address the long term impacts of Gold Rush era mining in California. This work is supported in part by the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund; True North Foundation; and The California Wellness Foundation, created in 1992 as a private, independent foundation, TCWF’s mission is to improve the health of the people of California by making grant for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention.